I haven’t written about infertility, in detail, on my blog since I did my “catch up” posts in February 2019 (one, two, three). I did do a quick summary of 2019 in these two posts (one, two), which includes a quick rundown of when we did what in regards to infertility, as well as what else happened in our life that year.
In 2019, we started fertility treatments with a clinic we really love. It’s a small, two doctor clinic, and it feels very welcoming and loving. Based on all of the tests, I should have conceived with the IUIs (intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination), so we’re not sure why I have been unable to get pregnant. In 2019, we tried for 9 cycles. Those nine cycles included: three rounds of Clomid with two IUIs, three rounds of letrozole with three IUIs, two cycles cancelled before medication due to “functional cysts,” and one non-medicated cycle trying. Before 2019, we had done two unmonitored cycles with Clomid, an unmedicated IUI, and a cycle with progesterone after ovulation only. We started trying to conceive in July 2017, and I started preparing my body in 2016. It’s been a long road, and it’s not over yet.
This is part three, and the final part, of my infertility catch-up series. Part one covers the beginning of our journey, what we tried before getting the official “infertility” diagnosis, and necessary medical background to understand the process (a detailed rundown of the menstrual cycle and how conception occurs). Part two continues with our journey and catches you up with all the testing we did the last half of 2018. Part two includes doctor changes, lots of blood tests, and lots of imaging.
This part, part three, will go into the details of what the infertility testing showed and what those results mean. I also give a list of the supplements that Dan and I have both started on the advice of our fertility clinic. This supplement list is for informational purposes only, and will never include dosages. If you’re interested in the supplements, please talk to your own doctor.
This infertility update is going to be a little different. Right now, I’m not as emotional as I have been in the past, likely because I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant last cycle. This post series is designed to get everyone caught up on our infertility struggle. This will be a long, logistical post, with lots of links to previous blog posts and Instagram posts where you can find more details. I’ll be going over all the different infertility tests we’ve had, what we’ve found via testing, and what our plan is going forward.
This will be a three part update. The other two parts will go up over the next two weeks. This first part will focus on the background information necessary to understand the world of infertility. I cover the beginning of our story, as well as how a full menstrual cycle plays out, the steps necessary for conception, and what the main hormones are and how they fluctuate during your cycle. Part two can be found here, and explains our tests, procedures, and doctor changes.
Every person struggling with infertility has a different story. All I can speak to is my story, that I share with my husband, Dan. I am also not a doctor. I will tell you what supplements we are taking in part three, but I will not say doses. Do not use these posts as a guide for your situation, as I can guarantee that your doctor will have a totally different plan for you! Do not change anything in your medical routine without consulting your own doctor(s)! If you choose to ignore this disclaimer, I cannot be held liable for any harm you inflict upon yourself.
My menstrual cycle came on September 12th. I just sighed, and put in my menstrual cup. No underwear was ruined, even though it started while I was sleeping. Why? When the spotting started, I started wearing pads. I always spot for at least a few days before my period starts. “Now that’s not optimistic” may be what you’re thinking. And, you’re right.
Yes, I’ve heard of “implantation bleeding.” I’ve also read that many of us spot before our periods start, so that the only way to tell the difference is if you end up with no menstrual cycle and a positive pregnancy test after the bleeding. Trust me, I Googled the heck out of it when I first started trying to conceive.
The cycle that started on the 12th of September will be our 17th cycle since we started trying to conceive. Seventeen negatives. Seventeen negatives without any explanations. And I’m starting to go numb to the entire process. I need to.
Dan had a semen analysis done, and I had an HSG. A semen analysis is what you would expect, they have you bring in a semen sample, then analyze it. An HSG is an invasive test to check for any blockages in my system. They insert a tube through my cervix, then push a dye through so that it fills my uterus and spills out of my Fallopian tubes into my abdominal cavity. Blockages or an oddly shaped uterus can both be detected using this test.
This is hard to write, but it’s something I feel I absolutely must – my soul feels broken and heavy, and my heart has been put through a wood chipper.
Dan and I have been trying to conceive for a long time now. I was worried I may have some trouble, but did everything I possibly could to prepare my body. I adjusted medications, got advice, started tracking my cycle, and started supplements.