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Nicole the Fertile Chick: The Strange things We Do to Get Pregnant

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Oh the very many wonderful things I did when I was trying to conceive! We women that have been on that road have pretty much tried everything and anything….from the conventional to the what-the-heck-was-I-thinking.

To start with, there is the myth of post sex positioning, i.e. propping your bottom on a pillow and elevating your legs in order to help the sperm travel better. Some people even go all the way by standing on their heads. Whilst I understand the rationale, I am yet to meet anyone who credits her pregnancy to this foolhardy behaviour. I look back at the many times I spent propped in all sorts of post-coital positions, and shake my head at the foolishness of it all.

Some people swear by drinking copious amounts of cough syrup, to improve the quality of cervical mucus….or even putting raw egg whites down there! The cough syrup, I can understand (and even admit to trying once), but the raw egg whites…yikes! Isn’t that just begging for hard core thrush? As in, begging!!! I have also heard about eating a lot of nuts (peanuts, walnuts, almonds), as plant protein is supposed to improve ovulatory function. This I can even understand, but when it comes to other silly beliefs, such as wearing socks on during sex, I absolutely draw the line! Even though the rationale is that by covering ones feet, the toes are kept warm and blood circulation to the uterus is improved, I’m not convinced.
Other silly things I have heard are having sex during a full moon, having sex only in the missionary position, sitting on a pregnant woman’s chair, rubbing a pregnant belly for good luck, etc. Whilst some are well meaning, others are just downright mischievous, and have absolutely no basis to them.

Another crazy one was when a friend of mine decided to try the Chai-yok or, in layman’s terms, a vaginal steam bath. This involved her sitting over a steaming bowl, in which some choice Chinese herbs had been soaked. WTH?! The rationale was that the steam would penetrate the uterus and therefore increase fertility. I politely declined when she enthusiastically suggested her supposed guaranteed way to conceive quickly. And it was just as well, as it did not work for her.

And can we forget the yam eating! Oh my lawd! Yes, I admit that it is a common fact/myth about yam being directly related to fertility, especially (supposedly) for conceiving twins, but it is no justification for eating it 3 times a day. A friend of mine, aided by her very eager Mom, ate Ikokore (a porridge made from water yam) every blessed day of the week, for almost a year! It got to the point that what she had always considered a delicacy was now torture to consume. But, with the big picture in the mind, she ate it religiously. Unfortunately, this yam-binge yielded no results and, in the end, she resorted to IVF.
I won’t lie that I didn’t try some of these when I was actively trying to conceive. I sure did. The truth is that I totally understand why women in that boat try the most random things, all in the hope of getting pregnant.

The most desperate thing I tried was following an acquaintance of mine to see some strange woman, who was supposed to help me conceive!
I hadn’t even been trying for that long….probably about a year. Then I got into conversation with a very distant acquaintance who told me she had gotten pregnant after several months of trying, through drinking some herbal mix given to her by a herbal practitioner. I immediately jumped at the idea to follow her to see this “doctor”. I don’t know what I imagined the place would be like…I wasn’t naïve enough to expect a hospital set-up, but I had hoped it would perhaps be something sort of residential, in a reasonably decent location. Nothing prepared me for the dingy market tucked deep in the heart of Mushin, far removed from civil society. As we made our way to this woman’s stall, it was like a scene out of Tales by Moonlight. Calabashes lined the roof and were scattered all over the floor, and there was just some creepiness to the place. By the time we got to the woman’s stall, I was completely freaked out. T
he woman herself looked quite harmless, and her voice was very warm and welcoming. So I was able to relax for a minute. She asked me a few questions, relating to how long I had been trying, if I had been scanned to check for tubal function (paraphrasing of course), etc. after which she gave me about 4 bottles of funny mixtures to go home and drink with my husband. Of course, I paid her a decent amount for all this. I went home, and actually drank them all that first day. By the second day, I took a good look at these bottles, and a good look at myself, before subsequently pouring all of them down the sink. For some reason, I just wasn’t comfortable with that arrangement at all. I’m not knocking herbal remedies. In fact, I am an avid believer in them. But I also believe in listening to my gut.

My own case was even relatively mild, as I only journeyed to Mushin. A friend of mine, unbeknownst to the rest of us her well-meaning friends, drove all the way to Abeokuta, after having been told of some man who had helped someone conceive. The most annoying part was that the referral came from some random person she met at a social gathering…not even from someone she could readily vouch for. In the end, not only was the risky journey a futile one, she had to part with a rather sizeable chunk of money as well…and no, she did not get pregnant.

Sometimes, there is no harm done in trying some of these silly things. As long as you don’t invest too much physically, or emotionally, and as long as it’s within reasonable limit, it doesn’t hurt to try. However, the morale of the story is that we need to be very careful. The key thing is to listen to your gut. Not even trying for a baby for a long time is enough reason to do something you could possibly regret.
Good luck and Godspeed ☺

N.B: Thankfully, our site is back up. We have had to move location to www.thefertilechickonline.com. Thanks for all your support and patience!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Nicole is a woman in her late 30s, with a passion for all things fertility related. She suffered infertility for the first 3 years of her marriage, and found it extremely isolating. After she had her kids, she started The Fertile Chick (www.thefertilechickonline.com) to create a community and happy-place for all women, in various stages of the fertility journey.

45 Comments

  1. Emma

    February 23, 2015 at 8:32 am

    oh wow,i can only imagine.

    Baby dust on those seeking the fruits of the womb( praying for y’all)
    Checking the new website asap. Have a happy & fulfilled Lent ma’am.

  2. Aibee

    February 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Hmmm. Reminds me of a woman I worked with a couple of years ago. She had secondary infertility as she had already had 2 children in her earlier years but felt the need to have a baby at 42 for her husband ( a second marriage). she said. She went to an Ijaw woman somewhere in Ajah who diagnosed her with fibroid and gave her a “womb massage” every week along with some herbs to drink. According to my colleague, she actually passed out the fibroid during her period which lasted for about 2 weeks. She got pregnant about 4 months into her treatment. Alas, she lost the pregnancy about 3 months in and had to be evacuated.

    Until you are faced by a challenge, you never know how far you’d go in search of a solution.

  3. missy me

    February 23, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Guilty of the holding up the legs. Sometimes i make my husband hold them up when i am tired. Lol. Thank God for the man i married. I have early ovarian failure, and i just started my hormone replacement therapy. I have gained 10kg in the last 8 months. I am getting ready for my next step in treatment, clomid and some other meds. My husband has told me he is giving it a 2 year mark after which IVF. He asks questions like the cost of a surrogate, egg donor etc.

    I have done herbs oh, alfas have even prayed, so have pastors etc. Everybody has a solution, some people are genuinely trying to help, some others take advantage of the situation. I have had my diagnosis for over 15 years, short of babalawo, i think i have been to all imaginable places.
    i currently have a 60 something year old doctor in Lagos who trained in Russia treating me. And he doesnt charge an arm and a leg to do so. And oh he came highly recommended with a proven track record.

    • Aka

      February 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      ….I pray that God would answer your prayers this year!!!

    • prettyto

      February 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Hi dear.

      kindly let me have your doctors contact. [email protected]

  4. Diamond

    February 23, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Let’s all be extremely careful about who we take advice from, and where we go to for whatever reason.

  5. Diamond

    February 23, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Let’s all be extremely careful with how we chunk down information /advice from people.. We shouldn’t just do something because this person said it or this person did it.
    Imagine, she didn’t even know where this her friend was taking her to, what if you got killed or something terrible happened to you in that mushin ,who would even know.

    • love me

      February 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      LOL, you sounded like a guy, if only know what a childless woman face in marriage, One would be desperate to do anything at some point.

  6. tess

    February 23, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Nicole Dear,this reminds me of ‘me’.lol. I even got to a place where a woman told me to go and do sacrifice near the river.i ran for my dear life. I ve had the herbal mix too. It’s so bitter I have to cover my nose before drinking it morning and night. And grand-ma dearest said people that want to get pregnant don’t take sweet things.thats how I stopped even tea. My hubby perceived the herbal mix one day and threw up. He coudnt believe I swallowed that thing morning and night. He threw it away immediately and I proceeded to cold stone for ice cream. ‘wharahell’. One failed ivf later,i still am not pregnant but I am not desperate as before. I just try to eat healthy and be happy.

    • Aka

      February 23, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      ….I pray that the lord would answer you this year!!!

  7. thathausachic

    February 23, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hmmmm I can only imagine what women go through even though sometimes the fault may come from hubby or none at all. May God answer them SPEEDILY.Amen

  8. Beamer

    February 23, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Lolzzz! The logic behing standing upside down on one’s head baffles me! The things women do to get pregnant indeed!.At the end of the day, it is God who gives us our children..Sometimes letting go and just relaxing does the trick. Putting pressure on your body both mentally and otherwise can be the reason why many women don’t conceive.
    Thanks for this interesting article Nicole

    1
  9. Ellious

    February 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    @Beamer .. u re right, how can smone tink of standing upside down just to allow d sperm flow,is d sperm flowing to d head?… the simple truth,worrying or trying various funny method n stuffs wont do notin for u infact i dont tink there’s anytin in life dat worry solves… Faith n patience does d magic , #ItsGoddatgiveschildren#

  10. bruno

    February 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

    have many of you ladies heard of “ADOPTION” before. not baby factory, adoption. going to the orphanage and adopting a child legally and signing papers and documents etc

    if u like keep suffering yourselves.

    • Taiwo

      February 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Bruno, the brash manner in which you shove your opinion in people’s face is appalling!! The advice you gave makes sense, but your manner of presentation lacks human feeling. You can do better!

    • tess

      February 23, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Yes we ve, some of us have adopted and some take financial responsibilities of others even though they don’t live with us. Some of us still want to carry our babies…smh at ‘suffering your selves’.

    • Blackbeauty

      February 23, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Bruno, this is really not the forum for you to make your crass comments. You could easily have sat this one out.

    • Emma

      February 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Bruno, please not here, biko nu
      please,i plead of you.
      Haba.

  11. Zuks

    February 23, 2015 at 10:06 am

    @Nicole, holding up ur legs isn’t fool hardy, everyone is allowed to do what gives them hope. Visit twoweekwait.com and you will read testimonies of women who tried all ‘your foolhardy methods’ and got pregnant.

  12. Chige

    February 23, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Honestly,the pressure to have a child especially in this part of the world have pushed people to go to all sorts of places and do all sorts of things.as I will always say anytime I comment here,I didn’t experience infertility and can’t even to imagine what people experiencing it go through but please you have to be cautious when seeking help. I am hugely biased about alternative medicine being a medical doctor.i have an aunt who in the process of drinking all these herbs,got liver issues and died.so please,let your first trip be to the medical doctor. Pastors and other ‘men of God’ can pray but all in all please shine your eyes to avoid more heartache and disappointment.

  13. Letter to my naija babe

    February 23, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Go for medical checkups and ensure you and hubby are good to go
    After that, believe in God and wait till He blesses you
    Anything God cannot do, let it remain undone.
    Alfas, herbalists, Sorcerers, strange women…have nothing to offer
    The devil does not give anyone anything for free

  14. Xtie

    February 23, 2015 at 10:18 am

    As always your articles are always very soothing. I have tried a couple of odd things as well and I am done trying them. Being that a lot of women are going through a lot trying to conceive, while some have also found solutions and happiness after searching for help, I would like to say that those who have found solutions in one way or the other should pls drop their email address for some of us who have been trying to conceive to reach them on. There is no harm in sisters helping one another, with this I can tell you that some of us will smile finally. Thanks Nicole ones again.

    • Aka

      February 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      @xtie I pray God almighty would answer u this year!!

  15. Xtie

    February 23, 2015 at 10:31 am

    @ missy me, pls can I have the address of the experienced 60 years old man you are currently working with? My email address is [email protected]. Thanks

    • missy me

      February 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Fasanmi maternity hospital. Specifically ask for Dr fasanmi. The hospital is in shogunle. You can google the hospital address. Its by Airforce base in ikeja. Its not a fancy hospital, but he knows what he is doing and his bills are bearable.

  16. marculey

    February 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

    This Bruno guy won’t kill me hhaaaahaaaa. No we’ve not heard tell us! Some women pass through all these in the early stages of their marriages, people will start counting months after ur wedding for u like they paid the dowry for ur hubby, taking postinor for other people’s unprotected sex Hmmmmmm I always have cool answer for them! ARE U GOD? Mind ur business pls

  17. Ann

    February 23, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Nice. Done some of those especially the massage and it did work. But lost the preg. due to a fall But one should be careful so that you don’t cause harm to your body. God will see us through.

    • esther

      January 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      Where can I get d fertility massage done pls?

  18. ddor

    February 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Hmmm, it is well, ve been trying now for 8 yrs really wish i can adopt but hubby will have none of that,and it doesn’t mean I stop trusting God to give birth after that but then my eyes are looking to the Lord

    • Chigoe

      February 23, 2015 at 11:36 am

      God is your strength dear and he will visit you sooner than later and bless you. See T.Y Bello and her twin sons after 9yrs…….that shall be you soon.

  19. Regenerated

    February 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Women need to be careful especially as it has to with “looking for the fruit of the womb”. Just yesterday my sister told me of a church program organized at one church at Ipaja for women believing God for the fruit of the womb. It was her first time and after the general church program first timers were asked to meet “man of God ” for counseling. When it got to her turn to see him, the man told her to wait he would attend to her last because he perceived her case was complicated. Ah! my sister was so elated, this feeling of “it must be God that revealed my case to him”.
    Finally, na so she see the man ooo. From salvation to faith talk; they flowed well. She said the the man was so impressed with her response or so she thought. Besides she be pastor wife so the salvation and faith talk was her core course.
    The next thing she heard was ‘ you can be pregnant this month if you wish to. She screamed Amen! The man quickly replied her that it was not Amen issue, curiously she asked ” Daddy please what do I do?’ Na so the man come tell am ” I have the ‘grace’ to make women pregnant and your case is a small one , just one meeting, every yoke blocking your fallopian tube and uterus shall scatter, you will see yourself pregnant. My sister said e be film for her ears. She said she was still in shock at what she heard, the man told her not bother her head with how it will be done. As a pastor’s wife she will find it easy to convince the husband that she will attend a prayer retreat. That they will be gone for one week, he will take care of the bills. She said she couldn’t reconcile the man praying fire fire prayer with resounding testimonies with the man proposing adultery with her.
    The most annoying part was, as he was talking, they saw a woman coming to the place they were, immediately he sighted that woman, my sister said the man’s language changed. He began to bind and cast and asked her to kneel, calling fire to destroy. The other woman walked in collected what she came to collect and left. Immediately she left, the man stopped praying and told my sister that that was his wife. My sister said she just picked up her bag and left.

    Fake people dragging the name of Jesus to the mud. Enticing many to hell. They know if they come out as native doctor or shrine people may not patronize them. We know their end sha. Women please be careful who lays hands on you.

    • aurora

      February 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      wow. this is so sad.
      may God open our eyes to discern false prophets.
      your sister must have been so disappointed
      when i hear tales of infertility, its a reminder of how ironic life can be
      everyday, babies are aborted and here we have women looking for the fruit of the womb
      just as we single girls are pressured to get married and settle down (whatever that means) every minute of the day, i can only imagine how married women are pressured for babies too
      i dont even know which is worse, at least, when you’re married, you have a husband to share the emotions and pains with. single pringle, got no one.
      that being sad, all these are a reminder that life will always give us some form of pressure or the other. we will almost always be wanting for something or someone. john 16:33
      the secret is not to get so absorbed by what we’re looking for that we forget to look up to God and thank Him for all we have.
      may the Lord cause His face to shine upon us. amen.

  20. cleo

    February 23, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it is well. I pray that all of you seeking the fruit of the womb be blessed abundantly. Very sad stories i hear. Drinking concoctions and going to strange places.

  21. sandra

    February 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    ovulation test kit and the post coital positioning worked for me raising the legs up and not standing up for some minutes after sex (am the type that ususlly rushed to the bath to wash after sex) but since i heeded that advice im now blessed with two boys May God grant all women out there seeking for this bundle of joy their hears desires amen

  22. Solumtochukwu

    February 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    @regenerated…… Putting all of you in my prayers including my cousin who is TTC. God please just open the window of heaven and send these women babies. Just hear their prayers Lord and answer them speedily.

  23. madamnk

    February 23, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    This reminds me of my cousin. When she was 28 and unmarried, everyone came after her. One of my uncles brought an illiterate hair extension seller to marry her. This man told my cousin that despite the fact that she was educated, had a job and a car, that she was going to have to stop working when they got married. This was their first meeting ever in her parent’s house and she cried and cried that day.

    Few months later she reconnected with her childhood love and they got married within a year. Now it’s been 8 years since she got married and she doesn’t have a child and as usual, they all came after her with all the “advices”. She’s a pharmacist so she can usually see through the “herbs n concoctions” advisers. She’s had 2 failed IVF’s and I pray for her as often as I can.

    I’m 22 and I’ve been having symptoms of PCOS and this scares me alot. I’ve got an appointment with a gynaecologist within the week so fingers crossed.

  24. TTCMomma

    February 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    @Bruno! how dare you?!
    “Walk a mile in my shoes..
    See what I see,
    Hear what I hear,
    Feel what I feel,
    Then maybe you will understand
    Why I do what I do…
    Till then, don’t judge me”
    It is easy to throw opinions at people when you have no idea of what they have to deal with battling infertility and the issue of trying to conceive. When all you want is to see the love you share with your husband replicated in the form a child conceived and born into this world by you and the man you love. It is so easy to judge!
    Adoption is not a taboo, neither is it a wrong option but the manner in which we make suggestions indicate that we as a society are insensitive to issues that exists amongst us and cause a lot of heart ache and heart break to so many.
    @Nicole, once again thanks again for this topic. It close to home for me as I have also had my experiences with running from pillar to posts with trying to have children. My best advise with everyone TTC like me is to do everything within your power and make a conscious effort to enjoy life because the moments we spend making these strange TTC decisions can not be recovered. Seek God’s face first and also medical help. Pray that HE directs you in your journey with modern medicine so that you will in the end be at peace with your decision. All the best and loads of Baby dust to all of us!!!!!!!

    • Chige

      February 23, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      My dear,no need to reply people like Bruno.as as avid BN reader,I’ve realized that he is just an attention seeker,even if it means saying insensitive things.i hope for his sake that he doesn’t need to take his own advice soon.

    • TTCMomma

      February 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks so much Chige!

  25. NaijaPikin

    February 23, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    For all those who have cried out to the Lord for the fruit of the womb, I pray he blesses you and answers your prayers

    I pray while God is working it out for you, that he gives you wisdom and grace to be patient. I pray he fills your life with so much joy in other areas that you are willing to wait for him to complete the good work he has started in your family.

    My cousin waited 15 years, and God did it for her through (IVF). Don’t give up, but don’t put yourself at risk

    • TTCMomma

      February 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      NaijaPikin, this just made my evening. Thanks so much. I am learning to enjoy life because God has blessed me in other aspects of my life. After 2 failed IUI and 1 failed IVF it was hard to bounce back but I think of the great job and amazing family and I know that God isn’t finished with me yet. Thanks for all your kind words and wisdom!

  26. Kunmi

    February 23, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Big hugs to everyone trying to get pregnant. God is never too late. He will come through. Reminds me of a family friend that we’d prayed for for so many years. (Morning devotion in our house is not complete without praying for friends ‘looking for the fruit of the womb’ lol). Anyway, this really nice elderly couple were blessed with a baby girl last year. My mum couldn’t help the tears of joy when she heard the news. He will do it.

  27. Isoken

    February 23, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Maybe its just me, but this came off sounding a bit condescending. When people are desperate some times logical reasoning takes the back seat. Yes some of these ‘remedies’ are outrageous but some of them actually have a placebo effect and it relaxes the person long enough for them to conceive. So its okay to say be careful but draw the line when stating a persons beliefs are wrong. Besides clearly wrong practices like ‘baby factories’ I don’t think its anyones place to say one remedy is bad or good. Whatever works for you and gets the desired result is fine. Afterall IVF doesn’t exactly have high success rates. To each his own.

  28. Ivie

    February 19, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Baby dust to everyone believing God for bundle of joy just as I am. I will concur to the fact that we need to be careful on what we take in. A friend of my introduced me to this Beauty Salon at Oniru Lagos called ( Seasons Hair and Beauty Studio). They do fertility massage and castor oil treatment package and I tell you its so amazing I tell you I have been on this baby journey for almost 10 years and I have never had this kind before. The first thing they did for me was a pregnancy test, which I told them I had one done a day before but they insisted that they must do one before they can start the treatment. After the test then the process began…….You will notice the changes after the treatment. I felt lighter and well relax after, when I got home I slept off like a baby. I woke up in the morning wanting to go for more. I am doing this treatment in preparation for IVF and possibility of conceiving naturally. So ladies I will suggest we try a safer method in our journey of trying for a baby. for those who are interested this is the phone number I found online for Seasons Hair and Beauty Studio Oniru Lagos. 08140000104 and 08029900969. I pray that the good Lord will make exception for you and give you your heart desire.

  29. Mary Smith

    October 12, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I struggled with fertility issues for years. It was a hard road filled with doubt and self-loathing. All we wanted was a baby and we tried for years to have one. I tried every medical and old wives tale I could think of to try and get pregnant. I even slept on red sheets to promote fertility. It was starting to get crazy and I was overwhelmed. My husband found out about California Fertility Partners through a good friend. I was skeptical because I thought we had tried everything but I was wrong. My first IVF transfer at the clinic was successful and I am 5 months pregnant! Anyone who is struggling to get pregnant should check this clinic out. https://www.yelp.com/biz/california-fertility-partners-los-angeles

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