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“When am I going to have kids?” Why I chose to get my fertility tested.

“When am I going to have kids?” A question asked by married couples and single women alike. For some, there are a variety of barriers: no partner, starting an intense graduate program, or just not feeling ready, which happens to be the category I fall in.

I have this overwhelming feeling like I should already have a baby, like I am moving too slow, and with every passing year I have less of a chance to have a baby, grow our family, fulfill our dream. What if we wait too long?

As a woman who works at SGF, I know a lot about female fertility and infertility, so my awareness of how hard it can be to have children is ever-present. Not every couple faces infertility, but for the 1 in 8 who need the assistance of fertility treatment, it’s incredibly emotional, challenging, and it’s not something they ever imagined they would need to grow their family.

I Want Kids…But Not Yet.

“When do we want to start having kids?” I imagine all couples have had this conversation at some point. We had a simplified version of this conversion before getting married and clarified that we wanted three kids. But it became real after we got married and the details of one conversation still remain very clear:

We were sitting outside eating tacos and drinking ciders during happy hour at a restaurant that was within walking distance of our over-priced, highly convenient, two-bedroom apartment in Gaithersburg, MD. We were having the conversation “if we want three kids spaced 3 years apart, how old will we be when we have the last one? And how old would we be when the last one graduates college?” We realized that our vision of a perfect little family meant we would basically need to start trying that night. We hadn’t even been married 6 months at that point…no thank you.

At that point, we knew we wanted kids but not yet. But what we didn’t and don’t know is, when we are ready, will we even be able to have them? Because what if sex doesn’t work for us?

3 Reasons to Be Proactive and Test My Fertility: 

  1. Fertility declines: With each passing year I’ve worried about the decline in my fertility. Female fertility is largely based on our age because as we age both the quantity and quality of our eggs declines and at different rates for different women. Typically, our fertility starts to more drastically decline starting at 35, but it can start much, much earlier than that and there are no warning signs.
  2. Who saves money to get pregnant? We are planners. As we became much more aware of our finances and started to aggressively pay off our debt and save for a home and retirement, we then realized: you save for a house, you save for retirement, but you don’t save for fertility treatment. Sure, everyone knows children are expensive, but you expect getting pregnant to be free. For many couples, it’s not.
  3. To unveil a looming secret: Testing my fertility meant unveiling a looming secret – am I OK? Can I have a baby right now if I wanted to? Because that’s the fear, right? If my fertility is low, I’d be kicking me for waiting and making it harder on my husband and me to have a baby.

I knew it was time to take matters into my own hands and to get my fertility tested. If my fertility was low, we could start trying for baby #1 and start saving for possible fertility treatment.

Testing Was Easy and Worth It

It was truly very simple. Despite knowing how the process works I was still incredibly nervous about what would happen and unsure when in my cycle I should schedule the appointment. Luckily, the Egg Freezing Program at SGF is set up in a way that you don’t have to worry because they take care of these details.

The Fertility Testing Process

I first had my blood drawn to measure my reproductive hormone levels, and I went back to test my antral follicle count (AFC). It felt weird going in during my cycle (it’s a transvaginal ultrasound during your period), but I just had to remind myself that the ultrasound technicians do ultrasounds every single day and, honestly, it was so quick it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Typically these two tests are complete in just one visit.

Lastly, Dr. Jeanne O’Brien of the SGF Rockville office reviewed my results with me, which was the most valuable part of the process.

Dr. O’Brien cared about what I cared about 

I’ve worked with Dr. O’Brien on a professional level, but becoming her patient was a different experience. Knowing how busy she is and how many other patients she has (that are, in my opinion, more important than me) made me feel a little guilty, but I trusted her to tell me exactly what I needed to know. What I valued most was that she took all things into consideration. What do I mean by that?  She didn’t just look at the numbers and tell me how my fertility was, she had a conversation with me. She cared about what I cared about.

Fertility Testing Results

According to my results of the Ovarian Assessment Report, I fell into the “Good” category for my age. Dr. O’Brien said my anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level was a little low but because my AFC was so good she said my fertility was excellent and assured me I had nothing to worry about. She also talked with me about how many children we wanted. If we wanted three or four children she recommended we start trying within the next year.

What do we do if we don’t start trying after a year? She said I could come back in and get tested just to make sure my fertility is still good. It was as simple as that.

Now that I have clarity, results, and reassurance, I feel like a nagging worry has been lifted off my shoulders.

SCHEDULE AN EGG FREEZING APPOINTMENT

To get started with egg freezing, call 1-877-411-9292 to schedule a consultation and fertility testing with one of our physicians. To learn more, attend one of the upcoming egg freezing online or in-person events.

At Shady Grove Fertility, we’re here to give you the caring support you deserve as you start or grow your family. As a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence, we offer patients individualized careinnovative financial optionsover 30 accepted insurance plans, and pregnancy rates among the highest of all national centers. We offer patients the convenience of 19 full-service and 6 satellite locations across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 physicians choose Shady Grove Fertility to refer their patients, and more than 96 percent of our patients say they would recommend Shady Grove Fertility’s 35+ physicians to a friend. With 10 Shady Grove Fertility babies born each day, your dream of starting or growing your family are within reach.

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