Hi everyone, my name is Lizzie. This is my first blog entry, yay! This blog will mostly be about my journey with infertility. Some entries might also be about some of the medical conditions I have, including, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Arnold-Chiari Malformation (Chiari).
So, a little bit about me:
- I’m 29 years old and I work on a high risk obstetrics unit at a local hospital.
- My husbands name is Will. He is also 29
- We got married at the courthouse June 19th, 2014 but we didn’t have a wedding party until May 9th, 2015.
- I have 4 Australian Shepherd dogs. Their names are Autumn Pumpkin, Boone Winters, Salter Path and Summer Sunshine.
My Infertility Story (so far…)
Will and I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for over a year now. I stopped taking my birth control pills on July 4th, 2015 so we officially started trying in October of 2015. A few months in when nothing had happened I decided to start taking my basal body temperature (BBT) . I took my BBT for a month and recorded it and added in the use of an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) starting the next month. My OB/GYN decided to refer me to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) after a year of no babies.
I had a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) done to check to see if my tubes were open and they are. All my lab work came back within normal limits and I was getting positive OPKs each cycle. My husbands semen analysis came back good as well. My OB/GYN has always thought I had endometriosis because I have had chronic severe right lower quadrant pelvic pain since I was 11. She had put me on birth control pills at the age of 11 because I had a ruptured cyst on my ovary. Her idea was that maybe we could save the right ovary from scarring so I could use it later in life to have a baby.
My RE decided that since everything looked good we could try some treatments. The first cycle I took Clomiphene (Clomid) 50mg tablets on days 3-7 of my cycle. Then I went in to the office on day 12 for an ultrasound to check my follicles and see if they were big enough to release. I had 2 follicles, one on the right at 31mm and one on the left at 30mm. If everything had gone as planned at that ultrasound I would have gone home that night and injected my Ovidrel (an injection of the hormone HCG to trigger the release of mature eggs) at 10 pm night and then come back 36 hours later for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
My body had other plans! I had woken up that morning and used an OPK test like always at that time in my cycle and I got a strong positive meaning that my body was naturally having a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) and it was trying to ovulate on its own. So my RE had me call my husband in right away and send him in to the office to give his sample for the IUI while I rushed home to inject my trigger shot. Then I hurried back to the office and had the IUI done. That cycle was unsuccessful, probably due to the strange timing of things. Also I am suspicious now that the “follicle” on the right is actually a cyst.
The second cycle I took the 50mg clomid on cycle day (CD) 3-7 again. I went in for a follicle check on CD 12 and had one on the right that was the largest at 17.9mm (but I think that was the cyst) I had 3 follicles on my left ovary between 15 and 17.5mm but I don’t remember their exact sizes. The ultrasound tech also said I had what looked like a follicle within a follicle on the left ovary. They had me inject the trigger at 3pm that same day. Since Will and I were going on vacation that day I wouldn’t be in town during the time I would have to get the IUI so, we did timed intercourse. That cycle was also unsuccessful. Knowing what I know now, after quite a lot of research, I would say the follicles just weren’t quite mature. They usually don’t have you trigger until you have at least one follicle at 18mm and the size range they are looking for is 18mm-25mm.
For the past 3 cycles my periods had been getting shorter each time. I had also started spotting brown before each period. Eventually my period was only a few days of dark brown and black spotting that was so light I didn’t even need a panty liner. My RE decided to go ahead and do an exploratory laparoscopy and a hysteroscopy to see what could be causing the problem. Several times it has been noted that I have free fluid around my right ovary (on ultrasound and abdominal CT). I have been tested for infections and it has always come back negative. The fluid just indicated that there is inflammation somewhere near by which could be caused by endometriosis.
As much as its killing me to skip trying for a baby this cycle I am very interested to see what the results of my surgery will be. My guess is they will find endometriosis and adhesions in my abdomen somewhere and a cyst on my right ovary. I am suspicious that I do not ovulate from my right ovary since I have 22 day cycles when my right ovary is dominant and it looks like the only thing that is ever there is that same cyst just changing sizes as my cycle goes on. I’ll find out hopefully right after the surgery on Feb. 3rd.
Hopefully they find a small correctable problem and they can fix it and we can get pregnant as soon as I’m healed!