Pineapple and Progesterone

One girl's struggles to come to grips with considering herself "infertile"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

is it my inability to have a positive attitude?

Today I started to wonder if we should switch fertility clinics. When we were doing IUIs there (I think we did 3), one of the doctors told me that with my age and labs, we had an 80% chance with IVF. Great, I thought. If it doesn't work the first time, then it will work the second time. We went ahead and did it and I made a nice number of eggs (with subtle suggestion from the stimulation drugs). It was all playing out very nicely until the 2 transfered embryos didn't take. I started to think I just wasn't a good vessel (as far as I know, I was only pregnant once for about a week even after years of stupid contraception mistakes). At the first transfer of fresh embryos, the doc said that there was a 50% chance (not 80% but still great odds, much better than I could do on my own). At the second transfer (3 frozens), the doctor (a different one from the first transfer and from the 80% stat) said that she had a very good feeling about this. She didn't say it, but I heard 100% in her tone. She had also previously told me that she thought I would get all of the kids that I want from this big batch of eggs/embryos that we made (I am a hen, I have learned). Well, the second transfer didn't work. So, let's see. I've had 5 very nice looking day 5 embryos transfered. From the 3 IUIs (with clomid ovulation induction), there were probably about 5 more eggs that had some chances. I am 0 for 10. When I first started suspecting that something was up (and when I cared to do something about it - these are different), I read that even in 'normal' couples in my age bracket, there is a 1 in 4 chance of conceiving naturally. At what point does this become a problem with me? 0/20 (this will more than max out what we have in the freezing nitrogen)? I am confused and a tad bit annoyed with the doctors. I'm going to investigate others because I refuse to give up hope even though it sounds like it, huh?

Monday, October 30, 2006

symptoms that don't mean anything

I'm starting this blog after a failed FET (after an IVF that made several embryos but didn't even make me chemically pregnant). I have a few more embryos in frozen storage and am relatively young (33), yet still not pregnant. I've done everything I think possible - pineapples for implantation (thus the title), hormonal support, acupuncture, no ibuprofin, no alcohol, decent fitness/weight. At first it annoyed me that even though our diagnosis was male factor, the solution is for me to be injected, poked and prodded and to have to stick progesterone pills in my vagina multiple times a day. I am less annoyed by this (though I still wonder why he can't be stimulated to double the amount of swimmers he has if I can be stimulated to make 30 eggs - 30x the usual, of course - in one month).

In any event, this is not the point (possibly just because now with 2 failed transfers, not to mention the numerous IUIs we've done, there must be a female component involved in all of this). It was nice, I admit to be able to transfer some of my guilt/shame (something like that according to a therapist) onto my hubbie, but now the burden is back on me. me. I'm the one who has to deal with the misleading signals that come with taking progesterone. Here are some of those symptoms that mean absolutely nothing when it comes to prediciting early pregnancy, compiled from about 8 months of being 'in cycle' with progesterone supplementation:

*ovary pains/pangs
*hair shedding/thinning
*prolonged lower back pain after ET
*changing vaginal shape (my husband reported this-he was responsible for the progesterone dosing)
*breast tenderness days 4-7 after ET
*lack of clumsiness at end of cycle (I am very clumsy around day 28 if AF is coming)

I write this for anyone who has done web-based research to determine if you're pregnant (what else is there to do during that 9-14 days at the end of a cycle?). I had a difficult time sorting through all of the sites that discuss pregnancy symptoms because they usually only related to natural cycles where progesterone and estrogen are only there if there's an implantation event (amazing thing the corpus luteum, by the way, but more on that if you'd like later). Please let me know if there's anything to add to the meaningless symptoms list.

p.s. happy infertility week.