Your journey to parenthood may have been easy. But for others specifically 1 in 8 people, struggle to conceive for various reasons.

One thing I’ve learned over the years as my husband and I were trying to conceive is that this TTC (trying to conceive) community is continually growing and supporting each other.

It is no longer a lonely journey as when we first underwent IVF (in vitro fertilization) more than 10 years ago. You do not need to feel alone and isolated. Talking about infertility or our IVF process is no longer a taboo subject for us – feeling ashamed of our diagnosis.

There are so many support groups, in person or online, that can help you make the journey less stressful or depressing. You can seek comfort and feel supported, however you decide to grow your family. Just getting some info to help make sense of it all can do wonders.

With the advancement of science and technology, there are so many options these days. Trying to conceive whether naturally or through assisted methods is a unique and special process for anyone.

Infertility

Infertility in a woman is not getting pregnant after trying for at least a year. For woman over 35 years old, she may be diagnosed with infertility if she has not become pregnant after 6 months of trying.

For men, their sperm health dictates if their sperm is able to fertilize an egg.

Infertility affects both women and men. It does not discriminate – affects all walks of life from every background.

However, having the diagnosis of infertility is not the end of your hopes of becoming a parent. Or your dreams of one day being called mommy or daddy.

When we first received our diagnosis of uterine polyps and low sperm count, we thought we had no chance of having children of our own. We soon learned that was not the case.

Trying to conceive for many years, dealing with different fertility clinics and doctors, all the medications and surgical procedures we had to endure…it was definitely a long and difficult road to parenthood.

So if you are in the same situation – dealing with infertility and trying to figure out your options with your fertility doctor – here’s more info to help you. So many terms and abbreviations to learn, it can be so confusing and overwhelming.

As always, it is best to consult your doctor sooner rather than later, to determine what your best option is to conceive.

IUI/IVF

Your fertility specialist may recommend IUI or IVF to conceive.

According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility medical procedure that is used to treat some cases of infertility.

During IUI, specially washed and concentrated semen is placed directly into the uterus around the time a woman is ovulating. It can significantly increase the chances of conception because the goal is for more sperm to reach a woman’s fallopian tubes for fertilization.

IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start but still requires a sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. According to APA, it is a less invasive and less expensive option compared to in vitro fertilization.

APA
defines in vitro fertilization as an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus.

This process requires more medications and is more expensive, but success rates are better than IUI. It all depends on the reason(s) behind the infertility.

I highly recommend reading IVF A Detailed Guide: Everything I Wish I Had Known Before Starting My Fertility Treatments by Bianca Smith – an author who underwent IVF treatment herself. It reads like a girlfriend fertility coach helping you along the way. Lots of tips to help you ask the right questions of your fertility doctor/clinic, understand the many tests/surgical treatments, and just make sense of the whole process.

Donor/Surrogacy

If you are need of sperm or eggs, donor sperm or egg may be your path to parenthood. This would be needed if a man has little to no sperm or a woman does not ovulate or have a womb. The donor sperm and egg would be fertilized to become an embryo then implanted via IUI or IVF treatment as mentioned above.

The donor can be anonymous/unknown or from a known person. These are options you can discuss further at your chosen fertility clinic.

Surrogacy may be needed if a woman cannot get pregnant and carry a baby due to medical problems with the uterus. Or for same sex couples who want to have children. Legal rights differ from state to state regarding surrogacy, so be diligent in your research if this is your option.

The Unexpected Mother: A Surrogate Mother, Caught Between Science, the Law, and Humanity by Susan Ring is a powerful and chilling true story of one surrogate mother’s 9-month journey. It is so captivating you won’t want to put the book down until you’re done reading.

Foster/Adoption

For some, being a foster parent or adoption may be their path to parenthood. There are many children, all ages and backgrounds, who are in need of forever homes.

If you can provide love and stability for these children, who may have endured some heartbreaking struggles, your goal of becoming a parent can be fulfilled.

Your local foster or adoption agency can give you more info and the requirements. I truly believe it takes a special person to open their hearts and lives to these children.

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by authors Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Sunshine. This book is said to be a bible of sorts if you’re planning to foster or adopt – it gives many helpful tips and advice to help welcome children from all backgrounds into your family.

Single Parent/Same Sex Parents

You may decide to have a child on your own or with your same sex partner. Parenthood could be through donor insemination or surrogacy. Or even through foster care or adoption. There are many options now should you chose to become a parent.

The physical, emotional, and financial toll is all the same. So seek support and do your research. Ask questions if you are unsure or don’t understand something. Have courage to face any adversity that may come your way.

Modern families come in all different shapes and sizes – these books give hope to others who may be contemplating, but feeling afraid to go through parenthood alone or with their same sex partner.

Going Solo: My Choice to Become a Single Mother Using a Donor by Genevieve Roberts is an empowering and uplifting story of one woman’s choice to become a single mother.

Determined To Be Dad: A Journey of Faith, Resilience, and Love by Steve Disselhorst chronicles his journey of his acceptance of his sexuality, marriage to his husband, and adoption of his children.

Road to Parenthood

No matter what option you take to become a parent, it will be a roller coaster ride with wild twists and turns. But nothing is guaranteed…only time will tell if the highlight will be the fulfillment of a child to call your own. Keep the faith and may you never feel alone.

Lots of faith, hope and love is what got us through our IVF journey. Today marks our 18th wedding anniversary. Half of that time was spent trying to conceive. As we think back to those days, we wonder how did we survive it all? We were fortunate to have two healthy babies. But I know that is not the case for everyone who embarks on this journey. I count my blessings everyday.

Everyone’s journey is unique and special to them. May everyone be kind along your path – they don’t know the storm you are struggling through.

I hope you can avail of some of the resources I provided to help you along the journey. And I hope I gave you valuable information to help you decide what is best to grow your family.

You are braver and stronger than you think you are and your TTC (trying to conceive community) is here for you always.

Please share your thoughts and comments below. Would love to hear from you!

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20 Comments

  1. I am so glad there are so many great options these days for the one who can’t conceive a child on their own. How wonderful it is to learn about all of them.
    I am friends with a lady who tried and tried. Finally through IVF she was able to conceive at 46 years old. That was after so many years of trying. What a long journey but so worth it for her and her husband.
    Beautiful read. I just love how bright your website is. Very nice.

  2. My neighbor has been trying to get a child for years but I feel like they haven’t given more effort or at least reasonable effort towards getting convinced. Actually at this point they have no idea as to what makes the whole process so hard as they haven’t even visited special doctors who will look more into it and I’ve been trying to come up with ways to help them or give valid advice.

    I think mostly it’s not just their lack of knowledge but fear that is holding them back. Here I found some detailed ways to encourage them to the right direction. Thanks for opening up to tell your story and I think if better share it can help many people.

  3. I have no children and at this point I won’t be able to conceive a child anymore. I have considered adoption, because – as you stated in your article – there are many children who have been through hell and who deserve a happy childhood. I have not fully decided yet, because there are still many other things I need to take care off, but I think that adoption is a great option. So many children need rescuing …

    1. Bless your heart for considering adoption…I know it’s not an easy road and in due time you’ll know if it’s right for you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Very powerful well researched article by someone who clearly knows the subject.
    Full of ideas, well written constructed and set out. Very well done indeed
    Trevor

  5. I really enjoyed your article. The books you have suggested all look great. I’m going to get one for a gift for my friend that is going through IVF. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you for the information.

    I have a friend who is in this situation with his wife. I think they may use this help. I shall refer them here.

  7. Infertility is never what any couple would wish for their marriage, the reason is because, most time it bring sadness in a home when you see other women, especially those that are relatively close to you, like friends, so the means of going for IVF is another great option for couples. And secondly another option which i find also more educating is the part of adoption, this can also be quite complicated as result of going through horrific screening before any child can be handed over to you, and even if handed over to you finally, there must be a watchdog sniffing around just for the sake of the adopted child. Nice one

    1. The options available are not easy…no matter the path, it will be met with some struggles. What is good is that there are viable options. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. 

  8. Hi there,

    Well, your article is very well written and informative. I do not know much about the subject. But, I always thought if one day I will have a child, I prefer to adopt one as out there are too many children that need a parent.

    I know some persons who are desperate to have children, but they can not. I keep telling them that there is an option to adopt a child, but they keep refusing and they keep trying but with no success. I hope they soon will understand and they will adopt a child. I will be very happy for them.

    However, I will give them to read your article. I hope that will help them to decide on their problem.

  9. I love love love that you are talking about this! You are right that this is a topic that many are ashamed of. It is not your fault that you may not be able to conceive but that doesn’t mean that you should not be parents! Children are such a blessing and there are a lot of ways with modern science and adoptions that you can become one. It’s a hard road, but worth it. How uplifting, thank you!

  10. Dana, nice article.

    You may have mentioned it in the article and I missed it, but did you have any more children after that first?

    I’m not all that familiar with the jargon, so I noticed you had a link there, so I clicked on it, and eventually found the definition I was looking for.

    It’s always good to have support around you. It is a rare person that prefers to work or achieve alone. 

    The community you belong to is a wonderful idea. 

    How did you come to be involved?

    One last thing.

    Your article explains everything beautifully across the spectrum of modern-day partnerships.

    Well done.

    Garry.

    1. Yes, I have 2 children now – both conceived through in vitro fertilization. Thank you for reading and clicking on any of my links – feel free to share with others who may benefit from purchasing the books.

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