Trying to Get Pregnant While Struggling With Chronic Illness
Editor’s note: The following is based on an individual’s experience and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before going on or off medication.
Is it possible to conceive with a chronic illness?
I will be completely honest with you. This is a very difficult post for me to write, and probably one of the more difficult subjects.
Being chronically ill is hard enough. Trying to battle all the internal feelings of feeling like shit all the time and trying to summon the energy to get out of bed.
One of the more upsetting parts of my illness has been the fact that, as of yet, I have not yet been able to conceive. So here is some background on me.
I have been with my partner for around seven and a half years. In those seven and a half years (apart from maybe the first few flushes of young love, when you’re trying to be careful!) we have never used protection.
Of course, when I was younger and deathly afraid of catching anything or getting pregnant, I first started on the contraceptive pill. It was a one a day tablet. I will hold my hands up: I was awful at taking it! I always forgot.
When I hit my mid-teens, around 15, I decided to pack in the pill and was upgraded to one I couldn’t forget. The contraceptive injection!
This, I was told by my doctor, was completely safe and one injection lasted three months. Absolutely smashing, I thought.
If I had known then what would happen to my body after, I would have run out of the clinic as fast as my legs would carry me!
I had my injection (in my bum) and it didn’t hurt. It did completely mess up my periods though.
Like I was told, I didn’t have my period for three months. Woo hoo. It worked. I was supposed to have another injection, but I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time and thought it would be best to let my body recover its natural cycle again. So I stopped.
My period didn’t come in the fourth month. Nor the fifth, nor the sixth. 18 months later I still hadn’t had a period!
I went to the doctors numerous times and told them. I was told I may have had an allergic reaction to the injection and it had prevented my period forming a natural cycle again.
This couldn’t possibly be healthy! Your body is supposed to expel once a month. Mine wasn’t.
Was the contraceptive pill to blame for all my medical issues that followed?
Two years after the Depo-Provera shot, my thyroid broke! Then my gallbladder bailed on me. Then my muscles and legs abandoned ship and I developed fibromyalgia.
Is this a coincidence? I’m starting to think now, after all the research I have done, no, it might not be a coincidence!
So anyway, it’s been roughly seven years of trying and I’ve not even had so much as a scare. No late periods. Nothing. Periods come and go as regular as clockwork.
Even still, I hold on to a tiny bit of hope that it will happen one day. I’ve heard stories that the less you try, the more likely it is to happen. That, however, is a lot easier said than done. You can’t just switch off to it.
I have even heard stories of women who had adopted, and conceived naturally after. They even said this in the Sex and the City movie! Charlotte adopted and then got pregnant.
I even went through a huge period of sex not being fun anymore. It was a chore. Just another thing I had to do. That sounds terrible, and it is, but my head had got into a place of thinking, “The point in having sex is to make babies. I’m not making babies. Ipso facto, what’s the f***ing point.”
Now it’s been so far down the road and my head is slowly coming back round to the idea of having sex to feel close to my partner, or just for fun.
I’ve had some tests and even though I have polycystic ovary syndrome (which can cause fertility issues), I have been told it isn’t “blocking” anything from going where it needs to.
The doctors do this test with an ultraviolet dye which is injected around your tubes. It shows the journey of the sperm and shows if it’s getting stuck anywhere. Mine wasn’t. Which is good news.
As well as PCOS, I have also been diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease. I have had this for a very long time. I hardly notice any major issues, except I do struggle with occasional bouts of pain and soreness around my hips.
I have no idea if any of my illnesses are linked to why I struggle getting pregnant, but I’m determined not to feel sorry for myself and get down about it. Nor am I going to let it take over my life, like my illness already has.
If it’s meant to happen, it will.
Or so I keep telling myself.
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