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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

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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