Friday, November 9, 2007

The Infertility Stuff, Part 5

After the less-than-impressive handling of the blood draw and test results, we decided not to go with the HMO for the hysterosalpingogram. We were much more confident in my regular doctor and the Pope Paul VI Institute.

When the blood test results came back from the hormone series (the blood draws every-other-day for three weeks), my doctor told me that they indicated that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). There might also be other problems (like endometriosis), but that couldn't be identified through the blood tests. My progesterone and estrogen levels also went up after ovulation (as they should), but dropped off much more quickly than they should. That made sense, given that I had a short post-peak (luteal) phase. And my thyroid tests showed that I might have very slight hypothyroidism.

So, he had me start taking sustained-release T3 (thryoid hormone)--the natural stuff, which I have to get at a compounding pharmacy--and giving myself HCG injections after ovulation (3, 5, 7, and 9 days after peak day). The HCG is intended to stimulate my body to produce more progesterone and estrogen.

I had to deal with my fear of needles pretty fast. I still don't like them, but I've gotten much faster at giving myself injections now that I've been doing it for more than a year! The first cycle or two, I would sit there with the syringe in my hand for about half an hour, trying to work up the nerve to just stick myself with it already.

Then, we got ready to get on the schedule at the Pope Paul VI Institute.

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