Surgery, Drugs, and IUI

The beginning of April, we decided it was time to see a fertility specialist–a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  We went with one recommended by my OBGYN.

Our appointment was the end of April.  We set up blood tests for me, a semen analysis (SA) for Andrew, and a Saline Infused Sonogram (SIS) for me to look at my uterus and make sure everything looked ok.  (SIS is also known at Sonohysterogram, or SHG)  They inject saline into the uterus to expand it, and get a good look at its’ status.

Well, Andrew’s SA showed mediocre numbers.  My blood tests were all normal, except AMH which was way lower than it should be for a 29 year old–apparently closer to that of a 39 year old… meaning I have a diminished ovarian reserve.  And my SIS revealed a septum in the middle of my uterus — blocking implantation in the most-likely-to-implant zone, and was likely the cause of my two losses.

All these factors combined were to blame for our difficulty getting pregnant.

I had surgery (a laparoscopy) to remove the septum.  During the surgery they also discovered and removed a fibroid, and “products of conception” that apparently had not passed naturally.  The latter of which was almost entirely blocking one of my tubes, thus cutting our already low chances effectively in half.

After the procedure, we had to abstain for a month while I healed.  We both agreed that we should move forward to IUI (Intrauterine Insemination, commonly thought of as “artificial insemination”), since we’d grown so frustrated with trying on our own.

The procedure goes like this: I take Femara, a fertility drug, to stimulate and hopefully strengthen ovulation.  They do an ultrasound to see when I am close to ovulation, and if close they give me a “trigger shot” of hCG (pregnancy hormone) to induce ovulation at a very specific time.  Then they do the insemination the next day.  Two weeks later, I take a pregnancy test, and find out if the procedure worked.

It wasn’t until the third, and latest, IUI that I realized that it was the trigger shot causing excessive hunger.  The hormone makes my body think it’s pregnant, and so I become incredibly hungry.  And can’t.stop.eating.

That coupled with the stress, and depression, of now three failed IUIs, a good chunk of our hard diet work has been undone.  But, I guess it would be 10x worse if we hadn’t lost the weight in the first place, and just gained even more.

Though, now, we have a new plan.  Both for diet/exercise, and TTC.

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