04 July, 2011

Infertility decision making

When my husband and I first talked to a fertility specialist – he of the “vintage” terminology – he talked about my luteal phase defect, admired my colour-coded computerised cycle charts and observed that I was definitely ovulating despite my GP’s doom and gloom and the progesterone results. (Note:  charting your cycle is more useful than 21 day progesterone tests.)  He opted for clomiphene citrate (clomid is a common brand name)  first off.  

 He then talked about our management plan.  This sort of talk was useful.  Both professionals, we were accustomed to having plans and timetables and KPIs.  Of course, in this case the relevant KPI would be 
a) a pregnancy, and 
b) a baby.   (When you’ve suffered pregnancy loss, you know this isn’t one and the same thing.)  

But the management plan helped.  Knowing there were timetables for clomid, then IUI, was useful to us.  Then he mentioned IVF.  Depending on results of a tubal patency test (HSG), we could be doing our first cycle of IVF in just a few months.  My husband and I looked at each other shocked.  I’m not sure why we were shocked- we were consulting a fertility specialist after all.  We got home.  “We’re not that desperate (yes, he used the word) to try IVF are we?” he asked.  I shrugged.  I hadn’t considered needing IVF.

Fast forward about four or five months.  I was sitting in hospital, having one or other of the procedures/surgeries for my ectopic pregnancy, knowing that the only real option for me now was IVF.  And accepting it.  It seemed the normal thing to do.   My husband seemed to accept it too.  We were on that treadmill, and we weren’t getting off.  Not yet anyway.

Infertility decisions?  An oxymoron.  Infertility makes the decisions for you.


  1. Agree. It's definitely an oxymoron. IF makes the decisions. And no one would choose IF anyway :S

  2. I suppose the only decision you can sometimes make is stopping, but even then, that's not always a choice.

  3. Its interesting, how it does go from one thing to the next thing to the next and everything is just accepted as what you had to do. You are right, there are no choices though, you take what is available.

    I like that you had KPIs :) Made me smile as it definitely reminded me of work speak.

  4. I remember having that moment when we realised that IVF was the only option, after never thinking I would ever need to have that kind of treatment. It took a while to accept it, though.