The theme for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) in the United States is #StartAsking. RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association is encouraging people to talk about the myths that surround infertility and how people build their families. They are focusing on two main questions:
- What do you wish you had asked when you first realized that you might be struggling with infertility?
- What do you wish friends and family asked you about your struggles with building your family?
In today’s post, we asked members of the Rainbows-Unicorns community and the closed group, RainCorns Tribe, on Facebook the first question. Here are their answers:
“I just wish I had asked for a second opinion before I did. Instead I listened to the OB/GYN, who wasn’t specialized in infertility. Based on my creeping age and my history, she SHOULD have sent me straight to the RE. She didn’t. It wasn’t until a relative going through IF too questioned me, “Why was I still following this OB/GYN blindly down a path that wasn’t working?”
“I wish I would have asked earlier about my irregular cycles. I was constantly told I should be lucky my periods didn’t come often but really, that was a huge warning sign of my fertility!”
“I wish I had asked more about my fibroids and how much of an issue they really were. I ended up having 2 procedures and one major operation because of them and always felt like that could have been condensed more.”
“I wish I had asked for an earlier confirmation of my endo – at that point, that was the only issue I thought I might have. It is probably unlikely, but I always wondered if my 6 Clomid cycles ruined my only functioning tube. I wish I had insisted my first RE had attended my HSG. He thought based in the radiokogist’s report that I had a spastic left tube. Turns our I have a major uterine anomaly that was easily diagnosable after a few seconds of looking at my films by RE #2.”
“I am not sure how to answer #1, because we found things out gradually and so there was time to ask questions. I can’t think of anything in particular I didn’t ask.”
“I honestly don’t know as I found out as a child that I would have issues conceiving. I guess that’s a major difference between an adult finding out and a child finding out.”
In asking this question, Bex realized that she still had questions regarding her infertility, after having twins, as she restarted her journey to have more children. She had questions for both her healthcare providers and herself.
“I now have totally different questions I would ask…because I realize I am not new to infertility and I have children, but the issues don’t go away.
- If I have embryos someplace else and move, will the new clinic do an FET (frozen embryo transfer) once I relocate the embryos to a new place? (For one of the clinics I talked to today, the answer was no.)
- Did my fibroids come back? Oh god, I forgot about those!
- If they did come back, am I willing to have another hysteroscopy?
- How do I ship my embryos over 6 time zones?
- Should I transfer one or two? They aren’t as good quality as the embryos that resulted in my girls. How much will that matter?
- Could I deal with another set of twins? triplets?!
- How much does my age matter now?
- Will I be okay if the embryos don’t result in living children?
The issues of infertility never truly go away. Whether it is being haunted by the shadows of the past or the void of the future. It sticks with us. We can’t go back in time to ask those initial question we had – but we can help other people know where to start. If one thing is sure, for all of us struggling with infertility and loss, we will always have questions and we know that we need to #startasking those new questions now.
What questions are you asking?