I'm going to lay this out in the blogosphere... I believe we'll get pregnant in 2011 without fertility drugs or additional medical intervention. I don't have any hard and fast stats on this issue but a fair amount of experience tells me that for some couples, it will take them up to two years to get pregnant. And this doesn't mean they have some serious underlying condition that makes them infertile or subfertile. I think it means that for some, currently unknown medical factors make the odds of getting pregnant in any given month a lot harder.
I say currently unknown because I haven't found any credible medical research that explains why a woman with stage one endometriosis cannot get pregnant. One random medical practice website says:
In early endometriosis (Stage I-II), the mechanism of infertility is less clear and more complex. Studies from our Institute for the Study and Treatment of Endometriosis (Endometriosis Institute) and from other centers have shown that in endometriosis, the intraperitoneal environment, through a variety of mechanisms, prevents conception. It has been demonstrated that the peritoneal fluid from women with endometriosis contains different biochemical substances with anti-fertility effects. These substances produced by the endometriotic cells or cells of the immune system include several prostaglandins with smooth muscle contracting properties, various cytokines, abnormal autoantibodies, and reactive oxygen radicals. They can prevent ovulation by inducing early LUF (luteinized unruptured follicle) Syndrome; others prevent egg capture by the fimbria of the fallopian tube, interfere with tubal function and its ability to transport gametes and embryos, interfere with hormone production by the corpus luteum, and have embryo-toxic or anti-implantation effects. The anti-fertility effect of the peritoneal environment is, however, variable and depends on the amount of the peritoneal fluid produced and the concentration of these biochemical factors. Consequently, infertility in women with endometriosis is relative, which means that some women are able to conceive.Once ART came on the scene, the incentive for the medical community to explain the factors that cause infertility went by the wayside. There was too much money to be made. Who cares about why this patient can't get pregnant? We'll bypass the natural conception process, harvest the components, wash the sperm, and fertilize in a lab. And once the blastocyst(s) are ready to go, we'll implant in the uterus for gestation. The practice referenced above is a fertility clinic and their site advertises their IVF success rates and the virtues of egg freezing. Maybe they do a little endo research, but let's not dwell on that, get those girls into IVF pronto!
While it does tick me off that the medical establishment puts no money into researching "unexplained infertility," I do understand it. Because I and women like me are not dying, we're not sick, we're not even close to sick. There's really nothing wrong with us other than we cannot get pregnant. What government would want to waste research money on that?
When I started my blog in April 2010, I was excited to use NaPro and Creighton to find the source of my infertility. It frustrated me that some physicians made predictions based on my charts that weren't substantiated by hard evidence. And it was frustrating that every test result came back normal. Even before laparoscopy, I wanted to believe there was something obvious that could be fixed so I could get pregnant. But, there was nothing. Just a tiny bit of endo on one of the ovaries. Hardly something I would consider a barrier to normal fertility.
I might have lutenized unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFS.) I don't know because I can't remotely do a follicular ultrasound series without incredible inconvenience. And really why waste time on that when I can just take Clomid. The 50mg taken on days 3, 4, and 5 did not work. Maybe it will work if I take it for 5 days, like WheelbarrowRider suggested. I'm not ready for that right now. Just like the three months leading up to the surgery last year, I need a break.
I need, for the sake of my sanity, to not think about getting pregnant, and where I am in my cycle every day, and how much fertile mucus I have and is it enough, and wondering why it's not happening, and feeling jealous it's happening to others. My fears came true. But I can't let that rule my life. My husband is right, I have a great life. I've been given many gifts and incredible opportunities. Now for a photo of pithy aphorisms: