Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Infertility is a Medical Diagnosis

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A lot of people still have various ignorant and unfounded ideas about infertility. Some believe it is a curse from the wicked witches in your village, or it is a sign from God for you to repent and be saved, or you need to pray more, or you must have had uncountable sexual partners; or had numerous abortions, or you need to resign from your job, etc, etc. It makes me wonder if those people have even bothered to read even the most general information on infertility?

It is estimated that one in six couples face difficulties in conceiving. If you have had unprotected regular sex for more than 12 months (or six months - if you are over 35) and are still not pregnant, you should start thinking about possible causes for your infertility.

Infertility can be primary or secondary. Primary infertility describes couples who have never been able to become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse).
Secondary infertility describes couples who have been pregnant at least once, but have not been able to become pregnant again.

According to National Survey of Family Growth, CDC 1995, approximately 6.1 million women and their partners in the U.S. are affected by infertility, i.e., 10% of the total reproductive-age population. [Women Health Info]

The statistics up there refer to couples or women in America who try to conceive and cannot have children due to fertility issues. Most of these people are not Nigerians and have no enemies in their villages.

Yes, indeed some infertility diagnosis are based on trauma either caused by bad abortions or by mistreated sexually transmitted infections but they are a very small percentage. The majority of cases are by natural causes including hormonal problems, ovarian problems, cysts, fibroid, etc.

And just because one woman who had two abortions found it difficult to conceive does not mean all other women with infertility issues have the exact same problem. I'm sure for one woman with infertility caused by scarring due to D&C are 10 others that went on to have their children without worries. OK, I admit, I have no stats for that one. :)

Those interested can see more info on causes of female infertility as compiled by the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University.

Infertility is not about Christian salvation or prayers. Have we forgotten there are several billion people on this earth who are not Christians. No, I don't think they're all going to hell, neither do I think the women who have problems conceiving or having children are being punished by God.

Also, a lot of Christian women all over the world live and deal with infertility. People are not excluded from having problems just because they go to church or pray ten times a day. God is not a vindictive God, the God I know anyway, and I have consistently rejected arguments that difficulties are God way of communicating with us. Difficulties are a fact of life, how we chose to deal with them only reveals the measure of our faith.

Infertility is a medical diagnosis, just like malaria, or cancer. The only way you get treated is with the right medical protocol meant specifically for you. Infertility is not automatically someone's fault, or caused by what the person is doing.

I don't need to eat more, or eat less, or sit more or lie down less, or stop work, or relax or stand on my head. If you're not a doctor, zip it. The best you can do for a friend or family member is to encourage them to visit a qualified specialist and to be honest and follow the doctor's orders.

Faith certainly helps, and I pray and appreciate all prayers said on my behalf. However, for me, infertility healing  does not come by the laying on of hands of your favorite pastor or by reading some specific psalms meant to destroy my enemies.


  1. Hi there, this is my first time of commenting on this blog. I have been married for 2years now and have the same issues. Test result shows I ve a high prolactin and the drugs i take to try to supress them gives me terrible headcahes, messes with my emotions and makes me dizzy. Thank you for talking about this really, it feels relieving to get more informatin about this and to hear someone else talk about it.

  2. very true post....know what is wrong , seek for medical help where necessary....i was going to type a long comment but.....let me ride this with you and see where it leads to. its nice reading your perspective on infertility.

  3. one thing i got out of this that i never knew was 'it can be treated'. that is why i beleive medical checkup is good. so that if anything is wrong, it can be tackled before it gets too late.

  4. "Infertility is not automatically someone's fault" You are right and I do agree.

  5. The first thing that came to my mind was "ghen ghen". I don't know the stats of the nationalities of the visitors to your site but more than half of the comments in the "Coming Out" post was from Nigerians. The average Nigerian has been brought up to believe in spiritual things so the first solution to any problem would be prayer hence the many "I'm praying for you Myne" and "It is well with you Myne".

    Few people do research on things that don't affect them. 2 months ago I'd never have sat down to research Ruptured Ovarian Cyst.

    This is the beginning of knowing about infertility (even though I still feel that word is STRONG) for me so I'd like to thank you for that. Knowledge is power.

  6. I totally agree that difficulties are part of life....even Jesus said "in this world you shall have tribulations..." So as long as we are on earth, we are not exempt from difficulties but we are assured that when they come, we will not be alone. Sometimes, the reason we go through stuff is to be able to stand in the place of encouragement for others that will face the same thing. Its easier for someone to attribute an issue to a witch or someone in their village because it is part of the human nature to find something to blame your issues on (even as far back as Adam and Eve). I have realized from my own experiences that there's a lesson to be learnt from anything we go through but the lessons are only learnt if we are able to enjoy the journey and endure till the end.

    I'm encouraged by your story, Myne and I'm glad that we live in times like this where there are so many alternatives. You'll come out of this a stronger woman and a better person....God only allows us bear what he's sure we can handle.

    P.S So sorry for making this so long :-)

  7. This post is very informative. In fact it is highly irritating when one has a medical or social problem and people insinuate that it is your fault or you are not praying enough thats why the situation persists. Infertility is not a curse so if after all treatments and interventions a couple remain childless it better for us to help them to come to terms with it rather than making them feel like its their fault. We should help them to deal with it any way they find suitable including adoption, fostering etc. Comments like you are not praying enough or you need deliverance is not helpful. I hope people find the right workds and attitude to support friends and relatives going through it.

  8. I can understand uneducated/unexposed people making ignorant comments about infertility but really get pissed off when educated people do so. Thanks for sharing this with us Myne and thank God for technology where information is only a click away.

  9. Whatever the outcome of your journey, I you well.

  10. The only way you get treated is with the right medical protocol meant specifically for you. Infertility is not automatically someone's fault, or caused by what the person is doing. Actos


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