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Dear friends,

I have a good friend (age 25) who's been TTC for about 6 months. I teach NFP and so she's asked me questions. I have shared with her knowledge I gained from my certification/research/readings. She doesn't seem very interested in any of it, but rather, seems focused on seeing a fertility specialist before doing any research. I was a bit suprised she poo-pooed my information.

I know she is frustrated, but I think a specialist is going to start by recommending the same things I did: cycle history, charting, nutrition evals, etc. She has charted a bit, kind of off and on, but doesn't seem interested in doing any research herself.

My question is how can I best encourage her? How can I support her through this period of uncertainty?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom,
Palmetto
 

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I have been in her position. It took us 3 years to conceive our son. (Had a few m/c's too). After the first year ttc I got to the same low she is feeling and went to specialists. It was the worst thing I have ever done. I was put on clomid, bromocriptine, provera each month and I got vaginal u/s every two weeks. I was DOG sick from the bromocriptine and after the 7th month in a row on 200 mg clomid I got tumors all over my legs. Now the dr's say it's not from the clomid but I know that it was! I think my body was so full of toxins. They referred me to a surgeon to cut them out (I had 11!!). I said NO WAY and started doing my own research. Did the hoxsey treatment and within 2 weeks they were gone. Thats when I was finally done with the dr's! I told them no more and she had the gall to say I would probably not get pregnant or carry a child to term on my own. (I have PCOS, hyprolactinemia, and progesterone probs). Well we just gave up and in Jan 2002 I was pregnant! ON MY OWN. Right before that I had given up sugar and white refined flour and I had lost 30 pounds so I think diet has a huge part to do with it. Is she overweight at all? Eat bad? I would start there and correct that first before letting dr's intervene with all their mess of meds!

Maybe you can print out different natural success stories and give those to her?
 

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I have to say that you can only offer information, and you can't really "encourage" someone who isn't ready to be encouraged. You've offered, you've answered questions, but if she's not ready to hear the answers, you'll have to let it go.

I would guess (knowing nothing about your friend) that she may have fallen prey to the certainty that medical technology seems to offer, take this, do that, you'll have a baby.

I'd want to make sure she knows some sucess stories for NFP, too. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably make one last effort to make sure she's really clear and say something like, "I want to support you in whatever you do to have a child, but I feel really strongly that their are other methods, availiable to you, and I'm happy to help you find out about them"

I've learned from experience that giving advice to people who don't ask for it generally wastes your energy.
 

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I personally can't imagine that a specialist would even see her at this point when she is only 25 and ttc for six months. Even if they did, if they started her on anything more than charting, I would say the doctor was a quack, and only wanted her money.

Perhaps if you gave her a copy of TCOYF she would read it and take the advice to heart. After all, many people think of NFP as avoiding pregnancy, not planning for one. Perhaps she doesn't see how the information could be useful in the reverse manner.

If she does call a specialist, hopefully she will get one who is reputible and will tell her to chart for six months and see what happens. Does she realize that the average time it takes for a couple to conceive is six months? She has just now hit the average. There are always going to have to be people for whom it takes longer (mama-wanna-be is a great example) who offset those like me who get pregnant the first night trying.
 

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Quote:
I personally can't imagine that a specialist would even see her at this point when she is only 25 and ttc for six months. Even if they did, if they started her on anything more than charting, I would say the doctor was a quack, and only wanted her money.
No offense, Jish, but you haven't ever had to deal w/the Fertility Industry yourself, right? The first time I ever saw a reproductive endocrinologist, I was a 16-year-old virgin, and he told me, "We'll give you hormones to regulate your periods until you're ready to have a baby, and then you'll take Clomid." That's how they think.

And it's not only specialists. If you have oligomenorrhea (cycles longer than 40 days), virtually all gynecologists tell you that you're not ovulating and "will need help" to get pregnant. Yet they insist that you use contraception.
: Every year, even if you are a college student and not in a serious relationship, they ask you if you're thinking about pregnancy yet and remind you that you "will need a referral to a specialist" when you want to TTC. God forbid you should have unprotected sex without their permission and discover that you're not totally infertile!

I had to dump my last RE because of her obsessive insistence that "If you think you can get pregnant without my help, you're deluded." This was when I was just about ready to TTC but had never yet had unprotected sex even once!!!

I don't know if Palmetto's friend has oligomenorrhea or any other reason to suspect she's infertile, or not. It's possible that women with normal cycles are treated more gently by REs. But I've seen enough of the negative, controlling attitude to advise all my friends to stay away from REs unless they've been "really trying" for an entire year.

I think the advice about TCOYF, charting, and success stories is good, and I agree that it's important to point out that 6 months is AVERAGE and doesn't mean anything's wrong. It might also help to use the analogy of rolling a die: If you're trying to roll a 6, you might get it on the first try, you're pretty likely to get it within 6 tries, but you may have to roll many more times before your number comes up; it's just chance and doesn't mean anything is wrong w/your die.

Good luck to your friend!
 

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I have to agree with Envirobecca about fertility industry. Most of the men (and most of them are men) think that they are gods and that only they can help a woman who might have a slight different cycle to conceive. I have an irregular cycle, but through charting discovered I ovulate. Pretty much every cycle. Just not within my doc's time frame.

I agree with the idea of giving your friend TCOYF and just offering her support. I just went through a similar situation with a friend, who also didn't see the value of charting. THis last cycle she really tried and began to see thatit did give her more info. She thought she had a 14 day LP, she had a 12 day one. She didn't ovulate on cd 14 even thought her cycle is 28 days. Sometimesthey just need to try it to have it be something they are interested in.

Boy....i must be tired cause that ia a lot of non focused rambling...hope you got something out of that.
 

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I've had several friends who have had problems conceiving and have sought help for it and they either had their obgyns tell them to be patient (they were all in their mid to late 20's at the time) and learn to chart and wait till they had been ttc for a year, or if they were refered to an RE, they were told the same thing. I am totally amazed by the attitude of some of the REs out there. The idea that a 25 year old woman who has been ttc for about six months would be put through such procedures is scary.

I guess it shows what greed can do.
:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by EnviroBecca
And it's not only specialists. If you have oligomenorrhea (cycles longer than 40 days), virtually all gynecologists tell you that you're not ovulating and "will need help" to get pregnant. Yet they insist that you use contraception.
: Every year, even if you are a college student and not in a serious relationship, they ask you if you're thinking about pregnancy yet and remind you that you "will need a referral to a specialist" when you want to TTC.
Speaking from experience, in some cases, this is neccessary. I was dx with endo when I was 14, and put on bc even though I was a virgin until I was 18. I was monitered carefully and dr. always asked about my sex life. I did have a dr who explained things very well though. I NEEDED to be on contraceptives to slow the growth of the endo. He needed to moniter me because the bc I was on would not be 100% effective for birth control in my situation, so as soon as I became sexually active, he changed the formulation. There were times when I was on drugs that would have been devestating to a fetus, so that was also why he monitered my sex life. When I finally was ready to ttc, I was immediatly put through another round of surgery to get rid of endo (again...had several of these surgeries to keep me fertile before ttcing), immediate round of meds, then I was cleared to ttc. At this point, he did not put me on IF meds because he wanted me to see if my body could do it on it's own first. Recommended that I just have unprotected sex for 6 months, then chart for the next 6 months. He went over nutrition, taking vitamins, and told me about guiffasan (sp?) and herbal helps. After a year, he put me on clomid. After a m/c he recommended asprin because there was antidotal evidence that it might help.

This is getting too long, but I just wanted to pipe in that even though a dr. monitors you heavily and has you on meds, does not neccessarilly mean that he is greedy. I found that my dr. was actually more on the "wait and see" than to jump into the high level intervention. His goal, through most of my life, was to maintain fertiltity as much as possible so that I had a chance when I was ready. Considering my mom was ready for a hysterectomy from Endo at 25, the fact that I was able to finally complete at pregnancy at (almost) 32 with the severity of symptoms I had, is a testiment to a the good drs. in medicine. btw, he also was very considerate to my low income status and gave me a lot of samples over the years to reduce my costs, and would write off amounts not covered by insurance at times.
 

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palmetto, you sound like a really good friend.

i'm not sure how to encourage her to use natural methods, though i like the idea of showing her many nfp success stories.

i just wanted to offer up a few things *not* to say...

- just be patient,

okay that's only one thing but people tell me this all the time and it drives me nuts. like i wouldn't be patient if i could?!
: another variation on the theme is to just relax or not think about it. argh!

one thing that does help me in this journey is to focus on what i have, not only my son but other things- a wonderful relationship with my husband, loving friends, a nice home.... struggling with (in)fertility leaves you feeling so low and that life is so unfair, but when you think about it everyone has their own struggles and infertility is just hers now.

best of luck to your friend,
 
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