I have had so much blood work done I feel like a vampire's victim. For some reason my progesterone levels have dropped since September. They aren't getting high enough to trigger a period let alone ovulation. Last month I took progesterone (Provera)to trigger a period so I could get some blood work tests done. The RE (reproductive endocrinologist - fertility specialist)was checking for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition where there is weight gain, acne, coarse/dark hair that develops where previously there wasn't an issue - there are other symptoms but these are the ones that I have. Basically, your hormones are all out of whack. And, surprise surprise, I have it. We found that my testosterone is high and I am insulin resistant. Hence, I have not been ovulating correctly for some time now. The kicker, the one that socked me right in the gut and has led to this blog, my eggs are aging prematurely and there is a question about whether I have any viable eggs left. I don't know the particulars on this because I was so upset when the nurse called that I didn't think to ask any real questions. I do know that I know have to take a Clomid Challenge test. They load me up on clomid (fertility drug to stimulate ovulation) and test my blood and do an ultrasound to see how and if my eggs react. Of course, I have to wait until my period starts before they can start the test but it has yet to make an appearance. I suspect I will be making further acquaintance with the Provera pills. I don't think I have ever wanted my periods to start as badly as I have since we started seeing the RE.
Now, my husband (T) has also been tested. We figured there really was no need because he already had a child from a previous marriage and then there was our daughter. But the RE wanted it so we did it. Another shock, T also has some fertility issues now - sperm morphology issues. His little guys are not formed correctly so they can't break through the egg to fertilize it. The fun never stops around here. His issue is caused by LOW testosterone. If only I had his blood and he had mine. The treatment, he also gets to take Clomid. The urologist is pretty confident that this can be corrected so we aren't too worried right now.
As to my PCOS, the treatment is an antidiabetic drug called Metformin. I am beginning to hate Metformin. Some of its side effects include upset stomach and nausea. Boy, does it ever cause those. I start out one 1 pill and work my way up to 3 a day. I am on 1 pill right now and it is making me so sick that I am dreading what it is going to be like as I up the levels. I am really hoping my body becomes accustomed to it because this sucks so much right now.
T and I knew from the get go that the probable treatment for our infertility was going to be fertility drugs and insemination ( IUI - intrauterine insemination). But now, after researching what my test results are showing, I am really afraid that it is going to be invitro ( IVF - invitro fertilization). IVF scares the hell out of me. The cost is prohibitive to begin with and I don't know if we can afford it. Our insurance only covers diagnostic care, not the infertility treatments. We had put money away for the IUI treatments ( there would be 3 of them as long as they weren't successful) but now....I just don't know. The drugs alone are in the thousands. And what if I am not a candidate for IVF, are we looking at egg donor, embryo adoption or, what I fear the most, adoption? There are so many questions and fears going through my head that sometimes I feel like I am going to explode. And none of these questions, like what kind of treatment are we looking at now, can even be answered until after the Clomid Challenge Test and the RE followup visit.
So, as of right now, all we can do is wait. Wait for my period to start so we can move on with the test. And of course, it isn't cooperating so that is something else for me to worry and agonize over. Sometimes I wonder if all this is even worth it. I already have a daughter. A lot of couples in our position don't even have one child. Maybe I should count my blessings and accept what I have been given. But then I see a baby or a pregnant friend or play with/hold a baby and wonder, why has this happened to ME and, damn it, I want more kids!!!