8 years ago I saw myself booking an appointment in a fertility clinic because despite my perfect 28 day cycle and regular ovulation, pregnancy was not happening. After doing all the necessary test, the doctor told us you fall in the category of unexplained infertility. This means that medical test have failed to pinpoint why medically we were not able to conceive. Fast forward to 2021, after 8 artificial inseminations, 3 IVF cycles, 3 surgeries, and 7 embryo transfers our new diagnosis is REPETITIVE IMPLANTATION FAILURE. We were able to create 7 embryos but none of them turned into a pregnancy. Why? Well here is the fun part we will never be able to know. This could be either du to the genetic material of the embryo or an immunological problem.
The past 8 years were so challenging emotionally and physically .While we were trying and trying to build a family, people were having their first, second and even third baby. As a women, I felt a big whole in my heart. In the beginning, I was hopeful that it is only a matter of time. Then, disappointment and sadness came after every failed cycle. Every menstruation was a reminder that my dream of becoming a mom is fading. Then came anger! God knows how angry I felt about the injustice of it all. I would snap on literally anything and I had never felt so alone in my struggle.
After anger, came curiosity. I have a science background and I was always inclined to understand the WHY of things. I started reading books, doing research, listening to podcast, following fertility dietitians and I ended taking a 14 hours functional nutrition training on fertility management. I remember asking every single fertility doctor that I met ( and they were quite a few), what can we do as a couple to improve our chances? The answer was always just take your folic acid. The past years have taught me that there is so much more in pre-conception nutrition than taking folic acid.
If we look at the most common infertility causes, it would be ovulatory disorders in women and sperm cells problems in men. And guess what? Lifestyle and nutrition play a huge role in improving the fertility when it comes to these conditions. They could increase the chances of natural pregnancy (YEY!) or improve the outcomes of assisted reproduction techniques. Therefore, I decided to channel my energy into helping other couples on their infertility journey. No one understood my struggle because it is hard to know what infertility is without living it. The first time I stepped into a fertility clinic, I was soooo stressed and scared because I did not know what to expect. I had no clue about the side effects of the fertility drugs, the physical side effects of the procedures and test and I had no one to validate how I felt. If I could help someone not have these feelings or lesson them, it is a victory for me. If I could help a couple get pregnant without going through the hardness of IVF, it is a victory. Every single time, a client announces that she is pregnant; it brings me so much joy to know that people can beat infertility.
I became a fertility dietitian to help other women on their ‘’trying to conceive’’ journey. To be honest, doing that has helped tremendously have my life back and find the joy that infertility robbed me for so many years.