Three Years TTC to Three Months with Softcups

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Beat Infertility Naturally Softcups #infertility #ttc #naturally

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Update 1/7/2019: Softcup has been renamed Softdisc. After doing some research, I learned the company decided to do this to differentiate it from the other “soft cup” menstrual cups on the market since it is designed differently. I’ve also received several questions about which menstrual cup is best for TTC purposes. For the sake of getting pregnant and based on my personal experience, I specifically recommend Softdisc, not any other soft menstrual cup. Unlike other menstrual cups which sit inside the vaginal canal, Softdisc (formerly Softcup) is designed to sit below the cervix. When Softdisc is placed after intercourse, the proximity to the cervix gives sperm a little less work and gives semen more time to liquefy.


TO START, I am all too familiar with the unsolicited suggestions of “You just need to do this. This is how I get pregnant,”

  • “Just have sex. That’s how I got pregnant.”
  • “Go on a cruise.” (Did that, by the way. Didn’t work.)
  • “Try taking birth control. Oh, throw in a condom if you really want to get pregnant quickly.” (Yes, I was the sarcastic, bitter type of infertile. Not proud of it. It is what it is.)

This is NOT, “This worked for me, and it will work for you too.”

THAT’S ANNOYING.

Infertility is so complex. There are so many factors. You start trying to conceive thinking it’s simple. It’ll take three months, tops. But it’s not. Thankfully, in our case, we were able to find what worked, and it worked again… and again… and again. I’m sharing it here in case there’s any chance it will work for you too.

SOFTCUPS.

I first learned about them six months into my marriage, shortly before my husband was due home from his second deployment. I was searching for a way to manipulate my birth control to move the start of my “period” (read: withdrawal bleeding) since it was due the day of his Homecoming. The only good thing about my time on hormonal birth control was the reliability of my period, but that was NOT a plus for me this time! Apparently, I was on the wrong kind of pill to be able to manipulate my period.


After days of searching, I learned about Softcups.

THESE WOULD SUFFICE.

My husband came home earlier than expected, so I never used Softcups for my original purpose, but from that point, I began using them for my period and never looked back!

In my years of TTC, I did a LOT of research since Anthony and I had decided not to pursue ART. I became a patient of Dr. Google. I could not tell you what I was researching on this particular day, but whatever it was, I did NOT expect to find this:

A thread of hundreds of accounts from women who had struggled for years to conceive

They all conceived within 1-3 months of using Instead Softcups! (Seriously, I have no idea how I found this because I wasn’t able to find it again years later after hours of research in preparation for this article. I did find something similar.)

Ah, yes. My old friends… except not so much those days because by then, using them meant I was on my period, which felt worse and worse each passing month. (I will say that using these for my periods while TTC made the monthly “Not Pregnant” reminders a little less blaring compared to using pads.)

The idea was that this menstrual cup would keep his *ahem* swimmers closer to where they needed to be for longer so they can do their job more easily. This seemed like it would be especially helpful in our case of male factor infertility, though surprisingly these women all had different infertility factors– male factor, female factor, unexplained– and had all tried all sorts of fertility treatments and methods for varying amounts of time (sometimes years) with no success.

We beat infertility 4 times with Softcups. #maleinfertility Click To Tweet

I could not deny all these success stories.

I already had a box of Softcups in the bathroom. I approached my husband carefully, sensitively with another one of my kooky, crunchy conception plots. We decided to try them the next cycle. Finally, ovulation day came. It coincided with an all-expenses-paid art exhibition trip at a nice hotel. At least that timing worked out, right? We fought the whole time.

BECAUSE INFERTILITY.

Still, we put the Softcups to work. Our new beacon of hope. We left the art expo with our marriage and hopes intact.

Two weeks later, my period was due.

BIG FAT NEGATIVE.

Days later, still no Aunt Flo. Big fat negative. One week late. Nothing. What the heck? Well, if I’m not pregnant, let’s get this show over with! Finally, two weeks late and 2.5 years into TTC, it happened. For the first time, that second little pink line finally appeared. Minimal squinting necessary. Cue ugly tears and praises to God. I was six weeks along with my first baby.

A week later, on another rainy day in Southern California, I miscarried.

DEVASTATION.

It took some time for us to be ready to try again. When we were ready, we knew the plan. We had conceived on our very first cycle of using Softcups. Was that what did it? Was it just “our time?” Had all our other efforts finally come together to make us fertile?  How could we ever know if it was truly the Softcups? I was mystified but just convinced enough to try it again.

Our second cycle of using Softcups, we conceived our firstborn child, Abel, born in August of 2016.

THIS SIDE OF IF Infertility ICI Success TTC Naturally Softcups #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally

 

After all these years and all I learned about whole foods and health, I was adamant about breastfeeding my son. I knew this could delay the return of my menstrual cycle. Between this and the fact that we had already waited for three years to conceive our first, we decided to enjoy our son and see what happened. We didn’t use any type of contraception after Abel was born. It would be fun to see how long it would take to conceive naturally now that the pressure was of infertility was off.

Well, Abel began sleeping through the night at almost 10 months old, and my cycle regulated, meaning I was able to track my fertility again. I quickly contracted baby fever. We changed our minds about just “seeing what happened.” What the heck? Might as well start trying now.

The first one took long enough. What if the next one took years as well?

It honestly wasn’t the best time in our lives to begin TTC again with a cross-country move in the near future, but we knew enough by then to know that whenever it happened, the timing would somehow be perfect. We broke out the Softcups.


Two months later, I was pregnant.

THE NEXT WEEK, I MISCARRIED AGAIN.

I had a very different reaction to this miscarriage than to my first. Surprisingly, I was equally devastated, but in a different way. I also coped in a different way. Instead of needing months to mentally recoup, I wanted to be pregnant again immediately. This was not to erase or replace the baby I had lost. It was a complicated desire, but it became my mission.

I was still spotting when I felt the familiar pains of ovulation.

I immediately and obsessively began tracking my fertility signs. I mean obsessive. More than I ever obsessed when trying to conceive my firstborn. It consumed me. It dominated my every thought. It was unhealthy. I used physical calendars and virtual calendars and phone apps and note paper and the backs of receipts. I analyzed and overanalyzed all my data in all my free time. I strategically timed intercourse.

Each time, we used SoftcupsFive weeks after conceiving my third pregnancy, I was pregnant again. One cycle with Softcups. My due date moved– it seemed– from April 7th, 2018 to May 16th, 2018.

Three years three months infertility softcups conceived naturally this side of if #pregnancy #infertility #intracervical
Our second rainbow baby, born May 2018

Just in case you skipped to the end…

NO HARD FEELINGS. I DO IT TOO.

I got pregnant twice on the first cycle and twice on the second cycle using Instead Softcups. Again, this is not something that will work for every couple, but for us, I am a believer. I know there is a couple with an equally unique infertility situation for whom these will work too. I am putting my experience out onto the Internet for that couple so that maybe they’ll have a little easier time learning this trick than I did.

FOR OUR FULL INFERTILITY TIMELINE, head to the bottom of my About page.

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Had you heard of Softcups for conception? Have you tried it?

ICI Success with softcups THIS SIDE OF IF #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally
THIS SIDE OF IF Infertility ICI Success TTC Naturally Softcups #infertility #pregnancy #ttc #naturally

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14 thoughts on “Three Years TTC to Three Months with Softcups

  1. We have actually tried this! While it hasn’t worked for us like it did for you (which is sooo awesome!), I actually like using them anyway. I’m a big believer in holding those legs up, but these assist and keep things cleaner if you have somewhere to go!

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s a better alternative to holding your legs up! When we learned hubby’s viscosity was THE WORST and liquefaction time was HOURS, it totally made sense to try Softcups to keep everything in while it liquefied. Otherwise, I’d have to hold my legs up until my legs went numb and then some. The things we do for babies, right??? I’m sorry you haven’t had any luck with them!

  2. I am so glad I found this post! I’ve not tried it but I’ve been researching desperately online. I love your honesty about how determined you were, I don’t feel so alone in my obsession, you could say. Did you just use it to hold everything in place after?

    1. Lindsay, I’m so glad this post has helped you! It’s so important to know we aren’t alone in our experiences. Yes, I used the Softcup to hold everything in place. It keeps everything close to the cervix and gives it time to liquefy! It’s the same idea as holding your legs up in the air except it’s easier and more effective. In our case of male factor infertility, liquefaction time was hours long (as opposed to a normal 15-20 minutes), so I would have had to hold my legs up for a LONG time.

    1. No, I do not! Softcups (now called Softdisc) take the place of holding your legs up after intercourse. The concept is the same but is particularly beneficial with male factor infertility where there is high viscosity (liquefaction time.) Softcups (Softdisc) keep the semen near the cervix for a longer period of time while it (hopefully!) does its job!

  3. So basically you just have intercourse then insert the soft cup while lying in the bed after sex? How long do you leave it in, overnight or longer? And do you just insert it like a regular menstrual cup? Sorry for all the questions, after 9 years of TTC I’m willing to try ANYTHING!

    1. Hi, Jaci! I don’t mind all the questions at all! I’m sorry you’ve had to endure this wait for so long! Yes, I placed a Softcup (Softdisc) immediately after intercourse and before standing up. Depending on what time we had intercourse, I left it in all day or overnight for 8-12 hours. The pamphlet recommends leaving it in for no more than 12 hours. Softcups (Softdiscs) are designed differently than other menstrual cups, so the method of insertion is slightly different, but that is all specified in the pamphlet that comes in each box. You would just insert the Softcup like you would if you were using it for menstruation, as explained in the pamphlet. I hope that answers your questions! I’m praying for healing and endurance for your and that your wait for a baby comes to an end very soon.

  4. Hey,I’m just finding out about Softdiscs and TTC and my only question is peeing after intercourse? I have like a Pavlovian reflex to pee after sex but I know I shouldn’t,so the swimmers can just keep swimming (#Doryfan) would that change somehow by using the Softdiscs?
    Also as some have said, thank you for the honesty,I am trying to relax and be less obsessive as well….but phew yeeeeah…
    Thanks again!

    1. Hi! Great question. I have to pee right after intercourse every time too! Another reason Softdiscs are great! Put it in right after intercourse, and then you can get up and go pee right away 🙂 I was pleasantly surprised how much less leakage there was during my post-intercourse bathroom trips after I started using Softdiscs. Baby dust to you!

  5. Thank you so much for your story and blessings to you and your family ❤️ My husband and I have been trying for a year and half with no luck. I’ve used these a few times for my period so I know how to insert them when I’m in the sitting position however…….possible TMI – We tried soft discs tonight and I had my bottom on some pillows to try to put me at a bit of an angle and when we were done, I inserted the cup but had some challenges doing it laying down. When I stood up it seemed fine but then I had some leakage when I went to the bathroom. Did you have this too? I’m not sure if it was just residual that didn’t make it far enough ya know? Or if I maybe inserted it wrong? Have you had this issue? Thanks so much for any response. I know this post is old but it’s hard find info on this cause there is so much contradictory information about using discs so I wanted to ask someone with experience. Thanks again ❤️

    1. Hi! Great question. I actually didn’t have any leakage after inserting Softdisc while lying down, whereas before Softdiscs, it seemed EVERYTHING leaked out IMMEDIATELY. Try lying flat on your back with no pillows and bending your knees up toward your chest. That movement alone will put your hips and pelvis into a “sitting” position optimal for inserting the disc! The Softdisc user guide also suggests keeping the disc parallel to the floor when inserting, so if you’re inserting while lying down, you’ll want to envision the disc being perpendicular to the floor. TMI- I also always found it helpful to quickly push/pull the disc back and forth a few times before fully inserting to get it lubricated and give it kind of a running head start, if that makes sense. I’m sorry if any of these tips are redundant for you! But yes, I would definitely recommend aiming for no leaks since it IS possible! I wish you peace and blessings as you continue growing your family <3

  6. I’m going to by trying this method my next cycle with a known donor (as a single female.) No sex, just AI.
    I’ve been tested at a fertility clinic prior, to see if I had any issues or not. I don’t. I’m 26, or will be by the time my next cycle comes around and I ovulate. This donor has had known successes before using this method. In this case, he would just do his thing into the softdisc, and then I insert it. What do I do after? Is there anything else I need to do to help it along? Does it seem like it would be a good idea to try the softcup/disc before I move onto IUI?

    1. I don’t have personal experience with doing it this way with a sperm donor, but I have come across a couple success stories of doing it the way you’re describing, yes! There’s nothing you need to do after inserting the Softdisc. All you need to do is, of course, do your best not to spill any, and then make sure the seal is tight after inserting. Then leave it in up to 12 hours! I would 100% recommend trying Softdisc before IUI because it’s far less invasive or expensive. If Softdisc doesn’t work for you after a few cycles, you might be interested in looking into Mosie Baby, which is a specially designed at-home insemination kit and also seems to be a great next step before doing IUI. mosiebaby.com

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