Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Baby Steps: Popping pills

Posted September 3, 2010

The craziness over conceiving has calmed down in the Bowley household. My husband is still recovering from surgery and – in turn – we are waiting to find out if it had any effect on our ability to have a baby.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading up as much as I can. We’ve also been looking for other little ways to help our chances. The newest thing we are trying – vitamins.

For me, I’m just sticking to the basics: folic acid. I’ve had my own issues with the full-strength prenatal vitamins.

For my husband, we bought a fertility supplement for men. It has a combination of several components including: L-carnitine, Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10. The biggest problem so far is actually getting him to remember to take them!

Also, the information on these types of supplements is hard to come by and experts in the field don’t seem to hold much faith in them, including our own doctors. According to one online source, these vitamins haven’t been researched and tested enough to prove that they will actually help. And – in fact – they may interact badly with other drugs.

In our case, it was something we wanted to try. We spent less than $50 on a bottle that’s supposed to last about a month. That’s pennies compared to what we could be spending if we start looking at IVF or adoption. My husband is about to schedule another analysis appointment in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know if we notice a difference in the results!

Christine is an associate producer at WRAL-TV, which includes research for 5 On Your Side and producing the 10 p.m. weekend newscasts on Fox50. She, her husband and two dogs moved to the Triangle in 2006. Christine is chronicling her experience as she and her husband struggle with infertility.


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  • olive91988 Sep 7, 2010

    @boat, I make no apologies for my comments. It certainly rings true for those that do not have resources (emotionally, financially, relationship, time/bio clock, or otherwise). I have had bits of that and so have several friends that I have met along the way, some have children and some don't. This forum is for everyone that has been in that boat. I offer support to ALL women in whatever they endeavor in their decision about having children, because not everyone makes it to parenthood for whatever reason - infertility that didnt work, giving up after years of trying, never met the right partner, too old, or choose to be childfree from the start and not be judgemental about whatever decision they choose. Live and let live. There are those that offer support and reassurance for whatever their decision. My hope is that someone reads this that needs that support, whether its the hostess or a reader.
    @macharsam - thank you

  • snowl Sep 6, 2010

    olive, I understand what you are trying to say.

  • mandrews34 Sep 5, 2010

    We are also trying some vitamins. The suggestion came from our RE (reproductive endocrinologist). The science behind the vitamins is not conclusive, but it cannot hurt. So, we are willing to give it a try. It is from Coast Science, but they are not cheap. We bought a pill box to help remember to take them. That helped a lot.

  • boatrokr Sep 5, 2010

    Olive, comments such as yours are considered extremely rude by couples battling infertility. We don't want to hear lectures about the contributing to overpopulation, lectures about selfishness for those of us who don't choose adoption (why is caring for "all those kids who need homes" the sole responsibility of infertile couples?) or the peptalks about living a full life without kids.

    Infertility is definitely a condition in which "if you can't be supportive, or say something nice, don't say anything at all."

  • olive91988 Sep 4, 2010

    Best to all of you for supporting one another in a difficult time. Just accept whatever happens with an open heart. If we let our personal wishes and desires get in the way of enjoying life as it comes we only create undue stress, struggle, pressure on ourselves and on one another in an expectation that if one doesn't exhaust all possible resources, by using all their time, energy, peace of mind and money on having a child, that they may be somehow....less, lacking somehow. Live and let live. I hope you find an inner strength to determine your own destiny, whether it be engaging in a struggle for many years to have a child if that is your true desire, to adopt, or to remain a couple. Either way you WILL be happy. Just remember its not a requirement to have children and not everyone is judgemental of you if you decide not to or to end the struggle at whatever point you see fit if it does not work out for whatever reason.

  • brentsara Sep 4, 2010

    We tried the supplements but they didn't work for us. Taking the supplements at the same time of your DHs surgery might muddy the water for you in deciding what "helped" him if his numbers change although you may just want to throw everything you can at things in hope of something working which is understandable. @olive - not sure of your situation if you have kids, want kids, decided not to have kids but your comments - although I am sure well intended can come across as insensitive and even hurtful especially to one struggling with infertility - I know b/c I too struggled as I have shared here before. And your last statement in particular is an attitude many who have struggled with infertility face a lot and it just isn't that simple - if it were it wouldn't be called "struggling" with infertility - especially if having children is a deep desire of the heart of the persons trying. Just trying to give some perspective from one who has been there and is blessed with 2 wonderful kids.

  • Twittyfan Sep 4, 2010

    Congrats to you and your husband!! I think it is great that you keep trying and keep it up because having a CHILD is wonderful and a joy. There are a lot of things to do with getting pregnant and remember that you will have sleepless nights but it is worth everything you give up. I know both of you will be great parents more so than others because you have had to work real hard to get your angel. Make sure you check the vitamins to make sure they don't have a lot of lead in them. Good luck to you and your husband.

  • anclontz Sep 3, 2010

    I just want to comment that I had fertility issues and starting taking fish oil (mercury free of course) and was pregnant within 2 months. Something to try?