Cycle #1

Today’s post is a continuation from an overall story I’ve been sharing over the course of the last several blogs. You can read the last post here. If you are now just joining my blog, you may wish to start from the beginning. For those regular readers, without further ado…

* * * * * * * *

On December 13, 2016, I went to have some blood labs drawn to see my levels. Then, we went to see Dr. Craig again and he began us on my very 1st protocol, which was doing a Menopur injection cycle.

menopur-photo

I began taking 75 IU of Menopur on December 15th and took a total of 8 injections. On Thursday December 22th, I went in again for an ultrasound to see how large my follicles had grown. Unfortunately, the largest were only 8 and 9 mm. I was disappointed and despondent, and felt that this cycle wouldn’t work. But I clung onto the little hope I had.

folliclesSource

Dr. Craig had me order 5 more injections and I took one each day until Tuesday December 27th, I took an injection then went in for another ultrasound. During that visit, the technician determined that I must have ovulated on my own sometime between CD 13-15 (CD = Cycle Day) because those largest follicles were gone. That would have mean I ovulated either on Christmas Day or the day after (12/25 or 12/26). The GOOD news was that my body ovulated on it’s own, which meant my body was starting to respond positively to all the hormones and get “back on track” naturally. The NOT-SO-GOOD news was that I ovulated immature follicles.

ovulation-is

I learned that follicles typically can only grow between 2mm per day. Therefore, they could have only been around 15mm max (if that) when I’d ovulated. Most specialists will want your follicles to be 18mm or bigger for conception. I went home with the instruction that the nurse would call me with what to do. When the lovely nurse called a couple hours later (all the staff at the Fertility Center were seriously amazing), she told me Dr. Craig cancelled the IUI. Yet, she told me to have sex with my husband each day for the next 36 hours and do the Progesterone Cream for 2 weeks. Then, I was to go in for a “beta” blood test on January 13th to see if I ended up getting pregnant anyway.

Meanwhile, I also had a HSG x-ray procedure done. This is a quick outpatient procedure in which the technician uses an x-ray, instruments and a small bit of dye is also inserted up into both fallopian tubes. The purpose is to investigate the shape of the uterine cavity and the shape and health of the fallopian tubes. The doctor performs an HSG to make sure your tubes are both clear of mucous and that there are no structural problems or cysts. Fortunately, my fallopian tubes were both open and good. I felt relief knowing there were no problems there.

hsgSource

Mike gave a sperm sample during this waiting period, too. His results were positive. His sperm count was excellent, had high motility and they had good morphology (shape). The only slight issue was that they were a little slow in speed. I chuckled when Dr. Craig shared this news, as he noted the speed issue was not major at all. Yet, Mike felt bad. I hugged him and reassured him that his sperm were wonderful.

sperm-sample-1Source

Those two weeks I did my best not to entertain feelings of failure. However, I’ll admit, I struggled with that a bit. Yet, I reminded myself that for many women, their first fertility treatment cycle fails. Why? It is because the doctor is figuring out their client’s body, hormone levels and how they will respond.

infertility-picSource

On Friday January 13th, I went in for my beta blood test. I intuitively knew I wasn’t pregnant, and the test was negative. We both sat down again with Dr. Craig and he communicated he was still hopeful for us. He noted he wanted to try a different protocol.

*Next: Cycle #2…

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Have you had to undergo more than one cycle for fertility treatments? If so, how many? When did you finally get pregnant (if you did)? Which protocol or medications worked? (Just curious. I know medications work differently for different women because we all have different bodies, chemical make-ups, histories, hormonal profiles).

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