A Mom Confronts Secondary Infertility and Mental Health Issues, Part 1

infertility depression trying to conceive bipolar

One of the many things I love about writing Pregnancy Buzz is hearing moms share their personal stories and, in turn, being able to share them with you all.

I met Jessica (camdensmom06) recently. She's 28 and already a mom to Camden, 2 and 1/2. Her husband is 30 and they've been trying to conceive their second child for over a year -- but with a special challenge. Jessica is Bipolar and the medications she has to take for the disorder make TTC much more complicated. I asked if she'd be willing to share her story.

Her answer? Absolutely.


"There's such a stigma around mental illness that so many people are afraid to let it be known they suffer from it. I'm sick of that and the damage it can do to someone's self-esteem.

There's a special kind of shame to being Bipolar (ahh, she's crazy and unfit!) AND having Secondary Infertility (just be grateful you've got one!). It's good to break the silence. If I can help just one other CafeMom who is going through something similar, it's worth it."

Today, I'm speaking with her about her TTC challenges. Tomorrow, she'll explain how being Bipolar has affected her life as a mom.

I know you and your husband are dealing with secondary infertility. Can you tell me about the situation?

We've been trying to conceive our second baby for 15 months, although I started trying to get ready six months before that by weaning myself off my medication under my psychiatrist's supervision.

My OB/GYN wouldn't see me for an infertility work-up until we had been trying for a full year (and my insurance wouldn't cover the visit until then, either) so we are just beginning the infertility test/treatment process.

What have you been trying in your quest to conceive baby #2?

After we'd been trying for a few months without success I bought Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I love that book and recommend it to any couple trying to conceive. From that book I learned how to use ovulation predictor kits and I learned about charting basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position. I also used the site fertilityfriend.com.

Are you working with a specialist? What does he/she think the problem or issue might be? Have you gotten a diagnosis?

We're not working with a specialist -- yet. We've only done the first round of tests and we decided to do those with my OB/GYN. We want to see what the initial tests say before we decide how to move forward. My OB/GYN doesn't think we will find any answer, but I know in my heart there is something there to find.

One test -- the HSG -- showed my right fallopian tube is blocked, but that's not a concrete diagnosis. Apparently, there's a high incidence of false positives because the test itself can cause fallopian tubes to spasm closed.

Stop by again tomorrow for more of my talk with Jessica.


Have you struggled with secondary infertility? How long did it take you to conceive your second child and what do you think ultimately made the difference for you?

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