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Nicole the Fertile Chick: I Married as a Virgin But I Can’t Conceive

Nicole The Fertile Chick

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This is one of the common statements I have heard amongst my friends and TTC community members. A good number of women who married as virgins, rather than getting knocked up immediately as expected, are still battling infertility many years later.
Most times, this question is asked almost with a sense of entitlement! Like, they did their own part, so why has God shortchanged them? After all, infertility is only for the promiscuous, morally bankrupt ones, right? The ones who have had a truckload of past sexual partners, and have been in and out of one abortion clinic after the next, right? Wrong!

Whilst it is true that having had multiple sexual partners might not be in anybody’s best interest, as the risk of infection is increased (and we all know infections do not bode well for one’s reproductive system, especially if not well managed,) it is not an automatic pass for infertility.

In fact, for she who is able to protect herself accordingly, her risk of infection is almost as low as her less promiscuous counterpart. And if she is in generally good health, by the time she is ready to start a family, she might be literally as fertile as a rabbit. I remember the “aristo girls” back then in my Moremi Hall, Unilag days. These girls made no secret of their err…extra curricular activities, were often seen hopping out of exotic cars at odd hours of the morning, and would hoard the Telipoint phone booths for hours on end. They were bona fide bad girls, or should I say “runs girls”. But not only did most of them get married before a lot of us who thought we were (comparatively) good girls, the ones I have run into don’t appear to have had any fertility challenges whatsoever. So, in other words, promiscuity doesn’t necessarily equate to infertility.

What then causes a woman, whose only sexual partner has been her husband (not boyfriend), to be fertility challenged? A plethora of reasons! With one of the most common being hormonal. Hormonal disorders like PCOS really don’t care if you have lived the life of a saint before marriage. PCOS occurs when there is excess insulin (a hormone that controls the change of sugar, starches, and other food into energy for the body to use or store). Its exact cause is unknown, but it has been closely linked to genetics, meaning if close relatives like your mother, sister, or aunt, have PCOS, then the risk of you developing it is often increased. Other hormonal issues, that could affect fertility, include elevated prolactin levels, high FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels, low AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) levels, etc., none of which have any relationship with one’s sexual history (or lack of). And when you consider another possible infertility factor, i.e. uterine fibroids, there is the common belief that they occur when the uterus is left unoccupied for a long period, i.e. if you delay childbearing. I personally do not believe this theory, but it is ironic as, if true, it implies that the longer you remain a virgin, the higher your risk of developing fibroids. But, like I said, I don’t believe this to be true.

And even if all is well with the woman’s physical system, and she is certifiably fertile, if her partner’s sperm count and quality are poor, the odds of conception are greatly reduced. So if you got married as a virgin, but your hubby’s swimmers are not in the best condition, this unfortunately leads you to fertility challenged territory.
In a good number of these cases, the root cause has not even been anything physiological.

At a recent secondary school reunion, I got into an interesting conversation with an old classmate, whom I’ll call Cynthia. Back in those, she was one of the very very good girls. She would stare blank faced at the rest of us, as we talked about our holiday adventures, the parties we had attended and the cute boys we had met. None of that interested her at all. This wasn’t anything strange, as there were a number of girls who weren’t interested in the usual teenage shenanigans. What was strange was that even in University, she didn’t date AT ALL. She told me how she was more focused on getting a 1st class degree than wasting her time with guys. Anyways, right after graduation, she met a nice man, and they married very shortly after. Imagine her shock when the first year, and then the second, and then the third, went by, without even the hint of a pregnancy. All medical tests had shown both she and her husband were in excellent health. So, what could be the problem? Well, it turns out that she was one of those women who ovulate very early in their cycle. For three years, she had been relying on what the textbooks told her, that she was most fertile in the middle of her cycle, and they timed their sex around this time. Well, the one cycle when they happened to have more sex right after her period ended was the cycle that she got pregnant. Her second child was born almost a year later. Her crime had been not understanding her body well enough.

The morale of the story is not to automatically expect pregnancy to come easy, just because your sexual history isn’t checkered. Infertility can afflict anyone. The best approach is to properly understand your body. Most hormomal imbalances have physical telltale manifestations, such as rapid weight gain, hair loss, lactation, etc., so it is always a good idea to be on the lookout for these, even before you get married. It is also important to understand your cycle, especially your precise ovulation window. And knowing your partner’s sperm situation will also prevent you from chasing shadows if, in fact, that is the reason behind your infertility.

Good luck, and baby dust to all!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Diana Eller

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.

32 Comments

  1. bells

    June 22, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I hv bin married for 11 months now. Trying to conceive. Went for a test and itz hormone-high prolactin. I’m on parlodel now n hoping for d best. Yes- I noticed d rapid weight gain n fatigue. Wish I had listened to my body earlier

    • TY

      June 22, 2015 at 10:35 am

      same thing here. but married longer. The hyper-prolactinoma thing is really an issue for some of us. I have big and firm boobs, and sometimes I always wondered why at my age I still do. But then I have been advised to go for an MRI of the brain to see before I get prescribed anything.

      I had used Dostinex (also for hyper prolactinoma) 2 years ago but meh, the side effects of using it was unbearable so I stopped, but now am beginning to feel like am losing time and still without a child.

      The funny thing, I didn’t marry as a virgin but I wasn’t promiscuous before my marriage, I had had only one man pass though me before my hubby and It wasn’t always fun of me, so I can count how many times with the first guy.

      God help those of us who are struggling with this. Very soon we shall be proud and healthy parents too. Amen

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Good luck bells and TY! The high prolactin problem is a very common one now. There are a lot of side effects with the medication, but if you can bear it, it is best to forge along with your treatment plan. Good luck to you both!

    • Lolita

      June 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I had high prolactin levels about two years ago…the side effects of Dostinex was too much for me so I switched to parlodel which was easier for me , after about 6/7 months I went off it gradually and my prolactin levels went back to normal (for good). I also prayed and prayed and prayed. Don’t worry you’ll be fine by God’s Grace.

  2. naijaflo.com

    June 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

    May God continue to strengthen women in this situation. Its an emotionally excruciating pain.Good luck and best wishes. You can only wish for the best.
    naijaflo.com

  3. Dr.N

    June 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Yup, virginity does not equal fertility. It will keep u safe from std & unplannned preg. But not from cheating men or heart ache. U have to do due dilligence still

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 22, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Word! Thanks Dr. N!

    • Surely

      June 22, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      And obviously not from infertility either. There mny women who had countless sex and can still conceive.

  4. fleur

    June 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Virgins- if your hubby is not a virgin on wedding day, do an STD panel and check for Chlamydia. That is another agent of infertility that you won’t Know about as you never indulged and wont Know if your Veejay started acting differently. Chlamydia frequently has symptoms that wont affect you in ways that cause you to be alarmed.

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 22, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      You are very correct, fleur! Chlamydia is a silent devil, that is able to wreak a lot of havoc if undetected and untreated.

  5. Chick

    June 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    I wish mine was as simple as that. Been married over a year now and went for HSG only to find out that not only do I have fibroid, there’s also a blockage in my tubes. My people na God hand I dey so oh as the only other option is IVF and mhen that doesn’t come cheap…

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Chick. So sorry about your diagnosis. Unfortunately, with tubal blockage, IVF tends to be the most common solution. Wishing you all the best hun!

  6. Cersi

    June 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    People actually say that??? Hian! I think what they truly mean to say is that they have not knowingly or otherwise brought harm to their reproductive system, like unplanned pregnancy, abortion, conceptives, shots et al. Being a virgin is a guarantee for and from nothing except peace of mind! I pray all those looking for a child would get soon. It’s really frustrating but God dey. Before I got married and we went about the usual fertility tests and all, I resolved in myself that if there was anything wrong or up, I’ll not sweat it. I told God I’ll not look for children because I can’t bear and handle frustration. So if I can’t have, I can’t have. I really pray for you guys. It must be heart wrenching. God is still sitting on the Throne. Keep fast and hold on.

  7. Ania

    June 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Nicole, thanx again for this and once more i can relate to two aspects of ur write up: hormonal imbalance and knowing when u ovulate. I suffered hormonal problems for some months, hostile cervical mucus and at one point after a miscarriage my period was sometimes irregular. I was put on metformin, Duphaston and i self-prescibred evening primrose oil which sorted out the mucus prob. About ovulation, i’m pregnant now but didnt ovulate on day 14. First day of my period was on a 3rd and I did not ovulate on day 14 but day 11. Goodluck to all u ladies seeking for the fruit of the womb. Pray, get medical attention and read on fertility issues extensively, Also, state of mind matters alot, try to distract urselves as u search and be positive. I used to tell God I know i’m too good to be childless or go thru the pain of searching so make this work now! Hugssssss to y’all

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks so much for this, Ania! Huge congrats to you!!!

  8. Winifred

    June 22, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I love this article. There are so many misconceptions about virginity.

  9. Chige

    June 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    @nicole,thanks for the article.
    Thanks for pointing out the ovulation thing. A lot of women take for granted the textbook ovulation day 14 not remembering that everyone’s body is different and everything in medicine is often a range not an exact figure. So my advice is to buy an ovulation kit to check when you ovulate to increase your chances.

  10. Honey girl.

    June 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Nicole God bless you immensely for this write-up.I have been following your articles on BN and reading up others.I was determined to have a son after my daughters(excellent and sweet girls).I shut my ears to every pressure , studied my body, cervical mucus and especially my cervical position and it paid off.
    To those waiting, You are in my prayers.

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Oh wow, Honey girl! I’m so impressed…good for you! Understanding one’s body is so so critical! Congrats!

  11. Chi

    June 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    @Honey girl, biko how do you study your cervical position? Curious to know

    • Honey girl.

      June 24, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Towards ovulation, the cervix slowly moves upwards into your body. What I normally do is to raise one of my legs on the toilet seat or Bathtub and gently slid my index or middle finger in and check for 1. how open and SOFT the opening of the cervix is,
      2.try and reach for the neck of the cervix.
      3.analyse my observations.
      Normally, I check for cervical mucus and how consistent it is when I stretch. No matter how small.Meanwhile, I bear in mind my luteal phase in mind which is 12 or 13 days after ovulation.
      Around the PEAK of ovulation, the cervix becomes HIGH and difficult to reach. By high, I mean it goes up into the body.Now you will carefully observe that when you initially tried at the onset of your fertile period to reach for it, you could almost stand with your 1 leg raised on the bath tub or toilet seat and touch it BUT right b4 or right after ovulation, you will almost bend to some reasonable angle b4 you reach it.
      Funny enough, I got pregnant, had a miscarriage, moved on and got pregnant again with my son after NINE months.Had some emotional issues and didn’t ovulate for like 2 months.Knew this cos on my own, I went for Follicle tracking cos I didn’t understand my body again during the challenge I had .Got pregnant the month I decided to relax.In all, it was not easy cos the pressure was there (mild though).was also determined cos of an uplifting message I read on BN about pressure.
      Hopefully, I will commence tracking the cervix immediately I’m ready and I humbly for another Son.
      Once again thanks Nicole and all writers who constantly lift peoples spirits with their write-ups.God bless the contributors on this blog.I’m wiser , humbled and better in my dealings wit people.

  12. Oge

    June 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Hmm. Nice post. I had a fibroid surgery a few 8 months ago and the doctor certified me ok to conceive.. still nothing.. still hoping though. I think i need to do the ovulation check thingy, maybe my body is playing tricks on me..

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Oge, it’s always a good idea to know your exact ovulation window. Also, have you had a HSG after your surgery? That might also be worth doing too. Good luck!

  13. MRS. R.

    June 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Hi, Nicole. Hope you’re doing good? I cant begin to tell you how much of a comfort your blog is to me and i’m sure other women too. well,i didnt marry as a virgin but i wasnt all sexually active either. i ‘d had like just two serious relationship in my almost 8 yrs of dating. i got married last year september and while i wasnt too worried about getting pregnant the first couple of months,after the fifth month i started to wonder. i did some research online, learnt quite a lot about infertility and also came across your blog which was a life saver. took myself off to the doctor to do all the neccessay test and discovered i wasnt ovulating due to pcos. what! i had never even heard of p.c.o.s until some months ago. Anyways, i decided to do the ovulation induction recommended by my doctor and started taking the shots in April. I took a pregnancy test about 3 weeks later and what do you know? It was positive!!!!! i m now about 9 weeks pregnant and so far so good. no morning sickness at all, just a little queasiness in d evening on my way home from work. I m so happy and i pray that every woman looking upto God will sooner than later experience the joys of motherhood. luckily,we live in a generation where medical science had been developed to help women achieve their motherhood desires. so,visit your doctor asap, do what you need to do and above all be very prayerful for God is still in the business of performing miracles!

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks so much, Mrs. R! You just warmed my heart with this story! Huge congrats to you hun!

    • Rachael

      June 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Please may I know d name of the drug u used for the ovulation

  14. Honey

    June 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I love this post especially because it resonates well with my story. I got married as a virgin and believed that conception will be automatic for me. ” God’s special child” things. You know how you believe that once you do everything by the books you should get preferential treatment. But i believe God decided to show me that ITS NOT BY WORKS. I got married August 2012, by December i started experiencing heavy periods, carried out a scan i saw that i had Fibroid. My world stopped, but began to spin again when i conceived the month after. I jubilated thinking FINALLY!!!! But all of a sudden I started to experience intense pains and noticed some bleeding, did another scan i saw that i had a huge cyst on my right ovary. ” Ok, lets just monitor it” doctor says, but it became bigger, i lost the pregnancy which wasn’t viable at that time and had a huge cyst to deal with. It had engulfed my right ovary. I had to go into surgery to get it all out, yes, MY RIGHT OVARY AND TUBE had to be taken out. And in recovery i was in the same room with a woman who got married the same day i did, but she came in to deliver her baby. Imagine my heartbreak.
    After surgery i was left to recover from HIGH PROLACTIN and a slim to zero chance of ovulating. Use Palodel, dostinex for a whole year, nothing. The headaches remained, my breast was still leaking, Apparently, my body thought i was still pregnant. All through the journey, i would give up and pick myself up, thought of leaving my marriage until God told me REST IN ME…so i literally did that, threw out all my dostinex and went for a natural alternative “VITEX” and pregnacare conception….kept using it till a month when i believed YES GOD HAS DONE IT ” those waiting will understand it” only to realize that he had not done it “yet”. Got to Dubia and once we got into our hotel apartment, i went to the bathroom and saw the RED ROBOT. I cried, sucked it all up and decided to toss out all the medications and just enjoy Dubia’s beauty. A month later i was few days dew…silly me thought my only ovary had packed up. 3 weeks after, I’m eating up everything. Test and walaaah, the strongest positive ever. I am now 6 MONTHS PREGNANT. Yes the WOMAN WITH ONE OVARY AND ONE TUBE IS PREGNANT. Virginity doesn’t make babies, only God gives. I trust He will answer all trusting God here. You think your case is impossible? Hey, God loves to shine in impossible cases. 🙂

    • nicolefertilechick

      June 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Oh-my-God! Honey, I have goose bumps reading your story. When GOD wants to come through, He always does so in a BIG way!!! Huge congrats to you hun! I love it!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. buc

    August 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Some how i feel encouraged coming across this blog but then my situation is eating me up so badly and i really want to share

  16. buc

    August 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    i got married about 41/2 yrs ago, 3 months after i was diagnosed of multiple fibroid got it all removed and went on with my life. 2yrs after about the same timed had an ectopic pregnancy and lost a tube, was later told that the other tube is tethered with adhesion and was advised to do ivf. sometime last year was diagnosed with high blood sugar. presently on insulin as it is type 1 cos am not up to 35yrs. now i want to go for ivf what are my chances. anyone with this kind of experience pls share cos am finding it hard to stay positive.

  17. Oguejiofor scholastica chinwe

    August 27, 2015 at 11:17 am

    U’r rite my dear,cus most men try 2 put d blame on women

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