I’ll do a super brief update on the facts the past couple of months:
-My CD 21 (or 22/23) tests show that I ovulate on Femara! I took it in May and June and my tests came back at 29 (May) and 37 (June)- the best they have ever been! We decided to do a “natural” cycle in July, so I took a cocktail of a prental, one low dosage of baby aspirin per day, Vitex, and Fertilaid, and Pregnitude….and guess what?? My progesterone results were 22 which means I ovulated without fertility drugs (yeah, I know I was still taking herbal supplements, but still).
We did another round of Femara last cycle and my results were 22- the same as the month before with the herbal supplements. We decided to take a break again this month and go the herbal supplement route. We were told that although miracles are always possibly, we more than likely will not conceive with me on fertility meds and timed intercourse. Something is preventing implantation or conception from occurring, and instead of me dealing with the wrath of the headaches, fatigue, and mood swings of the fertility medications, it’s best we just stop.
Earlier this month, we took a day trip to Phoenix (6 hours each way = awesome) to meet with a Reproductive Endocrinologist about our situation. I’ve been under the care of the physicians at William Beaumont since moving to El Paso 3 years ago, and while I’m grateful for everything they have done (except waiting 2 weeks to get me in for a D & C- that was a crock of shit), they simply cannot help us anymore. Number one, when dealing with infertility, they simply prescribe fertility drugs and have you come in for lab work on cycle day 21 which checks your progesterone to determine whether or not you ovulated. Now this works for many women, but some women need actual monitoring with an ultrasound to check follicle size, growth, etc. They do not have the capabilities of doing that. I’ve done 5 rounds of medicated cycles total, but we have no idea about my follicle growth, count, if I’m dropping good eggs or not, etc. I’m not going to go through this any longer without more answers.
The HCG shot (“trigger shot”) can also be administered either with timed intercourse or IUI. They will not give me the trigger shot (which forcing ovulation) because they don’t have the capability to monitor patients with ultrasounds. You typically take oral meds or injections to help develop eggs and cause a super ovulation and you are monitored with a vaginal ultrasound each day until you are ready to ovulate. Then you give yourself the HCG shot and either have timed intercourse or go in the next day for an IUI.
Back to our visit with Dr. Moffitt from Phoenix- he reviewed everything and asked us several questions. Then he gave us three routes:
1.) Try two more rounds of Femara (if you don’t conceive within 4-6 rounds of oral fertility meds, it is unlikely that you will conceive with more rounds)
2.) IUI….but based on our conditions, our chances of conceiving this way is 7%. That isn’t good, especially since it’s about $1,000 per cycle.
3.) IVF with ICSI. This is the most invasive (and costly) procedure regarding fertility treatments- but also very successful.
I have been talking with another RE out of Phoenix via email the past week and have a phone consultation with him tomorrow. His recommendation was to try IUI. He said he believes we could get pregnant within 3 cycles of it….and he also thinks that I have PCOS given my elevated AMH levels. However, my GYN here, nor Dr. Moffitt, even mentioned anything about my AMH levels- I was told that everything looked good from my cycle day 3 labwork I had done earlier this year. I will dig more into this tomorrow during my consult, but for now, Tyler and I are still leaning towards the IVF route.
I’m sometimes asked why we need to take out the big guns with fertility treatments because I’ve gotten pregnant before. Based on all of my lab work and extremely low progesterone levels when I’m not on any medication or supplements during the past two years, I was told it was a fluke that we got pregnant before….I guess perhaps a miracle? Reproduction is a science- everything has to line up perfectly in order to conceive. Shit just ain’t lining up for us anymore ;)
TJ and I have been talking the past few days about everything and have a tentative plan in order. This is big- financially, emotionally, and physically, so we want to be prepared the best we can and try to reduce as much stress as possible. I will give another update after my phone consultation and things will be more concrete then. I highly suggest getting more than one professional opinion when dealing with fertility issues. It is overwhelming and confusing, but it’s great to know your options and get different perspectives from doctors.
I’ll check back in soon!