**This post may be TMI (especially if you know me IRL), so, you’ve been warned**
Facts: I’m 48. I’m perimenopausal. I’m hypothyroid. I’m on ADs. I’m infertile. I have an active sex life now, although inconsistently so (this alone is a HUGE improvement over the drought I was in, so, YAY). I.am.not.on.birth.control.
That last pesky fact had eluded me, until yesterday when I had copious amounts of EWCM and my next thought was, ‘oh, shit’. Now, I’m not an alarmist and I am not going to report in this post that I am pregnant, but it has occurred to me, that even with the above list, there is the infinitesimal chance that because of that last fact, I could, in fact, become pregnant.
It might seem laughable to some that this actually just dawned on me. You see, when you are not having sex and you are all of those other things, it isn’t even in your consciousness, so much so, that once you return to an active sex life, it takes something like EWCM to jar your consciousness enough to remember that sperm lives up to 5 days in a welcoming environment and, well, missy, you better figure something out.
I sold my fertility monitor a long time ago and, while I do track my cycles in an app, it’s only so that I know when to expect my next period (because they were so horrendous, I needed fair warning, although that has improved). Even though I spent most of my marriage having sex to procreate and was very aware of my ‘peak’ fertile days and my BBT and my CM, since having Baby G and being in a long term sexual drought, once we finally returned to having sex, it NEVER crossed my mind that we may want to, you know, take precautions. It is as if all those years of planning and tracking and monitoring and knowing when/not to have sex optimally to conceive flew right out of my mind in the intervening months since G was born.
In fact, even as recently as three months ago I was coaching a friend, who got married and just turned 40, as to how to increase her odds of getting pregnant and, wouldn’t you know, she did conceive her first month trying (she, unfortunately miscarried after seeing the heart beat which has been very hard on her, but, she will be ready to try again next month). So, it’s not like its not on my mind at all. Yet, I just forgot that the rules apply to me, too.
So, I’m ignoring the post ovulation uterine cramping I’m feeling by writing here, but it isn’t lost on me that, yes, I could get pregnant and since that is not in our family plan, I need to take some judicious steps toward preventing that as ludicrous as that seems to me. I have been around long enough to see this scenario played out in the lives of fertile and infertile friends alike, who had completed their families, and, well, oops, found themselves pregnant with #3 or #4 (or, in one case, #5) at 43, 45, 47. So, while it is not likely to happen, it could, and I am all about managing risk.
I actually am not sure what to do. I did not tolerate any of the BCPs I tried post partum or even the ones I tried to regulate my horrendous periods when they returned. And, once we were relatively sure I was in perimenopause and given that I wasn’t yet having sex, it just didn’t occur to me that it was something that needed to be revisited. I cannot be the only one. Am I?
What was recommended was to get an IUD and I have some friends who have, but, seriously, me? Now? That just seems, well, overkill and laughable. I mean, really. My inclination, now that I have snapped out of it, is to just avoid having intercourse during any fertile period of my monthly cycle. But, my last period was 5 days early, so that is not reliable. My husband works where condoms of every sort (and, yes, I mean every) are offered in bowls throughout the office), but, really, condoms? Ick.
Now I am really pissed that the tubal ligation I consented to having during my c-section couldn’t be performed because my OB couldn’t discern fallopian tube from ligament and that alone has probably put my odds for natural, spontaneous conception at zero. But, there is that pesky word, probably.
So, it’s a conundrum that I hadn’t considered and I don’t like my choices (but do like having sex). So, there.