To Fertilise or to Infertilise
Its quite common for 21st century women to dedicate their 20's and 30's to their career and undergo intensive fertility treatment in their 40's. Apparently a woman hits her peak fertility rate at 25. Each year after that, a woman's fertility declines, and by age 40 a woman has only a 10-15% chance to conceive by a conventional legover. By "conventional legover" i mean intercourse and not DNC/RNC fence straddling.
Myself and my wife have this problem. I am 31 and my wife is 40. Yes, i am a toyboy/trophy husband/oedipal perv. Thank you. Your mother is a hamster. Hey, its love and you take what you get. Compounding the infertility problem/postponing conception trend(s) is that both of us are Tech workers. We both know couples with Asbergers offspring. We are at risk.
We tried natural methods for 6 months - ovulation kits, temperature monitoring, etc. Its about as romantic as it sounds and a lot more stressful than you think. I sometimes felt i was using my wife as a masturbatory accessory and acting as a stressed "sperm donor". After the 6 month timeframe we sought medical assistance, if only to remove the "blindfold and pinata" nature of ovulation prediction.
We're US based. Here, you are forced by most major HMO's to follow a sequence of medications before starting IVF. As opposed to Italy, where they apparently tell you to just pray. Before USians get on their soapbox, please realize the US process is primarily to bulwark drug companies sales and HMO profits. The most reliable treatment is InVitro Fertilisation (think conception in a Test tube = test tube babies). It has the highest probability of success and is also the most expensive. The customers are sometimes winners in fertility treatment but there are few losers in the fertility drug business. This is a massive industry and the profits increase in relation to the problem especially when drug treatments are mandatory. IVF is bad for business.
We started with an oral medicine, CloMed(tm), and a vaginal suppository, Progesterone. This is essentially forced ovulation and a natural conception methodology. You take the meds and schedule the intercourse. CloMed(tm) has an unpleasant side effect of thinning the lining of the uterus and is not recommended for prolonged use. My wife had a wholy unpleasant time with CloMed(tm).
It was not successful and our doctor discouraged any further use. We moved on...
Next up was an Hysteralopingogram. In essence, dye is injected into the womb and x-rays taken to examine the shape, and by inference, health of the uterus. Its followed by intense cramping and some discharge. For some reason this shock treatment sometimes leads to conception!
I, meanwhile, was sent to my practitioner to get my sperm analyzed. I had to whack off in a public bathroom following the degrading request by a lab technician. They had no special wankers room. No pr0n utopia. No raincoaters wet dream. A public bathroom at 10 o' clock in the morning. Ugh.
A typical male sperm sample contains 35-45 million wigglers. Mine contained 49 million. I am above average. I guess my adolescent practice paid off or maybe i am more fertile in public spaces.
Anyway, we were not successful and moved on...
Next up we used daily injections of a Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) packaged as Follistim(tm). I found the first course of daily injections incredibly stressful. I had flashbacks to my fathers morphine injections during the 3 month period of his terminal cancer. I felt i had to do this. I had to participate in the process. I had to spend an hour psyching myself up prior to each nightly injection. My hesitation drove myself nuts... nevermind my wife. The grand finale was an HCG/Gonadotropin injection to force ovulation. This used a 1 1/2 inch needle and took almost 90 minutes to prep for. We were watching Lemmon/McLaine in "The Apartment" and i will forever associate that movie with high stress (quite aside from the Lemmon proto-breakdown performance).
Following the HCG was an Intra-Uterine-Injection (IUI). This time around, my wifes HMO covered my sperm collection. A private bathroom with some Penthouse mags. Surprisingly Jenna Jameson was in one and quite explicitly pissed into a jug and pretended to drink it. Not my thing but the rest of the mag was indeed a pleasant surprise. I wasn't aware Guccione had moved on to Hard-Core pr0n and i quite happily tugged away to the inevitable conclusion. I stuck a cute stamp on the sample and left it in a special container in the room. The sample was sent for cleaning. This time my sample contained 69 million sperms and following cleaning, 35 million of 'em were deemed acceptible enough to inject into the top of my wifes womb. They had transferred my stamp to the testtube and much giggled was heard in the clinic.
It was not successful and we moved on...
Actually we didn't, at least not with the medicine, this was highly wearying and we needed a rest. We took a vaction home for 2 weeks and diverted ourselves arguing over time spent at each in-laws'. Lots of partying and beer. My wife was able to enjoy herself and not be poked and prodded. Well, excluding my wheedling and whining to get laid without the previous performance anxiety.
The time off was well deserved and we restarted the process well refreshed.
One week ago, this time a somewhat similar course to the last but a little more intensive. Twice daily injections of Lupron and an FSH "Bravelle"(tm). The Lupron retards ovulation and the Bravelle increases the chance of multiple eggs being produced. After a couple of days, i broke my injection phobia and the injection now takes 5 seconds. This greatly eases the strain on both of us!
Its now 10 days later and we're about to complete this round of IUI prep. I just found out that we have to do the HCG injection tonight and follow that with intercourse. I'm not worried about the large needle and injection. I will get to make love to my wonderful "pincushion" without any of the baggage of the previous months. I get to "donate" again Thursday morning. My sample will be cleansed and prospective candidates injected high into my wife's uterus on Thursday afternoon. This may be the last IUI treatment (you are supposed to do it 3 times but they can fudge the numbers) prior to starting IVF. Nothing is definite, this is a probability game and you start each time with a clean sheet (the wet spot cums later).
I'm also looking forward to checking out the new Penthouse. For the articles you understand
We are moving on.