Taking the plunge!

So, it’s been nine months since the ‘glitch’, nine months since the GP referral and five months since the hospital acknowledged the referral and I have still not heard anything.  I’m not getting any younger and we’re not having any luck on our own so today we decided to finally contact a private fertility clinic.  

I called Bupa and my policy unfortunately will not cover the fertility investigations so it looks like we’ll be shelling out for them ourselves but the cost is just a drop in the ocean if we actually need fertility treatment.  Besides, I have had enough of waiting and feeling completely helpless! 

My GP said to do some research into the local clinics and look at reviews so that’s what we have done this evening and we have chosen one with a good reputation and some excellent practitioners.  Coincidentially it is also the clinic that our friends who have previously had IVF have used (and are using again at the moment) so we are amongst friends.

If nothing else apparently they have a good coffee machine in the waiting room which is good news.  NHS say that caffeine has no adverse effect on fertility too so I’m glad that’s one thing I don’t have to give up! 

I bought some more fertility lube, started yoga and have been back on the agnus castus too, at least that makes me feel like I’m doing something positive.  Next stop acupuncture!

Progress report #1

So, I’ve been taking the Agnus castus on a fairly regular basis.  I should take it daily along with my other supplements but I often forget (as I did this morning).  Must try harder! I don’t think it is having any physical effects but we’ll see when my period is due whether it does actually help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. 

I am generally a fan of supplements and,  in the lead up to the wedding,  was literally taking about 20 a day.  I’m not sure any of them did anything other than increase the value of Holland & Barrett’s shares mind you.  I am still finishing off the leftovers (turmeric and beetroot I think) together with daily multivitamins, cod liver oil (Joan Collins apparently swears by it), calcium and vit D (I don’t like milk)  and folic acid, for obvious reasons.  Apparently there has never been any scientific research which shows that supplements have any effect but surely it’s worth a go.  

The lube however is worth a comment, it’s pretty gross and doesn’t have the same silky consistency of normal lubricants.  It’s less viscous and has the slippery quality that semen has.  It comes in individually wrapped pipette like applicators and the directions tell you to squirt the entire contents inside you.  This is no mean feat.  You need to adopt the post-coital bridge position prior to sex (which somewhat interferes with foreplay).  I think the dosage is probably a little high too as, although you don’t really feel anything until half way through, it very soon overflows.  Not particularly sexy.  

It feels similar to how I imagine an enema, like one of the high-tech Japanese toilets that squirts water at differing pressures.  It’s a bit like a flushing, but you have to keep it in.  Once applied you have to ensure semen delivery within 15 minutes too which puts you on a timer.  And they say that trying to conceive takes the joy out of sex! 

I got a bit over excited yesterday when I thought that I may be overdue but I checked the diary, counted my days and flo is not due in until the end of this week.  Fingers crossed she doesn’t show up! 

Let the trials commence 

So, so far we have only been counting, approximating  when I am ovulating and increasing our activity accordingly. He’s been leaving it in, I’ve been lying on my back and doing the post-coital bridge famous amongst wannabe conceivers but that is the extent of it.

My research has been limited as pre-nuptial it was all about the wedding, we were doing all of the above but not thinking too hard about the fact it was not working.  It was the post-honeymoon return-to-work, return-to-life-without-a-wedding that did it.  I can now completely understand why people have babies immediately after getting married! 

So I started thinking about it, started to really think about it and started to really want to be pregnant, to have a baby.  I googled ‘ovulation’ and started accurately recording my cycle.  I think it is fairly short.

I have been on the contraceptive pill since I was about 15, dual reasons, heavy and painful periods and an increased interest in boys (which scared my poor mum silly, home town rep and all).  I have changed pill quite a few times, had a few issues over those 20 years with erosions, endometriosis scares etc. but nothing which would really raise fertility concerns.  

Coming off the pill was hard, to start with my periods were so irregular I was constantly tired, zapped of energy and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.  They have almost settled now (I still start and stop a bit) and I seem to be on a 24 day cycle, give or take.  As well as the irregularity the pain returned, as did the ferocity of the flow! 

I have to take codeine for at least one day, sometimes up to 3, for the doubling-up cramps and at the start of my period proper I have to get up at least twice a night.  It does seem extreme but it’s not really something I discuss with friends so I don’t have any real comparison.  

I use a mooncup (www.mooncup.co.uk) and have done for years. I am reasonably environmentally conscious and that, coupled with not having to buy tampons/towels every month, was the driver for doing so.  I much prefer it, no waste, no fuss, but you have to clean it throroughly and it does give me an issue with thrush (irritation at the base I assume).  It is however struggling to cope with my natural flow, particularly in the first few days, hence the disturbed nights.  Being a girl is gross! 

So, anyway, back to taking it seriously, starting the blog, I looked at some other blogs about fertility and conception and found some tips.  Somebody recommended Agnus castus (which I think sounds like (i) a Harry Potter character, (ii) something that gives you food poisoning or (iii) a Latin legal term) and somebody else had had success with a fertility enhancing lubricant.  I decided to try both.

I went to Boots in my lunch hour to stock up (extremely conscious of running into a colleague or friend).  Agnus castus (which auto correct changes to Angus cactus) is strictly taken to relive the symptoms of PMS so that was innocent enough a purchase but the lube is right in amongst the pregnancy tests.  It is apparently a sperm life-jacket/turbo engine which helps them swim faster/better to propel them toward the egg.  I was on my period at the time so we both waited with baited breath to give it a go…