Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis: What Next? What I wish I had known...

Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis: What Next? What I wish I had known...
If you’re reading this I’m sure I don't have to tell you how hopeless it feels to be told that you have "unexplained" infertility. It feels like the death of a dream or a death sentence. You want to crawl in a hole and never come out. Some women do.
If you’re reading this, I'm guessing that's not you. You’re like me. You’re going to dig until you DO find the answer.
After I got over the shock of our reproductive endocrinologist saying that they couldn’t help us, I decided NOT to accept that this diagnosis would stop us from creating a family. I got to work researching. I got a copy of my bloodwork and reviewed it. I made an appointment for another more aggressive surgery. I started asking around to friends about a possible second opinion. I started fertility acupuncture (which no matter how expensive is still waaaay cheaper than IVF). I took control over my own body and health (which included mental health). 

In the United States if you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility you have already lost between six months a year (depending on your age) in other countries it can be longer. I know that I don't have to tell you that’s precious time that you’ll never recover.

What I wish I had fully understood is that delay is your enemy. Waiting is your enemy. Overthinking is your enemy. Allowing yourself to be taken hostage to a medical agenda is your enemy. Taking more action swifter could have allowed us to have another child. Your doctor has already told you that they can't help you. Believe them. But please realize that just because they can't help you doesn't mean that you can't be helped. I know you’re afraid that the surgery they're suggesting will make it impossible to conceive. But they've already told you they believe it's impossible to conceive. I know that you’re afraid of scar tissue and the pain of surgery. But, what are your options? Before you jump up to raise your hand for IVF, consider -what if it wasn't an option? Because it wasn't for us.... We had an UEI diagnosis and were also told we could NOT do IVF.

So, what about surgery? After two exploratory hysteroscopies didn't reveal any sizeable fibroids, we decided to go ahead with the saline ultrasound surgery. This was to rule out the that fibroids were there that could not be seen any other way. The surgeon did in fact find, not just a couple of fibroids, but so many that it looked like he picked up a handful of aquarium gravel. I truly believe without this and other aggressive surgeries our children wouldn't be here.
The last thing that I wish I had known was to take better care of my mental health. Going through Infertility is hard on you personally and your marriage. I was already seeing a talk therapist for past trauma which was helpful but not fully healing in the way that I needed it to be. I didn't just need to heal, I needed tools to take with me into my parenthood journey. I wish I had known to address the physical ways that trauma scars you (like infertility) and addressed them sooner through neurofeedback, reiki or other forms of trauma release. I wish I had learned to prioritize my whole self as a woman, not just as a reproductive success story.

Regardless of your success in becoming a parent, I want you to know most of all that you are worthy of the life of your dreams with or without children. That you are worthy of taking time for yourself for no reason at all.
Most of all I want you to know that you are not your diagnosis.


4 Tips to get the most out of your doctor’s appointments.

4 Tips to get the most out of your doctor’s appointments.
Let’s face it there are so many jokes about not wanting to go to the doctor because it’s pretty low on everybody’s list. One of the ways that you can maximize your doctor’s/Reproductive Endocrinologists visits (especially if it’s an out-of-pocket visit) Is by doing some planning ahead. This not only will maximize your financial investment, but also keep moving you forward on your infertility journey.

The first tip might seem pretty basic, but it’s oh so important. Ask yourself, how do you respond to doctors in general? Do you lose your train of thought? Do you feel intimidated? Can you easily voice concerns or ask questions? It’s good to know ahead of time what emotions may come up for you and mentally rehearse or prepare how you want to see the appointment playing out.

There’s nothing more frustrating than taking time out of your day to visit a Doctor Who has not received your bloodwork or not reviewed your bloodwork (this happens more than you might think) That’s why it’s SO important to take responsibility as a patient and understand to the best of your ability what your testing levels are. Most blood work reports give a range so that you can tell if your results fall in that range. If you have any questions or concerns flag those on the report or make a note to discuss this with your doctor. If you’ve been taking supplements to improve a certain vitamin store and it has not improved be sure to ask why that might be. Ask questions about test that fall in the “low normal” category to see if your doctor recommends supplements to help or a change in medication.

I can’t recommend the next point enough! Write down any questions that you have a head of time so that you can participate and direct the conversation towards things that are on your mind and you can leave having the answers that you want. There’s a saying in the medical community about if you hear hoofbeats assume it’s a horse, not a zebra. All that to say that you might in FACT be a zebra. Nowadays it’s harder than ever to give personalized care so doing your own detective work and advocating for yourself might be the only way to get to the end goal of a successful pregnancy.

In the weeks leading up your appointment take an inventory of how you’re feeling, sleeping, and your overall emotional state. How is the condition of your hair, skin and nails? Dry hair and brittle nails can be significant health markers. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor as these can be symptoms of other things going on in your body that you might not be aware of. In the end, no one knows your body better than you. Finding a doctor that you feel a collaborative relationship with might just be the key to unlocking your unexplained infertility or other health condition.

3 BIGGEST infertility lies (and why you shouldn't believe them)

3 BIGGEST infertility lies (and why you shouldn't believe them)

#1 Lie 
If your hormone numbers/bloodwork are bad you’ll never get pregnant. 

It's true your NEVER going to produce more eggs. However you only need one good egg and there are a ton of things that you can do to improve egg quality and help your body regulate your hormones. 
 Your diet playing a huge role in how your body is able to process and regulate your hormones. Limiting refined sugar, caffeine (a mineral robber) and alcohol to name a few.  Controlling your stress can in fact help your blood work and hormone levels because of the cortisol loop. Body balancing through alternative methods such as Chinese medicine, acupuncture, massage can improve your bodies ability to regulate hormones.

#2 Lie
 If you can’t get pregnant on your own IVF/are you Is guaranteed to give you a baby.

Many people experience failed IVF and IUI repeatedly because the root of the dis-ease in the body  is not discovered. The laws of nature hold true in all things and if the soil isn't correct you can't grow plants or in this case babies. Items that are frequently overlooked include genetic factors  that have not been tested and food allergies that are causing an inflammation response in the body. 
Maybe it is that the male partner needs tested (seemingly often this is the last thing to ever be tested for as it was in our case) Infertility in the medical community seems to woman’s problem.  It wasn’t until after I had had three surgeries that the idea of testing my husband was ever brought up.

Lie #3
If your infertility doctor can’t help you, you can’t be helped. 

Many people don’t know that reproductive endocrinologist and fertility clinics are judged on something called an ART (Applied Reproductive Technology) success rate. The score is based on the success rate of their patient load (live births versus the number of transfers) For that reason many doctors dismiss patients that they consider to be a difficult case or a bad risk for them because it will drive their ART score down. If one doctor says that they cannot help you please get a second opinion or look at alternative therapies to help heal your body. 

For more Information like this join us over at Flourishing through Infertility on Facebook .

How to Reduce Infertility Stress with 5 Micro Resets

How to Reduce Infertility Stress with 5 Micro Resets
Stress is not always a bad thing in your life but too much stress can wreak havoc on your hormones and reproductive cycle. Stress can cause spikes in your cortisol response and lead to a cascade of physical and mental symptoms. These are just a daily micro resets that you can add into your life daily to create long lasting benefit. For more tips on how...
Read more...

Pregnant and Quarantined: Top Meal Prep Suggestions for the 4th Trimester

All these suggestions are based on my personal experienced as a breastfeeding mom

 and thus geared toward being more “breastfeeding friendly” by eliminating common digestive triggers for you and baby.


USE YOUR POTS (INSTAPOT/CROCK POT)

Dump meals that you can freeze meat, veggies and sauce all in one bag for crock pot or InstaPot. Here’s a link I like  

https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/50-easy-freezer-meals/


BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS OR...A SNACK!

*Make ahead pancakes with milk and egg for added nutrition. You can also add a shredded veggie of your choice and a cheese for a quick meal or snack.

*Prepare and freeze breakfast wraps with egg, cheese and meat for a quick grab and go breakfast.

*Mason jar overnight oats.

*Pre-make smoothie bags with berries, banana & spinach. I recommend adding a plant based “milk” to this such as almond (carrageenan free), coconut or oat. These are great for a quick snack, breakfast or lunch.


LUNCH OR...A SNACK!

MASON JAR SALADS 

 These salads are little power houses of nutrition. Even better their far easier to eat than a traditional salad (in case your holding a baby in the other) They can be loaded with whatever your preference. Storing your salad this way also extends the shelf life because your going to pack the salad in the top and then it won't be exposed to air. Here are some suggestions of what to add and how to layer
*Bottom Layer-Dressing
*Harder Veggies like carrots, beans, corn, sunflower seeds or other nuts
*Next pepper, fruit (strawberries, apples, tomatoes)
*Cheese, meat, or egg, or quinoa 
*Top with 1.5-2 cups of salad

STAPLES THAT ARE AN EASY "GO TO"

*Potato’s and sweet potatoes are a great staple to have on hand and can be turned into a meal by adding toppings. In these uncertain times they also store really well, and can be made ahead of time.

 
*Whole grains like quinoa for salad toppings, granola for snacks and yogurt topping

*Proportioned snacks like pretzels, nuts, cheese sticks, hummus, guacamole, cut up veggies for dipping 

*Frozen Fruits & Berries (for smoothies, yogurt, overnight oats) (preferably Organic)

*Frozen Veggies, Spinach for smoothies, Broccoli (preferably organic)

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4th trimester support?
Let's create a game plan together so that you feel more relaxed and prepared for what's next.

 
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