Saturday, September 26, 2015

Our First IUI!

When we had our first RE appointment, my period was due in just a short time. My RE wanted me to complete all my bloodwork before then, and as long as everything was as expected, I was to call them on CD 1 to schedule both my HSG and have them put me on the schedule for an IUI. My RE said I could do the HSG and IUI in the same cycle, and we were eager to get started so we jumped at the chance! My HSG was scheduled for CD 11, which made me a little nervous. I was afraid the clomid would change my ovulation date and I would ovulate too soon, but thankfully that didn't happen!

I started taking 50 mg Clomid on CD 3. I was pretty nervous! I had no idea what to expect. I've heard some women say they have horrible side effects on Clomid, while others don't notice a difference. I'm quite happy to say that I don't have any side effects while on Clomid! But I was so nervous to take the first pill. 

I'd done a lot of research about Clomid, and I read that drinking pomegranate juice, red raspberry leaf tea, and taking vitamin E can help to ensure your lining develops nicely. In some women, Clomid causes their linings to not grow thick enough prior to ovulation. I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that didn't happen! I also took probiotics for most of the cycle, because of the antibiotics I had taken for the HSG.

The day after our HSG, I had a positive OPK! It was CD 12, so our IUI would be on CD 13. I called and got us scheduled for the next morning. I was already starting to feel a bit crampy prior to ovulating. By the next morning, I was feeling lots of cramping and pressure. I was sure I had multiple eggs! We dropped off my husband's sample, then went out for breakfast. We needed to wait for the sperm to be washed and prepared first before our IUI. A couple of hours later, we went back. 

The first thing the doctor did was an ultrasound to check my lining and follicles. My lining was great at 10.2 mm! They like it to be over 7, with over 8 being ideal. I was a little disappointed to find out I had only one follicle, but it was a big one at 28 mm, so that explains the pressure I was feeling. I was actually in the process of ovulating right as they were doing the ultrasound - so fascinating! We had to sign off on the sperm sample before proceeding. The numbers were a bit lower than we were expecting, with the post wash count being 16.5 million and 42% motility. But the doctor said the numbers were above what they want to see, so they were happy with them. 

Once we got started with the actual IUI, I got a little nervous. But I figured it would be similar to the HSG, and it was. It was really quick and over before I knew it. All that was left to do was have the table put on an incline (to help the swimmers!) and just lay there for 15 minutes. Then to go home and start the TWW!

I had my hopes SO high for this cycle. I was sure that we just needed a little boost to get there. Unfortunately, my period came right on time and it was time to move onto the next cycle. I was disappointed, but I knew that it often takes a few tries to be successful.

Want to hear about our other IUIs? 

Friday, September 11, 2015

HSG Test

If you're a woman out there who might need an HSG, my biggest advice is to stop reading all the horror stories online. Every woman I've actually spoken to has had no problem with the HSG. There is a chance of cramping during the procedure, but it's nothing to be concerned about. A very small percentage of women have a painful experience, but so many more have no issue at all. Don't stress out over something you have no control over. The entire test takes about 30 seconds.. that's it!

If you aren't familiar with what an HSG is, it stand for hysterosalpingogram, also known as a dye test. This is how a doctor or radiologist checks to make sure that your fallopian tubes are open and functioning properly, as well as get a good view of the shape of the uterus. It's performed by inserting a catheter through the cervix and into the uterus, then a harmless dye. Meanwhile, you will be having an x-ray taken throughout the procedure to view what's going on inside the body.

I read all the horror stories. I heard how horrible it supposedly was. But when a friend of mine had an HSG a couple of months before mine, she said it was truly no big deal. I was still nervous, which I think is normal. My RE likes to perform vaginal cultures and have you take an antibiotic prior to the HSG to really cut down the risk of infection. They advised me to take Ibuprofen or Naproxen prior to the appointment, since it can help to eliminate cramping. I chose to take Naproxen.

When we were led back by the nurse, she first went over the whole procedure with us. But then it was time for me to do the test alone. Due to the xray machine, my husband couldn't come in with me. They first had me take a pregnancy test, which is ironic, since we all knew there was no pregnancy since I hadn't even ovulated yet. But they need to be sure. My RE came in to reassure me and ask my permission for a student doctor to observe, which I had no problem with. Everyone was really light hearted which definitely helped! I got set up on the table and they put in the speculuum first, then cleaned the area with some iodine, then the catheter. I felt the balloon inflate (which blocks the opening to the cervix) and had a little cramping. Everyone in the room was telling me everything was fine, so I relaxed and the cramping stopped. Next it was time for the dye to be injected. I admit I started freaking out a little at this point. I was really concerned if they could see if everything was alright! But they reminded me the screen was next to me and I could actually watch the dye myself. It was amazing! I watched as the dye filled up the uterus first, then the tiny little tubes, and then how it spilled out the ends. Instant relief knowing there was nothing wrong!

The catheter and speculuum were removed before I knew it. They had me get changed, and then the doctor came back in to explain the images further. He explained what it would look like if there was an issue, and why mine looked great! To say I was relieved was an understatement. I was cleared to do my IUI in just a few days!! Now all I needed was a positive OPK!