Thursday, August 20, 2009

Infertility Rant

My hubby and I have been trying to start a family for several years now (almost 6) without any success. Over the last year, we’ve been going through fertility treatment, again without any success. When we started this journey, we didn’t know what was the cause behind us being unable to conceive. In fact, it wasn’t until September 2008 that we found out what was wrong. Turns out I have a fairly common (it affects approximately 6% of women between the ages of 18 and 45) syndrome called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Basically, my ovaries produce cysts, my hormones run rampant and, most importantly, I don’t ovulate on my own. Now for those of you who know anything about human reproduction, you know that without ovulation, it is impossible to get pregnant. So, my doctor thought it would be beneficial to me to try some different medications.

The first of these is Metformin, a treatment for diabetes. While I wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes, it was determined I have insulin resistance. Metformin is supposed to help with this and also help me to lose weight. So far, I have lost some weight, but not as much as I would like. My doctor seems pleased with the amount of weight I’ve lost, but would also like for me to lose more. Right now though, it seems weight loss is at a stand still.

The next medication I was prescribed was Clomid. Clomid is a medication used to stimulate the ovaries and produce ovulation. Clomid worked wonderfully for inducing ovulation! I started on 100mg cycle days 3 through 7 and produced 2 follicles on my ovaries that first cycle. However, it did not lead to pregnancy. The next cycle was again 100mg, but cycle days 5 through 9. Again, I ovulated and produced 2 follicles, but no pregnancy. Third cycle, 100mg cycle days 3 through 7 again. Again no pregnancy. Fourth and final Clomid cycle, 150mg cycle days 3 through 7 and no pregnancy. At that point, I decided to take a break from the Clomid and give my body a chance to recover. Because I did not want to stop trying completely, I decided to try a natural route and take Soy Isoflavones.

Soy Isoflavones are often called the “natural Clomid” as they are supposed to produce similar results. I tried 160mg Soy cycle days 1 through 5. With Clomid, while I had ovulated, it had been late ovulation (usually cycle days 20 or later). Therefore, I thought I would try taking Soy earlier with the hopes of ovulating earlier. However, my Soy plan seems to have failed. I am currently on cycle day 33 and have not yet ovulated. I’m feeling I probably won’t ovulate this cycle.

I’m now feeling very low and down. Maybe we’ll never be parents. I always thought we would be. I never thought it would be such a task to get pregnant! As a teenager, I was led to believe that the very first time I “did the deed” I would get pregnant. However, that isn’t how it’s turned out. If my next cycle ever starts, I am thinking I will ask my doctor to prescribe Femara, a drug commonly used for the treatment of breast cancer, but also used as a treatment for infertility. It is supposed to be easier on the body than Clomid. I think this may be the correct next step for us. Wish us luck!