Saturday, 13 April 2013
Am I really, though?
There’s been something on my mind. It was lurking in the darkest corners of my unconsciousness and crept up on me when I wasn’t paying attention; always a dangerous thing that, taking your eye off the ball. It never occurred to me that it would burn or that once the words had tumbled onto the screen they would sting. You might be wondering what could have got me quite so rattled. Well, ponder no more, I can tell you that my nerves have been jangled by my last, and first, blog post. Not all of the post, that would be quite exhausting, just a very teeny-tiny portion. Most of the words fell out of my consciousness as soon as they tumbled onto the screen but three little words remained imprinted on my mind: I am infertile. Just to be clear, in case you’re still confused, it really only one of those words that seems to be bothering me. To be completely precise, which is always the best way I feel, just three small syllables: In-fer-tile.
Prior to my last post, I don’t think I have ever said, typed or even thought that I might really be infertile. I know, I know, after 2 years, six months and no babies I might have got the message but, really, I hadn’t. After the opening gambit of my first blog entry spelt it out so crisply, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head – am I infertile? Maybe I am, maybe I’m not - I just wasn’t one hundred per cent sure. Perhaps I am just a little bit sub-fertile, or possibly, just a touch below par in the fertility stakes. I desperately needed to find some clarity. Well, dear reader, we already know that I am not an A grade student in the baby making class but am I in a completely new category?
As with most unanswerable questions in my life, I went to the only water-tight, fool-proof resource I know, the infertile lady’s friend, the World Wide Web and here’s what I found;
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK have published guidelines which define infertility as “failure to conceive after regular unprotected sexual intercourse for 2 years in the absence of known reproductive pathology”.
Oh dear, this wasn’t looking good. I have definitely passed that entrance exam to the infertility club, at least that is, to be included in the United Kingdom’s gang. Hmmm…..not good enough for me…… I needed to expand my search and go further afield. Well, just to be thorough, I went global and turned to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for some concrete answers. Surely the clever bods over in Geneva would solve this tricky conundrum for me. Let’s take a look at what they’ve got to say on the subject; the WHO defines infertility as “the failure to conceive following twelve months of unprotected intercourse”. Blimey, it’s not better, it’s worse; I’ve aced that test several times over!
So, I’m satisfied I have my answer; I am a proper, no doubt about it, infertile lady. Turns out, it’s not so bad. In fact, I’m feeling liberated; released from my confusion and desperation of the endless baby-making attempts and justified in my quest for a medical solution. And, as those handy bods at the WHO tell me, I’m not alone; worldwide infertility affects between 50 and 80 million people. Phew, that’s an awful lot of us.
Note: this blog post was updated on 21 Apr 2013 to include links.