Group Therapy Thursday: Friends, Gametes, UTI’s (and sex!)

16 Sep

Another week, another bunch of questions!

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? Oh- and PS- if you didn’t make up a cool nickname in your submission, I made one up for you. And it is most likely lame. Next time I’ll just call you all “Rapier”.

Dear Mo and The Group,

Okay – so a close friend of mine is going to be an Aunt, and her sister is pregnant… I live FAR away from her – and only talk to her once a week for about an hour — and now, at least 15 minutes of that time is spent talking about her sister’s pregnancy… That may not seem like a long time, but seriously, I expect my close friends to know that I really don’t want to hear about all the ins and outs of one of their relatives’ pregnancies. She knows of my struggles, but obviously doesn’t quite get it. Is there a polite way to communicate that I really don’t care and don’t want to hear about it or talk about every week!?


Far Far Away

Hi There FFA!

Here’s my take on this: I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about the importance (to me at least) of being upfront and honest about infertility and miscarriage. I know a lot of us in the ALI community keep things to ourselves, but I personally think that does more damage than good. The more we can communicate openly and honestly about our struggles, the more awareness we raise. I think this is especially true of our close friends and family. I know that every single one of my close friends (regardless of their fertility status) knows what I’m going through, and is sensitive to it, because I clearly communicate my needs and feelings to them. I think this should be the case with your friend. She is obviously close enough to you that you talk with her weekly, and she knows of your struggles. You can’t really expect a person who hasn’t “been there” to get it right all of the time. The only thing you can do is explain, and then hope they get it right the next time. Honesty is definitely the best policy here. I think that if you broach the subject tactfully, using “I feel” rather than “you did”, making sure to make it about your feelings and not her actions, then there is no reason that she would not take that with love, and be sensitive to it. Keep in mind that she doesn’t know any better, because she hasn’t “been there”, and I’m sure that you explaining it further will make her not only more sensitive to you, but also more sensitive to other IFers she may encounter in the future. If you approach it from a non-accusatory angle, I’m sure it will only contribute to your closeness and create a greater sense of open communication and understanding. Good luck!

Dear Mo and The Group

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for many years now. We have a whole host of problems between us and are using donor gametes in order to build our family at this time. We are comfortable going this route, but our concern is what to say to others. We aren’t ashamed of the route we are taking to build our family, but we don’t want our future child(ren) to have to deal with negativity due to how they were conceived. We could use some advice in handling this topic!


Marvelous Momma To Be

Hi There MMTB!

I personally don’t have experience with this, but I do think that this is less an issue of what others will think, and more an issue of how your future children will perceive themselves. If they feel confident, secure, and loved, then that is what they will portray to the world. These days, there are lots of “unusual” family situations, from same sex parents, to single parents, to adopted children, adopted embryos, and donor-conceived kids. Maybe I’m naive, but acceptance of these things is slowly on the rise. I think that as long as your children feel loved and protected, and are encouraged to share their struggles and feelings with you, they should be fine. I think everyone in the world has a certain sense of “otherness” as a child. Whether you stick out because of your race, your weight, the unusual makeup of your family, or even wearing glasses. The best solution, in my mind, is knowing that you will come home to a safe and loving environment.

Keiko Zoll, one of my favorite bloggers, is considering going the DE route and has some fabulous resources on her site. I especially love this post about how a mother told her daughter that she was conceived via DE. It brought me to tears. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so.

Those are my two cents. I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say about this!

Okay ladies, I am susceptible to UTIs…

Am I the only one? It’s definitely gotten worse since TTC began. 

I read somewhere that the “pee after sex” thing was a myth – but there are mixed “reviews” about that. Most times I go to sleep right after sex. 

How do you balance UT health (peeing after sex maybe) with TTC (laying down for 30+ mins after sex)?


Urinary Tract Infertile

Hi there UTI!

I’m lucky that I haven’t been plagued much with this. However, I do have a very simple solution for you: Baby Wipes. After all, the stuff that ends up outside of your pipes at the end of the deed won’t magically get in your pipes, so there’s no harm in wiping it away. If you keep a package handy by the bed, it should at least help with the issue.

Anyone else have experience with this?

Dear Mo and The Group,

I really enjoy masturbation.  I also really enjoy sex with my husband, but there’s a part of me that believes the two are not related/not comparable: sex takes more time and more effort; there’s prep-work, there’s clean-up work, there are expectations and many variables.  A moment alone with my vibrator, however, takes five minutes or less, and always accomplishes its clear and simple goal.

When I was young and single and masturbating out of necessity, I always kind of assumed that once I got married, I wouldn’t need to masturbate anymore.  I would have another person to have sex with, as often as I wanted.  And that part of it is true – I do have another person to have sex with as often as I want; my husband NEVER turns me down.  But sometimes, I don’t want sex with another person; I just want sex with myself.  And for this, I wait for a moment when my husband isn’t around, when he’s at work, or even in the shower, so that I can, you know, take care of myself.

My question is, am I crazy?  Am I somehow cheating on my husband with my vibrator, or hurting our sex life by occasionally leaving him out of mine?  Does anyone else see intercourse and a quick self-induced orgasm as two totally different things, or was I right in my younger assumption that once you have a partner, you should be using him for 100% of your fulfillment?

Guilty (Self) Pleasure(er)

You’re crazy. For thinking that there’s even a bit of “cheating” going on here. I strongly believe that you are OBLIGATED to pleasure yourself on occasion. Here’s why: our bodies change. We respond differently to different stimuli at different times. If you don’t know what you like, how can you communicate your needs to your husband? I think it’s important that we know our own body.

Beyond that, sometimes a girl just needs a little release. Sorry to be blunt – but I’m going to venture a guess here: Chances are that when your hubby is in the shower, and you’re getting off with your little friend, he’s rubbing one out. Does that mean he’s cheating? Of course not! So why is what you’re doing any different?

I do think that perhaps the simple act of “hiding” your little vibrating friend may be what’s causing you to feel like you’re deceiving your partner. I don’t know how he’d react to your self-pleasuring, but I would suggest perhaps incorporating the vibrator into your foreplay on occasion. That way, your hubby knows the thing exists, and you may feel a bit less shamed by it all. Some men may feel like you’re hurting their ego by using a sex toy, so tread lightly and carefully, so as not to cause unnecessary conflict. But if he’s open and giving enough in bed, it may be the perfect solution so that you can assuage your guilt about your “little friend.”

If you feel like he may feel threatened by it, then go ahead and leave well enough alone. But don’t feel guilty. Masturbation is a great way to get to know your own needs, not to mention, sometimes a girl just needs a little help to fall asleep!

That’s all for today ladies. Thanks for your questions! I look forward to hearing everyone’s take on things in the comments.

And don’t forget! GTT can’t happen without your questions, so head on over to the launch post to submit yours for next week’s edition!

10 Responses to “Group Therapy Thursday: Friends, Gametes, UTI’s (and sex!)”

  1. eggsinarow September 16, 2011 at 00:19 #

    YAY! It’s Thursday! I’m so excited.

    To FFA: I would maybe send an email. That is because there is a better way for her not to come back with awkward responses that don’t give you time to be prepared to respond. “X, I want to be honest. I am so excited for you and your sister. And I can’t wait to see pictures. But it’s really hard for me right now to hear about pregnancies. It’s not that I’m not happy for you guys, I’m just having a hard time.” Chances are, she will be like, “WOW! I am so sorry, I really didn’t even make the connection.” Because, probably, she didn’t make the connection. People think “their” babies don’t hurt as much because they are so excited they assume you will be too.

    MMTB: I could only WISH my parents had thought ahead and chosen donors, thus giving my genetic predisposition to mental illness, auto immunity, obesity, and did I mention mental illness less of an opportunity to be such super big parts of my life. I think that by the time your kids are old enough to comprehend “where they come from”, this won’t be any more of an issue than adoption/gay parents/divorced parents/etc. Truly. Good luck!

  2. El Jefe September 16, 2011 at 01:56 #

    To Guilty (Self) Pleasure(er),

    #1, I love your name for this. So cute. Not cheating at all. You’re hubby may very well be keeping himself happy in the shower or elsewhere too. I have big issue with the infamous orgasm and my Hubby actually encourages me to learn how to masterbate. I know, that sounds rediculous, hey? Ain’t it just natural? But I highly doubt that with an open talk between partners that there would be any problem. Sometimes you just need a little one-on-none. I’m positive that my hubby still does and I have no issue with it. Your hubby might even really like the idea. I know couples that like to invite BOB to the party on occation.

    I have to stop before I overshare even more, lol.

    – El Jefe

  3. alexmmr September 16, 2011 at 03:10 #

    Every issue of every women’s magazine in existence has some bit of advice telling you to masturbate regularly. It’s to learn your body, to keep that sex drive active, and because it’s harmless and feels good.

    He’s doing it far more often than you are and he ain’t feeling any guilt about it. It’s good for your sex life overall.

  4. babycrazykiwi September 16, 2011 at 05:06 #

    In response to UTI – I too had a period where I suffered many UTI’s. It may be a ‘myth’ as you say but peeing after the deed fixed the problem for me. That was pre -ttc however, now I still hang out afterwards then get up to pee. I do fall asleep without peeing and haven’t had any problems.

  5. jjiraffe September 16, 2011 at 07:18 #

    I love this. Mo, you’re dead-on. I have only this to add for UTI: drink lots of water. Like, 12-16 glasses a day. The more you pee, the less the infection has a chance to stick around.

    • Marie September 16, 2011 at 07:57 #

      UTI – Tell him to keep his junk clean. And you do the same. Shower regularly, drink lots of water, and – even if it’s “just to be safe” – pee after sex. Also, try to get a standing prescription for that drug that makes UTIs less painful and turns your pee orange. If you have that drug, you can cure your UTI without antibiotics (with water and cranberry), because you won’t be in pain, you’ll just have orange pee. If you don’t have that drug, then you will be in lots of pain and want the antibiotics. And all those urgent care trips get expensive, and are especially annoying during flu season.

      • Cookie with Milk September 16, 2011 at 16:08 #

        ^^ what she said! I went through a period of recurrent UTIs, and peeing, then washing with water, before and after sex helped a lot. Even when we were TTC, I would wait 10-15 minutes then go pee and wash up.

        I just have this advice to add: Don’t overdo the cranberry juice since it can have a lot of sugar (water works just as well) and watch out for cranberry pills that contain d’mannose. D’mannose is amazing if you suffer from recurrent UTIs, as it binds with the bacteria and makes it easier to flush out of your body. But they are currently researching it for use as a contraceptive, since it binds with sperm as well. It’s got a very, very short lifespan in the human body, though. I wouldn’t take it during your fertile window, but if you’ve got a day or two to go before your window starts, feel free to take some. I think it’s also fine a few days after ovulation, but I’ve always been too paranoid to take it in the TWW.

  6. St. Elsewhere September 16, 2011 at 15:12 #

    I have a suggestion for Ms UTI, in case she wants it….jjiraffe is correct about lots of water; another thing to try is having one bowl of fresh curd every day. It really helps in reducing the chances of UTI.

    Also, dear Guilty (Self) Pleasure(er)…you are not crazy at all. Having fun with a vibrator is not equal to cheating on your hubby. Not at all. And it is a great stress-reliever. Don’t feel guilty about it at all!

    I am sure there are so many bloggers out here who have used DE or DS or have adopted embryos, they can really guide MMTB on her issue. Overall, I don’t think that she needs to be pasting it on a neon glowboard of her children’s origins, and you really don’t have to correct EVERY stranger who points at resemblance or something to that effect. What to say would be very much moderated by the situation. Good Luck!

  7. Kelly September 16, 2011 at 18:39 #

    For the girl who’s friend’s sister is pregnant-my therapist says that you have to establish boundaries…several good suggestions here on how to do that. Define what is off limits, or how you might prefer hearing about something, ie, I don’t want to go into details about my treatments, and I don’t want to be asked about them, please let me tell you if I feel comfortable; I wish the best for your sister, but please understand that I’m probably going to skip the shower, but I’d like to know where she’s registered so I can send a gift.

    For the UTI sufferer, I’ve been noticing this throughout my treatments as well. I would suggest if the symptoms seem to continue, consider getting screened for endometritis (not to be confused with endometriosis). UTI like symptoms is something I’ve definitely had, without an actual UTI, and it can definitely prevent implantation.

  8. Port of Indecision September 17, 2011 at 03:15 #

    More advice here for the UTI sufferer: take vitamin D supplements (get your serum D levels tested and supplement until you hit the optimal level, for most people it’s between 4,000IU and 6,000IU of D3 supplements per day), and get on a potent probiotic. Vitamin D has been shown to “activate” your innate immune system and make you more resistant to infection period; and probiotics are the good bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented products, and the good bacteria will help keep the bad bacteria from colonizing. I take a probiotic with guaranteed 8-10 billion colonizing bacteria per day, and I take one vaginally once a week. I also started one of my dogs on probiotics when she was having recurrent ear infections, and as long as we keep up with the probiotics, we have no ear infection problems.

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