Here We Go Again

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Well, I finally went to the infertility clinic. I do have to say that my first impression had me wondering what kind of care I would be receiving. Perhaps I’m being a little too critical since I used to work as a receptionist, but it felt like the front staff had no idea what was going on and they weren’t communicating with one another. It was so frustrating for me to have to ask a question and be passed of to three different people….but now I’m drifting off topic. We were led back to our room, where I was told to prepare for my ultrasound. Then a doctor came in and introduced himself as a fellow from UCSD. He spent roughly 10 minutes talking with us and getting our history and going over tests that had been performed. We brought up that my husband had just had a semen analysis done and he left the room to grab the results for us. The minute he left, my husband and I looked at each other and said “Wow. This guy gets it!” With my former Reproductive Endocrinologist, I felt like he never listened to me or told me what he was doing and why he was doing it. All of the information I have is due to googling the procedures and medications he was using. I was instantly relieved to be dealing with someone who could potentially get me pregnant! (Well, with the help of my husband of course!) He returned with his supervising doctor and announced that my husband’s analysis was completely normal. He went on to perform the ultrasound and patiently took the time to explain each thing he was looking at and why (I even got my own monitor!) without even having to ask! After getting dressed, we discussed the next step. They wanted to have a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) completed to make sure my Fallopian tubes were open.  Why on Earth had this not been done before in the 2 1/2 years we have been trying to conceive? Shouldn’t the first step have been to do all the tests to rule out reasons I was not conceiving? I was told to expect a little discomfort when I had the procedure done and then to call the day after the procedure to discuss the results and plan moving forward.

Two days later I had the HSG done.Now, I really should have learned by now that nothing goes as planned, but I was about to get a big reminder. A quick layhsgmen’s rundown of the procedure is that a catheter is inserted into the uterus where dye is injected and an xray is performed to see whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. In the radiology room were a medical assistant that I had met at my visit to the infertility clinic, a resident and the doctor. There weren’t any stirrups so I had to awkwardly raise my hips while the catheter was inserted. The resident let me know that there would be pressure, but I think we all know when they say pressure, they really mean pain! There was a lot of intense cramping as the catheter was inserted, but fortunately it subsided once placed. The radiologist came in and positioned the X-ray machine above my abdomen and started taking images when he told us that the catheter had come out. I was definitely not looking forward to enduring the pain of going through that process all over again, but I did. The catheter was inserted again. I went through the pain again. When the radiologist positioned the X-ray machine over my abdomen, he announced that the catheter had to come out again. This time the catheter didn’t actually make it to my uterus, it got to my cervix and began to curve. Oh, boy…I didn’t know if I had it in me to go through the procedure a third time! The resident sent the medical assistant upstairs to the infertility clinic to grab another speculum because she had run out! While we waited for 10 minutes to get another one she kept apologizing to me and telling me that this never happens! When the MA returned, I geared up for try number three. This time, when she inserted that catheter, it was even more painful than the prior two times. It almost seemed like she used some time of clamp to keep it in place. The xray machine was positioned and it was actually in th
e right spot this time. I thought I was home free and done with the painful part. That is, until the die was injected. It was literally the most intense cramping I had ever felt in my life! The X-rays seemed to take forever to finish. I remember telling myself that if childbirth felt anything like this that maybe I should rethink the whole thing! After about a minute (it felt like 10 years), they were done and the catheter was removed. The cramping instantly stopped and I was extremely relieved. The procedure was finally complete and the resident announced that my tubes were clear. I should have been happy but I was a tad disappointed. After all, I felt that if a problem was found then it could be easily remedied and I’d be able to get pregnant again. Now, I know it is a silly thought and I should have been happy everything was good. I just wanted to blame my failure to get pregnant on a known cause. I realize that PCOS is a cause, but I’ve been ovulating, my husband’s sperm is good and my tubes were clear. Why wasn’t I getting pregnant?!?!

The next morning, I called the infertility clinic as instructed by my doctor to find out what the plan was for me going forward. I had to call and leave three different messages before the front staff understood why I was calling. I can’t have been the first patient instructed to call in like this. They kept trying to book my baseline ultrasound which I had already completed three days prior. Doesn’t anyone keep records of this sort of thing? Anyway, my doctor reiterated that my tubes were clear and he wanted me to stop taking the birth control. That’s right, stop the birth control. Now if you have read my previous post, you know I was a bit excited to get to take a whole month off from trying to conceive, however it ended up only being seven days. I’m not too disappointed as we now have a clear plan and I actually have hope again that I’ll be able to get pregnant. I was prescribed 100 mg of Clomid to take cylcle days 3-7, which is pretty standard, but this time instead of Gonal-F injections on Day 9, I will be using Menopur. I did a little googling and found that an average of 5% more women become pregnant each month on Menopur versus Gonal-F. Now, the study I read was based on women who were preparing for IVF, so I’m not sure how the statistics translate to IUI. My take-away was that I may have a better chance of conceiving.

I’ve now finished with the Clomid and will be taking my Menopur injection tomorrow. I’m anxious/nervous for my ultrasound Tuesday. For my only IUI, when I went in the first time, my follicles weren’t quite large enough so I had to take another injection and return two days later, but it was perfect at that time. My last cycle when I worked on getting an IUI with my RE, it didn’t happen because he said I wasn’t responding to the medicine, so I’m hoping that my body responds like it should and I have a successful IUI. After all, that puts me a huge step closer to finally having a baby!

 

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