Reasons Being Pregnant Is One Of The Hardest Things You’ll Ever Do
There’s nothing easy about being pregnant, and I say this as someone who runs marathons, has volunteered with the Peace Corps, and has been an escort at an abortion clinic. I know the difference between “easy” and “hard.” I honestly can’t believe I got pregnant again after my first. On purpose. All of those happy birth endorphins must’ve made me forget the pain. I mean, yes, pregnancy is amazing, childbirth made me feel like a warrior goddess, and I love being a mom. But there are so many reasons being pregnant is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
From the moment the second line appears on a pregnancy test, you are in for a 40 week endurance event that throws challenges at you from all directions, like some messed up game in the Olympics. The first trimester brings the worry and stress of not knowing if your baby is OK while you simultaneously wonder WTF is happening in your body. Not to mention mood swings, vomiting, and awkwardly falling asleep in random places, like your desk or during sex .
On the bright side, once it’s all over you get a baby out of the deal. Which is awesome, because parenthood is so much easier than pregnancy.
Is It Hard To Get Pregnant How Long Should I Wait Before Seeking Help
Out of every 100 couples trying for a baby, 80 to 90 will get pregnant within 1 year. The rest will take longer, or may need help to conceive. At IVI, our standard advice is to seek medical assistance if you have not managed to conceive after one year of trying for a baby. However, depending on your age and that of your partner, you could be better advised to start the process after 6 months. When you reach the point where you have decided to seek assistance, it may be some comfort to know that currently approximately 15% of the worlds population have problems conceiving, and half of these cases are due to sperm-related problems.
Therefore for both men and women, you are far from being alone in your situation. Once youve consulted a medical specialist, it will become clear that this is a very common situation and one in which the potential remedies are varied and well established.
The Journey To Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be difficult for women in any age group, but scientifically, women over the age of 35 deal with the most struggles to conceive. Research shows that as women age, egg quality and quantity declines. Therefore, women in this age group need to be aware of the additional barriers that can make conception difficult.
Recommended Reading: Can I Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
The Major Reason Getting Pregnant After 40 Is So Difficult
Theres one reason, and one reason alone to explain why getting pregnant after the age of 40 is so difficult to achieve, and its all about the eggs specifically the quantity and the quality, both of which are greatly diminished by mid-life.
According to Dr David Wilkinson, an Infertility Specialist and Medical Director at City Fertility in Melbourne, its a reality that is pretty depressing.
Even though an egg has never been released theres a constant turnover of eggs in the ovaries from puberty to the menopause menopause occurs when all the eggs have gone essentially theres a decreasing number of eggs.
Jessica Rowe on finding out she was pregnant after years of fertility treatments. Post continues
Wilkinson says women are born with around two million eggs, but by the time we reach puberty there are just 300,000. By the age of 40, there are very few left. By 45, there could be none left at all. Its here that fertility services come in.
And while falling pregnant at 60 is not something Wilkinson and his colleagues recommend, thanks to advances in technology, its now sometimes possible.
Listen: Megan Malkiewicz speaks about her IVF miscarriages and falling pregnant naturally. Post continues
- Moderation in all things such as alcohol.
“But all of these things are less contributors to the age of the eggs themselves,” Wilkinson stresses.
And whenever his patients express regret they didn’t try and have children sooner, he urges them to focus on today.
Is There A Medical Approach To Improve My Fertility
Yes. There are medical strategies that can maximize the chance of conceiving. They are focused upon getting the egg and sperm together at the best time for conception to occur. These strategies can include washing sperm, intrauterine insemination , in vitro fertilization , or taking fertility medications. These approaches may be helpful, but they cannot reverse the natural aging process of the egg or sperm.
Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Plasma While Breastfeeding
What Raises The Risk
The trouble with secondary infertility diagnoses is that their causes are hard to pin down. For some couples, such as those over 40, it might simply be run-of-the-mill infertility issues because of age. But for others, it could be tied to previous health conditions or surgeries, such as scarring on the fallopian tubes or a previous cesarean.
Here are some common risk factors for secondary infertility.
Advanced age. While American women today are more likely to have children than they were more than a decade ago, according to the Pew Research Center, theyre also waiting longer to have them. That means that women trying to conceive for the second, third or fourth times are naturally older than first-time moms, and therefore more likely to bump against age-related issues.
But we cant defy nature. Healthy couples have about a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant in any given cycle up until their early 30s, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. By 40, that chance dips to 10 percent for women, according to ACOG while the American Society for Reproductive Medicine puts that likelihood even lower, at fewer than 5 percent for women.
We think that age 46 is the natural end of a womans reproductive life span, Dr. Ho said.
Anytime the abdomen is open, including with a C-section, there is a potential for scar tissue formation, Dr. Grazi said.
What Are The Different Types Of Assisted Reproductive Technology
Common methods of ART include:
- In vitro fertilization means fertilization outside of the body. IVF is the most effective ART. It is often used when a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or when a man produces too few sperm. Doctors treat the woman with a drug that causes the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the woman. They are put in a dish in the lab along with the man’s sperm for fertilization. After 3 to 5 days, healthy embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus.
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer or Tubal Embryo Transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs in the laboratory. Then the very young embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer involves transferring eggs and sperm into the woman’s fallopian tube. So fertilization occurs in the woman’s body. Few practices offer GIFT as an option.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is often used for couples in which there are serious problems with the sperm. Sometimes it is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into a mature egg. Then the embryo is transferred to the uterus or fallopian tube.
Read Also: Pregnant Take Tums
When To Get Help
To reiterate, its always a good idea to see a fertility specialist if you have been TTC for more than one year with no success. You can start by scheduling an appointment with your PCP or OB/GYN, who can refer you to a fertility specialist they trust. A fertility specialist will talk to you and your partner about your health and potentially run more tests to evaluate your fertility and help pinpoint why you have not been able to conceive.
Because It’s Physically Grueling
Pregnancy is physically demanding, which is not surprising when you consider that you are literally growing a tiny human inside your body. Your body hurts in ways you’ve never experienced before. To make things worse, if you have hyperemesis gravidarum , like I did, you also have a lifetime of vomit packed into a few months. Add to that hives, sciatica, back aches, and swollen feet, and honestly, pregnancy is more painful than running a marathon.
You May Like: Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
When Is Unexplained Infertility The Diagnosis
Individuals and couples will receive an unexplained infertility diagnosis when the following conditions exist.
- The woman is ovulating regularly and has an appropriate ovarian reserve .
- The female or female partner has at least one open fallopian tube .
- The male or male partners semen analysis is normal .
- Exams of the individual or of both partners did not result in the diagnosis of conditions or structural abnormalities that can cause infertility, such as uterine fibroids in women or varicoceles in men.
Medical Factors Making It Hard To Get Pregnant
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying or six months of trying . Some medical causes of infertility, such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome , are clear, but many are not. Almost one-third of couples facing infertility are diagnosed with unexplained infertility, meaning there is no clear medical reason why they cannot conceive. The good news is that many couples in this camp are able to go on to conceive naturally however, an unexplained infertility diagnosis can be difficult news to digest.
Endometriosis is a reproductive disorder in which tissue similar to that of the uterine lining, or endometrium, grows elsewhere in the body. This foreign tissue can cause widespread inflammation it also bleeds during your menstrual period, just like the endometrium. As a result, women with endometriosis can experience debilitating pelvic pain, heavy periods, painful sex, and other unpleasant symptoms.
If endometriosis grows on or otherwise blocks the ovaries or fallopian tubes, it may impact your ability to conceive naturally. Laparoscopic excision surgery can help your doctor assess how much endometriosis may affect your fertility and remove the endometriosis tissue, which can sometimes help you get pregnant more easily. If you suspect you may have endometriosis, talk to your OB/GYN about your symptoms to begin the path to diagnosis.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Partners Medical Issues
Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Donating Plasma While Pregnant
Getting Pregnant Can Be Harder Than You Thinkheres Why
Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on July 15, 2021. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
From a womanâs ovarian reserve to a manâs sperm health, the reasons can vary. Keep reading to learn more about these and other reasons why conceiving may be more difficult than anticipated.
How Often Is Assisted Reproductive Technology Successful
Success rates vary and depend on many factors. Some things that affect the success rate of ART include:
- Age of the partners
- If the egg is fresh or frozen
- If the embryo is fresh or frozen
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collects success rates on ART for some fertility clinics. According to a 2014 CDC report on ART, the average percentage of ART cycles that led to a live birth were:
- 39 percent in women under the age of 35
- 30 percent in women aged 35-37
- 21 percent in women aged 37-40
- 11 percent in women aged 41-42
ART can be expensive and time-consuming. But it has allowed many couples to have children that otherwise would not have been conceived. The most common complication of ART is multiple fetuses. But this is a problem that can be prevented or minimized in several different ways.
Also Check: Iaso Tea And Pregnancy
Is It Hard To Get Pregnant With Pcos
It can be. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common issue among women trying to get pregnant. PCOS affects as many as 5 million women. This hormonal problem interferes with a womans reproductive system, causing the body to produce abnormal levels of androgens. Too many androgens result in egg development issues, interfering with the bodys ability to release an egg.
So, yes, PCOS can make it harder to get pregnant however, there are treatment options available. The first step is often to start eating a healthy diet if youre not already following recommended dietary guidelines. The next step is to receive a fertility assessment to determine your condition and potentially receive medication to help with fertility.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- If Im over the age of 35, do I have to wait a year before being tested for infertility?
- What could be the reason for my infertility if my tests and my male partners test are fine?
- At what age does your fertility decline?
- Whats the best time in your monthly cycle to get pregnant?
- If I am currently using birth control, how long should I wait in between stopping the birth control and trying to get pregnant?
- Do birth control devices cause infertility?
You Don’t Actually Know When You’re Ovulating
“Not understanding the timing of ovulation is a popular mistake,” Dr. Curtis says. “Most women ovulate 14 days before the beginning of their period. So, for example, if you have a 24-day cycle, ovulation is around day 10.” But while this information seems straightforward at first glance, it can be confusing if you have irregular periods or can’t remember when you last menstruated.
Another common mistake? Not counting from the real first day of your cycle. “Day one is the first day you bleed, not the day after or the day before,” Dr. Curtis says. Because fertility can literally come down to a matter of hours, it’s important to know your cycle’s exact timing.
As a solution, Dr. Curtis suggests using ovulation predictor kits, which are available over the counter. Keeping a calendar to track your cycle can also be helpfuland so can using an online ovulation predictor or a mobile phone app.
Counseling And Support Groups
If you’ve been having problems getting pregnant, you know how frustrating it can feel. Not being able to get pregnant can be one of the most stressful experiences a couple has. Both counseling and support groups can help you and your partner talk about your feelings and help you meet other couples struggling with the same issues.
You will learn that anger, grief, blame, guilt, and depression are all normal. Couples do survive infertility and can become closer and stronger in the process. Ask your doctor for the names of counselors or therapists with an interest in fertility.
Recommended Reading: Is It Safe To Take Tums While Pregnant
Why Is Pregnancy So Hard
Currently, I am eight months pregnant with our third child and my distended belly looks like a full, rising moon. This home stretch of pregnancyalso known as the pee-when-you-sneeze stageoften takes me by surprise even though I have been here before. I knocked over a Pepsi with this belly at a party the other night while reaching for a napkin and the days of feeling rested after a full nights sleep are now just memories.
This is the last trimester. It is awesome. And in some ways it is awful.
Lets get real about something for a minute, pregnant mamas. You are, in my opinion, doing the most amazing thing a human can do. You are building a new life, or rather, God is building a new life through you. The tiny being developing inside you is a person every bit as unique as you are with limitless potential and endless possibilities. Could there be a more significant undertaking in this world than the creation of a life? Every mother has felt the sacredness of her responsibility in this. Each has felt the weightiness of the opportunity to bring forth life. It is sobering and glorious at once, and the pregnancy glow halos expectant mothers for good reason.
Because It Can Change Your Relationship
My first two pregnancies were extremely hard on my marriage. They put a spotlight on the cracks that were already there and tested my then-husband’s ability to grow up, step up, and support me while I literally grew children inside my freaking body.
Spoiler alert: he totally didn’t make the cut. However, pregnancy, and related health problems put a strain on my current marriage, too. It’s so hard.
Also Check: Can U Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Possible Reasons Why You Cant Get Pregnant
Without a medical exam, its impossible to say for certain why you are having trouble getting pregnant. That being said, there are a number of possible reasons why you may face difficulty conceiving.
Finding it challenging to conceive does not necessarily mean that you are dealing with a serious medical problem. Other factors, like lifestyle and environment, can also influence your ability to get pregnant.
You Drink Too Much Alcohol
For men or women, drinking too much alcohol can cause problems with conception.
Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption in women increases the time it takes to conceive and reduces your chances of delivering a healthy baby, says Dr. Detti.
Men who are trying to conceive can also benefit from drinking less alcohol. Moderate to heavy consumption can disrupt hormones and hinder sperm production.
Don’t Miss: Allergies Early Sign Of Pregnancy