Get Clucky!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What the Medicales Told Me

"You're going to have a hard time getting pregnant!"

Ah!!! They are so wise.

I wanted to say: no shit, sherlock. I wanted to say: I've being telling you that for years, Medicales-of-the-world! I wanted to say: your irritating use of the future tense fails to mask the fact that this "insight" is not much of a discovery, given that I _AM_ having a hard time getting pregnant! There's no "going to" about it! Bitch!

I didn't say any of that, though I did mumble a less English-nerd version of the last point there.

And lets be real clear that my grumbling serves mostly so I can pretend that this is not actually real news. Which it's not--clearly, I'm going to have a hard time getting pregnant.

But, friends, I cannot tell a lie: it sucks to hear that from a doctor.

Anyway, here's the scoop: it seems that my estrogen is really really low (blood tests taken so that this can be confirmed). Also, probably my uterine lining is really really thin. None of this is a terrible terrible blow in the wide world of infertility--this should probably be pretty manageable with treatment, though the doctor kept saying ominous things like "well, usually this works...but in -your- [extra special freakish] case we can't be sure..."

I have a lingering suspicion that if I just was really patient and willing to have a lot of sex in the next year or so, things might work out on their own. But then, they might not--and even so, I am not very patient.

So: clomid. That's the plan; that's the plastic container in my medicine cabinet. I have to take five weeks worth of other hormones first to stimulate (one hopes) a menstrual cycle, then start the clomid around the end of July.

There's lots to say about this, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. Just wanted to start getting it down. And to thank Alice for asking about it. Thanks, Alice!!

***

PS: Here's some amusing news: I am happy to report that in addition to all my poking and prodding, B. is required to have a semen analysis. Ha ha! I LOVE it. The doctor wisely points out that just because there is something "wrong" with me doesn't mean that there isn't also something "wrong" with B, and there's no point in a lot of hormone therapy if at the end of the day the guys just can't swim or something. Brilliant! So, B. gets to share in the awkward embarrassment. I am, bitchily, thrilled beyond words.

PPS: Did I mention that my doctor is pregnant? And so is her nurse? Both of them? I am happy to say that--I was happy for them! I was! Which I take to be a good sign, because despite my depleted hormones and withered parts, I still seem to be a normally functioning human being. Whew. I was getting worried there.

5 Comments:

  • Hey AltMama,

    I'm glad you found my blog too - I've started an HA club (hypothalamic amenorrhea), and it sounds like you might be a member too. I'm going to go back and read your whole blog, but I just wanted to post here before you start the five weeks - I have been told, and I have read (and as a scientist it makes perfect sense to me) that Clomid will not work if you have HA. It is an anti-estrogen, so causes you to ovulate by mirroring the decrease in estrogen that should naturally happen in your cycle. But, if you have HA, your estrogen is so low to begin with that the Clomid won't do anything. Nothing minus nothing is still nothing! My estrogen was 34 when they measured it during my workup.

    I just found a message board about HA, it's at http://www3.fertilethoughts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247724&page=1&pp=20

    I think you should get a second opinion, or ask Dr. Sherlock to confirm why he thinks you will ovulate on Clomid with a low e2.

    Hope you don't mind the assvice, I just don't want you to go down this road without your eyes open!

    By Blogger Nico, at 7:55 PM  

  • Oh, yay, thanks for that reference!! And for the link. I love knowing scientists. :)

    I get blood tests back tomorrow, and so will know then if my amenorrhea is thyroid related or just a result of weird low estrogen, post pill (given my long history of menstrual weirdness, it's hard to know).

    I never mind advice! Dr. Sherlock is nice, but this isn't her specialty, so it's good to find it elsewhere.

    By Blogger AltMama, at 8:41 PM  

  • I don't have a good reference for hormone levels, but when I asked for my test results, they printed out with the normal ranges for each (even broken down by what stage of the cycle you're in). If you don't get that with your results, let me know, and I can tell you what my sheet says.

    I just joined the message board... might be an easier way to talk about this stuff than through blogger comments. I posted on the old thread that was sort of dormant - do you think we should just start a new one?

    By Blogger Nico, at 10:07 PM  

  • Hey, thanks for coming to visit me! I'm still at the very first stage of this whole process, and really, I'm not even sure if I am HA yet. I just suspect it, based on my other medical issues, past history, and whatnot, but I've only just started Provera, so we'll see.

    If you have any thyroid concerns and want some assvice, just ask -- I got diagnosed last year with central hypothyroidism (which is often comorbid with things like HA and hyperprolactinemia). Given that I'm a total obsessive-compulsive, I've done the research pretty thoroughly, so I can point you toward more info if you need/want it.

    I second what Nico says about anti-estrogens with low E2, based on what my mom (an RE nurse, who's been doing IVF stuff for 20 years) has told me. Anti-estrogens bind to the estrogen receptors in the brain, causing your hypothalamus/pituitary to think your estrogen is even lower than it is; the pituitary then spits out more FSH to compensate, which gives the ovaries a kick in the pants and tells them to work harder at maturing eggs. However, if your hypothalamus or pituitary is misbehaving (i.e. not picking up that your e2 is already low to begin with), trying to fool it with Clomid doesn't tend to work too well. It's kind of like a thermostat -- if the temperature gauge is broken, it doesn't matter how well the rest of the system works, because it will never get started off.

    Doctors tend to start with Clomid because it's easy, familiar, and relatively side-effect-free. Injectable gonadotropins are a scarier proposition, because there are risks of hyperstimulation, multiples, and so on, and you need to be monitored more closely. However, sometimes that's just where you have to go, y'know?

    By Blogger Emma B., at 8:46 AM  

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