The supplements

It took us a while to get the supplements for H — no pharmacy had them in stock, and in part I was just unorganized / too busy with other stuff. Turns out, I wouldn’t have needed to hurry — first, they are bloody expensive, and second, H hates their taste. As in, he hasn’t even taken more than one, so far.
I had hoped that, as they’d surely be cheaper than IUIs, we could just give this semi-natural TTC a shot as we won’t be doing treatments next year anyway (which I’m not happy about, but that’s for another post). But now, for a price of four boxes I could almost get an IUI, or at least the sperm-related part of it (i.e., no drugs for me), and if the taste really is so bad I frankly don’t know if it’s worth it…

In other news, my boobs are sore and I’m constipated, but at 2dpo this is certainly isn’t a pregnancy symptom. My pre-ovulatory time was painful again — less in the buttocks but more around the tailbone, if you care for such details. This is all rather weird and annoying, and I don’t really know what to do about it. Maybe I should get a second opinion — my doc says that a lap would not be helpful at this point, as there’s nothing big to be removed, and seeing the tailbone region would be difficult too. However, I’m not inclined to spending 2/4 weeks on painkillers every month, so something has to be done…

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clarified (somewhat)

At our follow-up appointment, my doc had found out that the “unclear” parts of the MRI were so because of all the scar tissue / adhesions I have from my previous surgery. Which means that they cannot see much in this area. The overall conclusion remains, no big bloody masses or anything to be seen, which is good. Whether there are small amounts of endometriosis or not they cannot really say, as far as I understand. Nor where my pain comes from — my doctor thinks it could be from the adhesions, but what I find weird is that it mainly occurs during my period, and to a lesser extent until ovulation — to me this screams estrogen-dependent. Anyone with adhesions, or other “weird pain”, has had this experience?

She had also finally received the SA results from last year — oddly enough, on that report morphology wasn’t even mentioned (where I’m from, you don’t actually get any records unless you, or better another doctor, specifically asks for them). So now I don’t know whether they tested for it at all, and hence whether the new results are worse or just “another factor we didn’t know about”. Not that this would help, I guess… H, although very skeptical about anything that is not traditional western medicine, has agreed to start trying a supplement for male fertility. Let’s see if that brings us anywhere. It cannot hurt, I suppose.

The best news of the consultation was that the doctor thinks we could be successful with IUI. Of course it is hard to predict anything as nobody knows how my endo (if it is there at all) affects my chances of getting pregnant, but based on his numbers she would suggest us to try 4 rounds of that, and then think about IVF. One of the insurance plans at my next job would cover 50% of IUIs, including the drugs, which would be a start. No IVF coverage, though… sigh. I’m not entirely sure how it would be with my insurance here, and unfortunately the only clinic that works with it was not very impressive (they wrote the wrong diagnosis on the SA, and needed 4 attempts to put the correct name on the invoice).

I think in part I’m still grieving the idea of conceiving naturally, so perhaps it is not the worst thing in the world if we have to wait a bit, until we have moved and settled in our new location. Still, it hurts me that some friends will probably be preparing for the arrival of #2 by the time we even have a chance of conceiving #1 (and we all know that this does not mean we’ll actually have a baby 9 months later). I got though most of this month fairly well, given my IF-unhappiness and the anniversary of my mom’s death in late November, but last Friday I just lost it, and all I could do was cry on the way home. A BFN on Saturday morning didn’t make it any better, but HP7 was at least distracting, and afterwards we went for drinks with friends. In a place that used to be super-nice with great food, but now has new owners and is… less nice. But more expensive. Sigh. This will get better, right?

evening primrose oil – advice?

The title says it all, I think. Have you used it? Specific recommendations on dosage, when to take it — according to this article only in the follicular phase, as it may induce cramping — or any other helpful advice? (Brands likely won’t help much unless you live in Old Europe.)
I’ve read that it can help both with endometriosis (fatty acids making cell membranes smoother, relieving adhesions etc.), and with getting pregnant — and, if you believe the pages that sell it, it’s amazing for all aspects of health anyway. I asked my doctor about it and she said that it won’t hurt, and that fatty acids are important (and some missing from the local diet, apparently) so I’ll try. If I get better (or pregnant!), great. Regarding my odd pain we’ll do an MRI during my next period and see what that shows. Of course the problem is that it may show nothing and there could still be endo… but she wasn’t very keen on jumping to a lap right away, and I do understand the “the less invasive the better” point of view, particularly when we’re not sure what we’re dealing with. She also did an u/s and I had already ovulated, and my lining was transforming in the way it should. I think that our timing was not bad this month, but honestly, after all the other months with ok-to-good timing, I don’t have a lot of hope that I’ll get pregnant this time. H should repeat his SA soonish, and then perhaps we’ll know a bit more, namely, if we should really worry about his side as well or if the last one was a fluke / badly timed.

luteal phase defect

My last luteal phase was again only 9 days long. I noted this issue when I first began charting. My ob/gyn gave me progesterone suppositories, but based on this article I also started to take vitamin B6, also because I had read elsewhere that a sign of vit B6 deficiency is that you cannot remember your dreams. (As a scientist, the lack of properly controlled studies and solid data in much of the medical world drives me nuts. But that’s a topic for another day.) Well, I could hardly remember any dream in the morning, so I went shopping and finally found a pharmacy that had a supplement with 50mg+ pills. It didn’t affect my preovulatory phase in the first cycle (luteal phase was long, but with progesterone support). The next cycle, ovulation was on CD11, quite a change from around 20 before, but the eggwhite cervical fluid only appeared afterwards… probably my body was rather confused. I stopped taking B6 sometime thereafter because of oddly tingling feet (possible side effect of high doses, cf. Wikipedia, improved soon after I stopped taking it).

Whether because of the vitamins or not, both my pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory phases have varied by several days in each cycle. Which made timing sex for conception rather difficult — the “usual” 3-5 day window doesn’t seem to work for us, obviously …

Now as I’m back to the short luteal phase, I have started supplementing again, but much lower doses (20mg). Let’s see if this works.