Category: HSG

What You Need To #StartAsking Your Doctor #NIAW

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#StartAsking

This is the theme for National Infertility Awareness Week 2016!

There are so many topics that we could talk about with the hashtag #StartAsking but my focus will be about being an advocate for yourself and asking questions to your ObGyn or Reproductive Endocrinologist.

When you are trying to have a child, many questions go through your mind. Some you ask and some you keep to yourself. At first, I thought my questions were foolish or that I shouldn’t question my ObGyn or RE, I mean they are the Dr.’s, they know more than me right?? But if there is one thing that I have learned through all of this is that you need to be an advocate for yourself. No question is foolish, no suggestion is crazy, no one is on your side more than you.

So here are some tips and questions to #StartAsking:

#1: ObGyns are NOT Reproductive Endocrinologists, but #StartAsking the basics.

I did this myself. I would ask my ObGyn questions about fertility and trying to get pregnant and I got no where. I didn’t even know what to ask at the beginning stages. But the three major things I would ask if you are questioning your fertility is for : AMH and FSH tests, an HSG test to see if your fallopian tubes are clear and a semen analysis for your husband. Those are three things your ObGyn should be able to do for you(and recommend a place for your husband’s semen analysis) and if any results are off, then go to a Reproductive Endocrinologist asap. Don’t waste any more time. ObGyns are great for delivering babies but most do not have the time or knowledge to help you get pregnant…especially if you might have a major issue.

#2: Once you have an RE, #StartAsking for copies of your results

Your RE has many patients. But you are your only patient. You should either receive copies of all of your results or take photos of them. I am a big promoter of this. Sometimes doctors get confused or something is forgotten….accidents happen. But, if you write down all of your results, you can compare, you can keep track, you can research for yourself. You never know, you might end up solving your own issue!

#3 #StartAsking to test your levels of Vitamin D, MTHFR, TSH

I know there are many more tests but these 3 are major.

Vitamin D: low levels of Vitamin D might be hindering your ability to get pregnant. If you have low Vitamin D levels and take a supplement, that may be all you need!

MTHFR: is something I wish all RE’s would test at the beginning. Too many wonderful women (in this blog world and online) have lost healthy babies to MTHFR. Heartbreaking. With a simple blood test, you will know if you have MTHFR and if you need to take necessary actions. Most likely, you would take a folate supplement and sometimes injections throughout your pregnancy. I’ve seen many women go on to carry healthy babies to term once they have been diagnosed and treated accordingly.

TSH levels: Your thyroid is important. Your TSH level should be between 1-2. If it is not within that range, you should speak with your doctor about what steps you might need to take to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

#4 Before IVF, #StartAsking for a hysteroscopy

It blows my mind how many RE’s do not perform a routine hysteroscopy before an IVF cycle(or before that!) So if you have been trying to have a baby for a while, and you are about to spend thousands of dollars on IVF, why not make sure that you have a healthy uterus?? That is a large piece of the puzzle! I know many doctors say that the HSG will show if there is a problem with the uterus but that’s not always correct. My HSG showed my uterus looked fine. Then I had my hysteroscopy….and scar tissue was everywhere. Many times HSGs cannot see scar tissue or a lot of other problems inside the uterus. So, even if I would have transferred a healthy embryo, it would not have worked. Having a hysteroscopy should be a part of every IVF protocol. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen women go through 1, 2, 3 IVF cycles, all fail, to finally have a hysteroscopy and find problems. Problems that should have been corrected before they even went through one IVF cycle. It’s so sad that a procedure that cost maybe $700(or less if it’s covered by insurance) could have helped solve the problem. Many women after having operative hysteroscopies, go on to have a pregnancy the old fashioned way too, no IVF needed either. Definitely one procedure I would #StartAsking for.

#5 #StartAsking for a personalized IVF protocol

If you are with an RE that does the SAME protocol for every patient….beware. You cannot tell me that the same protocol on a 25 year old with a normal AMH/FSH will work the same on a 42 year old with Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Just doesn’t make sense. We are all different, our bodies are different. Different doses of medicine are necessary to encourage egg growth or, on the other hand, to prevent OHSS(Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) which can be extremely dangerous if not monitored closely.

#6 After a failed IVF(or 3) #StartAsking another RE

There is no harm in getting another opinion. I know that you may feel comfortable with your RE. That maybe you’ve been with them for years. But if they haven’t figured out your case, a new set of eyes is sometimes the best next step. There is no “right” way about infertility. And some RE’s are just set in their ways. If they are not willing to listen to your questions or concerns…simply move on.

I could probably write many more but I’ll stop here. Now, these are just my opinions from going through the IVF process numerous times. I am not a doctor…which is why you should #StartAsking your doctor.

Be your own advocate. Listen to your gut. Know your body. Understand protocols. Research your condition. Read medical papers. Ask questions.

Just #StartAsking

And when you do that…you are not only advocating for yourself but for your future child.

You are opening doors for your baby before they are even in your arms.

You are fighting for them before they are even created.

You are being a Mother.

You are already a Mother, when you #StartAsking

www.resolve.org

#NIAW 2016 #StartAsking

0.6%-0.8%…That’s me…

cant-lose-weight-I-can-do-it

Seems unbelievable right? To be included in SUCH a small percentage of what “could” (or could not) happen?

“Approximately 0.6%–0.8% of patients cannot reach the minimum endometrial thickness for pregnancy”

0.6%-0.8%….seriously?

I went in today for a “natural” cycle lining check….let’s be REAL nothing is “natural” anymore. I’m literally a human test dummy…and the verdict….2.8mm…..:( As most of you know…it should be more like 8.0mm+ I am dumbfounded and so are my RE’s…..

I had my 2nd hysteroscopy on April 10. I went to THE premiere Asherman’s Syndrome Dr….he did the hysteroscopy and said…he only saw some “filmy adhesions”…not that bad and a “small” bald spot in the upper area of my uterus. He didn’t seem too concerned. He put me on Pentoxifylline(Trental) and Vitamin E(I actually started it at the end of March when I first saw him)…and we wait a couple of months….

I know it’s only been a little over a month….but most people have their thickest linings right AFTER a hysteroscopy….and mine is basically non existent…

Now…I also….re-read my last paragraph…and I did write “most people”….obviously, i am NOT most people….I am, unfortunately, part of the 0.6%-0.8% of women who cannot seem to reach the minimum endometrial thickness for implantation…..wow….those odds…..not even 1%

This all just happened about an hour ago. I was optimistic….feeling great…feeling like…”my lining should be nice and plump” The surgery had to work!

Then the ultrasound…and nada….I still have a super thin lining AND fluid in my lining πŸ™ What’s the deal?

0.6%-0.8%….it just gets me…..gets to my soul…..why me? How is it possible to be a part of this percentage?

What gets me most is how easy the Dr.’s are to start talking about gestational carriers. Like it’s like…ordering a pizza…what?? Sure, because everyone just has $100,000 laying around….

But, I am EXTREMELY fortunate and after my 2nd IVF, I have 6 blastocysts…very fortunate and blessed…but I’ve never even had an embryo near my uterus….ever. I’ve never been pregnant….never had a miscarriage…never a D&C until last Aug. I only have one tube…that’s blocked and now…that’s REALLY blocked because I had the Essure device placed to prevent a possible Ectopic pregnancy or fluid pouring back in killing an embryo.

I’m still determined to, at least, have one embryo placed in my uterus before looking into a gestational carrier(if that’s even financially possible??)…can’t even think about that now…even though tears still seem to force their way out of my eyes…like I have no control over them…I am strong…but gosh…I am less than 1% πŸ™

I’m researching like it’s my job…and it WILL be my job…because I have no choice…

I’m looking at all of the options…there HAS to be an option for us 0.6%-0.8%….and I’ll find it..

I’m going to try another lining stimulation cycle next month…with estrogen injectables…with 2 IVF’s down…injectables are nothing to me…so let’s do it…we might also try something called G-CSFΒ It’s new and the results are mixed but I’m literally willing to try anything….

I’ve also looked into stem cells….

In 2009…a women in India had impossible problems with her lining and using her own bone marrow stem cells…they implanted them into her uterus and she was able to grow an adequate endometrium….I really hope I don’t have to go that route (God are you listening πŸ˜‰ but don’t put it past me…

I’m on a mission….I have tears streaming down my face…but they are fighting tears….I wipe them away as I search and search for what is right for me….and what is right for me is not giving up and finding everything and anything i can about growing my lining…

0.6%-0.8%…..I have 99.4% against me…..but there’s still a chance….and as long as there’s a chance…I haven’t lost…..

And I don’t like losing…..