Tuesday, May 4, 2021

“If you’re trying to get pregnant, you kind of have to have sex”

When I first started thinking about getting pregnant after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I desperately wanted to hear from other women who had succeeded in this goal. At the time, there wasn’t much social media, but I did find a great book called Arthritis, Pregnancy and the Path to Parenthood. It contained quotes and advice from real women, and I found it invaluable.

But I also found a problem: the book started off talking about the possibility of having to change some of your medications before getting pregnant and then jumped straight to talking about being pregnant. But wait! If I stop my medications, won’t I flare? And if I’m in pain, how do I ever get pregnant in the first place? Is there a chapter missing from this book on trying to conceive while living with arthritis??

That’s the question I asked Iris Zink, a rheumatology Nurse Practitioner who recently wrote a book about intimacy and chronic illness with Jenny Thorn Palter. (The book is called “Sex – Interrupted” and you can read my review of it here!) Their book recommends a lot of alternatives to intercourse – which I think is generally great advice for for maintaining intimacy in a relationship while dealing with a chronic illness! But what if you want to start a family? If you’re trying to get pregnant, you kind of have to have sex!

Iris and I decided to have a discussion about a topic we haven’t seen anyone else talking about: the challenges many women face in actually trying to conceive while living with a chronic illness. I share my personal experiences, and Iris shares her expert advice in this video!

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