Post # 1
Possibly a Too Much Information warning, as I will be discussing my period.
Just curious, are there always signs of fertility problems before one TTC? Or do the majority of people not find out until their TTC journey begins? As we plan to TTC soon I can’t help but worry about the unknown of what lies ahead of us. We talk about it like we are completely “normal” and it would happen fairly soon for us once we start trying, but I worry we have fertility issues and don’t even know it. I feel like I would feel this way regardless of age or any other factors, but here are some that make me worry:
*We’re both 34. Yes I know still young, but time isn’t infinitely on our side and I know by that factor alone my fertility has likely dropped somewhat.
*My sister had immense difficulty conceiving. A miscarriage, then a baby with a non-viable condition. She does have one healthy child though. She also was older than me when she started first started TTC… I want to say she was 36 or 37.
*My actual period has shortened in length in the last I want to say year or more… as in I bleed less days. I’ve been fairly regular all my life. 28 day cycle, give or take a few days depending on the month. Now some cycles are still 28 days, but frequently it’s shorter where my period can come up to 5 days “early.” It’s never “late” anymore. Additionally, and for some reason what bothers me the most, I really only bleed for 2 days. It’s 2 days of a normal flow, then a 3rd day that is very very light. I used to bleed for a good 3 days followed by 2 very very light days when I was younger.
Research of these things really just brings up confusion. Many places say my period is still normal, while others say that a period getting shorter is signs of decreased fertility (or even menopause… omg) or decreased ability to carry a child.
So, the questions are 1. are there always signs of fertility issues pre-TTC? And 2. anyone have decreased bleeding days in their period as they entered their 30s (or maybe ALWAYS bled for only 2 days) and still conceived normally? Also 3. I hear some people say that any sort of pre-TTC doctors visit that while it doesn’t hurt to do, it also is somewhat pointless as they don’t have a crystal ball. Thoughts?
Post # 2
I don’t think anyone knows for sure that they will have fertility issues until they start trying, unless they have already received a diagnosis that indicates there might be issues with fertility.
Right now, you’re worrying about something that hasn’t come to pass. 80% of couples get pregnant within the first year of trying, and it’s likely that you will be among them. Since your cycle lengths vary (which my RE told me is totally normal), I would recommend using an app like Fertility Friend to start getting more familiar with your cycles and to help pinpoint when ovulation will be.
Post # 3
while there can be some signs, oftentimes there aren’t. Unexplained infertility is common and frustrating. The only way to know is to give it a shot! Don’t worry about a problem that doesn’t exist yet, it’s a waste of your energy. Perfectly healthy normal couples can take up to a year to conceive naturally! And if you do end up needing help that’s ok too.
Post # 4
Most people don’t find out until well into their TTC journey. Fertility is difficult to predict and expensive to diagnose.
If you want to maximize your odds of getting pregnant quickly, the best thing you can do is learn your body. Read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Track your BBT. Understand when in the month you typically ovulate and what the range of normal for you is. Learn the signs that you’ll ovulate soon and the signs of when your period is likely to come. Short cycles and periods can be indicators of problems, but more than likely, they’re just your normal. Understanding what your baseline in will give you the best chance of getting pregnant and prepare you with the info you need to visit it with a doctor if you struggle to conceive.
Also, give yourself space to succeed right away or not. Even with perfectly timed sex, healthy couples have a 20-30% chance of conceiving each month. So if you don’t get pregnant right away, it’s not a sign that you’re not normal and healthy — it just means it didn’t happen that month for you. And if you do, great! You had some good luck.
Post # 5
So my one sister had multiple miscarriages in her early/mid 20’s and has never carried a baby to term. But I have 2 healthy kids and my other sister has 1 (by choice). So dont assume your sisters issues will be yours.
1. are there always signs of fertility issues pre-TTC?
Nope, there is even such a thing as “unexplained” infertility where testing is good but they dont get pregnant. Nothing you can do but try.
2. anyone have decreased bleeding days in their period as they entered their 30s (or maybe ALWAYS bled for only 2 days) and still conceived normally?
I have, but I was on the Mirena and attributed it to that. We are just TTC for the first time this month so if we dont Ill see what a normal period looks like. (I turn 35 this month)
I have read that a short time between ovulation and period could be linked to low Progesterone which can cause miscarriages so I would ask a doctor about that. Its also possible you just ovulate early and nothing is wrong. There are progesterone suppluments if needed.
3. I hear some people say that any sort of pre-TTC doctors visit that while it doesn’t hurt to do, it also is somewhat pointless as they don’t have a crystal ball. Thoughts?
Mine was a waste of time. It was basically a normal womens visit and she said “call me when you get a positive pregnancy test!”
From my understanding they are important if you have any health conditions that could be impacted by pregnancy. Otherwise, take your prenatals 3 months prior to starting to TTC and just go for it.
Also, as a nearly 35 year old I can highly recommend the “Adam Ruins Everything” video about womens fertility. The declines in fertility/risk of defects are dramatically overblown. Most women are generally very fertile until their early 40’s and even then some women may have several more years
Post # 6
DH and I had no signs of fertility issues prior to TTC. We are both young and healthy. Neither sets of our parents had any issues getting pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy. My DH’s sister practically sneezes and gets pregnant.
We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. In other words, there is no real reason we shouldn’t be able to get pregnant. Nonetheless, it took us 2 years of IVF treatments before we finally got pregnant. I am currently 15 weeks.
There’s no use in worrying before you even start trying. Some OBs and REs offer a fertility assessment prior to TTC. Nonetheless, in our case, it wouldn’t have found anything wrong and therefore would have not told us we may have problems.
Post # 7
cycles vary so much one woman to the next that it’s hard to say what “normal” is. I agree with others who’ve recommended charting. By tracking your temperature every morning, you can figure out when you’re ovulating each month and if your luteal phase is possibly too short. Compared to when I was in my 20’s, I have more ovulation pain now and ovary pain in general. Like you, I worry that something might be off but my doctor has been reassuring (and all tests are normal so far). Where I am doctors generally don’t refer patients for testing until they’ve been trying for a while, since most couples do succeed with a bit more time. My doctor recommended that my husband get a semen analysis before she ordered any tests for me. We haven’t been diagnosed with any fertility problem and it hasn’t been a year of TTC yet – we’re just impatient 🙂
Post # 8
80% of couples do not have a problem getting pregnant naturally (in the firsts year of trying, without intervention). You do see more people with infertility on these anonymous Internet forums because for a lot of us this is our only outlet. Don’t be worried unnecessarily because of what you read on other threads on this board.