When to Draw The Line on Your Fertility Journey
As you can imagine, this is a very personal decision for each couple. But many times I am asked, “Should we continue? Do you really think we still have a chance?” so I wanted to address this in a tip.
Most times, I cannot answer this very personal question. Unless there is a specific diagnosis such as removal of the ovaries or if the female’s body seems to be in menopause (usually occuring late 40’s to early 50’s), because it truly is the couple’s decision.
Just a note on typically when we see perimenopause;
Perimenopause can start in late 30’s, in the 40’s or in the 50’s. Perimenopause does NOT mean that a woman is infertile or suddenly running out of time. There are some women that present with hormone readings similar to perimenopause or even menopause but this can be a temporary scenario and in some women can be reversed, especially if the woman is not in her mid to late 40’s or 50’s.
When I was 36 years old I was having hot flushes and many menopausal symptoms. My hormones were also showing potential menopause since I skipped two periods in a row. However I was also under a significant amount of stress and my thyroid had gone out of whack. Once I recognized what was happening and was able to manage my stress better while addressing my thyroid, my cycle came back and my hormones returned to normal. So a few months of missed cycles or a couple months of hormones showing perimenopause does not mean the end of your fertility journey.
Keep in mind the average age for actual menopause is 50.5.
If you have been diagnosed with perimenopause or decreased ovarian reserve and you are in your late 30’s or early to mid 40’s, we see that this diagnosis is often usually solely based on age, the blood test results of FSH, AMH, missed cycles or poor response to IVF medication. (Premature ovarian insufficiency is very different from perimenpause)
In these cases, many times there is an imbalance but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are moving into menopause or are infertile. We see much improvement in many women with FSH coming down into normal ranges and eggs still being produced after following our program’s recommendations for at least 6 months. If there has been no change in 3 to 6 months (we should be seeing some change in hormones levels even if they aren’t optimal yet in 3-4 months) and the person isn’t on any medications or have not gone through any procedures in that time then this could mean time is running out, but there are so many things that should be ruled out first.
Keep in mind there is even a group of women in the world who regularly have children up into their late forties. If you have read our Fertility Over 35 (formerly known as Fertile Over 40) ebook, then you already know what may be the key for this group of women. If not you can find this ebook here.
So now back to the issue, “how do I know when to draw the line”. As I said this is a very personal decision and I usually see two different scenarios.
The first scenario is when a couple is becoming extremely frustrated with everything. The medical system seems to have failed them. Naturopaths, acupuncturists, and other complimentary therapies didn’t seem to work either. They are at their wits end and feel as they have done everything they possibly could do to make it happen. But deep inside they are still “desperate” or longing to have a child and still can’t bear to be with other pregnant women or spend much time with babies or small children. Or if they do, there is an inner suffering that still takes place. Questions like “why not me?” “What is wrong with me/us?”still abound. These couples may even go on to adoption but still feel in their heart of hearts that though they love their adopted child, it will never be the same as having their own. One or both of the individuals in this scenario may suffer in silence for years to come and a part of them regrets that they stopped trying and moved on or in some way still feel inadequate.
The second scenario that I observe is the couple who draws the line and feels totally congruent and complete about their situation and their decision. There are no regrets. Of course if they did create a life together it would be wonderful and they would welcome this but they now know in their heart of hearts that moving forward (and still focusing on their health) is the best choice they can make, and it feels right.
Some say that they just came to a realization that this wasn’t meant to be for them. Most recognized the benefits of having a wonderful spouse and being able to share family time with their relatives who have children. Others have said they have other life passions that they were fulfilling, such as working with disabled or abused children and they truly looked at what they were doing for these children as their destiny. Being around these children didn’t bring on feelings of inadequacy, but instead it brought on feelings of empowerment, about making a difference.
A couple doesn’t have to be involved with children though to be in this scenario. One of our patients told me, it was really about accepting herself exactly the way she is and enjoying her relationship and knowing that their relationship was meant to be whether or not they had children. When she and her husband asked themselves whether or not they would have still decided to get married had they known they would have difficulty conceiving, the answer was a resounding “YES!”
So if you find yourself in scenario 2, or even moving towards it, then this, as you can imagine, is the more healthy of the two scenarios AND it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of having a child, it just shifts your focus toward living your life and total acceptance of self. Ironically this is also the scenario that is the key for many people to actually create a viable pregnancy. You see, giving up the pain and suffering does not mean you have to let go of wanting a child.
If you find yourself in scenario number one you are likely to “try” all the remedies, procedures and modalities out there. But you will have a tendency to change often and not be trusting of what you are doing or not follow through completely with what is asked of you in the program you are participating in.
In scenario number one, more than likely you do not trust your body. You feel very conflicted and not sure which way to turn. You have lost a connection with yourself or who you really are. Some women have told me that an intimidating truth surfaces for them. This truth for them involved realizing they never really thought out who they really were or who they were to become besides wanting to be a mother. Your life’s focus has shifted to “growing another human being exclusively to the detriment of focusing on what you can do to “grow” yourself.
In my opinion based on what I have seen, scenario number where no one would consciously choose to be as it is NOT healthy for you or your relationship. Because you don’t have that baby yet, nothing seems to measure up, not you and not your partner. Many find themselves stuck here feeling as though they have exhausted all options. .
Whether you want to continue trying or are so exasperated that you want to give up, scenario one is not the place to be to either create a life or move on with yours. If you are stuck in scenario one, then I strongly recommend you address the emotional roller coaster that you are on. As you will see on our blog this week (www.haveababy.blogspot.com) there are other people and groups around the world that see the benefits of eliminating the pain you are experiencing as well. Our weekend workshops, one on one telephone counseling sessions and our fertility tips are here to help you through. Our weekend workshops reflect the same if not slightly better “success rate” that other programs have recorded in the US.
So you do have another option and that is to work on yourself. To focus on you and who you are, not by looking outside of you for answers but looking inside yourself for the answers. This is true whether you are contemplating drawing the line or whether you are wanting to continue your efforts towards creating a child.
While reading a book the other day, I came across this quote on which a method of Bodyworks is based. “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” According to the text I was reading this quote is from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas,
I think this is an extremely profound statement. For some, reading these tips will help bring forth what you need to in order to resolve it. For others it may be meeting with a counselor one on one. For others still it may be attending a workshop. Whatever it is for you, whether you are contemplating drawing the line or not, I strongly recommend that you address the emotional aspect of your fertility to improve your situation to create a viable pregnancy, or to move yourself forward to the next phase of life feeling whole.
Copyright Positive Image Publishing and Stacey Roberts
Stacey The Baby Maker
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