Sunday, 9 August 2009

Not That Newsworthy

There was a news story today on The Guardian website.

To save you the bother of reading it, allow me to summarise:

Women today have no idea that the older they get, the less fertile they are. So Professor Bill Ledger of Sheffield University recommends a blood test for 30 year old women to check the state of their ovaries. Yes kids, for a mere £100 ($166.82), you too can check whether your egg reserves are depleted. This fertility MOT will sort the fecund from the fucked.

They go on to say that there is such naivety about infertility that folk should be taught about it at primary and secondary school.

I hardly know where to begin with this.

For a start, and bear in mind I am no professional here (just an interested amateur), I'm guessing that the blood test won't indicate whether the individual has blocked fallopian tubes, or if her partner has a low sperm count, or indicate whether as a couple they are going to experience that most wonderful of diagnoses 'unexplained infertility'.

I'm with the experts they wheeled in: this test may well cause some woman to rest on their egg-filled laurels and assume they'll be OK when they do decide to reproduce. Unaware of the countless other issues that might prevent them from popping out progeny.

But the proposal to raise awarness of infertility at schools?! The government and media at large have long bemoaned the increase in teenage pregnancies. Do they really think this is going to help?

But the crux of the matter is the state of paranoia this is likely to cause.

Considering the medical professionals (and just about everyone we meet) tells us we should just relax and then we'll get pregnant how the hell is this going to help?

Bringing it back to me (three years over thirty) - despite my numerous tests I do not know the state of my ovarian reserves. But what I do know is that the ovulation tests on Friday, Saturday and this morning gave me the blank dismal face indicating a complete lack of activity in my ovaries. Tomorrow morning I have a scan to see exactly what is, or isn't, happening. And maybe I'll get an idea of if and when this IUI is going to happen.


  1. These articles really irk me. As a woman today it makes me feel like I'm fucked at every turn. You shouldn't get pregnant when you're a teenager. You should go to college. You shouldn't rush into marriage else you will contribute to the 50%+ divorce rate.

    So you finally get all this shit done in life and settle down to have children...oops, too slow. You waited too long and you can't get pregnant. It's your fault. You waited too long.

    Personally, I got all these things done and started trying to have children when I was twenty-nine. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my chances for conception. It was already too late.

  2. I'm not a fan of these articles either. I like that there is "some" awareness that there could be issues, but it really misses the boat on most issues not to mention somewhat diminishes the problem of infertility. "Because a friend of my brother's co-worker's daughter's neighbor took this test and had no problems getting pregnant 6 months later..."

    So glad the coil is out and you are back in the game. I'm hoping all goes great for you tomorrow and you are soon on your way to getting this IUI party started.

    And happy belated birthday!

  3. Ovulation kits suck. The last time I used them (twice a day) they all said my ovaries were sleeping too. When I went in for my scan I had two 17mm follicles. Let's wait and see what they find tomorrow. I'm sure it will be great.

  4. Not a fan of this stuff either. As someone with a pretty decent FSH level (likely one of the things they would check) who still hasn't managed to acheive pregnancy this can be so misleading.

  5. Been thinking of you (more than normal but not in a stalker-ish way). Hope the scan shows a good number of follicles.

  6. I read that article (and the crapola about IVF postcode lotteries DO NOT READ THEM AS THE COMMENTS WILL MAKE YOU SCREAM AND SCREAM AND YOU DON'T NEED THAT). The whole 'women should' thing makes me rabid. I felt like shouting 'and why should men escape all this? What about men with chlamydia, or low sperm counts from smoking and drinking throughout their teens and twenties? Why aren't they being guilted in the national press? Why aren't MEN in their forites and fifties, with their genetically-damaged-by-age sperm, being given a good old workover with the blame stick? Huh? Huh?'

    Anyway, I was THIS screwed, fertility-wise, at the age of 18. As are many women with fertility issues. I'm not saying that some women, poor loves, DON'T suffer from early egg-quality deterioration and lose their chances before they even thought of trying, and it really really sucks, but by and large infertility is NEVER that simple. For example, there is some evidence that PCOS improves in your late thirties as all women's hormone levels start to drop. PCOS ones were too high to begin with, so the drop helps for a short while.

    And yes, I was doing what I thought was right, for me, for my husband, for society, for my career, for my family's expectations, when I went to university several times in a row, and waited until I was 29 and married and we both had a steady income, before chucking out the contraceptives. If I had started trying at 24, while still an unmarried student with an income of about £4000 a year? WOuld THAT have made everyone happy?

    Oh dear, I seem to have ranted.

    Stuff the OPKs. I have got blank ones with a 19mm follicle, and nearly-positive ones with no follicles AT ALL. They mean nothing until they actually are positive, and even then....

    Fingers crossed. And toes.

  7. Glad you agree Megan, it is a lose lose situation.

    Thanks Lost in Space, I agree awareness = good, making it sound like we should have had a simple blood test three years ago = bad.

    Mary, some development on that score. I'll be posting tonight!

    Exactly Batty

    Stalk away Corymbia! News soon....

    Nuts, you ranted my thoughts far more eloquently than I could - apologies if I caused an aneurysm!

  8. The government (and newspapers) seem to be having a splurge on infertility at the moment.

    The postcode lottery article was particularly frustrating, let's highlight a problem that will not be improved or resolved. Really, what is the point? It's just a case of ticking a box, "yep, we've mentioned the infertiles lately, let's give ourselves a pat on the back". How about actually doing something about it - arseholes!

  9. Seriously.

    The muck on a tramps boot knows fertility reduces with age.

    Load of rot.

  10. Secret D, as someone who is suffering particularly harshly with the postcode lottery I think 'arseholes' is tame!

    Xbox, I really would rather you didn't refer to my husband in that way.


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