You fall in love, you get married, you get pregnant. That’s how it’s supposed to work in an ideal world. And, to a great extent, that’s how it was in the old days. Even thinking back about 20 years, it was very uncommon to know of people battling infertility. I know I definitely didnât know of any. From family, to neighbours, to friends of my parents, there was no family I knew of that did not have at least 1 child. In fact, those were the days when the average number of children per household was 5. Infertility, according to shows on TV, was as a result of gross promiscuity, usually on the part of the woman. And since none of us had plans to be promiscuous (per say, lol), this would never be our lot…or so we thought. Fast-forward to the year 2014, and every other person you come across has a first or second hand infertility story to share.
I have often pondered what about exactly went wrong. Of course, there are the obvious explanations linking the rise of infertility to lifestyle changes and environmental effects. True, these have contributed, no doubt. But are they really enough to justify the jump?
These days, people are more aware of the fact that pregnancy might not be as automatic as we had thought it would be. Most women of marriageable age have direct acquaintances that have battled infertility, so the marriage pretty much begins on a wing and a prayer. In the old days, because the thought of pregnancy not happening was an alien one, I reckon couples were able to relax a bit more, knowing it would almost definitely happen. Today, by the time the young bride misses her third period, she has called her friend Nkechi, to ask for the contact details of her fertility specialist.
This is my own conclusion. Whilst not taking away from the legitimate infertility factors, I believe that a good number of infertility cases are psychological. I believe that young couples start their marriages under too much pressure already, whether self imposed or from relatives and friends. From the very next day after the wedding, you start hearing such annoying things as How far? Has it entered? HAS WHAT ENTERED???!!! Sometimes, its just harmless small talk, true, but these seemingly inane questions inadvertently add to the stress.
I believe that most of the couples who end up going assisted, myself included, would probably have been able to conceive naturally, given more time and a better frame of mind. But in this society of ours, especially for a bride over 30, time and a relaxed mind are not in her vocabulary.
As proof that infertility is has a lot to do with mental wellbeing, I have listed some people I know directly, who were all seemingly infertile, but got some pleasant surprises when they relaxed:
Bree-Cree and her hubby had been married for about 4 years. They had undergone countless clomid cycles, and had decided to go for IVF. They paid for a cycle, and whilst on holiday just before the cycle was to commence, got pregnant! Because she was going assisted, the stress of trying naturally was off Bree, and she and her hubby were able to just enjoy each other. It paid off!
Clusty had been married for about 3 years. She had a failed IVF cycle, got pregnant on her 2nd cycle, and had a beautiful baby girl, Isa. Isa wasn’t even 6 months when Clusty conceived again. She had a baby boy.
WishingMom had only been married for 2 years, but decided early to go for IVF, when conception wasn’t coming as quickly as she wanted. She was lucky to conceive on her first IVF cycle, and had beautiful twins, a boy and a girl. Just before their 1st birthday, she fell pregnant naturally.
Cazzee got married a few months after me, and by their 3 year mark, nothing had happened. I had started counseling her and answering all her IVF related questions. She had already agreed with the doctor when she would begin her cycle. On a routine scan before starting, her doctor discovered she was already 7 weeks pregnant.
Deekay got married some months before I did, and had an early miscarriage. After that, conception became an issue. It took them almost2 years to conceive their son. When he was about 9 months old, she discovered she was pregnant again. She had another son.
BlackBeauty got married in 2005, and seven years and countless fertility treatments later, she finally got pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy. Her son wasn’t even 6 months old when she took in with her second child.
Some say it is because the body now knows how to get pregnant. That might be so. Or it might just be because these people were able to just release the stress and tension, and free their bodies to do what they were built for.