Infertility Time Line

To read all posts labeled "Infertility" click here.

If you are interested in why we are pursuing NaPro, click here.

If you'd like to know why we are not pursuing IVF or other forms of ART (Artificial Reproductive Technologies), click here.

For the first in a series of posts for Infertility Awareness Week 2014, click here.

A lot of the IF blogs I read have a timeline. Many of them have been helpful to me in learning terminology and understanding what our process may look like. This page is here in hopes that it may help someone else out someday, and as a way for me to keep track of it all.

Where are we and how did we get here?  (I've put the most recent steps at the top, so if you want to read from the very beginning go to the bottom of the post and work your way up.)

September 2014 - Stop medical treatment. Learn how to live in A New Tension.

August 2014 - This is mostly like the non-update. We've spent a couple of months TTA for the good of our marriage. (If you are interested, here is the most recent "The Will of the Spouses" post.) We had one crazy (seriously crazy, I took 4 pregnancy tests, that's more than I've taken in 3 1/2 years combined) cycle in which I ultimately misread my chart. I've had 2 UTIs. We are currently discerning what comes next. With mostly good hormones reproductively and concerns about adrenals and other hormones, we just aren't sure. I began a 54-Day Rosary Novena on 8/15 - the Feast of the Assumption of Mary asking for God to make His will known to us.

March 25, 2014 - Surgery Follow-up Appointment. Details are here. Still waiting for results of some of the androgen testing. Had FSH and estrodial (CD5) tested to check ovarian reserve. Tubes had to be reopened with catheter wire; endo not as severe as first time; chronic inflamation; all cultures negative. Prescriptions: Continue with 15mg Armour; post-peak estrogen cream to help with thickening my endometrium and post-peak estrodial levels; and muccinex on CD 10 - 17 and FertileCM daily to help with mucus. Monthly cycle reviews to keep an eye on hormone levels. Follow-up in 3 months.

February 27, 2014 - Second surgery. Laproscopy, hysteroscopy, selective HSG, D&C, cultures of endometrium taken. Tubes were partially blocked, endometriosis had returned, left ovary was stuck to some tissue behind it, there were adhesions. All was corrected. Follow-up appointment on 3/25/2014.

January 14, 2014  - Get all of the results from my December ultrasounds and blood work. Ovulation confirmed to be good. Endometrial lining not as thick as it needs to be. Low estradiol post-peak. Pre-peak estradiol and post-peak progesterone good. TSH too high. Prescribed Synthroid. (Emailed to ask about Armour.) Second surgery scheduled for Feb. 27, 2014 to check tubes, take intrauterine cultures, and check for recurrence of endo. Prescribed FertileCM for to enhance mucus. (Details, including numbers here.)

December 12, 2013  - Learn that I ovulate normally. Schedule next appointment with Dr. D for Jan. 14, 2013. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping to get to cancel that appointment.

November - December 2013 - We decided to go back to medical treatment, at least one more time by doing the Follicular Maturation Series, a new blood work series, and an appointment with Dr. D to see what else she recommends. I didn't get the Follicular Maturation Series (FMS) complete in November for no good reason other than I just didn't do it. AF arrived on Thanksgiving and I'm scheduled for my first ultrasound on Tuesday, December 3. So Advent will be spent having blood work done and getting ultrasounds and I had a voicemail from Dr. D's office to call and schedule my January appointment. Things are moving forward again.

May 2013 - October 2013 - A break of sorts. We have decided not to do the FMS and are also going to stop taking Femera and HCG. I will continue taking Metformin and Synthroid and charting. We will still continue TTC, but need a break from the meds. Update: I actually quit taking all of my meds, the metformin and synthroid included.

April 2013 - I missed taking my letrozole (Femera) this cycle because I didn't get it filled in time. Only changes I noticed were: I peaked a day or two later than normal and my CM was good without muccinex (I was glad to know it is just the Femera affecting it) Cycle Review: Estordial 128.6, Progesterone 24.3. Continue with same meds next cycle. This is our last cycle before we do the FMS.

March 2013 - Cycle Review: Estrodial 157.3, Progesterone 20.3. Numbers were so good, both doctor and FCP were hopeful I would conceive. Sadly, cycle review call took place on CD1, so it was a bit of an awkward call (I will give the FCP credit, she was very kind). Continue with same meds.

February 8, 2013 - Cycle Review #4: Estrodial - 116.9, Progesterone 38.9. CM continues to look good in quality and quantity. Continue with same meds next cycle. Beta strep and ureaplasma cultures came back negative - antibiotics worked!

January 24, 2013 - Follow-up appointment with Dr. D. She is pleased with hormones and the way my cycle looks. We take her recommendations and decide the following: 1) Continue medication protocol through June 2) If no BFP by May, schedule Follicular Maturation Series (FMS) of ultrasounds to see what is happening when I ovulate 3) If no BFP by June, revisit this and consider recommendation of a second surgery to recheck tubes and to see if endo has returned. Have cultures taken again to check for cure of beta strep and ureaplasma.

December 18, 2012 - Finally realize I have to stop trying to control everything and surrender. Fiat, Be it done unto me according to Thy will.

December 2012 - Cycle Review #3: Estrodial - 166.3, Progesterone 20.1. Much better on the CM! Only I'm sick most of my fertile days and we get 1 "good" day and 1 "ok" day in...FCP who does my cycle review reminds me it only takes 1 good day. It's CD2, so our 1 good day wasn't good enough. Continue with same meds as last cycle. Because mid-cycle bleeding is gone, Dr. D. says mid-cycle bleeding was most likely due to hormones, and says we can cancel need for saline-sonohysterogram for now. Just need to call and schedule regular follow-up to recheck cultures.

November 2012 - Cycle Review #2: Estrodial - 103.1, Progesterone 15.6. Another "beautiful" cycle on the chart - except where has all of my CM gone? Recommendations: increase to 6 femara tablets instead of 3 (I think this is 20 mg); add mucinex 2x/day on CD11 - 17. Still waiting to schedule sonohysterogram - the one time I needed my cycle to be short and it isn't. Of course.

October 2012 - P+7 lab work and first cycle review: Thyroid now looks good, Estrodial - 106.1, Progesterone - 18.2 - normal. Cycle of late Aug/early Sept was beautiful; this cycle had a return of random mid-cycle bleeding. Dr. D. suggested a sonohysterogram or a saline-sonohysterogram to check for an endometrial polyp or something else that might be causing the bleeding. Just waiting for the lab to call to schedule this.

September 2012  - 2 Years TTC. Have never even needed to POAS. Get lab results: positive for beta strep, group B and ureaplasma; thyroid within normal limits but higher than they like to see. Treatment: amoxicillin for me for the beta strep, doxycycline for me and The Man for the ureaplasma; 25 micrograms of Synthroid for me for the thyroid. (Other tests: 17-hydroxyprogesterone, other infections were normal/negative)

Aug. 28, 2012 - First appointment with Dr. D. Checked hormone related to adrenals that presents like PCOS, thyroid, cultures from cervix. Begin Femara on CD 2, HCG injections P+3, 5, 7, & 9, B6 to improve mucus. Begin P+7 blood work and cycle reviews. Currently: waiting for lab results. If no BFP in 3 months, return for follow-up.

March 2012 - August 2012 - TTC; 2000mg Metformin/Day; 200mg Prometrium P+3 through P+12; Pray. Brown bleeding returns, luteal phase still stinks, weird mucus patterns develop.

February Cycle - No headaches! No brown bleeding between peak day and end of cycle. 2wwing right now. Nope.

February 15, 2012 - Post-op follow up: Dr. S confirms Stage 2 Endo all removed, 2 partially blocked tubes cleared. A plan for avoiding headaches while on prometrium established: take vag.inally for one cycle, if no headaches, continue, if headaches, consider switch to HCG. TTC for 6 - 9 months. If no BFP, schedule follow-up to consider ovulation support with Dr. D.; if no BFP in 12 - 18 months, schedule repeat Advanced HSG to recheck tubes; pray.

January 17, 2012 - Selective HSG and laprascopy with Dr. S. revealed Stage 2 Endo and 2 partially blocked tubes. Dr. S. was able to remove all of the endo and clear the tubes. Follow-up scheduled for Feb. 15. Dr. S. isn't too worried about low-average morphology from The Man, says if we want, try Proxeed (though he recommends reading ingredients and buying cheaper substitute at local vitamin store).

December 19, 2011 - First appointment with Dr. S. (Details here.) Summary: Recommendation for a laprascopy with advanced HSG. Plan to switch from prometrium to HCG after one more cycle due to suspected hormone-induced migraines. (Makes sense because headaches mimicked headaches from days on the pill almost exactly.) Se.men analysis shows great count, motility, and grade. Low average morphology. The Man does "I'm above average dance."

November 21, 2011 - A diagnosis and plan! Mild case of PCOS with insulin resistance and low progesterone. Prescribed prometrium for P+3 to P+12 and metformin to lower insulin levels.

October 11, 2011 - First NaPro appointment. Finally! The beginnings of an answer, my LH was 2x as high as my FSH from one of my 'normal' test results, and some hope. I learned that LH should never be higher than FSH and that it could be a mild case of PCOS (3x as high is PCOS typically). Start a hormone panel during this cycle.  Decide that we're giving it one more cycle before we do the se.men analysis, again hoping we don't need it.

September 27, 2011 - Read through all of the Creighton info and prepare to start charting.  Ask The Man if he could please refrain from getting a sinus infection next month during my most fertile days.  He says he'll do his best, and I feel relieved we have still found a way to laugh at this situation.  Even though it is at The Man's expense.

September 22, 2011 - Call the Nurse Practitioner that E (our FCP) suggested last night.  Get an appointment in 3 weeks!

September 21, 2011 - Again, everything is normal.  Midwife suggests it's time for se.ment analysis.  And gives us the paperwork with number of local Reproductive Center and the directions for how to collect the sample.  Cry in the parking lot for 15 minutes.  Feel like I'm losing it.  Get a phone call (read the details here). Recover {some} of my sanity.

August 31, 2011 - Have blood drawn (only 3 vials this time).

Late August 2011 - Email CrMS FCP to start charting.

August 15, 2011 - Follow-up dr. appointment.  Bloodwork was all normal.  Like right down the middle normal.  Now what?  Decide on post-peak blood work and leave with instructions to have blood drawn on P+5.

Early August 2011 - Call NaPro doctor (Dr. S. at Camp Hill - thanks Sarah!) and a Creighton practitioner to start learning Creighton and get on Dr. S's waiting list for a December/January appointment.  Say a huge prayer that I don't need it, but don't feel much hope.

July 2011 - First Doctor's Appointment Scheduled with my regular ob/gyn/midwife to start 'figuring it all out'  4 vials of blood drawn (first time I've ever had blood drawn in my life) - it's cycle day 10, pre-peak.

September 2010 - July 2011  TTC.  Never even come close to needing to POAS.  Note continued super-low temps; brown spotting/bleeding; short menses (2 - 3 days); and shortish luteal phase (9-11 days).  'Out' us as an IF couple.

September 2010 - Break first NFP 'rule' - use 2 days in a row pre-ovulation instead of every other.  Don't worry too much because early in cycle Totally freak out, but then when 'fertile' days arrive decide we really are ready to start TTC.

April 2010 - September 2010 - Continue charting, make mental note of extremely low temperatures (like off the bottom of the chart low) and brown spotting/bleeding that occurs before and after menses.  Wonder if it will cause 'problems' but don't stress too much.

April 2010 - First time we write an 'I' on our charts!  (Yep, that is almost 4 full months of abstinence).

February 2010 - First NFP class.  Start Charting.  Experience a Doubtful Peak and a 41 day cycle and think 'what in the heck is going on?'  Realize what it is when we learn it in class #2.

January 2010 - Email Alison and Mike; figure out a way to learn NFP via Skype.

Mid-December 2009 - Decide no more BCPs for us at the end of this pack (I've read enough to know it's better to stop at the end of a pack than mid cycle).  No idea how we will learn NFP, but committed to abstinence until we do.

Fall/Winter 2009 - Find better research and read a blog written by Alison that sells me on NFP and start to send more info via email to The Man.

Summer 2009 - start to read about this 'thing' called NFP.  Late summer, try to explain it to The Man and do such a great job that he declares 'well, we'll just never have sex again.'  Return to my research.

Spring 2009 - start to really think something is wrong with me and start researching symptoms, realize all things seem to be related to BCPs.  Start to research other options for birth control - read about an IUD and literally get nauseous at the thought.  Go to gyno appointment and stick with BCPs, not really comfortable but feel like there is no other 'reliable' choice.

Spring 2008 - Start to rediscover our Catholic Faith.

June 2004 - We Do! (get married)

Fall 2003 - Experiencing such severe headaches I am prescribed Imitrex.  No talk of change in BCPs.

Fall 2002 - Go to doctor because of horrible headaches I'm getting every month.  Gyno says it's due to high-dose BCPs, switches me to lower dose and has me take 12 weeks of 'active' pills at a time, followed by one week of placebo.  Less headaches with less severity + only 4 periods a year.  Then - Works for me.  (Now - YIKES!)

February 2002 - Get Engaged.

1998 - Meet The Man.

1997 (18 years old) - first pap smear/gynecological exam; leave with first pack of BCPs for 'health reasons' - looking back, I'm not really sure what those reasons might have been.

1 comment:

  1. Love the timeline idea and helpful too! Sorry for all you had to go through. We have a similar story... It is not easy. Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete