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My conception journey began approximately two years ago, when I was 40.
A relationship of 7 years had just ended badly for me. I had also just had a health scare when a benign tumour was surgically removed from my thyroid gland.
I was struck with a profound realization. I was 40 years old and still did not have a baby.
What’s more, I soon started a new relationship. But my partner was now infertile after having children and grandchildren from previous marriages.
What should I do? I was financially broke, emotionally broken-hearted, middle-aged and overweight. I felt like my options for getting pregnant after 40 were a big fat zero.
It was a very low point in my life.
Light At The End of The Tunnel
However, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
My new partner suggested I look for a sperm donor and that he would support me throughout this process. Yet, I knew this would have to be a “do-it-yourself’ process of getting pregnant and I set to researching it.
How hard could it be? Obtain sperm, and insert? Easy, right? Apparently not, at least in my case.
First step was to get all fertility blood tests run ASAP. (If you are over age 40 and in doubt about your fertility, it’s best not to waste time trying to get pregnant until you’ve done this.)
The only test I wasn’t offered, and had to ask and pay for, was AMH (anti mullerian hormone/egg count) (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Anti-M%C3%BCllerian_hormone) and this came back as 1.0, which is classed as low but consistent with an old lady like me.
Finding Ways To Promote Fertility
To begin with, I used Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, and Vitex (agnus-castus) (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Vitex_agnus-castus) as natural methods to promote fertility.
I also continued research—there was a lot of talk about EWCM (egg white cervical mucus). (http://www NULL.babymed NULL.com/fertility-awareness/egg-white-cervical-mucus-ewcm) I hadn’t recalled seeing any of this for a couple of years. I shared the info with my doctor, who then referred me to public hospital specialist.
I kept trying home inseminations with a donor (a friend of a friend) but after six months of this and nothing working, I was close to giving up.
Important: Before procuring a sperm donor privately, read up on the State of Kansas’s case for child support (http://origin NULL.wusa9 NULL.com/news/article/242428/158/After-State-of-Kansas-Hits-Sperm-Donor-Up-For-Child-Support-The-ABCs-of-Sperm-Donation-?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cbc%7Clarge) against sperm donor, William Marotta.
I was inseminating every day for 5 days mid cycle, using an OPK (ovulation prediction kit) at home and a salvia microscope (which often didn’t show a positive result). Fresh sperm not older than 45 mins and kept warm was inserted onto a cap (diaphragm) with some pre-seed lubricant and kept in overnight.
Still, no joy!
Couldn’t Afford An IVF Clinic
I attended public clinic where I was informed—to my immense dismay—that my chances of conceiving were very low because they suspected I was not ovulating. It was an opinion based on my high BMI (39) and that I was over 40.
He ordered a 21-day progesterone test and the result was, yes, I was ovulating. Therefore he would not give me any Clomid, etc. Still no EWCM, no good eggs.
Next step was more research and a paid visit to a fertility clinic.
There, they laid out paid options and told me potential was good for IUI (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Artificial_insemination) (intra-uterine insemination), or IVF (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/In_vitro_fertilisation) (in vitro fertilization).
Could I wait a year to save? Not really! So, I carried on and began inseminating with a new donor’s sperm.
Insemination That Finally Worked*
STEP #1: I began 2 cycles on Clomid 50mg that I imported myself (since nobody would give me any) and used day 5-9 as I had a long cycle of 32 days. The first attempt failed and caused me a few hours of cramping. Pain relief took care of that, but still no baby.
STEP #2: The second cycle involved Clomid 50mg during days 5-9 again. In addition, I used a strict regime of homeopathic remedies on set days of cycle. I also used Mucinex (http://www NULL.mucinex NULL.com/html/)! I produced some EWCM for one day only.
The day before this I had very watery clear ECWM. I have been told this is the most fertile time when it is watery not thick.
STEP #3: Insemination was a bit odd—based on do-it-yourself IUI. Please do not do this without consulting your doctor! Using a plastic speculum, a very thin plastic sterile tube and syringe, I inserted fresh sperm into cervix directly. Apparently this works wonders if a man’s sperm count is low or motility low.
On day 10 of the cycle, I got a faint positive which got stronger as the days went by. I am now 24 weeks pregnant at the age of 42, using my own method of artificial insemination.
If you’re over 40 and trying to conceive, do not give up and consider every option you can.
Success maybe just around the corner!
* Important notes for this blog:
This blog was submitted by Penny Taylor, Age 42, from Wellington, New Zealand.
Please note that AChildAfter40.com does not necessarily support using this, or any other method, of “DIY” insemination. If you are planning to get pregnant, and have any concerns about your fertility, or using any form of assisted reproductive technology (IUI, medications, etc.), please consult your doctor.
“Do it yourself IUI” can be a very controversial subject and you should do your research (including speaking with donor banks, fertility clinics, as well as third party reproduction attorneys versed in the laws of your state/province/country) before considering this option. For example, you should be aware of the recent case, in the state of Kansas, U.S.A., where a sperm donor, who was recruited and contracted privately, and without a doctor present, is now being pursued by the state for child support (http://origin NULL.wusa9 NULL.com/news/article/242428/158/After-State-of-Kansas-Hits-Sperm-Donor-Up-For-Child-Support-The-ABCs-of-Sperm-Donation-?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cbc%7Clarge).
Here’s another article (http://news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2011/08/20/a-baby-at-any-cost/) from the Canadian press to consider, on the risks of drugs used in IUI.
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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