Westeros Women’s Clinic is open and this week we are talking about The Mother of Dragons and infertility. We all know Daenerys story -and why she felt she had the strongest claim to the Iron Throne but she has been plagued by one, small issue that all rulers face – heirs.
It seems Daenerys can only have baby dragons – was it the blood magic that took away her fertility– and not produce legitimate heirs to the Iron Throne. About 15% of women have fertility issues and it causes them to seek help in getting or staying pregnant. I’m sure Daenerys felt the pressure to produce an heir but in Westerosi clinics, I think that some of the modern treatments we provide patients aren’t available for women trying to conceive. They all, Dany included, probably want to know –
- What can you do if you are experiencing a delay in conceiving?
- What are some of the most common reasons for female infertility?
- What are the next steps when you have been diagnosed with an issue?
Most women who are in their most fertile years ( their 20s) 93% of women will have conceived after 18 months of trying. If you have gone over 18 months and no luck, it’s definitely time to talk to your doctor. It’s at this point your doctor will work to determine if the problem is with the man or the woman and to root out what the reason for the issue might be ( sperm quality, egg quality, timing). Daenerys did get pregnant with Khal Drago’s baby so her ability to get pregnant, at least then, is not in question.
Failure to ovulate is the cause of around 40% of female infertility issues. If you have never been pregnant this would be top of your doctor’s mind. Pelvic inflammatory disease causing damage to the fallopian tubes, making it impossible for an egg to pass through and become fertilized, is another big contributor to female infertility. I suspect this might be an issue for Dany as Khal Drago “got around” and could have picked up an STD / STI that damaged her reproductive system.
There are several other factors such as endometriosis, PCOS, egg formation issues, anatomical anomalies and other issues that your doctor will be able to determine after an exam and, sometimes, in-depth testing or a course of medication.
Once you are diagnosed with an issue, you and your doctor will work together to determine the best course of action. The vast majority of female fertility issues are treatable, fortunately. You don’t need to panic at the first sign of fertility trouble and you certainly don’t need to burn the entire 7 kingdoms to the ground. Your OB/GYN can help you figure out what is happening and what you can do together to assure you get the heir you want, just not to the Iron Throne!