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Posts Tagged ‘femara’

“Wow, you really are sensitive to Femara aren’t you?” That’s what the RE that saw me today said. According to her, Femara is only supposed to help the growth of one follicle (which I guess is why it’s often used for women who don’t ovulate at all). This time I had a 17mm, 18mm, 14.4mm and 2 x 10mm on the left and 2x10mm in the right ovary with a 6mm lining. She said this looks like a good cycle with 3 viable follicles. I thought maybe the 6mm lining was a little thin but she didn’t say much about that. IUI will likely be Tuesday or Wednesday but I am so jaded. This shit is so not going to work for me. There is no optimism in any of this and I feel bleh about the whole thing. But I’m also in a really shitty mood right now so that probably doesn’t help my complete lack of excitement.

On a separate note, I watched the movie “Baby Mama” last night. It has it’s funny moments and in a few scenes captures how annoying some fertile women can be but other than that it’s a crap movie.

I also want to congratulate Caroline of Carolineā€¦Infertile in a fertile world on her BFP! This has been a very fertile month for my infertile friends so far. Three pregnancies to date. Also there was the birth of a baby girl on Friday, who is the result of many IVFs. So it can happen for us. Lets try to keep the positive attitude everyone. Even though I don’t feel one bit positive today myself.

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No, we’re not talking about emotional heartbreak here, although I get that too sometimes. I’ve got literal, physical chest pains. It all started when I began to take Femara. The first month, I felt it, and I felt it often. The second month I felt it again and was told by my RE to go and see a physician as they had never had any patients complaining about chest pains as a side effect of Femara. My GP sent me off to go get an EKG yesterday and the result? “Sinus Bradycardia but otherwise normal EKG”. Sinus Bradycardia is defined as a resting heart rate of 60 beats/minute or less. Apparently this is something that is often seen in athletes or it can be caused by an “offending agent” such as FEMARA! I used to be a marathon runner before I became an “infertile” so that’s likely the cause of that. But there’s no doubt that the chest pains are a side effect of Femara. Ugh. I can’t wait to be off this shit and be pregnant. When is that day going to come!!! Oh well, at least I know I could be a freediver if I wanted (according to wikipedia):

Sinus Bradycardia can aid in the sport of Freediving, which includes any of various aquatic activities that share the practice of breath-hold underwater diving. Bradycardia aids in this process due to drop in blood rate pulse. These adaptations enable the human body to endure depth and lack of oxygen far beyond what would be possible without the mammalian diving reflex.

Awesome.

(image as seen on Adam’s heart valve surgery blog)

Update: RE’s orders while during IUI#3 are for me to stop taking Femara in future cycles due to continued chest pain.

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Newlyweds

A good friend of mine just got married and she’s already non-stop talking about having babies. Our conversation today went something like this:

Her: You know, we’ve started having sex without protection and hopefully we’ll get pregnant really soon. We decided to start trying sooner than later because god forbid, we have problems.

Me: Oh you mean, have problems like me?

Her: ….well…yeah. It must be frustrating. Have you tried using OPKs?

Me:…are you fucking kidding me?

Her: Well, have you?

Me: COME ON! We are so fucking past that. It’s been a year and a half! Why don’t you try for three months and not get pregnant and then multiply that frustration by 3,000 and even then you still won’t understand how FRUSTRATING this is. It’s not just frustrating, it fucks up your life.

Her: Well, let me know if there’s anything I can do. I could give you some tips on how to spice up the sex.

Me: ………

On a separate note, I just popped what hopefully will be my last dose of Femara. Whatever the end result of this cycle is, we’re moving on from here after this. Hooray! I also got a job offer today. Hooray! Maybe my luck is starting to turn around. I really hope so.

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acupuncture
(image as seen on baby blues)

It’s CD4 of my third femara/IUI cycle. AF is almost gone now and I have to say that this was by far the easiest AF I have EVER had and I completely credit Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for that. It was beautiful if I may say so myself. No painful cramping, no clots (sorry for the TMI), it was the kind of period that I imagine the most fertile people in the world to have. I’ve been going to acupuncture on a weekly basis in the last month. I was going bi-monthly but I switched to a woman who is covered by my insurance and so I can afford to go weekly. If nothing else, the treatment itself is incredibly relaxing and my acupuncturist actually CARES about me (unlike the RE and his baby factory). It’s relaxation and therapy all in one. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. It helps tune out the maddening thoughts in your head and I’ve read that it’s complimentary to fertility treatment. More info on baby blues blog.

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I am going to think out aloud here because I want to have this conversation with my RE at our consultation. I’m going to ask him about laparoscopy and he’s going to tell me it’s “elective” and that it’s up to me if I want to have the procedure done. So I want to think this through knowing where I am at right now.

So the whole fertility treatment process for “unexplained” infertility is a basic elimination process. As follows:

Clomid/Femara combined with IUI

The IUI procedure effectively eliminates any issues with sperm not getting through the cervix and allows a larger amount of higher quality sperm to get closer to the egg(s). Multiple eggs obviously increases the chances of conception. But it doesn’t eliminate egg quality problems, sperm/egg interaction problems or implantation problems. This is where I am in the process now and it hasn’t worked out so far.

Injectables combine with IUI

This is plan B for superovulation and IUI. Injectables are more stimulating and I suppose that’s supposed to further increase your chances of conception. But the issues listed above are not eliminated.

IVF

Because the egg and the sperm are brought together on a cute little petri dish, IVF eliminates the need for the sperm to find it’s way to the egg at all. Also visible now and possibly prevented are any sperm/egg interaction issues, i.e. any issues with the sperm not being able to penetrate the egg, too many sperm penetrating the egg etc because the technician makes that magic happen in the lab. It also has the added benefit of giving you some idea of the quality of your eggs. But IVF doesn’t eliminate implantation problems because after transfer, the blastocyte still needs to be able to “hatch” and embed itself in the uterine lining and many other steps for it to become a viable pregnancy.

The thing is…none of these procedures address implantation issues. If you’ve got that, it appears that you are totally fucked. And while Laparoscopy can help diagnose endometriosis and it’s an opportunity to clean up cysts, scar tissue and address inflammation which could interfere with follicle development and a fertilized egg traveling through the fallopian tube, apart from removing fibroids, does it do anything to help with implantation? My thoughts from all this is that, if you’ve made the decision to proceed with IVF, the only thing that I can see a lap helping with is improving follicle/egg development IF you have issues around that. (Of course if you’ve had an ectopic pregnancy then there is a medical need to get in there and do a lap so that’s a separate issue). And when you weigh the benefits of having a lap and then having to do a 2-3 month “break” afterwards, with what issues you can eliminate with the IVF procedure, the pros are not that great for someone who doesn’t feel like they have a whole lot of time on their hands. And I’m thinking that’s why my doctor and so many other doctors don’t require patients to do a laparoscopy, unless there is a visible cyst or a medical reason to do so.

Please someone correct me if there is a flaw in my thinking or if there is something that is missing but based on this, I feel like maybe the right time for me to do a lap is if the first IVF fails to give the IVF elimination plan a chance to eliminate some of the obstacles. But then again IVF is expensive and physically intense and I would love to give the first IVF it’s best shot at working with a cleaned out inside. Maybe even a clean slate for when I get to injectables/IUI! See now I’m faltering again…I wish there were ANSWERS!

I’m not even at IVF yet and I’m jumping the gun but sometimes the act of planning my shit out helps me relax and take back control. Would love to hear others thoughts on this and please point out the flaws in my thinking. I am just pulling this out of my ass and trying to distract myself from the latest failure.

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CD7: Femara Cycle #2

So I’ve made it through the drug consumption stage and I’m off the Femara now. Maybe it’s because I’m unemployed and I sit around and hang out with my laptop all day long…but it didn’t really affect me this time at all. No symptoms (except for a migrain that I got at a party after drinking a little sip of alcohol). Hooray! I go in for an ultrasound on CD11 which is Sunday to see how many viable follies I have. This time I’m determined to ask for an HCG shot before the IUI. I don’t know. Somehow I feel like it would help time the IUI better. Am I wrong?

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So far, Femara seems to be better than Clomid. I haven’t gotten the headaches that Clomid gave me and I don’t feel as agitated when I’m going about my normal business, but when I start talking about something that annoys me – the anger! It burst out of me! Also, yesterday, I wanted to go to IKEA and my husband didn’t want to, and I had a melt down. I took a shower, I climbed into bed and cried. It was so stupid. And you are probably reading this thinking…and Clomid made you even more of a bitch than this? The answer is…hell yes it did. I hopefully will not yell at my co-worker this time and say things like “What the FUCK is wrong with you!!!!!” or anything like that. I am very curiously awaiting my CD10 ultrasound. Friday could not come soon enough. I want to know what is going on in there. I’ve had some mild cramps today which is kind of weird and makes me nervous. I also want to know what is going on with the polyp. I’m praying that it went away (or hasn’t gotten bigger). One more full day of taking this Femara stuff and then we wait for Friday. GROW FOLLICLES GROW!

So what annoyed me yesterday was this girl who is the wife of a friend. She found out that we are having problems conceiving and she approached me at a party last week and said “I heard about what you’re going through. We have SO much in common, unfortunately.” So we made a date and met up to talk. She asked me to tell her my story and so I gave her the quick run down – not too much detail as I don’t know her that well. And I ask her how long they have been trying and she says, oh since November 2008. WTF! November 2008? Isn’t that like…FOUR months ago? How do we have anything in common? I’ve been trying for FOURTEEN months. So I politely said, oh. well, I’m way ahead in the process than you. And she says, “yeah but not by much”. Are you fucking kidding me? It takes the average person at least 9 months to get pregnant (some sources say 18 months). And she’s been trying only four. I felt so tricked into telling her my story. I felt so annoyed that she’s this upset about not getting pregnant after 4 months that she wanted to consult me, the only other infertile she knows, on it. I just couldn’t sympathize…until my husband, sweetly reminded me that I too, was frustrated at 4 months. Call it a woman’s sense. I just KNEW that something was wrong. And maybe she does too.

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