Down the Infertility Rabbit Hole

Well, that was overwhelming.

We had our RE appointment today. I’m glad I told work I wouldn’t be back afterwards (they don’t know it was RE and they don’t ever need to know). I’m still processing everything.

I think I like our RE doctor? He was a little pushy about a handful of things – eat less carbs! eat more vegetables! take lots of vitamin D! – without listening to me saying I already eat less carbs, eat a shit ton of veggies, etc. But when he told me to lose five pounds, I did say no. He started saying something about being close to overweight on the BMI scale and I was just like no, I am not going to lose weight, I am active and healthy and I am not going to focus on that, we are moving on here. Thankfully, he relented and was like well five pounds isn’t really anything and I was like exactly and we continued on our merry way.

Aside from those small things, the overall experience was positive. It was nice just having someone actually listen – aside from in regards to food – and validate that yes, six attempts with confirmed ovulation should have seen us pregnant and yes, something was probably wrong. It was also severely validating to have the doctor be so surprised that I could have gone for ten years with only a cycle twice or thrice a year and not have any other doctor even think there was something wrong with that.

Anyway. So we talked and went over medical history and then I got weighed and blood pressured and told to take off my skirt. The nurse checked my thyroid and then they went for the dildo cam. I wasn’t expecting to meet Mr Cam quite so early in our date, but it was less uncomfortable than I expected. The doctor interpreted the blurs and amorphous blobs on the ultrasound machine in real time, which was cool.

Apparently my uterus is: a) retroverted, which is ultimately harmless; b) has an impressively thick lining – and not in a good way – and; c) has super huge ovaries. C has the doctor thinking I might have PCOS, which they’ll confirm with a blood letting after my cycle starts. B is a definite problem and may or may not be associated with PCOS. Apparently large ovaries =/ large cojones. A is kind of cool.

(It was also cool to confirm that yes, I did ovulate last week, so thank you temps for at least keeping me appraised of that situation.)

So. The PCOS and the super duper thick lining are both problematic in and of themselves and together would easily thwart any attempts at pregnancy. PCOS gives me the irregular cycles and not-so-good eggs and the lining interferes with implantation and gives me a higher chance of miscarriage. No bueno.

Thankfully, the RE doctor seemed pretty optimistic about clearing it all up. There’s still the blood test to do to check my hormones and then he also wants to do an HSG to check for blockages and polyps. I was reeeaally hoping he wouldn’t say HSG because I have read all ya’ll’s experiences with that particular procedure and it seems to either be extremely uncomfortable or downright excruciating. I get valium beforehand but idk how much that will help.

After the HSG, he wants to do a hysteroscopy and D&C to clear out that extra thick lining,which also sounds horrible – but at least I’ll be knocked the fuck out. Apparently the lining builds up and builds up and can lead to uterine cancer down the line, so even if I wasn’t trying to get pregnant I should do this procedure.

Then, after all that, he thinks that with a little metformin to control the PCOS, my cycles should even out and we should be able to get pregnant on our own, with an home insem as we’ve been doing. Which is really incredibly reassuring.

The donor is getting checked out, too, but after everything else I’m fairly convinced this is my body’s fault. Honestly, I didn’t expect the doctor to find anything wrong with me and I am strangely relieved that there are Things and Diagnoses and that we have something we can work on and fix. It’s a relief to have a direction we can take and plans to get there, instead of flailing each month and wondering what’s wrong and not knowing.

Still, I’m a little surprised at just how many things might be wrong with me and a little bummed that even a mostly paleo diet hasn’t been enough to keep PCOS at bay. The doctor wants me to go even stricter and very low carb, but I’m not sure I’m mentally ready for that quite yet. I would like to see what the blood results are and confirm PCOS before going through the hell that is very low carb first, thank you very much.

We’ll know more soon(ish), since I’m supposed to go in for the blood letting and the HSG relatively quickly after my next cycle starts. Which, if I calculated my ov date correctly, is this weekend.

 

TL;DR: Went to the RE! Might have PCOS! Definitely have a too-thick endometrium. More tests soon!

 

If anybody has any experiences with the hysteroscopy and D&C please share. Also any tips for surviving the HSG. Oh god.

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15 Comments

Filed under gaybies, TTC

15 responses to “Down the Infertility Rabbit Hole

  1. My HSG wasn’t very bad at all. I felt discomfort when they inserted stuff, but it really wasn’t too bad (I’ve had worse pap smears).

    PCOS is very common among lesbians for some reason, you’re in the company of a lot of women who’ve gotten pregnant if you do have it. 🙂

    • I’ve had some awful pap smears, so here’s hoping.
      It seems like from what I’ve read that PCOS is totally manageable and not going to stop us. I’m just a little surprised that I might have it, because I don’t have any of the symptoms – aside from infertility. Sure does seem like most of us have it, though!

  2. Fat Girl Dancing

    Fuck, you already eat lower carb and healthier than pretty much anyone else I know. SO PROUD OF YOU for refusing to buy his weight loss bullshit.
    I’m glad you’ve got some answers *hugs*

    • I know right? Lady kept making little amused noises every time he mentioned eating more vegetables. I’m pretty sure it was just his usual spiel, but it was still annoying.
      Thank you. ❤ It helped going in knowing that that would probably come up and being ready to say nopity nope nope.

  3. Damn. Lower carb than you already are? I would have smacked the dude! I’m glad you’re taking it with a grain of salt. As far as everything else goes, at least it’s hills and not mountains. I also have a retroverted uterus! And PCOS! Let’s hear it for the reproductively challenged lesbians! Test-wise, the HSG sucked for me, but you get through it. It’s less than 30 minutes of misery, and if it helps you achieve 40 weeks of misery, then so be it. I didn’t get a Valium for mine, so you already have a leg up on that. (Or two! Hah!) As for the d & c and such, it’s truly no big deal. Since you’re out, it’s painless. A bit of cramping after & some spotting, but nothing to worry about. That’s what I had when they removed my polyp. Lastly, I bet that if it’s true PCOS, you’ll lose 5 lbs on Metformin without even thinking about it. Congratulations on taking the next step! I’m totally rooting for you.

    • I mentioned something about not wanting to go lower carb because of all the crossfit/running I do and he went on about a runner friend of his who is super low carb and has no problems and I just wanted to stop and shake him and ask _is your friend a woman? no?? well then_ I appreciate that he’s up on a lot of nutritional science that most other doctors aren’t, but he hasn’t quite gotten the memo that pre-menopausal women typically don’t do as well on VLC diets. Whatever. I know my body better than him in that regard, so I’ll temper my carbs, but I’m not going to go nearly as low as he wants.
      *high fives* Yeah retroverted uteri and PCOS buddies! Us reproductively-challenged queer ladies should really form a club – although I guess that’s what this blogosphere is. :3 I’m so glad I have you guys. This would have been a lot scarier without your collective experiences. ❤

  4. oc15

    nice to have an “inside” look and get some theories about what is going on in there! i have had a D&C, HSG and hysteroscopy. sorry to tell ya but they are all shitty and uncomfortable but you’ll survive 🙂

  5. Jealous, no one offered me valium for hsg! It’s so different for everyone, hopefully you have a not horrible experience! That’s a lot of info to take in and process. For me metformin was a biiiiiiiiiitch to get used to, but now it’s no big deal. I’m glad you’re comfortable with letting him know what’s up with your weight and hopefully on the metformin you’ll lose it anyway…Good luck

  6. Good for you, standing your ground. I’ve been through several REs and countless fertility-related “professionals”, and they all have their opinions. Nothing is one size fits all but it sure comes across as that sometimes. Glad to hear he sounds like he knows a thing or two. Sorry there might be bigger obstacles to deal with, but I’m hopeful for you that a solution is in your near future. Xx

  7. It’s likely that your Paleo diet may be keeping things from being worse. Sounds like your PCOS is very mild, so that’s encouraging. I’m hoping you get everything worked out in the next cycle or two!!

  8. I’m so glad that you guys finally have the answers that will help with your direction! We are considering changing to an RE in the very near future of people keep giving me the same “song and dance” that they have been for so long. So happy for you guys!!! Hope the HSG goes smoothly and you guys can try again soon!!

    • I’m really glad I got a ton of advice to go to an RE when I first started floating the idea of seeing a doctor in the first place. It was just right off the bat with some tests to actually see what was going on, which I really appreciated. The OB I went to before just did a reg blood test which didn’t pick up anything at all. :/
      Of course, idk if our insurance is going to cover anything…

      • That’s our issue, we really need to be able to have our insurance cover some of it in order to even go that route. Why does insurance not cover all of this? Seems crazy to me…

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