“Children are hopes”, as Novalis once said. They bring smiles to people’s faces and their laughter touches their hearts. So, it’s no wonder that many people want to have children. But not everyone succeeds in having children right away. There are often complications and frustrations. What remains is an unfulfilled wish for a child. And this is exactly where Nadine Al-Kaisi comes in with her book “Das Kinderwunschbuch“. In an interview, she tells us how the book came about, what causes an unfulfilled wish for a child and how you can support your relatives or friends.
Can you please introduce yourself briefly?
My name is Nadine Al-Kaisi and I am a fertility doctor in the practice “Die Kinderwunschärztin” in Munich, Germany. It is very important to me to help menstruating people who are having trouble getting pregnant. It is important to me that everyone feels comfortable in my consultation, that there are no taboo subjects and that all questions and concerns can be addressed.
How did you come up with the idea for the book “Das Kinderwunschbuch”?
Actually, a patient of mine had the idea! She is a publisher and thought I should write this book. There are already a lot of books with testimonials from patients. My concern was to create a popular scientific book that contains all the information but is still understandable for every person. It is a loving companion for a time that can be very emotionally stressful for many. There is so much information on the Internet and forums, so it is sometimes very difficult to filter what information is relevant. I want to provide menstruating people with data and background that is scientifically solid and that they can rely on.
What are the three main reasons for an unfulfilled wish for a child?
Certainly, it is important to always look for reasons as a couple. Often the menstruating person gets a complete check-up, with all the risks that entails. The non-menstruating person is somewhat forgotten. Therefore, I always recommend that the couple be examined at the same time. Frequent reasons for unfulfilled wish for a child are unpermeable fallopian tubes, a limited spermiogram, cycle disturbances or endometriosis (mucous membrane outside the uterus, which causes inflammation in the abdominal cavity and thus leads to a reduced function of the sexual organs).
Unfulfilled wish for a child – why is it talked about so little?
Unfortunately, this is still a taboo subject. If it doesn’t work out with getting pregnant, feelings of inferiority come up very quickly. Thoughts like “I can’t have children, I’m not a real woman!” or “My sperm aren’t fast enough, I’m not a potent man!” add to this. Having children is such an essential thing in many people’s lives. If it doesn’t work out, it very quickly throws you off track. Society must finally break this taboo; only then will more people dare to talk about it!
What is your first advice for people with an unfulfilled wish for a child?
Don’t be afraid to see your gynaecologist early and talk to him/her/them about it. There is no set time limit on how long you must wait before you can be seen to see if there might be a cause. It is okay to go to the doctor and get checked out. It often takes the pressure off, and many feel better because something is finally happening and they can let go of some of the responsibility.
What forms of support are there for an unfulfilled wish for a child?
The form of support depends on the cause. In general, treatments for infertility should always be decided based on what the examinations performed have revealed. Sometimes it may be enough to determine the optimal time for fertilization in the cycle, because the time window is very small, the egg is capable of fertilization only 24 hours.
In case of cycle disorders, for example, a light hormonal stimulation can be sufficient. In case of a limited spermiogram, insemination can help, and if the fallopian tubes are not passable, artificial insemination can also help.
How can we support our body in a natural way when we want to have children?
A healthy lifestyle is definitely helpful to get pregnant, i.e. a normal body weight, balanced diet, no nicotine, not too much coffee and no alcohol. In addition, folic acid can be taken, as it is difficult to get enough of it from food and it is very important for fetal development, especially the back. Especially in the winter months, vitamin D can be supportive as well.
How does hormonal cycle optimization actually work?
The idea is to support egg maturation with the lowest possible doses of hormones, usually in tablet form, and thus optimize the cycle. In most cases, ovulation is triggered with an injection for better planning, so that a baby can be conceived naturally at home.
If the cycle is very long, i.e. not between 26 and 35 days, but significantly longer or shorter, the cause is usually an egg maturation disorder. This can be improved either indirectly with tablets or directly with FSH injections. Which method is chosen depends on the cause of the cycle disorder and its extent.
Unfulfilled wish for a child – how can we support friends/family members?
I think it is important to give your friends and family the feeling that you are there for them, no matter what. Often it is simply a matter of someone listening and not dismissing the problem with phrases like: “Why don’t you go on vacation and relax?” Such phrases cause some couples to blame themselves even more. Encourage them to seek help, maybe take some of the organizational work off their hands, and just make them feel comfortable around you.
What else would you like to tell our readers about the topic?
An unfulfilled wish for a child is a very stressful situation in life, so I would like menstruating people and couples to be empathetic and forgiving with each other. At some point, everything understandably revolves around the desire to have children. However, I want to encourage you to keep living and not put everything off for the sake of having children. You have a great job offer, but then you can’t get pregnant right away? You’re planning a big trip, but you can’t because of the risks of infection? You’re planning a wedding, but then you don’t fit into the dress? A solution can always be found, don’t put your life on hold.
I would also encourage couples not to wait too long to go to a fertility clinic. Many are afraid to take this step because they would have to admit to themselves that something might not be right, and because they think that treatments always involve high costs. This is not the case, dare and go for it!
Are you struggling with infertility or do you have an opinion on the topic of ” unfulfilled wish for a child”? Tell us about your thoughts, problems, and your journey to fertility in the comments!
*This article has been adapted for gender-sensitive language.