The seminars cost £1 each, and I hadn't booked tickets for any of them. However, when I got there I discovered that they were not being held in rooms, but in roped-off areas. This meant that passers-by could stop and hear the seminars - the only extra you were getting for your £1 was the chance to sit down in a chair for 45 minutes. If I'd paid my £1, I might have been a bit miffed to realise that other people were getting to hear the seminars for nothing - especially when the barriers were lifted at the beginning of one talk and people without tickets were invited to fill the spare seats.
So I managed to catch the second half of a seminar on coping strategies before, during and after treatment, which had already started when I arrived. Then I lurked at the side of seminars on complementary and alternative medicine, fertility treatment for older women and one called 'Why should I give it another go?'. All were interesting, and it was good to learn more about reflexology in the seminar on complementary and alternative medicine, since I have my first refloxology session coming up on Monday.
In no particular order, here are a few of the little titbits that I noted down from these sessions.
- There's plenty of suffering in life, and you will suffer at times - you don't need to practise for it by putting yourself through needless suffering.
- We find it hard to live with uncertainty, so when things are uncertain, we try to make them certain. Often, we do this by predicting a negative outcome. We need to learn to live with uncertainty and allow ourselves to accept that positive and negative outcomes are both possible.
- "Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person". (This is a quote from Rumer Godden, based on an Indian proverb.)
- There was an acupuncturist there who said that the people who are successful following his treatment are the ones who feel a change in themselves and then make a change in the rest of their lives as a result - as opposed to those who keep coming for treatment week after week after week, but continue to do everything else exactly the same. He said if you're not willing to change, don't expect results.
- In the talk on fertility treatment for older women, the guy talked about tests of ovarian reserve. He said it's a truism in medicine that where there are many alternatives, none is perfect - and this is the case with the various methods of testing ovarian reserve. So a poor result on one of the tests (FSH, AMH, antral follicle count) doesn't necessarily mean disaster.
- He also said that a major issue has been identified with the quality of DHEA supplements. Some brands have been found to contain no DHEA at all, while others contain more than the stated amount. This gave me pause for thought, as I was thinking that if we still hadn't started IVF #4 by the time my prescription runs out, I would order some cheaper DHEA off the internet. I'll now look more carefully at the brand and do a bit more research before I buy it.
- Of all creatures on the planet, humans have the worst reproductive potential. Up to 70% of all embryos are non-viable. Playing the numbers game now, I've had 5 embryos which were clearly not viable. Perhaps the 30% will turn up in my next batch.
- Low AMH doesn't mean you're menopausal - having no periods for a year does. This reassured me, as my AMH is low, but my periods are still regular.
I'm still assimilating a lot of what I heard yesterday, but it was all useful, and I'm very glad I went.