You sit quietly in the cold office, the paper gown sticks to your legs as you anxiously waiting for the doctor to walk in so that you can ask them the millions of questions that have been plaguing you. You have put off this appointment, not wanting to ask these questions, but now you’re here and your prepared to hear what the doctor has to say.
In walks the doctor, and out of your mouth tumbles all the questions about why you’re having so much period pain and most of all why you haven’t gotten pregnant yet. Instead of addressing the questions the doctor returns yours with one of his own; “how long have you been trying” You stammer that you haven’t been “trying long” but you have done nothing to prevent pregnancy either. “What about the pain” you say? “All we can do is exploratory surgery or birth control” is the response. Alarmed, and not wanting surgery you drop the subject and move on with the process of the annual exam. As you wrap up your visit your doctor says “keep trying and if you’re not pregnant in 6-12 months we’ll talk about our options.” Unsure what else to do you leave and go cry quietly in your car.
So many women face this scenario every day, and I’m here to tell you it’s NOT okay. While we can’t completely change the system (yet) we can make some proactive choices. Here are some recommendations to keep you moving forward so should your waiting period end with no pregnancy in sight you are proactively moving forward.
1)Track your cycle days and also changes in your cervical mucus. There are journals and apps to help with this.
2)Confirm your ovulating with ovulation tracking
3)Become curious about your symptoms, how you feel and how you’re sleeping. These can all be clues to what could be going wrong with your fertility/ health
4)Get a copy of your bloodwork and review it for levels that appear to be out of range. If you need to, compare several different results to see how the results have changed over time. ASK your doctor for clarification on these tests.
5)Take the same kind of supplements you would if you were already pregnant. Make sure your taking high quality, food-based supplements so that they’re absorbable and not creating toxicity in your body.
6)Period pain, especially debilitating pain should NOT be ignored. Don’t allow fear to prevent you from obtaining a proper diagnosis. Pain that includes excessive bleeding, and keeps you from doing normal daily activities is not normal.
It’s worth mentioning that on average it takes 10 years to obtain an endometriosis diagnosis. Some other things that can cause unmanageable pain or menstrual flow include; uterine fibroids, PCOS/ovarian cysts, as well as adhesions of the reproductive organs to the bladder or other adjacent tissue. Often women are told that there is nothing that can be done about the symptoms caused by these problems, or worse it’s all in their head.
I hope you’ve come to the same conclusion I did that in order to get the pregnancy you desire you’re going to have to become a strong advocate for your own health and take responsibility for knowing your lab results and body. If you need support in this area join us over here at Infertility Empowered where we discuss all things infertility related and how to get answers quicker and with better outcomes.