Monday, February 15, 2016

Infertility Update February 2016

Hello everyone! This month has been really exciting, and I can't wait to share with you our progress. If you need to catch up, here are links to my last 2 blog posts:
November and December

To summarize, I have been charting my cycles using a Natural Family Planning method (The Creighton Model), and have been taking Vitamin B and Mucinex, which will hopefully help to make ovulation more obvious, as both can act as mucus-enhancing agents, and the Creighton model focuses on tracking mucus or lack thereof. By looking at the charts of my cycles, my doctor also suspects low progesterone (hormone), and did blood work last month to test my progesterone level.  

So here's what's been going on this month: We recently met with our doctor to get the results of the blood work I had done in January. Our goal was to have the blood drawn after ovulation. We realized by looking at the hormone levels and by looking at my charts, that I ovulated later than I expected. So this means the timing with the blood work was off, and our doctor wasn't able to officially see if my progesterone level is low, but he was able to confirm about when in my cycle I ovulated. Based on what my charting shows and when my blood work showed me to have ovulated, now I feel really comfortable being able to recognize when I'm ovulating. Although we weren't able to tell for sure that my progesterone level is low because of the timing of the blood work, based on my last 3 cycles, my doctor feels comfortable assuming my progesterone is low, so I will start taking that pill with this cycle.

I'm not a doctor, so I don't know all of the technical terms that go along with all of this, but here's how I understand it: I have a lot of spotting before and after my period. My doctor says this is an indicator that I likely have low progesterone. Because my progesterone is low, the lining of my uterus is beginning to shed (me have a period) sooner than it should, which could prevent implantation even if the sperm and egg are meeting. Also, low progesterone can be a cause of miscarriage, so being aware of this could help to prevent issues in the future. 

So this month I am continuing to take Vitamin B everyday. I'll also take Mucinex a few days before ovulation would typically happen, and continue it until I see signs of ovulation. After I see signs of ovulation, I will stop taking the Mucinex, and start taking progesterone. Thankfully, the progesterone is simply a pill I can swallow rather than an injection like some of the other hormones I previously took. This is a small victory that I am happy to celebrate! :)

With adding the progesterone this month, there are 2 good outcomes we could hope for. The first option would be that I get pregnant, and we'd have exciting news to share with you guys! The second option would be that if I don't get pregnant, we hope I have a normal period without a lot of spotting. If I miss my period and am pregnant, we will do some blood work to see if I should keep taking progesterone throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. If I don't get pregnant this month, we will go back to the doctor and see if he thinks the progesterone helped at all, and go from there. We are really feeling positive about what we are doing right now. We have no way to know if this will work for us, just as we didn't know with IUI, but we feel like everything we are learning about NFP is very useful, and I really feel like I am in a much better place emotionally than I was last spring. I am looking forward to trying something new this month, and I can't wait to share our progress with you all!

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