Our nursing supervisor learned she had bad chances of getting pregnant at age 30, but gained good advice for others on egg freezing, choosing a fertility doctor and ways to cope
If you are over age 30, you certainly have a few friends who have small children or are pregnant. Most likely, you have attended many baby showers and kids’ birthday parties. I certainly have. It was at one of these birthdays that I started thinking about having children.
I made an appointment with an OB and after a very uncomfortable vaginal ultrasound and a bunch of blood tests, she requested that we speak in her office. Oh boy, I thought. This is serious! I sighed and walked to her office.
She started by asking, “When do you want to get pregnant?” I told her that I wasn’t sure. She explained two options, either get pregnant now or go with egg freezing. She went on by saying that at age 30, I have the hormone levels and ovarian reserve of a 42-year-old woman.
Sigh. Just my luck. Fortunately, I work in an IVF clinic. I am privileged to have the opportunity of being at the right place, at the right time, allowing me access to the amazing resources available.
For those of you who may have had a similar conversation with your OB/GYN and are agonizing over the pain of infertility at any age, I have a little advice for you: keep in mind these 5 golden rules.
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1. Keep calm, sane & trust infertility treatments
The good news is that it’s the year 2019 and the infertility treatments are very successful. Reputable fertility clinics are available, and you are not alone. There are at least a few families around you who have gone through this or are going through it right now.
Practice deep breathing. Take long walks alone and be patient. Remember that the science of ART (assisted reproductive technology) is very successful these days.
2. Find a good fertility doctor (we have some here!)
Yes, it’s true, you can end up with a bad fertility doctor, a bad nurse or even a bad fertility clinic. Do your research. Resources are available to find a doctor who is knowledgeable, patient and nice, yet humble. If you get a consult and don’t feel right with that doctor or the clinic, be open and ask for compassionate care. If it still doesn’t seem like a good fit, try finding another doctor or clinic.
This process can be emotionally draining and frustrating, especially if you have to go through it by yourself. If you are not comfortable with that doctor, that can add extra stress you don’t need.
3. Don’t share too much about your infertility with friends & family
I regret having done that myself. I even shared my lab levels with coworkers and friends and I was sorry I did. Some will be very sorry for you and make it clear that they feel sorry for you. Some will completely ignore the fact that you will have to be dealing with infertility one way or another and expect you to not make a big deal out of it.
Some of my friends were even thinking that I would be jealous of them and thought they should not bring their children around me as much. All I am saying is share your feelings and your infertility diagnosis very cautiously.
4. Don’t let this damage your relationships
Naturally you may get anxious and this may affect your relationships. If you are single and concerned that your fertility window is slamming shut, don’t just settle for someone because you want to get pregnant faster. And if you are in a relationship, don’t rush into getting pregnant because you are losing your ovarian reserve.
And if you are deciding to become a single mom, congratulations! But make sure you are ready for it and that you will be fully capable of doing this on your own.
5. Find a way to pay for infertility treatments like egg freezing
Don’t give your chance up because you can’t pay for fertility treatment. Find a way. Get a loan, put it on your credit card or even do what I did, cash your 401K. Egg freezing can change your entire life, so it’s worth the price. Once you know that you have enough time, you can focus on your career or schooling or even your relationships.
For me, it was as simple as being able to sleep at night.
– Sima Gholamali, RSC of the SF Bay Area Nursing Supervisor