Statistics are everywhere. We look at the figures, and we understand them. They're based on science. We know for example that about 12 % of the population are infertile, which means 88% are not. We know that about 1-2 % of all pregnancies are ectopic, and about 1-2% of those ectopic pregnancies are interstitial/cornual. We know too that after one ectopic pregnancy, you have a 10% chance of a repeat. Which means that you have a 90% chance it will be in the right place. These are good statistics. Hopeful statistics. There is a far greater chance that everything will go right. And so we present these statistics to others, hoping it will make them feel hopeful, more positive, happier.
But once you've been on the wrong end of the statistics (my second ectopic was cornual/interstitial) then it is hard to trust in the odds any longer. Someone has to be that 1-2%, or that 0.2%. Why not us? I mean, I always think "why not me?" when I buy a lottery ticket. To be that 1 in a million. Someone has to be. But whilst in lottery terms I am in good company, in fertility terms, my only experience has been on the wrong end of the odds. Being in the 0.004% who have repeat ectopics including a very rare type in a rare location is 100% of my experience. So I know that if I have statistics quoted to me, I don't get a lot of comfort from them. My confidence in being in the good side of the odds is much weaker now than it used to be. I feel much more vulnerable.
Maybe I feel that way because I've always been so lucky in life. I've been lucky to be relatively healthy, to be fit, athletic, academically able. I've been lucky to be able to make friends, to travel, to earn enough money to live a reasonable lifestyle. And so when I was on the wrong side of the odds, I found it shocking. Now though, I don't find it so surprising. Other bad things have happened. So I developed TGN. It is rare. Big deal. I get it. Makes no difference to me how rare it is. Just as I'm sure having a peanut allergy or asthma, and knowing that these are reasonably common ailments, isn't any comfort to the sufferers either. In the face of our own personal situations, the words rare and common bare irrelevant.
Still, I happily fly in a plane, knowing that statistically my chances of going down in an aeroplane are less than being caught in a car accident. (That said, I'm more worried about car accidents these days). I even went up in a balloon in Turkey. I'll take risks, I don't live my life cowering in fear. I have to have some trust in the statistics. After all, they didn't fail me. I just fell on the wrong side of them. And I think that's my point. That we have to trust in the statistics to be able to continue to live our lives, or we'll be paralysed by fear.
That said, if the Odds Gods are watching, I think it's about my turn for some luck on Lotto. Don't you?