The Journey Begins

So while this journey started quite some time ago…I guess the first appointment at the fertility clinic is a good starting point.  I wasn’t going to waste any time going to my gynecologist.  Oh no.  I skipped right on over to a fertility clinic.  I did my research and while this one didn’t have the highest IVF success rates published, it had good reviews and people said that they didn’t feel like they were in an assembly line the way they did at some other clinics in my area.  Besides, I wasn’t at the IVF stage just yet.  I’m not sure if I will want to go there anyway.   AND the best part is that the clinic is close to work and home so going in over and over again will reduce a lot of stress….which is one thing I don’t need any more of.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I printed out all of my bbt charts.  I imagined the doctor would look them over and commend me on a job well done.  “Fascinating!  These charts will help me immensely in treating you.  It is extremely helpful that you have taken the time each and every morning over the course of a year to take your temperature.  The descriptions of your cervical mucus are very telling.  I will get the team to study these asap!”

So the hospital the doctor is affiliated with is a teaching hospital, actually one of the best hospitals in the US.  We were interviewed in a small meeting room by a resident before the doctor even appeared.  I guess it was a practice session for her and we were willing to help.  Same questions that we filled out on the form in the waiting room…medical history, how many times do we have sex each week, what horrible vices do we have that might be hindering this process, etc.  Then the doctor came in and asked the same questions AGAIN.  Do they not look at the forms?  They must be reference material for all the other “behind the scenes” staff that work there.  Or maybe the forms are just a way of keeping you busy in the waiting room.

And then the doctor punched me in the face.  Well, ok, not literally.  But when I pulled out my fancy charts he told me he wouldn’t need to look at them.  If I am having my period, I am obviously ovulating…everything else they would be able to tell from bloodwork.  “You are better off using OPKs to time intercourse.  Don’t bother with tracking temperatures.  That will just drive you crazy.”  Well, sir, I am no novice here!  I very well know that the temperatures tell you that you have ovulated after the fact and if you had bothered to glance at the very detailed charts you would know that I do use OPKs as well as a variety of scientific data to figure out exactly when I ovulate!  And we have timed intercourse at precisely the right times.  Strike one.  Does this guy even know what he is doing?

I then pulled out photos of my laparoscopic surgery.  (For many years I had a fibroid growing on the outside of my uterus and it got to the point where it was giant…the size of a large grapefruit.  I could feel it by rubbing my stomach….it was like there was a little alien growing in there and I wanted it out.  I searched around for the very best surgeon and had a minimally invasive procedure through robotic surgery.  And this was after my gynecologist told me that the thing was so big there was absolutely no way of removing it without regular surgery!)  Well the doctor just thought these were awesome.  He oohed and aahed over the pictures and excitedly described the procedure to the resident.  Turns out my surgeon did his residency under the very same doctor that I was meeting with that day.  Maybe he knows more than he initially let on.

There wasn’t much left to discuss other than the our incredibly low chances of conceiving.  The doctor said that the chances of conceiving each month at my age, assuming everything is perfectly in order, is maybe 12% each month.  Maybe.  If something is off in either one of us, then the those chances are drastically lowered.  Since we haven’t been able to conceive for such a long time, there is probably something wrong with one of us.  And they might be able to figure out what that is.  But, in many cases it is unexplained.  So, we need to do several tests.  I need to do a USG and blood test.  Husband needs to do a sperm analysis.  He also threw in “Don’t freak out if the sperm test comes in low.  We will re-test if that happens.”   You better believe I will freak out if the sperm count is low.

How does anyone ever get pregnant with those odds?

Our treatment options are as follows : Drugs (Clomid or similar), IUI + Drugs, and if all else fails IVF.  “We won’t go to IVF unless we have to” he says.  But with the chances of conceiving with Clomid alone (3%) and Clomid + IUI (7-8%) doesn’t it seem that IVF is inevitable?  What is the point of even taking clomid by itself if there is a 3% chance of pregnancy….and if our chances WITH Clomid are 3% then I shudder to think what our chances are on our own.  (These statistics are for a full term pregnancy…aka a “take home baby”)

Things do not look good.  And I am not sure about this doctor at all.  We will see how the testing stage goes and re-evaluate from there.

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