Why won’t my doctor support me when I’m trying to get pregnant?

When you first see your doctor about trying to get pregnant, you might be surprised by the answer you get. Most doctors will tell you to come back in a year if you still aren’t pregnant.

Whilst this answer is understandable, it’s definitely not helpful. Especially as you’ve probably waited six months already before you booked a doctor’s appointment in the first place.

The reason they tell you to come back later is because it is completely normal for the average couple to take up to a year to get pregnant naturally. If it takes longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong, it’s just statistics.

Here is a helpful little chart that shows average conception times.

 

On average, out of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally, about 20 will conceive after 1 month of trying, 85 with a year and 95 within 2 years. This is very reassuring.

 

The problem with the advice “keep trying” is that it takes away your voice and dismisses your concerns.

 

The reason you went to the doctor in the first place was because you were worried and wanted some guidance. “Keep trying” makes you feel like you’ve wasted the doctors time and you are no closer to getting any advice about what to do next.

 

If you are worried about your fertility health, don’t give up.

 

Listen to your instincts

 

If you feel like there is something wrong, ask to get some blood tests done. Your cycle should be pretty regular, you should not bleed excessively every month, the blood should be bright red and there should be little pain or cramping. Get checked out if something doesn’t feel right.

 

If the doctor won’t do your tests, find another doctor or if all else fails, there are labs where you can send away to get your blood checked yourself.

 

Be prepared to ask questions. It’s ok to ask as many questions as you need to. Be fully informed in the decisions you are making about your health. If you want advice about what to eat – ask for it. If you need some support for your mental health – ask for it.

 

I’m too old

 

If you are older than 35, that does not mean that it will automatically be harder for you to get pregnant. Statistically older women take longer to get pregnant but you are not a statistic.

 

If your belief is that you are too old then that will be holding you back. Check in with yourself to see how you can look after your body and mind better. Taking care of you is the most important thing you can do.

 

Some IVF clinics won’t treat women over a certain age. This is because it reduces their rates of success. Find a doctor or IVF clinic that will support you and your needs. Don’t be afraid to keep looking until you find the right medical professionals that you feel comfortable with and will look after your needs.

 

I’m too fat

 

If you are fat then often your doctor may turn you away and ask you to lose weight before they can help you.

 

This is bollocks.

 

What doctors don’t understand is that you’ve spent your whole life trying to lose weight and it’s not going to get any easier with them adding the extra pressure.

 

Once they’ve turned you away, all you can think is that it’s your fault that you can’t get pregnant. If you could stop being a bloody pig and lose some weight, your dreams of being a family would come true. You hate your body even more (if that were possible) and you can’t see a way out of this hell hole.

 

Stop.

 

This is not your fault. Being in a bigger body can be a symptom of hormonal issues, it’s not the cause.

 

Just because you are bigger that does not mean that you don’t deserve to get the help that you need. You are worthy, right now – belly fat and all.

 

It does mean that you have to step up and be your own advocate. Find another doctor that will help you. Find someone to hold your hand and help you step up to get the treatment you deserver and are entitled to.

 

I’ve had a miscarriage but the doctor won’t run tests

 

Often the doctors won’t run tests until you’ve had three miscarriages in a row.

 

It is a devastating but common loss that we don’t talk about. About a quarter of pregnancies result in miscarriage, which is why doctors will normally wait until they are more certain there is something else going on before they do any tests.

 

If you have had three miscarriages, there are tests that they can do to check for any genetic issues with the baby, they can check the health of your uterus and cervix and they can do blood tests.

 

No matter how many miscarriages you’ve had, your feelings are completely justified. Give yourself the time to acknowledge them and talk to your partner about how they are feeling too.

 

If you need to talk to a medical professional about how you are feeling, ask. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health so look after it.

 

Check in with your partner

 

If you are worried that there is a problem and things aren’t happening quickly enough then check in with your partner too.

 

Only one third of fertility issues are only due to complications with the women’s health and one third are due to male complications (the remaining third, either both or unexplained).

 

If you want support in a different way, the doors will be opening for the fertility freedom family soon.

Written By Nicola

Nicola is a fat-positive fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. She helps fat folks navigate getting pregnant in a weight-obsessed world and advocates for change in how fat people are treated whilst accessing help with their fertility. Nicola uses her unique fat positive framework to support people in finding their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant.

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