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Trying to Conceive: Infertility Before Age 30

By Amalah

Dearest Amalah,

I’ve been reading Amalah and the Smackdown for quite a while now and I’m hoping that maybe you can help me. I’m pretty sure you can relate to what I’m about to say.

For many, many years I swore that I just wasn’t the kind of person who would want to have kids. I liked them well enough, when they belonged to other people, but I didn’t think that I would ever want them for my own. Then I discovered that wow, I like really, really love my husband and wouldn’t it be great to put that love into action (blah, blah, schmoopiness, blah) in the form of a real-live, living and breathing BABY. I can’t say that I’ve gone into “all baby, all the time” mode, but it certainly seems like it’s taking over more of my thoughts than ever before.

Every time I turn around someone else in our circle is pregnant or having beautiful babies and I feel like I can’t take it anymore. With each new announcement I feel this ridiculous mixture of envy, anger, guilt (at not being completely happy for the parents-to-be) and sadness. I know I’m most definitely not alone in this, but I feel like I just can’t talk about it with anyone. I go to buy baby gifts and I find myself tearing up and needing to hightail out of there before I completely lose my mind.

My main problem is I feel like my body is betraying me. I went from being an extremely regular gal (even prior to any kind of birth control) to maybe every forty days and now I’m at 60 freaking days. Every month I get really excited, pee on multiple sticks, find out that yet again I am most definitely NOT having a baby and then feel completely dejected. I’ve been to the doctor and everything appears to be in working order. I was told to “just be patient, you’re still young”. Ugh, do you know how hard that is?! And WTH does my age have to do with it? (For the record, I’ll be 28 in February and we’ve been “trying” for roughly a year.)

So, what do I do? I mean, short of getting pregnant, of course. How do I manage feeling like this?

Baby centered message boards freak me the heck out with all of their “try this crazy whack-job system/plan/food/position” and “OMG, why aren’t you having the sex forty-seven times each day, you want a baby, don’t you?!” business. I just want some down-to-earth knowledge and advice.

If this isn’t appropriate for the Smackdown, I totally understand. I just needed to put it out there, I guess.

All the best and keep up the fantastic work,

Oh, sweet thing. I do understand. I understand so much I want to pet your head and then have you pet my head because wow, I even have one baby and always said I only ever wanted one baby and now I want two and it seems like everybody else has managed to have like, three or four in the time it took us to get our one and I was really, really sure I’d be painting another nursery by now.

But I know that commiserating can only go so far. It might take your mind off the ache in your arms while you tread the murky waters of infertility, but the only real solution is to pick a direction — treatment, adoption, crazy message-board whack-job plan — and START SWIMMING.

So. Advice. Get yourself to a different doctor. You’ve been trying for a year. Your cycle is getting worse, not better. Any doctor who dares pull that “you’re young” bullshit is not the doctor for you. Infertility strikes the young. A 60-day cycle does not mean “everything is in working order.” Yes, amenorrhea and anovulation do sometimes manage to sort themselves out (Hello, Noah!), but sometimes it doesn’t (Hello, pile of negative peesticks!).

I’m guessing you started with your regular OB/GYN (me too!), so maybe take the plunge and make an appointment with a real Reproductive Endocrinologist. Get the tests and rule out the big problems and male factor. At the very least have a decent conversation with a doctor who WON’T just tell you to be patient and just relax and come back and bother him when you’re over 35 and have plummeting FSH levels or something.

Obviously, any type of infertility treatment is not going to be a walk in the park and is DEFINITELY not something to rush into. And I can’t sit here and armchair-diagnose you and send you off to score some Clomid (although as a fellow loooooong and irregular cycler with questionable-to-nonexistent ovulation, Clomid is a standard first course of action). I can tell you that it took over two years of trying solo before we called the doctor, and those feelings of babylust you described just get stronger and more unbearable. Clomid didn’t result in a pregnancy for us, but it did appear to (temporarily) kick-start my system and I got pregnant a few months later on my own.

I was 27. And it was worth it.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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I think everybody has some kind of tough-conception story, whether it’s theirs or a friend’s or relative’s. I also think that everybody has their own “cure” for it, and is willing to tout that cure as THE WAY to every female within 5 feet of them. But it’s understandable, in a way, because infertility makes us freak out and we want everybody to have the same baby-having happiness that we have finally achieved. So, though it may be deemed “assvice,” here was my recipe: I got a dog. Though I may want to strangle her at times now, I believe… Read more »


Infertility sucks! Good luck!

anon y. miss
anon y. miss

I know Amalah hates them, so I feel bad recommending them, but I honestly found invaluable the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” and the software. When I charted, I felt like I could understand what was going on – and taking away at least some of the unknown really helped. Plus, we could avoid getting burned out from having too much sex.
I’m due in a week!


Amy, the courage and honesty with which you answered this is amazing.
AND? You actually gave her something she could DO.


I went through the same thing like Amalah. My husband and I tried for little more than a year and never got pregnant. I went to my obgyn and she referred me to an infertility specialist. He put me on clomid and after 1 cycle, I got pregnant. Unfortunately, I lost the baby at 8 weeks BUT I got pregnant on my own few months later! It was a complete surprise. We hadn’t planned on getting pregnant for another year because I wanted some time to get financially stable and stuff like that. Netherless, we were thrilled! I thought I… Read more »

Virginia Gal

I’m fighting the feeling that each cycle that ends without a positive pee-stick is just another wasted month, and that I’m getting older by the day. We recently found out that it’s not all my fault, but yesterday when all hope was obviously lost for this past months cycle, it hurt just the same.
No ass-vice except to get your husband checked out if he hasn’t been already. In the best case, he’s got no issues; in the worst case, the results could move you to a reproductive endocrinologist faster if that’s where you need to be as well.

Angie Elliott

Hi Amy,
I’ve followed your journey for more than 2 years now, and you’ve inspired me to write about my story – the story of heartbreaking infertility. You’ll see I copied your greeting – it’s so friendly!
I’ve started to help women go through ivf. It’s not a money making thing, it’s a comfort thing.
Please feel free to add to it as you see fit.
Angie Elliott
Toronto, Canada