Friday, September 24, 2010

Missed periods , infertility and mind games

Missing a period is difficult for all women. Regular cycles suggest that the body is working properly and that the hormones are in sync. A missed period creates a lot of anxiety for fertile women as well , but it's much more difficult for infertile women ! Every time you miss a period, you hope ( against hope) that maybe you are finally pregnant ! However , you are worried about getting your hopes up too high, because you are scared that they will come dashing down again - after all, false hope can be very cruel !

Most women know there are are many reasons for missing a period, including stress ; side effects of medications you are taking; and a systemic illness.

Even after many years, however, the first thought hope is - maybe I am pregnant ! At last ! ( Maybe the holiday in Goa did the trick ? Or was it the trip to Shirdi ?)

And then the worries start !

Is this really a pregnancy ?

You scrutinise your past cycle ; look for patterns; and try to remember when you last had sex.
( Was it during the "fertile time " ? ) Each hour takes as long as a day to pass. Should I do a pregnancy test ? When ? Is today a good day ? Should I wait till tomorrow ?

You obsess over every symptom. My breasts never feel so full and tender normally, do they ? I wonder why I need to go to the bathroom again and again ? Maybe I am finally pregnant ! You google " early symptoms of pregnancy" every 5 min to try to make sense of what's happening to you.

You buy lots of pregnancy test kits - and even if the result is negative, you always hope that this was a false negative. Maybe I didn't do the test right ? Maybe the kit is old ? unreliable ? Maybe I should get one of the newer digital kits ? Is that a faint blue ? Am I imagining things ?

And if and when the period does start , you scrutinise the flow very carefully. Is there tissue in
it ? Was that a baby ? Is the flow dark ? heavy ? with clots ? Does it look different from my regular flow ? Does this mean I was pregnant and I miscarried ?

This line of thought just adds to your guilt ! Oh, God - did I do something wrong to cause the miscarriage ? Ate something hot ? cold ? Went to the gym ? Worked out too hard ? Fought with my husband ?

How do you find the answers to your doubts ? Who do I ask ? Who should I compare notes with ?
You are very reluctant to ask the doctor , because you don't want to look like a fool ! And your husband can get quite fed up of your obsessing over every minor ache and twinge and spot of blood.

My only advise is - Be kind to yourself. It's a difficult situation to be in, so please understand this and don't beat up on yourself. This just makes a bad situation worse !

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