Sunday, 5 March 2017
MY INFERTILITY STORY..SO FAR..
It has taken me a long time to summon the courage to even start writing about this journey me and my husband have been on for the last couple of years.
However, I do feel it is important to talk about it and not keep it locked inside, and even if one person is going through a similar situation and feels like they are not alone, then it will have not been in vein.
Where to start?
So, I guess I have known for a some time or had an inclination that something might be wrong as I have never really been on the pill (sent me a little doolally!) So, we were only relying on condoms for contraception for the first few years, then the more serious we got in our relationship, and especially after we got engaged, things started to relax a little, and then contraception become non-existent. We figured if something happened then we wouldn't be upset as we were stable and was able to provide everything, if needed too. But nothing happened! For FIVE years, nothing happened, not even a scare. Now I know most people will be like, well you should've known, and like I said I guess I did always know, but was in denial and kept saying, well were not really trying, I am not using Ovulation sticks or tracking my temperature. Then one month I thought I had best do something about this incase there is a problem.
April 2015, the month before our wedding day, I made the appointment to go see my GP just to talk to her about my worries and issues. She was very lovely, she did not dismiss me and say you have to wait two years before we can do anything, which was one of the horror stories I read online. She was very concerned that after five years of no contraception that nothing had happened, but suggested we change a few things and increased our 'Intimate' time together to give us the best opportunity. She then sent me for a scan of my Ovaries to make sure everything was ok, and thankfully it was.
We had a lovely wedding day, and was excited to start our next chapter together with hopefully a new addition to our family. I went out and bought ovulations sticks every month, which can I say are bloody expensive, but every month nothing showed up. For 9 months we tried ovulation tests but I only had one positive month. At this stage I was feeling a little rubbish, and my husband suggested to go back to the GP, even though we weren't quite at the year point yet. She was very understanding and recommended that she transfer me to a specialist in the hospital, that way they can run more test to get to the bottom of the situation.
I was very optimistic then, I definitely remember thinking, great they will find a problem, fix it and then I can finally be pregnant. How naive was I?
I had blood test after blood test and so many things inserted in me to check for STI's, to check my Ovaries, my lining and my cervix, my husband even went in to have his sperm counted.
The worst procedure I had done was called Hysterosalpingogram (HSG), I am not going to lie, it was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. To give you a brief summary of what this is, you lie back with your pelvis tilted up as they insert a very long tube into your cervix, where they then flood the area with a dye, which should ideally go through your ovaries. They then take an X-ray to see if the dye was able to freely flow through, and if not it should show where the blockage is. The most painful part was trying to get the tube into my cervix, I don't know what my cervix was playing at, but the poor lady was trying and trying but it kept moving away. Eventually, the procedure was over, I felt very bloated and sore for a day after, but it soon subsided.
After all the prodding and poking, it was just then a case of waiting for the results.
I came home from work one Friday, and there was the letter from the consultant.
It was a very emotional day for me, as all the stress and uncomfortableness I had experienced over the last couple of months, finally culminated into this one letter, this would tell me if I could have a child or if there was a problem.
I started reading, and everything seemed good, my lining was good, I had no blockages in my ovaries, Dan's sperm count and everything was normal, then came the bad news. I had, had two blood tests to check the levels of my FSH and my LH (Hormones)and this has come back quite high for my age on both occasions. This concerned the consultant, and she was worried this meant I had a very low egg reserve, basically saying I could potentially be going into early menopause.
I was devastated. I burst into tears and tried ringing Dan but he was at work and so I rang my Mum and sobbed down the phone to her. And as she always does, she put things into perspective for me, she calmed me down and said not to give up hope, that things weren't definite. The consultant had advised that I pay to go to a private fertility clinic to get my egg reserve counted (the NHS does not fund this scan). That way they could ascertain the next course of action, but she did make it clear that if it did come back low, the NHS would not fund any other treatment.
So, straight away I rang the nearest private clinic to me, which was Nurture in Nottingham, my lovely Mum came with me for moral support. I was very nervous but knew that I had to find out one way or the other. The Doctor was so incredibly lovely and supportive, she reassured me through the whole test and was even as delighted as I was when she discovered that in fact I had quite a few eggs growing nicely. This was a massive relief, as I knew that it wasn't game over! I still had a chance.
So, I was able to go back to the consultant and start the ball rolling to a conclusion and hopefully some treatment.
The consultant determined that I am producing enough good quality eggs, however, my body does not seem to be ovulating, and without an ovulation there can be no baby. I was prescribed Clomifene (Clomid) 50mg once a day, to be taken days 2-6 of my cycle for 3 months, this would hopefully start my body ovulating.
So, this brings me to the present. I have been on Clomid for the past 5 months (have just taken the last tablets of my 5th cycle today). I did not ovulate for the first three months on 50mg, so I am now on 100mg days 2-6 for 3 months, and I am hopefully going to get the test result back this coming week to see if last month was a successful ovulation month. The side effects so far from being on Clomid are tolerable, headaches, hot flashes and a lot more emotional than normal (my poor husband). I am tired of the whole process but still have a little hope, although a little vanishes each month when the dreaded period arrives.
As I said above, it has been a long journey, not as long as some peoples I have read though, but long enough. I have wrote this for people who are maybe just at the start of their journey, or for people who are in the midst of it with me. We are not alone their are lots of people struggling with infertility and are losing hope, so if you are one of these people, please comment or reach out and we can try and lightened the load a little by sharing and supporting each other.
If you have got the end thank you so much for taking the time to read my story, and please wish me and Dan some luck, and to everyone going through similar journeys.
I will keep you updated...