Be proactive about your fertility

Brotherly Love
Brotherly Love

Before I had children I just assumed falling pregnant would be easy. For so many women their early 20s are spent focusing on career and NOT falling pregnant.

So when the time comes to start a family it’s rather shocking when it doesn’t happen easily.

I still remember the first time I fell pregnant. It happened very easily and quickly. We told EVERYONE. Sadly it ended in miscarriage at eight weeks. We were absolutely shocked, devastated and convinced we would never have children.

It wasn’t until we spoke to the nurses and midwives in hospital that we discovered miscarriage is a very common occurrence and happens to one in four pregnancies. Why doesn’t anyone talk about this, we wondered?

Needless to say when we fell pregnant again we didn’t disclose it until we were past the ‘safe’ 12-week mark. That pregnancy went well and in July 2005 we became parents to Alex.

By the time I had James I was 32 and to be honest my body and my mind were struggling with the pressures of pregnancy and parenting. The early mornings and disturbed sleep definitely took their toll.

Even so we loved our sons and both hoped we might expand our family. But it wasn’t to be. In hindsight I now realise we struggled with a condition I’ve only recently discovered is called secondary infertility. It happens to many women who have successfully had children but struggle to fall pregnant again.

For me falling pregnant was okay – unfortunately they ended in a miscarriage and two ectopic pregnancies, which led to me losing both fallopian tubes. I wrote about our struggles here

For some women pregnancy simply doesn’t happen. I recently interviewed a Gold Coast fertility specialist, Dr Kee Ong, who told me that 25 per cent of IVF treatments in Australia are performed on women who already have children. He said just as we have our cars serviced regularly, so too our bodies. He says women should be more proactive about their fertility and should take advantage of science and all its discoveries. There are many options open to women who are approaching the end of their fertile years.

Dr Ong is treating Adrienne Porter, who has endured enough heartache to last her a lifetime. Her first husband, Mark, was a V8 driver who was killed in an accident at Bathurst in 2006. They had a son, Flynn, who was just two when his father died.

In 2010 Adrienne met and fell in love with vet John Rigley and they married last year. They are keen to have children but for Adrienne, 37, it hasn’t been easy. Adrienne writes about her journey at her blog Thirty Something Mama.

She recently shared her story with me



Gold Coast Eye
Sep 14 2013

  • Kathy

    Hey Alice – you know our story – good on you for sending our a reminder to people not to take their fertility for granted….cheers..kathy