My last blog was my way of an introduction. With the formalities out of the way, let’s get to the stuff that you want to know about. I know you are thinking: “Now that I realize that I’m one of the ‘unlucky’ ones, where do I start?”
Well, let’s start from the beginning and, to paraphrase an overused cliché, explore everything you wanted to know about IVF but were afraid to ask.
For me, my journey began with my selection of infertility medical practices. My husband and I consider ourselves to be smart, methodical people who appreciate medical theories that are based on a combination of fact and sound reasoning, with a strong dosage of reality mixed with a dash of optimism. That led us to CHR and Dr. Gleicher. I mentioned in my last post that after our initial, thorough consultation, my husband and I felt confident that we were in the right hands. (I feel obligated to note here that it is not my intention to blindly raise my pom-poms in favor of CHR and dismiss any sense of objectivity. However, I am here to write about my personal experiences, which include positive results thanks to the efforts of CHR.)
By the time of our first meeting with Dr. Gleicher, we had already begun the work of digging into my medical history and reviewing some of the basic infertility test results that were done at previous doctors’ offices to try and figure out what was causing my infertility. Where other doctors on the same first visit were hesitant to provide any serious medical theory about why I was thus far unable to get pregnant, in my opinion, Dr. Gleicher seemed determined to at least identify a plausible reason for why I’d been unsuccessful.
For instance, like other doctors, he reviewed my blood work, my husband’s semen analysis and my HSG (Hysterosalpingogram). But unlike other doctors, it was during this initial meeting that Dr. Gleicher saw that something wasn’t right on my HSG. This was a bit of surprise, as other doctors said my tubes were fine. But they weren’t. Coupling this information with some family medical history, Dr. Gleicher thought that I might have endometriosis and/or some autoimmune issues. That was the first medical issue identified.
After the office part of our consultation, we moved on to an examination room for an ultrasound so Dr. Gleicher could personally look at my uterus and ovaries. It was there that we saw them. There I was, in stirrups, gown on, husband at my side, and they were undeniable on the sonogram screen. I had not one, but two dermoid cysts —one in each of my ovaries. Lucky me. To be extra thorough, Dr. Gleicher ordered an MRI for another look at my uterus and ovaries. He also ordered a whole series of blood tests (including genetic testing for both me and my husband).
It was at this point that I was resigned to being continuously poked and prodded, all for the sake of medicine and, of course, to get pregnant.
Little did I know that this poking and prodding was just the beginning! Check out my next blog post where I’ll share more about what we learned in our initial consultation, and how we decided what our next steps in this infertility journey would be.