When Ada and Chris got married three years back, they decided to extend their honeymoon phase by six months, before trying for a baby. This was the perfect plan, considering that Ada had just recently changed jobs and they had also gotten a new apartment. There were a lot of adjustments to be made, and baby making could wait for a bit. When they started trying, Ada got pregnant within the second month, but sadly lost the baby a few weeks later. Within the first year of trying, they got pregnant thrice, but lost all pregnancies…within the 4-6 week frame. After the first pregnancy, Ada started taking conception supplements, especially iron, folic acid and calcium, but nothing seemed to make the pregnancy stay. She was almost losing her mind, and luckily got sent out on training for three months. She took her mind off getting pregnant during that time, as she wasn’t with Chris.
Upon her return, Chris suggested that they should see a Gynaecologist, and she agreed. The Gynaecologist ran a series of tests and scans on both of them, and Ada was diagnosed with uterine septum, which meant that her uterus was abnormally divided; thus preventing an embryo from getting enough nourishment after implantation. Luckily, uterine septum can be corrected via surgery, so Ada was prepped and scheduled to have her surgery. After the operation, and long weeks of recovery, she was certified okay to try again. Yet, they still weren’t getting pregnant! So, off to the doctor again they went, and this time Chris had the issue. His sperm count had dropped so rapidly that it was alarming, especially for the fact that less than a year before, he had been given the A-okay! What happened?
Dealing with infertility had taken a toll on Chris, and while he dealt with the financial burden placed on him, he felt frustrated and overwhelmed. Yet, he had to be strong for Ada. He had no one else to lean on, so he turned to alcohol. Excessive intake of alcohol had caused a negative impact on his health, but all the while, he still assumed that he had the pass. Another journey started for them…with Chris needing treatment to boost his swimmers.
With Yemi and Stephanie’s infertility battle, it was Yemi who was first diagnosed with low sperm motility, and placed on treatment. Stephanie who had initially thought she was the cause of their four-year childlessness relaxed immediately the doctor told them who had the issue. As she waited for Yemi’s sperm quality to improve, she let herself go. Food was her comfort and succor, as she waited for her husband to get treated. Within a year, she was five points above her recommended BMI. Unfortunately, no one had told her that excessive weight gain could interfere with her conception chances. As far as she was concerned, she had been checked and certified okay. All that was left was for Yemi to respond to treatment and they were good to go. When Yemi’s swimmers became viable enough to use, they still weren’t getting pregnant. Stephanie accompanied Yemi back to the doctor who was alarmed to see how big she had become.
She had ignored the fact that her periods were no longer as regular as they used to be, and that the five-day bleed had become a three-day bleed. When they complained about trying to no avail to get pregnant, the doctor checked Stephanie’s BMI, and informed her that it was going to be difficult for her to get pregnant unless she lost about 20kilograms on body fat! Her ovulation had ceased as result of her excess weight gain, and she needed to lose weight, as well as take a cocktail of drugs, to get her ovulation back on track and increase her chances of pregnancy. Stephanie was aghast. She was no friend to the gym, and she could not imagine where she was going to start from to lose weight.
But she had no choice. Again, their baby-making efforts were put on hold as the doctor advised her to lose weight first before trying again. “Even if you are lucky to get pregnant, your weight would cause complications for you and also affect the development of the baby”, he had said. So they went home, and the long journey to losing weight started. Their doctor had advised Yemi to join her, in order to keep fit himself, and to also provide the motivation she was sure going to need. Stephanie could not believe that she who had been cleared during the first diagnosis was now the reason they couldn’t get pregnant. Losing weight was hard and tumultuous, but it was either the extra pounds left, or she remained childless. After about five months, she was safely within a healthy weight, and they soon got pregnant naturally.
Often when a fertility diagnosis is conducted, most couples have one person to blame or neither. It is not often that both couples have their issues. In a case where one party is cleared, and the other has the infertility factor, both man and wife must handle the issue together. While a man gets treated for male-related infertility, his wife should also continue leading a healthy lifestyle, and taking her supplements, to boost her own odds. In the same vein, a man whose wife has fertility issues should not assume that he is in the clear. Besides providing emotional spousal support, he must also maintain a lifestyle that doesn’t put his health at risk. It takes two to tango, and two to make a baby. Just because you are in the clear doesn’t mean you should not be a big part of the process. Take your own supplements, continue a healthy active lifestyle, while you wait on your spouse to get on board.
Godspeed to us all!
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