Friday, April 8, 2011

Taking A Break

My husband and I have decided to take a break from treatment for the next few months.  It was exciting to actually get the chance to "try" to have a baby this past month.  We'd never actually been able to have the opportunity before!  Since I seem to ovulate about once every four months, our chances are few and far between.  I finally got my period yesterday after being off the progesterone since Monday.  I called my RE to tell them and they said they wanted me to come in tomorrow for a baseline ultrasound before putting me on clomid.  They wanted to move straight to IUI this next cycle which surprised me - my husband and I really preferred to give plain old clomid a few more tries before breaking out the big guns.

So, we had to do some thinking ....  according to my RE's office, our insurance company won't cover any of this.    Every time I walk into his office, it costs us about $400.  At the same time, I have just accepted a residency position for next year from July 1, 2011- June 30, 2012.  If I got pregnant next month, our baby would be born in January.  We would obviously figure things out, but it would certainly be a challenge.  We felt like it didn't make sense to really, truly try to make this baby happen - spend all this money, go through all the emotional ups and downs - when we were actually in a place where waiting wouldn't be such a terrible thing.  You never know with infertility - there is always the chance that a miracle could happen over the next few months and we could conceive naturally.  I'm not holding my breathe, but who knows.

We have a big cross country move coming up in June, so the plan is to wait until July, when we're all settle in our new home and we can start talking about more serious treatment with a doctor who would be there with us for the long haul.

In the meantime, I will continue to take the metformin (although I am certain that it is doing absolutely nothing for me), monitor my temps, and cross my fingers that my body figures out how to ovulate on it's own.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Therapeutic Post

I'm feeling really down today.   It's really hard to stay positive about this whole situation all the time - especially when there is some much uncertainty, ups and downs, and loads of hormones.  This morning I took one last pg test and once again it was a BFN.  I think it's safe to say, this month was not the month.  So, I called my RE to let them know the situation.  They said I can stop taking the progesterone and to call when I get my period so we can proceed.  Ok, no big deal - we'll try again.

I also asked about our insurance.  The office had still never gotten back to me about whether or not our insurance will cover any of this.  They said - no - our insurance will not cover any of these appointments, medications, or treatment.  


I told my husband this and he did a little research through our Explanation of Benefits (we have Highmark Blue Shield) and he found several sections stating that "Infertility counseling, testing and treatment: covered 100%" and "Assisted fertilization procedures: covered 100%."   So, I called the office back and told them about our discovery and they got very snippy on the phone with me - they said that they spoke to a representative on the phone who said that no coverage was provided and that apparently treatment means surgical treatment...  What does that even mean? 


This process is so hard and I really wish my doctor would work with us more on our treatment options keeping our insurance situation in mind.  I am definitely going to talk to our insurance company and try to understand this better.  The language used in the Explanation of Benefits seems so clear.  My fingers are still crossed that the doctor's office is completely wrong.  But, if we are going to pay for all of this out of pocket, I'm not entirely sure what we are going to do...  It will certainly change our treatment approach.  


Oh, and I got a speeding ticket this morning.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Advice from my Husband

My husband has been doing a little research on his end to figure out how to improve his sperm count and quality.  Wouldn't you know what he came up with.  :)  

Men who suffer fertility problems because of low sperm quality may be able to improve their chances of fatherhood by having sex every day, research has suggested.
While those trying for a baby are often told to refrain from ejaculating too often to protect their sperm count, Australian scientists have shown that this can be counterproductive and may lower male fertility.
Among men whose fertility problems stem from genetic damage to their sperm rather than a low sperm count, abstaining from sex can make their difficulties worse, research led by David Greening, of Sydney IVF, has shown.
The pilot study of 42 men whose sperm showed significant DNA damage found that daily ejaculation reduced this by 12 per cent. While the results are preliminary and no direct effect on fertility has yet been measured, they suggest that certain men could benefit from having sex more often, or from abstaining less before providing semen for use in IVF.
Dr Greening, who presented his results at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Washington yesterday, said: “I’m convinced that ejaculating more frequently, ie daily, improves sperm DNA damage in most men by a decent amount.
“Prior to IVF, for example, men are abstaining a lot more than normal and perhaps sperm DNA increases more than usual. Men think if they abstain for longer times before, say, ovulation that their sperm will be better. [There may be] more volume and numbers but DNA damage may increase.”
Abstaining from sex does increase the number of sperm that are ejaculated, and this has led to advice that couples trying for a baby should have sex every two to three days.
Longer periods of abstinence, however, achieve little because while the quantity of sperm might increase, its quality declines. As sperm is produced, it is stored in the epididymis at the top of the testicle, but the longer it sits there the more damage it accumulates from exposure to free radicals.
Regular ejaculation empties this sperm reservoir, making sure that newly produced sperm of higher genetic quality can get out.
Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said that clearing the reservoir was more important when sperm had high levels of genetic damage. “If you get above 30 to 40 per cent damaged DNA, a man is highly likely to be infertile,” he said. “When you put people on a daily ejaculation regime, it reduces that figure for DNA damage. If you can go from 30 per cent down to 20 per cent that is quite a big shift, that should have implications for fertility.
“There is a trade-off between genetic damage and quantity, so when a couple are first trying to get pregnant a wait of two to three days is probably advisable. But if you are a guy who has high DNA damage and a decent sperm count, it is probably in your interest to ejaculate every day.
“I remember one couple in which the woman would only let the man ejaculate when she was in her fertile period, so the poor chap was going without for almost a month at a time.
“Even leaving aside the frustration that must have caused, it would have had no benefits.”

If you're out there - I Need Advice

Still nothing.  Two pg tests and both were BFN.  I keep waiting for AF, but nothing so far.  I don't know or understand what is happening right now.  I'm not sure where to get any answers either.  Tomorrow will be exactly 3 weeks since I took the trigger shot, so I am definitely past my 2ww.  I opted to not take another pg test this morning because I felt like I needed a day off from another BFN.  Obviously, I can't help but hope that the tests are all wrong and this is actually my BFP.  However, I think that the more realistic side of me knows that that's probably not true.  

Have any of you heard of anything like this before?  Clomid, HCG shot, progesterone capsules..... 19 dpo and still no AF but only BFNs...  

I also feel like I'm terrified of my doctor right now because all of this is so expensive and I know that if I call, they'd probably just have me come in for more tests.  I might as well wait until AF comes and then we can move on.  But where is she??

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Still no answers

Still nothing.  Woke up this morning and took my temp again - 98.9!  I have a freaking fever!  Took another text - BFN.  What is going on??  I am 19 days past my HCG trigger shot.  Could this be a chemical pregnancy?  How is it that my body can't ovulate on it's own and then when I chemically force it to ovulate, it still doesn't function properly.  Come on body!  Work with me!

Friday, April 1, 2011

BFN....?

I made it - I said I wouldn't test until April 1st and we're finally here.  I totally had dreams last night that I POAS and it was positive and we were so excited.   I woke up this morning and took my temp which is still at a whopping 98.8!!  I felt like this was a great sign that my temp has continued to remain elevated this whole time.  Then I took the test.  I bought a ton of the cheap internet strips a while ago because I knew there would be many, many tests in my future - BFN.  

So now I'm in this debate with myself.  My temp is still elevated and I've felt really bloated and crampy all week.  This could be AF, the progesterone, or pg.  Who knows.  I thought about going out and buying an actual pregnancy test.... I mean, I have no idea if these tests work at all.  They've always been negative for me! :)  ...but I think I just want to wait around for AF.  

I think I know that it's not gonna happen this month, but there is a small part of me that still has hope that the cheap test is just wrong.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Home Body

I've noticed something interesting recently.   I'm not certain it is related to TTC, but I think it might be.  I realize that I don't feel like going out very much right now.  I've been seeing many of my friends to go on walks or do yoga or grab a meal, but on Friday or Saturday night, I haven't been going out of my way to make plans to get out of the house.  Granted, my husband and I tend to be home bodies in general - we much prefer cooking a nice meal at home and playing board games or watching a movie.  We rarely go out to bars, we NEVER go clubbing, and we are usually in bed by midnight at the latest.  So, it's not so terribly strange that we've been staying home more these days.  However, I can't help but wonder if it has something to do with the 2WW.  I can't drink and it's getting a little tough to constantly come up with excuses about why I don't feel like drinking.  I've been exhausted, but as you know from my previous post, I've had some pretty stressful and all consuming events going on.  Plus, I am keeping this whole infertility and TTC thing a secret from most of my friends.  It makes me feel a little dishonest and awkward having to keep this giant thing in my life under wraps. 

Do any of you find that you don't get out much during the 2WW?