My girlfriend just found out she's likely infertile


#1

My girlfriend has a beautiful 2 year old that she gave birth to at age 38. Now at almost 41, she was planning for another, but found out that her FSH level is 17. I looked this up on the internet and read that it means that they have a 1% chance of conceiving on their own. FSH of 17 = perimenopaus.

My girlfriend is devastated as the group of us have either just had our second child or are about to. We all met when our firstborns were around 9 months old. She was at my baby shower on Saturday and she looked so down that it broke my heart.

I don’t want to come across as being smug or uncaring. How do I approach this situation with her? I have read that herbs, accupuncture and accupressure have worked with women with high FSH - should I even tell her of my findings???


#2

Yes i think that you should talk to your friend tell her that you are there for her that you feel for her, Tell her of your findings. I have a very good friend here where i live and we have found that to talk cry laugh and just be there for each other is the true key to our friendship. If you ignore the situation then maybe she will think that no one cares.
:frowning:


#3

I would just be as supportive as possible… definitely share all your findings… and remind her that there are moral ways of approaching infertility treatments - so she should continue to talk to her doctor about those!

And don’t forget to PRAY for her, of course! :slight_smile:
(((HUGS))) to you for being such a good friend.


#4

She is a REALLY nice person. She is Baptist, so I don’t want to come across as preachy either if I talk about NFP and all that stuff.

I will definitely pray for her and I just sent her an email and put a “ps” at the bottom with my findings of a really good homeopathic doctor in my city. I want to try and tread lightly with her to find her comfort zone as I don’t want to be too pushy.

I just feel terrible for her! 40.5 years old just seems so young to become infertile!!!


#5

Only God can tell whether she will have another child or not. In trying to figure out NFP, my wife and I discovered that she is very infertile, and yet we’ve had 3 kids over the last 5 years. Our doctor can’t understand how it could have happened. He said it was like we won the lottery three times in 5 years. :slight_smile:

On the other hand, it may really be over for her, and yes, that is sad. But if she is only pre-menopausal, there may still be a chance. Hopefully you can help her stay clear of some of the morally objectionable fetrility treatement methods, but sometimes you should just keep your mouth shut. My brother and sister-in-law found out that they were infertile, so they trie invetro. I said something about it to my brother, but I wasn’t able to do it in such a way as to avoid sounding like I was telling him it would be sinful. There is still a wound there, but it is slowly healing. I don’t think my sister-in-law will ever forgive me for opening my mouth about the moral problems with invitro.

I regret the way the conversation turned out, but I don’t regret my intentions. I felt like I was defending lives. We sometimes forget that God alone is the lord of life. We cannot dictate to him when and where he will create. We can only cooperate with his plan when he does ordain that life should happen.

God bless,
Ut


#6

pray, pray, pray

nothing is impossible with God

have full faith that God will grant what is in His will and don’t worry and don’t doubt


#7

I am sorry your friend is sad about the possibility she will not have more children. However, there certainly is a possibility she could and NFP could help her.

But, I noticed your statement where you said 40.5 seems young to have fertility problems. However, that is not the case. Women’s fertility severely declines in the late 30s and by early 40s-- yes it is really much lower.

Certainly there are always exceptions– and everyone knows someone whose mom got pregnant in her 40s, change of life babies as they are known-- heck look at Sarah Palin giving birth at 44. Not all women are the same fertility-wise, but most all experience a serious decline in fertility, even those who have babies in their 40s.

I know a woman in my diocese whose father was born when her grandmother was 52. That is the **major **exception.

**But **a baby in your 40s is NOT a given.

A lot of celebrity moms have given the impression that women just have babies like rabbits in their 40s. Well most of those 40+ women having all these babies are using IVF to get pregnant. Tons of immoral fertility treatments. Society and our culture have given women the idea that they can wait until they are in their late 30s or early 40s to start a family, you know… have the career first… and in some cases our society tells women they don’t even need a man, just a sperm donor.

But for most women in their 40s it just isn’t true without seriously invasive (and immoral) treatments.


#8

– and everyone knows someone whose mom got pregnant in her 40s, change of life babies as they are known-- heck look at Sarah Palin giving birth at 44. Not all women are the same fertility-wise, but most all experience a serious decline in fertility, even those who have babies in their 40s.

I know a woman in my diocese whose father was born when her grandmother was 52. That is the **major **exception.

**But **a baby in your 40s is NOT a given.

A lot of celebrity moms have given the impression that women just have babies like rabbits in their 40s. Well most of those 40+ women having all these babies are using IVF to get pregnant. Tons of immoral fertility treatments. Society and our culture have given women the idea that they can wait until they are in their late 30s or early 40s to start a family, you know… have the career first… and in some cases our society tells women they don’t even need a man, just a sperm donor.

But for most women in their 40s it just isn’t true without seriously invasive (and immoral) treatments.

I was going to say…at 40 I don’t think I’d call it infertile, I’d just call it the natural progress of a woman’s body. Truth is, doctors are now saying your late 20’s are when things start to change as far as fertility. Of course this is different that what women were told for a long time. Your friend is probably one of those women who thought she could wait and it would be OK because of that common misinformation:( Regardless of the reason, she still may not have more children and that is VERY hard to bear. God blessed me with 3 children but at 28 I had a hysterectomy and not being able to have more is devastating, no matter what. Prayers for your friend. Share your info with her, and don’t forget to tell her about NFP too, it could help!


#9

Thanks.

I rushed to get pregnant with my second b/c I was 37 and knew that I was at the end of my fertility train. It’s just reality I guess.

I always thought that up until age 42, a women for the most part was still fertile. I guess I’m misinformed by the way things are today. My girlfriend is able to pinpoint her ovulation b/c she’s getting an ultrasound every morning as the follicle matures until the egg is released. She’s seeing a fertility specialist. She mentioned to me that she wouldn’t do IVF, but I’m not sure about IUI.

I would hate to do anything that would hurt our friendship and she’s very sweet. I will just have to show her that I care without asking too many questions.

What if I were to find out she was doing IUI? Should I speak up? How would I go about it without coming across as being rude?


#10

Hello. Would your friend be willing to learn nfp in order to conceive?

I know 40 is technically later in the game, but if you know the fertility clues to look for, it is possible.

I’m an “older” mom. All three of my children were born in my 30’s 32, 35 and 39.

We actually shouldn’t TTC because of the high risk of another preemie. It would be tempting to say, “Well, I’m 40, I don’t need to chart anymore, because I am not too fertile” I still have signals that I am fertile.


#11

If she brings it up as a possible option, or says that she’s decided to do it, I would tell her either that Church is against IVF or that you personally think it’s immoral and then ask if she’d like to hear the reasoning why. You can be as gentle and friendly as possible, and stress that this is just what you believe, but you have the Church’s excellent reasoning to back it up. And then maybe keep stressing the remedies you found online.

Could she consider adoption?

Now if you find out that she’s actually gone through with the IVF, after the fact…that’s definitely stickier. I’m not sure exactly how I’d handle that. Obviously if she ends up pregnant that way, just being happy for her for the baby’s sake and supportive of the pregnancy is the first thing.

I’m not sure if there would even be a good reason at that point to bring up the moral objections once she’s already pregnant. Before, yes. But after, it’s probably too late and best to just pray for her and celebrate her good news.


#12

You said she’s Baptist, right? I wouldn’t comment on IUI to a non-Catholic. Unlike IVF, there are no fertilized eggs in storage, so the morality issue is about not separating the unitive and procreative aspects of sex, not the creation and destruction of a life. Unless you would ordinarily discuss the morality of ABC with this friend, I wouldn’t see why you would discuss IUI – it’s essentially the same issue.


#13

One of the reasons for decreased fertility in a woman’s 40’s is because we don’t ovulate every month like we used to. So naturally the number of chances that it is even possible to become pregnant are reduced. But - when there is an egg there - there is a chance for conception. I’m not sure how that “number” your friend was given factors in to the equation, but maybe she should go back to the doctor and ask how she could increase her chances through natural means - lower alcohol intake, eating right, etc. I know the clock is ticking, but those are non invasive methods that could work right away.

Another reason you don’t see many women having babies in their 40’s is because a lot of people are sterilized. I’m not claiming to know how many, or pass judgement on them, and I am going by some anecdotal information here, but that can make it look as though pregnancy is not possible for “natural” reasons.


#14

Aww :frowning: I know someone at work whose wife has a helathy 3 year old and she is 33, and for some reason, they cannot concieve a second one and have been trying for two years. It is unexplained infertility. It is causing so much difficulty in their marriage… I keep praying for them.

Is your friend Catholic? You can tell her you are praying for her… Does she go online for any support groups or forums like this one?


#15

Well as someone who is at that age and has accepted that I’ll never have a child I would be supportive but remind her of the blessing that she already has. Children are a gift not a right or possession.


#16

Thanks guys!

I spoke to her last night and I just focused on getting her to talk to me about Finn and we laughed and I told her how funny and cute he is.

If I told her I was praying for her, I think she’d really appreciate it.

And to the poster who has accepted her infertility, it is so right to appreciate the blessings that we do have. My friend having a beautiful 2 year old boy is extremely fortunate!


#17

I was diagnosed with PCOS, and told I could never have any more kids...I have 3, I am 30, and about to be married...:( IT was devastated and both fiance and I surrendered our pain and suffering of never having more kids, just got on with our lives...It was a hard pill to swallow...when I told my family all I got was "you're too old for kids, you have 3 why do you want more, OMG you are crazy how could you want more kids!!!" Anyhow, so no support there...My friends were devastated and said that you never knew what GOD had in store for you..And to wait and see...Not to give up...

Well in one night of passion, we were able to conceive...When our chances were minimal and was told I would need to undergo fertility treatments, invitro and even surrogacy!!! I am now 2 months pg and I thank GOD every day for this blessing!

Our of nowhere doctor couldn't explain I have a cyst and need surgery, also my ovaries haven't been working well and I hadn't been ovulating...

All she needs to do is trust in GOD...Not to lose hope...TO give fertility meds a try...I have read of many women whom have tried the pills and have succeeded in having babies...THey are allowed by the church so she won't be committing a sin... Don't let her feel alone...And don't let her stop praying or lose hope! Before she knows it whom knows, maybe she might get a visit from the stork?! ;)

GOD bless and she'll be in my prayers!


#18

I was 23 when I found out that I could never have kids. As I got older (I'm 28 years old now), I accepted that I could never have kids. And I found out that I never even wanted kids of my own. Now I can devote energy to my future career as a special education teacher. Now the hard part is finding a husband who will accept that.


#19

[quote="CountrySinger, post:18, topic:176604"]
I was 23 when I found out that I could never have kids. As I got older (I'm 28 years old now), I accepted that I could never have kids. And I found out that I never even wanted kids of my own. Now I can devote energy to my future career as a special education teacher. Now the hard part is finding a husband who will accept that.

[/quote]

There's always adoption. I've thought of this myself but right now I'm not in a position financially to do it. I have hope to be able to do so someday. :thumbsup:


#20

I’m so sorry. :console: I’m glad you’ve been able to accept this cross so well you’re far better than I. :blush: I’m proof of finding a husband who will accept all this. My husband knew I was physically and mentally ill before he married me. We both also knew that we might have quite a bit of trouble conceiving and/or carrying children to term. We were both open to adoption before we married. We’re just trying to make that dream come true now, in addition to remaining open to life and the possibilities of any miracles God may wish to give us. :smiley:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.