appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive

HSG

I had my HSG test yesterday.

Yowza. It did not hurt as much as I expected at the beginning, and my first thoughts as they kept telling me I’d feel cramping were ‘if this is it, I’m totally fine!’. Then the dye went in and as they started taking pictures that was when it definitely got intense. Like, calling out “ow ow ow” and hyperventilating intense. After it was done and I was lying on the table trying to recover my breath…I had another thought. “If this is any sort of a hint as to how intense labor contractions are…I’m going to need some heavy meds.”

I don’t usually get bad period cramps. Occasionally some months they are more noticeable, but the worst it ever gets is a dull aching pain in my lower abdomen. This cramping as the dye made it’s way through was sharp and defined, and more central. I definitely was wishing my husband was there so I could have squeezed his hand. (Though if he had been there and seen it was a male radiologist performing the test, that might not have gone so well.) Thankfully once the severity of those cramps were finished and the test was done, I felt pretty okay. A little bit of aching cramps on the way home, gone by the evening.

Anyway. Enough about that. Just figured I should be honest; it’s helpful to know what to expect going in. And I’m really glad I did it; even with the pain. It’s worth it to have more questions answered.

Thankfully, everything seemed okay. In my initial pain haze post-procedure I’m pretty sure they said both tubes were clear, though I don’t remember seeing a cloud of dye out the right side like I did on the left. I also think the tech said they did have a little trouble getting the dye through the right initially and that’s why it hurt more, but she followed that with saying that if they weren’t able to get the dye to pass through it would have been obvious. Also my uterus was off to the right; which I’m not sure if that means it’s a “tilted uterus” or just a leaning situation. Guess we wait to follow up with the infertility doctor again.

But I’m still feeling relatively hopeful. Supposedly female fertility is enhanced for a few months after this procedure, even if there’s no blockage just ‘cleaning out the plumbing’ can make it easier for conception to occur. And I took an OPK today just to see where I’m at and it’s positive; which is unusually early for me but I’ll just keep testing and temping and see what happens. We’re about to get busy regardless of my ‘fertile window’; especially since we had to wait until after the test was done and that was unpleasant.

On another note; semen analysis came back as well. Most of the numbers were good, a few were a little on the low side (motility and morphology) but the sample was delayed in being read so that affected the motility…and if the overall sperm count is high enough, even a low percentage of normal shaped ones is still a decent number overall. From my research, the potential issues shown in this analysis are probably pretty easily addressed (as opposed to there being a complete lack of sperm, for example); and I know the last few months my husband has been super stressed and not in the gym regularly; which definitely affects the health of said sperm.

Maybe this will finally be our month (I know, the more hopeful I get the more disappointed I’ll be…but I can’t help it!) and I’ll get a really wonderful birthday present this year.

appointed time · Infertility · trying to conceive · ttc

On an infertility consult: part 1

Yesterday we had our appointment at the infertility clinic. I’m breaking this into two posts because I want to process the appointment and my general emotions…but then my husband’s response and how that has played out for us needs it’s own space.

The appointment itself was mostly encouraging and helpful. She asked all the expected questions about our history (together and individual) and habits, looked over my color-coded cycle data (and remarked that [a] “you are very organized” and [b] “you guys really have been *trying* for a full year”); and then went on to explain the causes of infertility and her recommended plan for us.

Basically she ordered a bunch of tests (labs for both of us, semen analysis for him, an ultrasound and an HSG study for me. Thankfully I was only on day 4 so all of this was able to be started yesterday and the HSG is scheduled for Wednesday), explained some of the numbers she was looking for with the labs, and then went on to say that assuming everything came back unremarkable/negative the next logical step would be IUI (intrauterine insemination). After a few cycles of that, if still unsuccessful, then we’d move to IVF. Apparently we can plan for the first IUI in January if we want…I’m surprised she didn’t just go ahead schedule my delivery too.

A few things that are very encouraging so far:

  • She looked over my cycle data and believes that I am indeed ovulating; due to my average cycle length and the normalcy of my menstruation. That was a relief
  • She didn’t find anything glaring in either of our histories/habits that seemed to be a red flag that is impairing our fertility
  • My ultrasound showed a normal uterus and two normal ovaries; both with 8-10 developing follicles
  • My FSH and estradiol levels both appear to be in the normal range; along with my TSH. Still waiting on a few other labs.

I am grateful that she is moving so quickly with all the tests. Potentially we could have a fairly thorough analysis of our individual fertility within a few weeks.

I definitely didn’t expect her to lay out the whole course of infertility treatment on day one. I was not ready to be talking about IUI as an almost immediate option…I just wanted to start the process of getting worked up so that if there were any minor issues able to be ‘fixed’ we can get started.

Honestly, at this point, just knowing that everything is fine (if it is) would be a huge relief. I don’t mind (so much) waiting if I know that it is just a matter of it not being the right time. Obviously it always is God’s timing whether by IUI or IVF or none of this, but I also believe that sometimes there are steps we can take to remove some types of obstacles (i.e. a blocked tube, a failure to ovulate regularly, low hormones, poor sperm quality…etc) and that’s not necessarily walking outside of his plan.

More on how all this feels to my husband (and consequently how that has helped adjust my own attitude a little) in a later post.