Tuesday, 25 January 2011

'Shhh, my ovaries are resting' OR 'You want to do WHAT to my endometrium?!'

After the feelings of reticence earlier in the week (which I know come from worry - worry about the IVF process and procedures, but also worry that we could go through all this and may still not get that positive result), I decided to bite the bullet and go to the clinic.

It was very quiet today - the clinic clearly aren't starting any new cycles with the New Year holiday fast approaching so there was hardly anyone around.. the nurses were playing table tennis! I was glad they were getting a bit of downtime.. they work like crazy the rest of the time and I doubt they get paid that well for it.

The male doctor that I've seen once before was on duty, which put me on my back foot at once because he's hardly ever there and isn't familiar with my case. But, I had no choice (and he is a nice guy) so went in for a chat. After reviewing my file, he managed to surprise me when I thought I'd prepared myself for all possible suggestions (more IUI, IVF, ICSI...). He suggested an operation/procedure to scrape my endometrium because it's been consistently thin in all my IUIs! I've never even heard of that and, after a year of trawling the IUI/IVF forums, I thought I'd come across everything! I instantly went into defensive-mode... for me this involves one or all of the following steps:

Step 1: Assume that the Dr in question doesn't know what they're talking about/can't really speak English and hasn't explained properly/doesn't understand my file/isn't up to date on current protocols etc, etc
Step 2: Repeat myself, paraphrasing several times whilst trying not to cry and/or raise my voice.
Step 3: Get a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) opinion from other clinics until EITHER someone says what I want to hear OR I accept the inevitable.

Whilst in step 2, I managed to find out that the alternative is medication (aspirin or Viagra!). To me this sounds like a much better option, but I don't know much about how the methods compare in terms of success rates. Of course, I've been Googling since I got home... wasn't even sure what to search for at first and still haven't found much info, but it seems that Doc did know what he was talking about (of course) and the treatment is applicable in my case (of course) and his English was pretty much spot on (of course).

The thought of more surgery/another procedure involving me in stirrups with things being stuck up my cervix, (on top of what I was expecting in IVF) horrifies me. But I know I need to do whatever will give us the best chance of success. So, I'll proceed to step 3 and probably get a 2nd opinion from the Dr who did my lap/hyst. And then I'll get a 3rd opinion and pursue TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). I was already considering this because studies have shown acupuncture having good results on increasing blood flow to the uterus prior to and during IVF, which I think is what I need.

But back to today.. the other surprise I got was that the Doc wants me to have 2-3 natural cycles to rest my ovaries after the Gonal-F stimulation. This means not starting treatment until April/May! Not what I was expecting! We've been planning everything (me giving up work, time-killing IUIs) around doing IVF in Spring because my clinic gets the best results in Spring and Autumn. But I guess April/May are still Spring, so my minor panic is probably unjustified, though I'd sort-of hoped that we might be able to fit in 2 cycles in Spring if necessary (I know.. 'glass half-empty' should be my middle name!). I had a moment of mild hysteria on the walk back from the clinic.. an image of my ovaries with their little feet up lounging on little, round sofas!

The positive side of this 'rest' is that I can go away with bloke in March when he is attending a conference which just happens to be being held in a tropical beach resort! I thought I'd have to miss it because of daily injections and blood tests, but I suppose 10 days by the pool is not bad compensation for another wait.


  1. I know this post is very much 'stream of consciousness'... my apologies. My mind is still going round in circles over what I was told and it's coming out in my typing!

  2. Don't apologise...that's what blogs are for (mine is anyway). It makes sense to me I think. Just when you thought you had your plan fixed something else is thrown in the mix. I'm glad that your searches via google matched your Dr's opinions, always a comfort when you worry things are lost in translation. It's interesting you were saying you felt you need a rest but weren't sure for the best and now you have a sort of enforced break. So you and your ovaries can put your feet up!