Call me mad by Claire

Call me mad if you like – I know many of my friends who are in the know already do, but I’m TTC. In the world of fertility clinics, IVF treatment centres and infertile couples, that means Trying To Conceive. So, you may well ask, being a single mother, over 40, with three boys, two of them on the spectrum, what on EARTH am I thinking of? Well, let me try to explain simply. I WANT ANOTHER BABY!!!!!!! Simple enough for you?

And at 42 years old, I know my chances are slim and my options are limited too. Im separated from my husband (no, I’ve had quite enough of his share of the gene pool, thank you) but I do have a new man who is single (thankfully) and childless (hmm, could be problems there) and has willingly agreed to let me have his seed. However, in spite of the fact that I never had any problems falling pregnant before – all three boys were conceived within 3 months of deciding to "try again", this time the story is quite a different one. Temperature charts, ovulation calendars, LH (Lutinising hormone) surge kits and pregnancy tests now take their place next to the Ibuprofen and Calpol in my medicine cabinet, in fact, threaten to invade the bathroom as well!

Thing is, I’d always taken my fertility for granted, up until now that is. Never questioned it, never needed to. But now, I’m surprised at myself and the fact that month after month, for the last eight months, my period has lived up to its name of The Curse and dashed my hopes. Also, in spite of myself, I’ve been kinda pretending not to be waiting for my period not to come, so as not to be disappointed if you follow but the disappointment when it does come has been indeed dashing. I’m having to come to terms with the fact that my desire to extend my family might not happen.

I’m not alone. Statistics show that one in six couples experience difficulties in conceiving and that figure is expected to rise to one in four within ten years. It’s already close to one in five states Dr. David Walsh from the SIMS Fertility Clinic in Dublin.

The high infertility rates are encouraging couples to seek help in fertility clinics and success rates there are increasing year on year. However, no matter how much I may want another child, I personally cannot justify the thousands of pounds it would cost me to have IVF. Success rates for woman of my age are still too low to justify the cost. The average success rate for IVF treatment for women aged 40-42 is 10.6% whereas it is 28.2% for women under 35.

However, there is a glimmer of hope! The HFEA state that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) define infertility as failing to get pregnant after TWO YEARS of unprotected sex and that 95% of couples will become pregnant naturally within two years. So we go on trying. Let's just hope I don’t hit the menopause first!!!!!

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