In an attempt to finally prove or disprove the validity of several popular alternate infertility solutions, espoused by various fertility experts (cleverly disguised as well-meaning friends and family) we enlisted the help of volunteers Jack and Jill.
Although the sample size was small (n=1), we felt that the sample was sufficiently representative of the general infertile population, and that based on the findings of this controlled double blind research, we could extrapolate the findings to the general populace (p=.01).
Jack (age 38) diagnosis: slight morphology issues, slightly lower count, otherwise healthy
Jill (age 35) diagnosis: PCOS, stage II endometriosis and some adhesions, otherwise healthy.
Jack and Jill have been trying to conceive for four years. They have no other children.
1. Just Relax
The hypothesis here is that if Jack and Jill ‘just relaxed’ they would get pregnant. The inference is that by not relaxing, they are by nature permanently stressed and tense and this tension is somehow preventing the sperm meeting the egg, fertilizing the egg and the embryo implanting in the womb.
The couple was rather surprised and said they did not feel particularly stressed or tense at all, but were willing to go along with the experiment.
For this experiment we asked Jill in particular to ‘just relax’. The reason we asked Jill is because it is common knowledge that it’s the woman who causes the stress in the bedroom when trying to conceive.
Initially Jill was puzzled as how she should ‘just relax’ but after a few glasses of wine and some pot, she did seem a little more relaxed.
The findings: Jill reported back that in spite of being so relaxed that she fell asleep twice during sex and once during foreplay, she still did not manage to conceive.
Unfortunately it would seem that ‘just relaxing’ will not clear up your endometriosis or assist with fertilization. By all means continue with the wine if it helps.
2. Just don’t think about it
A similar hypothesis to the ‘just relax’ one, the hypothesis is that by not thinking about the fact that you are trying to conceive, you will then automatically conceive. The inference here is that your constant thinking (read obsessing) about trying to conceive is making your uterus frigid and inhospitable.
Plenty anecdotal evidence has been supplied by our local fertility ‘experts’. Apparently they all know someone who just stopped thinking about it and boom! they got pregnant.
To be honest the researchers were at a loss as to how to suggest to Jill she ‘just not think about it’. Clearly the well-meaning experts have ‘on-off’ switches in their brains that they are able to switch a certain train of thought off. And there is no truth in the rumor that most of these people have their switches permanently switched to ‘off’.
However our intrepid volunteers soldiered on and tried their best. Jill said she totally ignored when she was ovulating by taking several Tylenol thereby numbing herself to the signs. She also ignored her period and pretended she did not know where she was in her cycle. Apparently it got extremely messy and embarrassing. When asked at a social function whether she had any plans to have children she acted vague and said ‘Children? What do you mean?’
Unfortunately this did not seem to work either. The researchers welcome the experts to suggest a way one could ‘just not think’ about something. Short of having a lobotomy, it proved nearly impossible to ‘just not think about it’.
3. Why don’t you just adopt?
You will notice that there is a lot of use of the word ‘just’. Implying that, really, the solution is painfully obvious and simple and you must be a bit thick not to get it.
The hypothesis here is that you can ‘just’ adopt and then you will stop moping around hankering after a child.
Unfortunately Jack and Jill discovered that there is nothing ‘just’ about adopting. Not only is this an enormous decision that affects their future, and the child’s future, the adopted child has nothing ‘just’ about it and you can’t take it back if you change your mind.
Additionally, adopting is extremely difficult, and rather costly. Babies cannot be ordered off a catalogue, COD. No one ‘just’ adopts.
4. Just adopt and you will get pregnant
Ah. The inference here is that the adoption, and by consequence, the adopted child are merely tools (expendable?) to get pregnant, almost like a fertility doll or statue. Perhaps you need to rub the head of your adopted child three times and place him facing the front door? The researchers are not quite sure what the fertility ‘experts’ want you to do with the child once you get pregnant?
Despite seemingly endless anecdotal evidence by our ‘experts’ where Susie, Mary and Poppy adopted and boom, they got pregnant, statistics show that there is absolutely no difference in pregnancy rates between those who have adopted and those who haven’t. Really. Promise.
The researchers are reluctant to give voice to the absurd implication that somehow adopted children are second best or Not Quite Good Enough. Surely only really really stupid, narrow minded people would think that?
5. Why don’t you sleep with me / my husband, I / he will get you pregnant.
This was a difficult hypothesis to prove or disprove as our willing volunteers were not that keen to test the validity of this one.
However, after much persuasion (read more wine and pot), we managed to convince Jill to sleep with Bob, her fertile ‘friend’s’ husband. Oddly enough her endometriosis did not clear up, her PCOS did not disappear and she did not conceive. Jill was overheard saying that she would rather have no children than have to shag Bob all the time. Fertile or not, he was one crap shag.
Contrary to popular belief, it would seem that fertility has nothing to do with sexuality, virility or even getting an erection and sticking it in a hole somewhere.
6. Are you sure you are doing it right?
By ‘right’ the researchers assumed that the speaker meant sexually, as well as without contraception. After questioning we found out that in fact Jack and Jill did not use condoms or birth control pills. They seemed to be aware that could interfere with conception. Surprisingly astute, our volunteers.
So the actual sexual act had to be examined according to the very difficult and complicated checklist, to ensure that Jack and Jill were in fact, doing it right.
Penis – check
Vagina – check
Penetration – check
Ejaculation – check
All the bits seemed to be there. Jack and Jill were doing it right.
For good measure we added the ‘legs in the air afterwards’ trick. Nope, did not help.
7. Are you sure your Dr knows what he is doing
The researchers are not sure whether the speaker is implying that they would do a better job, or that the credentials of the Dr are invalid.
Apparently Jack and Jill’s Dr is qualified to practice.
And so unfortunately, after these many tests and many hours of exacting research, the researchers are forced to conclude that in fact these well-meaning ‘experts’ don’t have a fucking clue what they are talking about and if they had two brain cells to rub together they would think before they opened their mouths. Put in scientific terms, they should all ‘just’ fuck right off.
The next study will be to test the theory that the size of these peoples’ mouths appears to be inversely correlated to intelligence.