Concern Over Problems Affecting Fertility

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband and I are trying to conceive for the past year. We do have a fertility appointment next month and I have started to take by basal temperature and the home ovulation kits.

Their are three problems I am most worried about first would be the fact I am over weight by 100 pounds for my height. I have no health problems and am still active and eat a fairly healthy.

Second I have always had irregular periods, the last two years my periods have been consistently every three months then one month then back to three months. How will this effect my ovulation? I have had many blood test done and the Doctors do not seem to think it is anything to worry about.

The last question is how effective are the home pregnancy test? Neither my grandmother nor my mother could ever get a positive on any of the home tests. Is it possible that some people can not test positive no matter how far into their pregnancy they test and Could this effect me and if so when would be a good time to get blood tests done to check for pregnancy?

ANSWER

Blood tests check for the same hormone as the urine tests. Some women make the hormone slower than others, but so far, I have never had a negative urine test the same day I had a positive blood test. And if the hormone doesn't get to a certain level, then you will not carry a normal pregnancy.

Being morbidly obese can definitely affect ovulation, your periods, and your ability to conceive. I think it's great that you are having a consult to figure out the optimal way for you to conceive, but remember that pregnancy is somewhat riskier when you are that overweight. You might want to also schedule a consultation to get help with weight reduction, which will be good for your overall health, but especially when you become pregnant. Meanwhile, take your prenatal vitamins, always act as if you are already pregnant, and make sure you get at least a half hour of exercise every day. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.