Saturday, February 23, 2013

The March of the Pills

Our first appointment ALSO entailed getting started on our pre-IVF drug regimen.  They won't pull out the big guns until I start my next ovulatory period, but in the meantime, we're doing the following:

Both of us:

  • Ciprofloxacin - preventative antibiotic.  Even minor infections can dramatically decrease the chances of IVF success.

Just me:

  • Metronidazole - a special antibiotic JUST for the ole bat cave.  It comes with a three feet long applicator.  Fun.  Toilet acrobatics.
  • Baby Aspirin - increase bloodflow to the uterus and make sure that future home is super comfy and lush.
  • DHEA - a hormone supplement to support my production of estrogen and androgen.  Hopefully, this will make up for my egg reserves, which look like they ought to belong to an old lady.  All I know is I'm crying at especially poignant television commercials and breaking out with the acne of a 15 year old boy. 
  • Estradiol - basically, a synthetic estrogen.  Again, geriatric eggs. 

We also got some blood work done, basically to make sure we're not teeming with chlamydia and ebola (news flash: we're not).  Jake has to get his swimmers tested ONCE AGAIN, presumably so the lab techs can point and laugh at those poor little guys one last time.  I had to get my AMH and thyroid levels tested again, too.  AMH came back confirming the above mention egg problem.  Thyroid came back a little weird, but subsequent blood work ruled out the need for synthetic thyroid medication.

I'm now off of birth control and waiting for ovulation.  They want me to ovulate at least once before we get going on this, so I've been drowsily peeing on those ovulation predictor sticks every morning for about two weeks.  The big O is a tad elusive this month, which figures, since I normally ovulate like clockwork.  Side note, did you know you can actually urinate onto plastic incorrectly?  Because I am a princess and like my toilet routine to be as high tech as possible, I splurged on the more expensive DIGITAL ovulation predictor kit on my way home from our appointment.  Twice, TWICE, the message that appeared in the window was a picture of an arrow pointing to a booklet.  Thaaaat's right.  This pretentious piece of plastic told me to go back and read the directions as to how I might more efficiently or perfectly pee onto it.  Since going through a box of those with no coveted "smiley face" result, I have downgraded to the less persnickety but far more inscrutable CVS brand.  Now, I'm supposed to compare the density and pigment of two pink lines.  Who has time for this nonsense?

On a more grim note, being off birth control has been tough these past two weeks.  Why was someone infertile taking birth control, you may ask?  Well, endometriosis is an inflammatory condition that is triggered by the ebb and flow of hormones.  Staying on the pill kept everything nice and quiet for the last year, and I was able to get by with only a few advil and a couple of hours on the heating pad a night.  Now, it's a mental battle every day just dragging myself out of bed.  The pain makes me sleepy and depressed, neither of which I have time for right now.  Come on, ovulation!

If I have a legitimate cycle this month, we'll get started on stim drugs as soon as my period arrives, possibly the beginning of March (cue ecstatic squealing and clapping). If not, we'll have to wait yet another month, which, though I know is nothing in the grand scheme of things, will totally bum me out.

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