If only we knew then what we know now huh? If only someone had told us how important it was to check the status of our fertility back in our twenties when we could have acted upon any issues!
This year, in the lead up to World Fertility Day on November 2nd, we are reaching out to you, to ask what you have learnt on your fertility journey, but didn’t know before you started. What you would say to your younger self if you could give her/him some words of advice. Would you have done things differently?
The TTC community have already started to share their “fertility hindsight” with us. Here are just some of the incredible words of wisdom.
I wasted time and money on ineffectual IVF
“Hindsight is such a wonderful thing, however, life is also a reality. I only got together with my ‘person’ when I was 30 (and moved halfway across the world to do this), married at 32, started trying for kids at 33, eventually, after lots of heartache, we had our daughter at 36. The only thing I would change out of all of this is wasting precious time and money on ineffectual IUI. I personally consider it to be a con and if you’ve got as far as a fertility clinic and you’re getting on in age, everything should be invested in a successful outcome straight off the bat. It’s all well and good to look back and say you should have had kids earlier, but if the time or person isn’t right, then that is more important.”
If only we’d got a sperm check when we started…..
“We all do the best we can with the information we have at the time. There is so much guilt attached to infertility and IVF and loss when it’s no one’s fault. We started trying in our early 30s because that was when we met and decided to get on with it. We were lucky that 18months in we went to see a very supportive GP but really better fertility education in schools and more NHS resources may mean that couples don’t get dismissed, waste more time and instead get an MOT when the start to TTC where they are also given support and advice. Our diagnosis was MFI and we would never have known had we not gone to GP. If only we’d got a sperm check when we started….. Couples TTC and those diagnosed with infertility do deserve much better. Especially support, standards of care and fair access to treatment.”
We need to deal with taboo subjects such as infertility head-on
“I think we teach young people so much about how NOT to get pregnant that we fail them by not addressing the problems that TTC can bring. If we dealt with taboo subjects head-on such as infertility and miscarriage at an earlier age maybe we all be that little more prepared to deal with their heartache. I don’t regret my choices but I do now question the sec education of our children.”
I wish I had done more research
“I remember being 15 and sitting with my gynaecologist after putting on so much weight with no reason – PCOS was the results.. I asked her about getting pregnant when I was older (I’ve always wanted to be a mum) and her exact words to me were “when you are with someone you want children with, worry about that then” – I’ve been with my husband for 13 years, now 37 and been TTC for 8 years. Had I have had the advice to read up and understand what I was dealing with, rather than it be brushed under the carpet I might be in a better position.”
I wish I hadn’t wasted time obsessing
“Unfortunately, I knew from age 18 I was infertile, but I regret spending my whole life obsessing over not being able to have a child….. (I had my daughter via IVF at age 30) but literally spent my whole life trying for a baby, would have I been so obsessed if I wasn’t aware of the fact I was ‘infertile’ from a young age. I don’t know.”
I wish I had saved money earlier on for fertility treatment
“I would have done lots of things differently. Mainly instead of spending lots of money in Nandos, Topshop and Zara…I would have saved that money and had my initial fertility appointments privately. I remember the wait between each appointment (up to 5 months) was really difficult and a waste of precious time. I wish someone had told me that it will more than likely take more than one IVF cycle for me to have a baby. I think if I went in with that mindset….the failures may have been a teeny weeny bit less devastating….maybe. But no regrets, just a few ‘what ifs?’ “
I wish I’d had the support of others
“I started my IVF adventure 6 months before my 30th, and after 3 failed attempts on my 4th which was “put back” on my 31st birthday, I was successful. I felt so lonely going through it all, especially with the losses. My little boy is nearly 4yrs now and since I had several friends go through it and I have enjoyed helping them with what to expect and all of them have said it is nice to be able to talk to someone who understands. I think calling it a crazy rollercoaster sums it’s up brilliantly!”
I wish I had known more about IVF and infertility causes
“I wish I had known what endometriosis was and how common infertility is. I wish I’d known you can be too skinny to qualify for NHS IVF and that when having IVF you may just want one child but end up with more embryos and have a tough decision to make about them.”
I wish I had been equipped with comebacks to insensitive questions about fertility
“I agree with everyone, knowing more about fertility growing up would have saved a lot of heartache. I think more info on endo too. We started trying at 26 but didn’t have IVF until I was 32, it’s been a very hard journey. In hindsight just more info, the costs not just if you were to go private but also for travel! I spent £500 over 8 weeks for my IVF cycle on travel alone. That’s a lot of bloody money!! Being equipped with comebacks to insensitive questions about fertility too would have been a bonus.”
I wish I hadn’t out life on hold
“There are three things I wish someone had told me. I wish someone told me that even if you get a high number of eggs with your retrieval, it might be that none of them fertilise. I was incredibly naive and thought that with 13 eggs retrieved, at least half would fertilise. Unfortunately, none of them did and I was beyond devastated after having tried naturally for so many years and finally being able to go through IVF. I wish someone had told me not to put life on hold. For five years I felt like I was, what I call, “non-living”, and just going through the motions of life and putting on a face. I missed out on so many experiences and holidays because I let the possibility of being pregnant and then IVF rule the way. Lastly, I wish someone had told me that it’s ok that I decided to wait to start trying in my early thirties because I wasn’t ready beforehand. This would’ve avoided a lot of heartache, guilt, and shame.”
Huge love to everyone trying to conceive. Remember, we are all here for you.
Would you like to share your fertility hindsight with us? If you would, drop us al line at firstname.lastname@example.org