Full steam ahead!

So, as you can guess from the tagline, the main thing on my mind these days is fertility.  Or rather, the lack of it.  My wonderful husband and I have been trying to start our family since January 2007.  After 12 months of failing to conceive the medical profession classifies you as infertile.

For the record, infertility (IF) sucks.  It has consumed our lives and thoughts.  And, after months of testing and treatments, our official diagnosis is “unexplained” IF.  Great.  What that means is that after 29 months we’re still not pregnant, but they can’t find a reason why.  Doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason, just that they can’t find one.

Right now, we’re in the midst of our third IVF cycle.  I’ve been sniffing the synarel (to suppress my body’s production of hormones) since early May and today was my 12th day of puregon injections (to stimulate the ovaries to grow follicles from which eggs are retrieved).  My Dr was on holidays last week so I’ve had next to no monitoring, which is fairly unusual and more than a little nerve-wracking.  Normally I’d expect to have at least two scans (ultrasounds) to see what those ovaries are doing and two or more blood tests to see what the hormones are doing.  We did get the two blood tests, but had to wait until today for our one and only scan.

If I had to sum up today’s scan in one word, it would be – disappointing.  But, hey, that pretty much sums up the last 29 months of my life, so maybe I’m predisposed to it?  We never seem to get a lot of eggs.  It may just be that I don’t respond well to the normal downregulation protocol, or maybe my ovaries just simply resent being asked to work so hard?  Either way, we’ve collected a grand total of 6 eggs for each of our first two attempts at IVF.  Based on today’s scan we’re probably looking at a similar number this time too.  I’m just hoping it won’t be fewer.

The problem is that not all eggs will fertilise and become embryos.  And not all embryos will grow and have even a chance of becoming a baby.   Ideally, what the clinics aim for is around 10 eggs.  More than that and the risk of OHSS increases.  But, then again, I got mild OHSS with my 6 eggs last time.  And I know others who have been OHSS-free with 20 eggs.  Seems pretty random to me, but try telling that to the doctors…

Anyway, we saw about half a dozen follicles on the left ovary at about 16-18mm.  They’re considered mature at 18-20mm so a few of those are a little on the small side.  But it’s the right ovary that has let me down – just one stinking follicle at 26mm.  I think if it had been earlier in the week he’d have had me do another day or two of injections to grow those lefties just a little more.  But in the choice between collecting the eggs Friday or Monday, I guess he thought Monday was too late and Friday was the winner.  So, we trigger tonight and Friday morning we find out just how many eggs we’ve got in our basket.

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