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Two plus one makes three… but how?

October 20, 2014


Two plus one makes three… but how? No, I’m not giving you a math question, exactly. I’m also not going to give you the sex talk. But how about we talk physiology!

It might be the nurse in me, but it’s also the infertile-momma-to-be in me that wants to pen to paper (metaphorically of course) about HOW exactly pregnancy happens and why it wasn’t happening for us. I think knowing where you came from is an incredible important part to getting to where you’re going. And if you’re here reading as a person struggling with infertility, I can only hope this helps.

A female is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her ovaries, in the form of immature eggs. Once she hits puberty, one to a few eggs mature once a month (ish) during her cycle due to a certain hormone: estrogen.

Those immature eggs do not mature because I lack enough estrogen.

About halfway through her cycle, the egg is mature enough to be fertilized and is released from an ovary and is housed in the fallopian tube, awaiting fertilization via sperm. Two hormones are responsible for ovulation: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

I also lack enough FSH and LH and therefore, do not ovulate.

The egg is fertilized by, you guessed it! sperm from the male. Sperm “swims” up the vaginal canal, through the the cervix, up the uterus, and into the fallopian tube where the egg is waiting. It’s not a short or easy journey! And then, once it arrives at the egg, it can take MANY sperm to spearhead the egg’s protective layer, which weakens the layer, to allow just one sperm through to complete fertilization.

A couple sperm analysis showed that Neil doesn’t have enough sperm to weaken the egg’s protective layer, plus, those sperm can’t swim fast enough to reach the egg before dying.

During the first 3 or so weeks of her cycle, her uterine lining is thickening and building up in order to make a nice home for the fertilized egg once it leaves the fallopian tube and imbeds itself into the wall of the uterus to start growing into a human. Primarily progesterone, but also estrogen, is responsible, yet again.

And yet again, I lack enough progesterone AND estrogen so my endometrium doesn’t reach the thickness needed.

After the egg is safely imbedded in the wall of the uterus and begins growing into a human, progesterone is still needed to supply the growth during the first trimester.

Again, no progesterone, no growth.

As you can see, Neil and I sorely lack pretty much everything we needed in order to become pregnant. Next week, I’ll talk about how science and God stepped in to make it work!


  1. Jilanna Grace Gorline says:

    Thank for sharing. To many people don’t understand its not easy for everyone to conceive.