Dealing with Fertility Issues

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by classicsredone, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

    967
    5
    121
    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    I'd love to open up conversation on fertility issues. It seems like so many couples have to deal with this, but it isn't always considered 'polite' conversation. We tried for 9 months with our daughter, and we've been trying for about that amount of time this go round. I had a feeling something was "off" and went to the OB. She really didn't seem concerned because it had been less than a year of trying. I asked for testing, and go figure, my thyroid levels are really low. She asked me to go back and repeat the test to verify the diagnosis before we look at treatment.

    My mom had trouble conceiving, too. She had my sister at 19, and then was unable to get pregnant. She had two surgeries to remove scarring in her fallopian tubes, and finally conceived me when my sister was almost 8. They thought that was it, but were pleasantly surprised to have my younger sister two years after I was born.

    We started the foster-adoption process awhile back, but we ended up very disappointed with the agency. Eventually we would like to adopt, but it just isn't the right time for that. We would like to wait until our children are older if we adopt through foster care for many reasons.

    If you're open to it, I'd love to hear about your experiences.
     
  2. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    I manage a 5 doctor infertility practice here in Tampa. I'm not a nurse, but have 19 years of experience and am glad to share what I can...including support & resources.

    My little sister (coincidentally) had serious fertility issues - she had "premature ovarian failure." Essentially, she began menopause in her early 20's. She went through IVF three times (donor egg) and has two children (one is 7 and the other is 2).

    Anyway, I'm glad to contribute in whatever small way I can.
     
  3. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

    967
    5
    121
    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    I appreciate it. [​IMG] I'm getting close to that "magic" one-year mark with no luck. We've tried all the tricks we did last time...ovulation test strips, FSH tests, etc. We aren't in a rush, but because of other health issues, we put off trying for awhile. With our daughter being 4 1/2, even she is asking when she'll get a sibling.
     
  4. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    How incredibly timely! Thank you for bringing this up. I feel like I'm going to embarrass people or make them uncomfortable by telling them what's going on, etc. My husband is in the Navy and so out on the boat 9 months out of 12. So basically, we have three months to try to get pregnant because our military insurance doesn't cover fertility treatments like IVF, etc. Unfortunately, I'm older (39) and a bit ambivalent about the idea of having a baby with all the complications of being the wife of an active duty service member. So I feel incredibly guilty about even joining a fertility site - I haven't fully committed to having a baby and my husband is gone until November, at least.

    Add to that, I've had a year's worth of abdominal pain, unexplained uterine bleeding and have tried various medications including Depo Lupron and several BCs. To absolutely no avail. And I'm Jewish, so no marital relations while I'm bleeding and not for a week afterward, either. So from 3 months, we're down to 1.5 months if that. In January, I had bleeding for 3 weeks.

    This week I had an HSG which has been the most painful experience of my life, seconded only by the uterine biopsy I had 12/09 which the GYN scared me to death by claiming she was certain I had uterine cancer (she wanted to schedule a hysterectomy but I refused). I didn't have cancer, thankfully.

    The HSG showed a mostly clear uterus, correct size and all for someone who has never carried a baby to term (one miscarriage with D&C and one chemical pregnancy). Unfortunately, there was a dark spot blocking my left Fallopian tube entirely and my right Fallopian tube was "sluggish". This is incredibly frustrating, as I've never had a STD or PID so I'm not sure what's caused this.

    Now, I'm to go on to a new BC pill and have a laparoscopy in March. Hubby deployed at the beginning of February, so I'm doing all this on my own. I know folks on here will understand when I say that my chickens are a constant joy and comfort during this.

    Basically, I'm frustrated with the entire disaster. I never thought I'd be childless at 39 and having to argue with doctors *against* a hysterectomy.
     
  5. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

    967
    5
    121
    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    I'm so sorry. [​IMG] Does tricare pay for fertility treatments? We have pretty good insurance through my husband's work, but to get better fertility coverage we'd have to switch back to an HMO. I'd lose the great doctors I spent years trying to find...and I really hope it doesn't come to that.

    I can totally understand how the chickens are such a joy. We lost a bunch of chicks at first, and it was a huge blow. Even though we have a preschooler, those little chickies filled a need to nurture a new life. It is fun to just sit out there and watch them for awhile, especially when they're playing keep away with treats.
     
  6. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    There's some treatments for infertility Tricare will pay for as long as they are "medically necessary" (i.e. the HSG was covered because of the unexplained bleeding) but not IVF or other forms of infertility treatments. For example: they will not pay to freeze my husband's sperm and deliver it while I'm ovulating and my husband is deployed.
     
  7. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Wow what a topic..and one that I have been dealing with recently to a huge degree. Last year after Hubs and I worked out some of our issues we decided it was time for baby #2. Our DD is three as of a week ago. I went off birth control and we've been actively trying for almost a year. I was on hormonal BC off and on after our daughter was born -- to no avail trying to find something that "fit" me. Seems my hormones were changed a lot after I had her. I tried about five different typs of BC, both oral and otherwise -- all hormonal. Tried Yaz and had a horrible allergic reaction to it. [​IMG]

    So when the pressure was off to find something an Rx that worked, it was great...that was until I realized my cycles were all wacky. No problem right? Just wait until they regulate on their own..well they didn't, and haven't.

    Went to my OB-GYN about four different times. She said my irregular and increasingly painful cycles were due to weight fluctuations, I had lost weight, put it back on and lost it again since my Daughter was born. I told her I was worried about not concieving. She wouldn't listen, wouldn't even offer me the most basic of blood work. My cycles were any where from 15 days to 35 days. One month I had Aunt Flo visit less than two weeks apart. I was horribly moody, very painful my whole cycle. Basically I was walking PMS 24-7 ALL MONTH LONG!!!

    I finally went to back to my OB-GYN about 6 months ago and she palpated my abdomen after I described a lot of pain there. She told me she though there was a mass there-- ordered and ultrasound. I have a fibroid tumor the size of a large chicken egg, plus a little bigger depending on how you look at it on the monitor. She told me it wouldn't affect my getting pregnant or keeping my pregnancy.

    My weight has now been steady for months. My cycles have not evened out. So I decided to go to a Fertility clinic. Got an amazing doctor. Right away he told me, by my own descriptions, that he thought I had Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. But it would take an entire cycle to find out. Lots of blood tests, ultrasounds, ect. My insurance doesn't cover Fertility but it does cover hormonal imbalance (as long as you are not being treated for "infertility")

    So last cycle we did testing, and on the 31st I got the final diagnosis of PCOS. I have it only mildly and I am ovulating, we had definitive proof of that. Ultrasound measured a healthy follicle on cycle day 19-- it was a healthy 18.5 mm and I ovulated on CD 21. Day after had another ultrasound and blood work to confirm normal ovulation. So why was I not getting pregnant?

    Well..there's a medication that my husband is on and has been on for about 18 months that stops sperm production. [​IMG] No one told us this was a side effect -- in fact -- the prescribing physician, who is also my Primary Physician (and KNOWS we've been trying to get pregnant) didn't know, i mean, not even a CLUE that this medication could cause this. One nasty phone call and one apology email later she was "informed" LOL to say the least. And mind you, I didn't find out about this medication issue by a Doctor. Nope. I googled it. Then called the fertilitly clinic the next day. The RN I spoke with was like "OH!?! Yeah, honey if you want a baby he's got to get off that now!!" [​IMG]

    So we wait three months from the time he stopped this med to see if his counts go back to normal.

    I am now on a medication called Spironolactone, its a diuretic, but has the great effect of acting like a homrone (though it isn't one) and will help regulate my cycles without skipping ovulation as a BC will. I am on a really low dose and my Doc said he'd up it if I didn't notice a decrease in my symptoms. So far I have been on it for just over two weeks and I am not noticing much of a difference so I have a call in for him to increase my dose.

    So..now we wait.
     
  8. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

    967
    5
    121
    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    Oh my goodness! I would be PO'd that the doctor and pharmacist didn't mention that the medicine stops sperm production! I also feel so much for the families that have to deal with fertility and deployment. That is a lot of pressure. Soldiers don't make a ton of money for the work that they do, and IUI and IVF are NOT cheap. [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure that my problem is PCOS coupled with the thyroid issues. Luckily my DHEA and testosterone levels are pretty normal. I had an IUD out last April, and my cycles were REALLY wonky. It was every two weeks, then a month and a half, and finally settled at around every 32 days. It used to be every 28 days, same time of day even. I didn't realize prior to getting the IUD that they can cause ovarian cysts. I think I may switch OB's after this is nailed down, though. I was a little peeved when she tried to write it off because it has been less than a year of trying. (Though we're at 10 months now.) If there are obvious hormonal issues, they need to be treated regardless of how long you have been trying.

    I have a friend that discovered she had PCOS right before I had my daughter. She kept having pain, and the doctor kept writing it off as PMS. One day she was driving home and had to pull over on the shoulder of the freeway to vomit from the pain. When she got to the hospital, she was rushed into emergency surgery. The cyst measured the same as the head of my 9.9 lb baby! She ended up with MRSA from the whole debacle, too.
     
  9. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Oh believe me PO'd isn't even the half of it. Months of trying, spending tons of money on different tests: pregnancy tests, ovulation test, not to mention all the blood work and ultrasounds that we pay for until our deductible has been met...This Doctor told her RN to tell us that the medication would assist us, when in fact this medication is being looked at as a male birth control method -- that is how effective it is. [​IMG]

    With my PCOS I have high insulin and upper-level normal testosterone, but my estrogen, progesterone and LH and FSH levels are all good. I have very painful cycles now. My Fertility Doc has told me that the size of my fibroid is exactly the size that most fertililty docs will start talking removal -- about the 5.5cm size. So we may go that route with surgery if I can't get my cycles regulated and get some relief from the pain and awful mood swings I have. I would rather avoid surgery though so I am not going to consider that until DH's levels are back to normal. We are doing another test on him this week. [​IMG]

    I have subscribed to some women on Youtube who are going through similar fertility issues and that is what has gotten me this far...I knew what kind of doctor to look for and I had self diagnosed the PCOS before I was ever talking to the specialist. That is what prompted me to do the google search on this drug too, because NONE of the liturature that is sent home from the Pharmacy says anything about that particular side effect. Though it does say online at the manufacturer website..but its just a short blurb about it..something most a lot of people would miss in reading about it.

    Yes!! Fertility issues when deployment is in the works..UGH I can't even imagine how frustrating it would be. Kailin Sullivan on youtube talks about that a lot. In fact I have learned more from her Vlogs than anyone else -- that includes my doctors LOL [​IMG]
     
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    126
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:LOL..i'm subscribed to Kalin too.. [​IMG] Her hubby is in the Army right...and shes got the great dane and the little chi?

    Check out PeskyPCOS...her old videos...she had a baby now though....
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by