Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Am still around

If any of you have been wondering if the Gulf of Mexico swallowed me whole during my trip to Florida, no it hasn’t. And my silence does not mean I am pregnant, and therefore am waiting for the right moment to announce my pregnancy, either. Our trip was wonderful, and the other two girls who were with us got AF during the trip, so I was blissfully happy knowing that I am not the only non-pregnant person in this world.

I am constantly formulating blog posts in my mind, especially when I am feeling down, and need to tell the blog world that the fertile world JUST DOESN’T GET IT. But I never actually do get around to typing out my posts. I have realized though, that creating a blog post in my mind is a form of therapy for me. Its helps me to reflect and realize that life isn’t that bad after all. One of the reasons I refrain from posting “I am so sad” posts, is because I know there are so many people out there who go through so much more. I live a blessed life - I have a loving family (sans a child, of course), food to eat, a roof over my head, and a healthy body. But all these thoughts are usually shadowed by a constant feeling of general unhappiness that all of you are sure to understand. I do feel guilty and self centered, feeling sorry for myself. But I am entitled to feeling that way, right?

Moving on, my first FS appointment was on Nov 29. We waited 2 hours before I finally got to see him. I feel like I didn’t get much out of the appointment. I realize, though, that this is how it probably works. The doctor turned a large computer screen towards us, and began listing out all the possible treatment options. He had a neat little table with statistics for IUI, IVF etc etc. Basically, he just summarized everything that I already knew, and asked us to decide. I understand that IF is such an abstract problem that you can’t really treat it with specifics. In my mind, I kept wondering why I was paying him 300 $ to hear what I can easily get off his clinic’s website. I do know we have to start somewhere, so this is probably a start. The one thing positive that came from the visit was that  it sort of turned a switch on in my husband. The doctor said something about BD on days 11, 13, 15 etc. And this cycle he insisted we try on those days! I am 99 % sure I ovulated day 12 this cycle, but he insists we continue because after all the doctor said “days 13, 15... and day 12 is just too early”. I think its kinda cute when he takes the proactive role.

I got my blood work done, and my FSH is 9.3 (which the nurse said was higher than normal, but ok). From what I read, I think the slightly higher levels are more important for ovarian response in an IVF cycle. Also, my prolactin levels are high. The normal upper limit is around 24, mine is around 35. I need to go in tomorrow and give a fasting blood sample so recheck the levels. Any ideas what this could mean?

The doctor doesn’t think much of clomid cycles for unexplained, but I feel like I don’t want to go through IUI just yet. After all, almost everyone tries a few rounds of clomid right? Now, the doctor doesn’t want me to do an unmonitored cycle. What do you all think? I don’t like the idea of going in to the clinic multiple times for U/S (and paying 20 $ copay every time!!) just yet. I am sure we’ll have to do it eventually, but not yet. So, I was thinking, 3 rounds of clomid with intercourse. And then, maybe after that we can consider IUI with trigger.

What would you do if you were in my situation? Clomid with or without monitoring? Other than the copay, I think my insurance covers the U/S (thank you the state of Illinois). I would love any advice you have.

I had plans to write a scientific piece about something, but this post is already too long. Maybe next time !


  1. I was begining to wonder where you got to but you had posted on my blog so I knew you were alive!

    Thats great that the information actually sank in for hubby. Sometimes it takes someone fresh to explain things. I swear my hubby just goes on automatic deafness mode when I would start talking about when to babydance and ovulation etc etc.

    As for what you should try next, it really depends on how soon you want to jump in I guess. I would agree with your doctor about clomid cycles for unexplained espcially when you know that you are ovulating. Our FS told us we were unexplained and steered us away from the original plan of IUI and recommended jumping straight to IVF. A massive leap and something I wasnt quite prepared for but he explained that even if it doesnt work it provides you with more information about possible causes of IF than IUI would gve you such as whether the sperm can fertilise the egg, the egg quality, and rules out the chance that some eggs dont make it into the fallopian tube.

    Ours was funded here so cost, initially, is not an issue. However, if you are paying part costs I think I would defnitely consider IUI at least. Our problem was if we started with IUI, we would be expected to try 6 cycles before funding would be given to try IVF. With a recomended break of 1 month bewteen cycles that would take 12 months. Thats cinched it for me really.

    I must stop writing now, that was mammoth! Hope that it helps xx

  2. I hope you can make a decision that you'll be at peace with- everything is so personal!

    As far as prolactin levels, I also had a high level when I first got tested. From my doctor and all my (crazy obsessive) internet research, it seems like the main possibilities are a (harmless and treatable) tumor or thyroid issues. For me, it was thyroid issues, as soon as my thyroid levels were under control, the prolactin was back in normal range. Did you have thyroid labs done too?

    I can understand wanting to ease into the MA with a few Clomid cycles. I would recommend some monitoring (I think most important is to make sure you're not growing cysts, which I have read happens A LOT with Clomid). For a couple $20 co-pays, I would say go for the monitoring. That said, my doctor only does one follie monitoring u/s a cycle, and not a baseline u/s at the beginning of the cycle to look for cysts, and I haven't had any issues.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  3. I write blog posts in my head all the time. sometimes time gets away from me and by the time I have time to post, what I was going to write just doesnt seem so relevant anymore.

    I had a specific problem so I didnt have as much choice in fertility treatments but the choices, I did have, I agonized over. While I trust in God;s timing, looking back, where I had choices to make, I would do the most aggressive treatment I could afford so I could have a baby as soon as possible.

  4. I should probably know this, but have you done a sperm analysis? I know when we went to our first appt, we were given clomid and did one unmonitored cycle, but once we got the sperm analysis results, we quickly realized this was a waste of time and moved straight to IVF. Ultimately, I think you have to do what makes you comfortable. I always felt better having a plan and knowing our next step. It gives you a tiny bit of control in this crazy process.

  5. Glad you had a wonderful time! I did three rounds of clomid and three of femara. Due to insurance issues, all three of the femara were unmonitored. I just tested at home with the OPK and it worked out fine. It was certainly less of a pain in the ass than driving to the clinic all the time. I have very, very long cycles though so I had to pee on a lot of sticks, which got very tiring and sometimes messed with the mind. Your cycles seem much shorter so it wouldn't be that bad.

    Personally I hated Clomid, because it thinned out my lining, but there are people who respond really well on it and don't have a problem. I'm not sure about unexplained, though. My problem is lack of ovulation so that's the first place you turn. The only really big concern with Clomid is the lining issue (it's notorious for thinning it out versus femara, which doesn't) and possible cysts. The one good thing about being monitored on Clomid was as soon as my lining got ultra thin, they yanked me off it before more damage could be done.

    Good luck and I'll be rooting for you whatever path you choose! -Toni

  6. I love formulating posts in my mind. I do it all the time, and it really is awesome therapy. It also helps me identify my thoughts and feelings and start to put words around what i am feeling. I love my blog :)

    We pay just over 3k per IUI cycle. The thought of a 20 copay makes me salivate!!! But honestly, I don't even care, I just want my family. For me, I love the monitering. I love knowing that I don't have any cysts going into a cycle, I love knowing how many eggs I have growing, I love getting confirmation that I ovulated according to the timeline, etc. I am so anxious about it all that the extra information is really reassuring. It is a lot of appointments, but keeps me feeling calm and relaxed about the cycle. I know it is different for everyone, but this is what seems to work for me.

    It is great that you hubby is so supportive and is getting so proactive. That must make you feel SO good!

  7. We are also unexplained and my RE seems to prescribe clomid for "better quality eggs and more targets for spermies". I had 3 low dose cycles and just had my first IUI.