Guest blog by Aisha Coore, a freelance writer and blogger.
I never thought I would have a fertility issue. I am number five of six children and have 26 nieces and nephews from those five siblings. When my husband and I got married, I was 30 and knew it would be a matter of time and I too would be pregnant. I put our dreams of a family on hold for the first couple of years because I wanted to pursue my graduate studies. When we actually started trying, I was 33. It did not happen right away, and I thought nothing of it. The next thing I knew years had gone by. Still nothing, at this point we decided to see a Fertility Specialist. The first specialist we had ran numerous tests and performed an intrauterine insemination (IUI) that did not take. Another year passed and something did not seem right, so we found a new Specialist and they discovered a myriad of issues including; fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes and Adenomyosis.
At this point we were told In Vitro Fertilization was the best option. During our first IVF fresh transfer, I was 36 and that one failed. We had two more embryos left and transferred those, I did get pregnant this time but we miscarried at five weeks. After the miscarriage, we did IVF again and this time my doctor immediately wanted to send my embryos for Preimplantation Genetic Screening. After the PGS testing, we had one perfect embryo. We transferred that embryo in April 2018 and it did not implant. My doctors have suggested that I seek help from a Gestational Surrogate due to possible issues with my uterus. I am now 38 wishing I had taken my fertility into my hands sooner. If I knew now what I did not know at 33 things could have been different, maybe…
Statistically speaking women are most fertile in their 20s; in fact, the odds of getting pregnant any time during the month are 20-25%. A woman in her 30s chance of conceiving in a 30-day cycle is 15-20% but after the age of 35, that number decreases each year. By 40, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant are less than 5%. Doctors recommend that if you are over 35 and have been trying for six months it is time to see a Fertility Specialist. And if you are under 30 most doctors want you to try for a year before seeking help.
If you have to conceive through Assisted Reproduction, the numbers can seem dismal, especially if you are in your mid to late 30s. I don’t think people realize all that goes into IVF and some think that if they can’t conceive naturally they can just go that route. The problem is that every year after 35 your eggs age, add to that, higher chances of miscarriages and/or failed In Vitro Fertilization and failed Frozen Embryo Transfer attempts and a number of things that could go wrong while waiting for the embryo to implant.
What I have learned through my own experience is that no two women are the same. I have had friends in their 20s that had issues with getting pregnant and those in their late 30s, early 40s with no issues. There is no one size fits all plan when it comes to a women’s fertility. It is best to take your maternal health into your own hands and do not wait if you think there may be an issue. Even if you are not sure, get the fertility workup done so that if there are any problems you have time to weigh your options.
Aisha Coore is a part-time professor and Executive Operations Manager for a local University in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. She received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Oswego in Public Relations and M.A. in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University. Aisha married her partner at 30 and started trying to have a family at 33. She did not realize how difficult a task this would be for them and after five years of trying naturally, IVF, IUI, miscarriage and loss she decided to turn this sadness into passion. In her spare time, Aisha is also a freelance writer and blogger. She launched a new blog specifically geared to help women that face the same rode of infertility she traveled by sharing her own life experiences and resources to help them along the way. She currently resides in metro Atlanta with her husband and their dog Bentley. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or inquiries.