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To contracept or not to contracept?

Pssst…Got a…you know…a….CONDOM? Because I might need a couple. I’m coming up on ye olde fertile windowe, you see, so I’m trying to figure out how to approach the fact that, while I don’t believe sex will get me pregnant, I’m not supposed to be trying. And what with our romantic Pittsburgh getaway, it’s possible sex will occur.

I imagine it will be clear to you guys that I should do something to ensure I don’t accidentally get knocked up before I’m allowed to. But here are the reasons I can’t quite imagine stopping by the Student Health Center and grabbing a handful of rubbers.

1. I’ve had well timed sex for around 20 months, with a few good IUIs in there, and had only a shadow of a pregnancy.
2. My RE kept telling me that the three month waiting period post surgery was arbitrary. That the field doesn’t have sound reasons for that recommendation, it just seems about right. Sometimes people cheat. And he didn’t say, Don’t cheat. He didn’t say, Use contraception. Probably because he assumes I’m a responsible person, not a baby-crazed wolverine.
3.  I’m a grown woman and should buy my condoms at the drugstore.

It’s true all that well-timed sex was with my Old Uterus, not my shiny new one. And sure, the chances that I’d actually get knocked up are slender, but if I did, the consequences could be pretty bad. (I might miscarry. I don’t think I could handle that. I feel like I’ve spent the past six months crawling out of a dark pit, and a miscarriage would put me right back down there, without the strength to move. On the other hand, for some reason I feel like if I ever do get pregnant, I’ll have a miscarriage for sure, so I might as well get it over with. Super rational.)

My HSG is tomorrow. I guess I’ll put off this decision until I know whether my tubes are even clear.
I’d almost forgotten to freak out over the possibility that everything will be a huge mess. Best get on that!

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. If I were the voice of reason, I would tell you to contracept. However, I am not the voice of reason. I could maybe do a good impression of the voice of reason, but the truth is, if I were in your shoes, I would probably throw caution to the wind. And then I would freak out for the next 14 days, hoping I wasn't pregnant, and then hoping I was, and then hoping I wasn't, and then… well, you get the point! And then, in hindsight, I'll wish I would've contracepted, because, dammit, I'm trying to have a relaxing summer, not be on an emotional roller coaster!

    May 26, 2010
  2. When I was an RA in undergrad the Wellness Center handed out boxes of 500 condoms to each of us to pass out to our residents. I quickly learned that incorporating little packs of condoms into my quirky bulletin boards only yielded lots of tacky penis-shaped litter for the housekeeping staff to clean up. Yay for maturity! I couldn't get rid of them, hard as I tried. I would bring these gigantic boxes of condoms home in the summertime for personal use. I was never without one. πŸ™‚ Anyway, I haven't used any form of contraception for 10+ years. I wouldn't even know where to start now. Lame.Even though it means that you'll be investing in some swanky rubber action, I hope the HSG shows some spectacularly clear tubage.

    May 26, 2010
  3. this one's tough. my head would tell me to use the rubbers, but the rest of me would tell me to screw it (no pun intended of coursE).is any part of the aversion to using condoms bc they don't feel good? dh did much research on this, and discovered that there is a certain brand of japanese condoms that are soo thin, that you can barely tell that you're using a rubber (we use them on occasion). of course, they're also $50 for 6 of them, so kinda pricey … but if you ever want the brand name … lemme know :o)

    May 26, 2010
  4. I have nothing useful to say, I'm afraid. Sympathy, though, I have that. I mean, why does sex have to have to do with procreation? It really ruins it, when frightening issues arise. (Not that this is really your case, but I'm on rant, here.) Down with that kind of thing! I'd like it if sex was for pure recreation, and invent some other non-painful/fuss-free method of conception.Good luck with HSG. No mess! No mess! "baby-crazed wolverine" – ha ha!

    May 26, 2010
  5. Oh Bunny,As difficult as it my be I would say refrain from the risk. You have waited so long and been through so much its not worth the risk, besides what is another month or two. You would be devestated if something went wrong. Not to be too personal, I would tell Mr. Bunny to pull out!It is very interesting to me that your RE said the timeline was arbitrary. My surgeon said to wait 9 months, no freakin' way am I doing that!Have fun in Pitt and good luck on the HSG. Do you believe the theory that it is supposed to increase fertility?

    May 26, 2010
  6. Good luck tomorrow Bunny. As for the sexy-business question … I'd probably go all Nike.You are the mad props deserving one m'dear.ousnom – something French and yummy.

    May 26, 2010
  7. Pull and pray. Works like a dream. (Unless it was just our crappy reproductive systems keeping us from getting pregnant the 3+ years after I went off the pill).And bunny, you're NOT GOING TO HAVE A MISCARRIAGE. I am just letting the universe know that upfront.

    May 26, 2010
  8. It's a tough one. And a complete mindfu*k, I know, when after months and months of trying to get knocked up you have a month where you're actually trying not to. We had a month like that. I bought the Vaginal Contraceptive Film. And if that sounds like a half-hearted effort, all I can say is: it was. I wonder if the 3 month rule is a little like the rules after miscarriage, which are also largely arbitrary. No advice to give, I'm afraid. But wishing you LOTS Of luck with the HSG.

    May 26, 2010
  9. I like Secret Sloper's idea of pull and pray (even if the *pray* is for a surprise BFP). Good luck with the HSG and have a wonderful romantic getaway in Pittsburgh!

    May 26, 2010
  10. OK, so it's an arbitrary rule. And any contraception you might use is going to feel a little like physical theatre, isn't it?That being said, I am a rule follower….except when I'm not. I think I would probably do something half-assed, like pulling out, or spermicide gel (or, apparently, the sponge), that doesn't actually work for actual fertile people.Oh, and about the HSG: I found out yesterday that you can get your X-rays on a CD-ROM (we had to get a copy for New RE). My husband is endlessly fascinated with watching them in sequence and then backwards on our laptop. Uterus fills up with dye; uterus empties. Uterus fills up with dye; uterus empties.Hours of fun.

    May 26, 2010
  11. That's a tough one, but I've already proclaimed a no bcp ever ever again, so I'm on the pull and pray wagon or just screw it altogether (no pun intended) and throw caution to the wind. Although, that may not be your safest bet (if that miscarriage risk is really worse in the three months post-surgery). I would say, whatever allows you to enjoy your break as much as possible :).

    May 26, 2010
  12. I read somewhere that pull-and-pray has something like an 80% success rate, so I figure it's worth playing the odds. (Though umm…this may be TMI, but both my sister and I were pull-and-pray babies, which makes my infertility situation all that much more ironic.)On the bright side (and since you read Leslie's blog, you know I'm just repeating a joke DH and I always make about HSG's), if you conceive this cycle, maybe the leftover radioactive dye will result in a superhero baby that will stick like glue to your womb.

    May 26, 2010
  13. There's no way I can comment on that!!! You could blame me if things went wrong…. But I agree that pull and pray is preferable to using a condom. Which would be totally weirdly unnatural at this point in your relationship.

    May 26, 2010
  14. JB #

    Hmm. I am a hedge your bets and split the difference kind of girl, so I would probably use condoms for this month, and then forget about it thereafter. The 3-month wait is largely arbitrary, and plenty of women have conceived after being told to wait following a procedure of one sort or another.Here's hoping for a lurvely HSG…and by the way, my RE once merrily informed me that the procedure itself can help open up the tubes so they are completely patent and ready for egg pickup. Diagnostic and therapeutic — a two for one special!

    May 26, 2010
  15. I think I am such an impatient baby-obsessed monster that it would be really really really hard for me to go back to contraception when every fiber of my being wanted a baby. Ehhh. Hard decision. But you have to do what you have to do. It is annoying your doc wasn't more adamant abt protection…his nonchalance on the topic almost *creates* this grey, fuzzy zone where you are forced to confront the very dilemma you wrote about today.Regarding the pull-out/thin-condom stuff…I will say that when I would miss a BCP by accident and hubs and I would use condoms (oh, the naivety!) it was not as, um, pleasurable. But you've been abstaining for so dang long I bet the thickest condom in the world wouldn't make a diff! PS Just so you know, after PingOAS I did crawl back into bed with tears streaming down my face at dawn this a.m. and then again on my morning run. My blog post "positives" were more of an attempt to talk myself into being in a better place about the BFN. I'm not immune to the one line. πŸ™‚ That said, I am grateful for your cautionary tale come period time. I guess I can look forward to a second round of craptastic-ness.

    May 26, 2010
  16. S #

    Wow, what a dilemma. Ironic in a way.I doubt there is any way I could get my husband to go back to wearing a condom now. And I totally get your concern about possible miscarriage if conception does occur.Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    May 26, 2010
  17. Here's hoping for a lovely HSG result tomorrow. I hear you, my windowe has arrived and now I feel like throwing caution to the wind…it is so hard to sit out a cycle.I am going to come over all sensible-like and advise you to wait, as it is only the first cycle after your surgery. After that, I say screw the three months waiting time. I vote for making Mr Bunny buy the condoms.

    May 26, 2010
  18. What a uniquely crappy dilemma! Whatever you do, I hope you traipse off to Pgh with all sorts of good HSG results.

    May 27, 2010
  19. I had to avoid pregnancy around the time I was getting immunized for a trip. It felt so utterly pointless – like I was EVER going to get pregnant naturally. And yet part of me thought that this was the one month where pregnancy would be horribly wrong (birth defects, anyone?),it was therefor the only month I COULD get pregnant naturally. So rational. We used condoms. It sucked.

    May 27, 2010
  20. ugh….. if it were me i dont think I could use contraception. I too wonder if (like Adele said) the 3 month stand down is just arbitrary. NOt at all telling you what to do because I couldnt do that but I didn't listen to my drs when they told me to not try for 3 months (but this was after a m/c… not your surgery so probably quite different). I just couldnt see the point in actively trying to stop the one thing we were working so hard for. But in hindsight I was probably a complete hormonal stressy mess and would never have been capable of holding a pregnancy then anyway. It might be fun to use condoms for a change??? Might make you feel like sneaky teenagers and you might end up having the best sex of your life!!!!

    May 27, 2010
  21. I'm so lame. I would do as told and complain about it to anyone that would listen. It's completely annoying, and ironic, and really just about the most ridiculous thing you could ever be asked to do, but I'd do it just because the downside is so much worse than the upside in this case.Man, does this shit suck or WHAT?

    May 27, 2010

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