Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Slaying the Dragon

My handsome husband and I had found our dragon and its name was INFERTILITY.  I was 32 years old and I felt that it was close enough to 35 that I could ask for medical help after 6 months of trying (typically they say to consult a doctor after a year with no pregnancy or 6 months if you are close to 35).  So three months after my miscarriage we started trying again and started running some tests.  I found out that my thyroid levels were low so was put on thyroid medication.  I was put on clomid (actually the generic clomiphene citrate), an ovulatory drug, with timed intercourse using ovulation predictor kits.  After 3 months of nothing I told my OB/GYN that I wanted to go to ARMS and to send all my medical data to them.  I had been to ARMS before when my OB/GYN sent me to have a HSG, hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes while they use a dye to determine if your fallopian tubes are blocked (mine were not).  A quick note about the HSG - it was FASCINATING!!!   You lay back on the bed/table and you can see your hipbones and a little of your spine but nothing else, then they inject the dye and all of a sudden you see the shape of your uterus and then your fallopian tubes.  Did you know that your ovaries are not connected to your fallopian tubes?  I didn't (shakes fist at middle school sex ed program).  Before leaving my OB/GYN I also had and endometrial biopsy in which they take a sample of your uterine lining to test - this test was NOT fascinating!  It was painful, albeit, for a short time and my husband who was there to hold my hand (I might have crushed a few fingers) said it looked like a war zone :)

My doctor at ARMS, Dr. Moffitt, is extremely knowledgeable, and good about speaking not only to your physical issues but emotional and financial as well.  With Dr. Moffitt I began on a clomid treatment cycle in which I would take 100mg of clomid days 3 - 7, around day 14 I would have an ultrasound to look for follicles (eggs) and if the follicles were mature and I hadn't had an LH surge I would get a trigger shot.  Month after month we tried this, 5 cycles in all, and at the end of each cycle the pregnancy test would be negative.  So that pretty much brings us up to now although I may touch on some of these tests, cycles, etc. in future blogs or answer anyone's questions.

Dr. Moffitt decided to become more aggressive with my treatment so this cycle I was on clomid plus injectables (5 shots over 8 days).  At my mid-cycle ultrasound we were hoping for 3 - 6 follicles but apparently my body decided that instead of making multiple eggs it would make one giant one.  A cyst.

I spoke to Dr. Moffitt shortly after my ultrasound and he said based on the tests I had completed that it was strange for me not to respond to the protocol as expected.  He is pushing more towards IVF now.  So mean while my husband has been tested for DNA fragmentation which is rare but can adversely affect otherwise normal looking sperm (and on the surface everything looks great for him), I am waiting to see if the giant follicle will perhaps lead to baby, and e are trying to determine if I should try another injectable cycle to see if I respond correctly or if we should just go for IVF.  Tomorrow Handsome (husband) and I will be attending a financial consultation at ARMS to learn more about the IVF plans they offer. 

We know it will be expensive but it isn't like it has been cheap so far.  Each ultrasound (that's one each cycle) is $300, the trigger shot and clomid used each cycle is about $50 and the injectables raised the price to almost $400.  Handsome's super DNA fragmentation tests was almost $500.  I do not understand why health insurance will pay for lap band surgery and erectile dysfunction but won't cover infertility - but I can rant about that later.  I'll post what we learn and keep you guys updated.

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