His and her conception pills: a new bizarre couple routine

You find them in a pharmacy . “His and her” packs of vitamins to help you get pregnant . The neighbor on the aisle, of course, is the pack for women already pregnant, which has a picture of a happy woman showcasing her giant belly. You wonder when you’ll be able at buy that pack. In the mean time, you purchase yours which showcases a man and a woman, strangely stuck with an 80’s look, appearing way too happy to have ever encountered infertility. On mine, the lady has a tacky pink shirt and the guy has a Colgate smile.

The pack of three tablets - three months- is about 40 dollars. You calculate you have now spent over 200 dollars on this. A cheap one exists, but it only has Zinc and Folic Acid, not all the other vitamins. This one is meant to be better, so of course you want to put every chance on your side, even if this is just by buying Vitamins you don’t really know serve what purpose. Surely for centuries people fell pregnant without having to buy these retro vitamin packs.

On the left side of the aisle: the weird 80s couple. On the right side: what I’d prefer to be buying

Then comes the next question: how many of these packs to buy? For me, this is a bigger question because in Kenya they are three times the price quoted above. So when I am in Europe, I usually buy six packs at a time. My husband always suggests I buy fewer as he is confident we will only need a few months.

At my house, we have a reserved space in a drawer near my bed which is full of medical stuff. Barely the kind of thing you want people to see when they come for a pee in your toilet. Seeing this little box at acquaintances’ place has been the way I knew they were trying to conceive (given they didn’t have to wait for so long for a result they were probably not as self-conscious as I was on its storage location). Still, I can’t help but wonder if my housemaid — we have a part time one here in Kenya, everyone does, and mine has six kids — feels a little bad for me when she cleans this never ending stock of medicines in my “secret drawer”.

And the saddest part — they do go, they get consumed, cycle after cycle, and nothing changes. Sadness of seeing that you are taking the last pill of the tablet and still not being pregnant. And yet we have to buy some more. Richard often jokes the company making them has the best business model ever.

These ones are not so bad

My advice? Just swallow the jagged little pill, and think about it as little as possible. At minimum, they won’t do any harm, and at least you can be grateful your partner is not stuck in the 80s with a Colgate smile.