I said about a month ago in my post about the Herbal Supplements I Have Used/Use For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that I would do a post on the medicines and medical procedures I have also done. I said I was going to wait until I got pregnant but that still hasn’t happened and if anyone else is going through the same thing I would like to put what I’ve tried out there to maybe help them. Infertility and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are awful but the more you know the better equipped you can be to handle them. Warning: this post will be talking about the female body and medical procedures in detail.
I first suspected that I may have a medical issue after my husband and I had been trying for a baby and I had been off the birth control pill for three months. My period was very irregular for the first time in my life. I was going forty-something days at a time without a period. A normal period cycle is 26 to 32 days. I went to the doctor, she did blood work and told me I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. My testosterone was too high and basically my hormones were crazy, which explained why I suddenly had terrible hormonal acne for the first time in my life. I, of course, was devastated because nobody wants to go to the doctor and leave with bad news. However, I’m so glad I listened to my gut and went to the doctor. ALWAYS follow your intuition! You know your body best!
The first step was to try and get my period back on track. I wasn’t having a period every month, I was having a withdrawal bleed. You have a withdrawal bleed when your body doesn’t ovulate. My doctor put me on a medicine called Provera. I believe I used Provera for two or three months. Basically what Provera does is make you start bleeding but it’s not necessarily your period. It is supposed to get your body back on track. It did make me bleed but it did not help my period. I did not get my period back on a normal cycle until my doctor put me on Clomiphene Citrate, Clomid.
Clomid has worked wonderfully for me. Clomid is a fertility drug that makes you ovulate and helps stimulate your follicles to release eggs. I’ve used it four different cycles and each cycle I have ovulated and had at least two or three mature follicles. Since starting Clomid my period has been regular, typically a 32 day cycle. I ovulated with Clomid alone but to “boost” our chances we also used a HCG Trigger Shot with every Clomid cycle. The HCG shot makes the egg complete the maturation process and be released.
We also had some other issues regarding thyroids and other vitamin levels so even though the Clomid/HCG was working we still weren’t getting pregnant. We decided to go to a more specialized fertility clinic instead of a basic OB-GYN.
At the fertility clinic they wanted me to try a medicine called Letrozole or Femara with a HCG trigger shot. Letrozole is pretty much the same thing as Clomid but it is supposed to have less side effects. I didn’t care for it. I did not ovulate no where near as strongly with Letrozole as I did with Clomid. I told my doctor that I wanted to use Clomid from now on.
Next, my doctor wanted to make sure my fallopian tubes didn’t have any kind of blockages. This required a Hysterosalpingogram, HSG test. This is performed by dye being injected into your fallopian tubes and the dye spilling into your abdominal cavity if the tubes are open or the dye staying in the tubes if you have a blockage. I have never given birth or had a significant injury so I don’t have much to compare the pain to but it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Luckily, I didn’t have any blockages. How the procedure goes is you lie on your back and the doctor inserts a thin catheter, this didn’t hurt, the doctor then fills one tube with dye and then the other. When the dye entered my first tube I immediately started cramping. It wasn’t so bad that I cried but it was like my worst period cramp times five. As soon as the cramping eased up in my right tube she injected the dye into my left tube and the cramping started again. The entire procedure only lasted a few minutes. It’s very quick so that makes it bearable. I was sore for the rest of the day and the day after. If you have to have this test done you’re going to be nervous but just know it’s necessary, it’ll be over quick and you will get through it.
The last thing we’ve tried, and the most disappointing failure, is Intrauterine Insemination, IUI. This is a procedure where they take the sperm and use a catheter to insert it directly into the cervix. The sperm doesn’t have as far to travel and has a higher chance of actually getting to the egg. Before the IUI procedure I used Clomid and a HCG trigger shot. I did ovulate but a pregnancy just didn’t happen. The IUI procedure is painless for some but was not for me. It was almost as painful as the HSG dye test but instead of two separate rounds of intense cramping there was only one. In my opinion, our doctor should not have did the IUI yet because some of our other issues are not resolved. I’m pretty positive that’s why the IUI did not work. We will not be doing it again until everything is perfect. Not only is it heart breaking, it’s a $400.00 procedure we completely paid for.
That’s everything up until now. We did the IUI at the beginning of this month and had very high hopes. Now we have to go from here. This is an exhausting and painful journey that I can only hope will be worth it. I hope if you’re dealing with anything like this that this post will help you. Thank you for reading and have a great day!