Friday, 18 May 2012

To test or not to test - that is the question

One of the things that’s causing me the greatest anxiety when I think about falling pregnant is how scientific we should be in the process. Should I go down the track of getting the ovulation test, spit test and basal thermometer, or should I just wing it?

When you look at all the ways to test if you’re ovulating or not, you wonder how much time you have in your day to actually do all these things. As one woman put it, if you want it that badly you’ll find the time. But does that process turn the whole baby making process into nothing more than a scientific experiment?

I took the discussion to two friends who have recently fallen pregnant. Both of them said they didn’t bother with any testing and just winged it. One had been off the pill for several years and the other had been off for a few months and both fell pregnant the first go.

Now, the important thing to consider is both of them are a few years younger than me. And it seems that when you’re talking about age in “pregnancy” terms, you may as well be talking about dog years! Just the difference between having children at 37 compared to 35 is astounding. Your chances of falling pregnant plummet, but the chance of down syndrome, genetic diseases and even multiple births sky rockets!

One of my friends said “We thought having a baby was just as much a mind matter as it was a scientific matter. So we decided to not be actively trying for a baby, but we just weren’t preventing it from happening.” I thought that was a great way to look at it. It was just the pep talk I needed!

So overall, my assessment of all of this is there is no guarantee. As I do more research, talk to more people, read more stories – I realise that there is no apparent rhyme or reason to how these things turn out. Testing can be beneficial but is that because of the testing or just blind luck?

We all know we get pregnant in the middle of our cycle. Just by doing simple maths you can basically figure that out. Yes, it depends on the length of your cycle, whether it’s normal or not, the swimming strength of the sperm and whether their GPS is working. The funny thing I’ve realised is that when you look at the chain of events that needs to unfold for a sperm to fertilise an egg, you realise how enormously unlucky those people that fell pregnant by “accident” truly are.

And as I embark on this adventure, I'd kill to be that unlucky. But really, lucky or unlucky is really in the eye of the ovary!

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