My Infertility Story (Part 1)
April 24-April 30, 2011 is National Infertility Awareness Week
and I’ll be sharing my infertility story with you.
TRYING TO CONCEIVE: Take 1
In September of 2002, 9 months before our wedding, I went to the doctor for a physical where I also got a Pap smear and starting taking birth control pills. After a year and 3 months on birth control pills I stopped taking them. They were making me sick and the price had gone up. We began using alternative means of birth control and I started tracking my period and estimated ovulation online. Six months later we decided to start trying to have a baby and stopped all forms of birth control. I have always had very regular periods. I’ve never smoked, never drank alcohol, don’t drink pop (soda) or coffee, and at the time had never been overweight. I was almost 25, hubby was almost 24.
We tried for almost four years before going to an OBGYN to get checked out. There wasn’t any particular reason why we didn’t go sooner. I had just never started going to a GYN (You can probably thank my 8th grade Sex Ed class for scaring me about the GYN by showing me a speculum. You want to do what with that?! Um, no thank you.). Had I been going for an annual GYN appointment I would’ve mentioned right away that we were trying to conceive and perhaps have made a special appointment before we ever got started. Lesson learned. Be sure to go the GYN
boys and girls, no matter how scary the big shiny torture device looks.
They did blood work and said the results were all good (I don’t know all of the tests that they ran but I do know that they checked my thyroid, ovulation, and progesterone). I had a hysterosalpingogram (which is an X-ray test where they shoot dye into you to check the uterus and fallopian tubes) which again showed that nothing was wrong. I had an endometrial biopsy (where they scrape out a sample of uterine lining for testing) which showed that I had a lag in my uterine lining (I was on day 22 but the sample showed that I was only on day 18) called a Luteal Phase Defect (LPD). To my understanding this meant that we could’ve been fertilizing eggs but when they try to attach to the uterine lining it wasn’t prepared yet due to my lag and the egg wouldn’t be able to attach. My OBGYN recommended that I begin taking Crinone 8% which is a progesterone gel. It comes in an applicator and I was to use it every night starting on day 15 of my cycle until my period starts. If I became pregnant I was to use it every night for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy until the placenta took over. The OBGYN also mentioned that women with a Luteal Phase Defect usually have low progesterone levels but that my levels looked fine. I picked up the Crinone but never used it. I never even take aspirin so I was reluctant to put this into my body especially if my progesterone levels were apparently fine. I also wasn’t thrilled with some of the side effects mentioned including depression, nausea, fatigue, breast pain, head aches, and more. We decided to wait until my husband’s tests were completed to start using the Crinone.
The same day that I had the hysterosalpingogram my husband dropped off a specimen for a semen analysis (SA). Almost two weeks went by and no one ever called us with the results. Finally my husband called and they told him that his count was fine but there was some inflammation which could have been caused by a catheter (my husband had been catheterized at the beginning of September ’07 during a gallbladder surgery). After a few months my husband decided to make a urology appointment to see if anything else was wrong. Before he even had his appointment he found blood in his urine so they brought him in sooner. The Dr. found that he had a prostate infection which can result in abnormal sperm (we assume that these are the “inflamed cells” that the OBGYN office referred to). This would cause a problem conceiving because it lowers your sperm count since the abnormal sperm are completely useless. He put him on antibiotics and told him to stop drinking pop and tea…the infection cleared and then he had another SA done. The results this time were that his sperm count had doubled bringing it to the average level. The urologist said that if we don’t conceive within 6 months to come back (This was in April 2008).
In June of 2008 we met with an adoption agency and began filling out paperwork. Two months after the last urology appointment on our 5 year anniversary (after a week of ttc) we decided that I would try taking the Crinone. On July 5 we discovered that we were pregnant after 4 years of trying to conceive.
*National Infertility Awareness Week
*Childless Mother: Infertility Poem
*Trying to Conceive: Take 1 You are here!
*My First Pregnancy
*Trying to Conceive: Take 2
*Trying to Conceive: Take 3 Secondary Infertility
*Spring Ahead: Reflections on Miscarriage
*Celebrate Your Name Week: Jordan: Why we named the baby I miscarried