Feb 25 2011

IVF Part One: Making the decision

Published by at 2:33 pm under Infertility,IVF,The Fam

For us, the road to IVF was probably longer than most people’s, and that was completely our doing. It took us a long time to get through all of the diagnostic things and other treatments that couples try before they come down to deciding on IVF.

Our infertility journey started on November 1, 2007. That was the day we first met with our first “infertility” doctor. This doctor I have referred to in other entries as “Dr. F”. He was a member of the same physician’s group where my normal gynecologist practiced. He took us through a lot of the earlier testing: The Man’s sperm analysis, my blood work, and an HSG. Everything came back normal. After the initial rounds of testing, he recommended that I go on Clomid and we start doing intra-ueterine insemination (IUI), which would boost our chances of pregnancy. I think we ended up doing six rounds of Clomid and six IUIs before we called it quits on that treatment. All of that testing/treatment had taken about a year, and we’d had no results. We waited for a few months before going to another office visit with Dr. F, and at that time he basically told us that his belief was that I had endometriosis and that I needed a laparaoscopy.  Since we had pretty terrible insurance, that meant we’d be paying the cost of the procedure out of pocket, an expense of about $10,000. I was skeptical that I had endometriosis, because I had exhibited absolutely no symptoms. He also told us that if we were going to do IVF, that a laparoscopy wouldn’t be necessary, because IVF would bypass the problems caused by endometriosis. We decided after that appointment to stop seeing Dr. F, because he didn’t want to do anymore testing, and he also didn’t do IVF. It’s worth noting that his bedside manner was also deplorable and he never made us feel comfortable or like he was in control of the treatment. It was discouraging, because we didn’t know what we were supposed to do next. A comprehensive plan was never outlined, and we never felt like we knew where we stood.

After a few more months, my friend Julio recommended I go see her doctor, so I did. This doctor, Dr. S, worked in the same group as Dr. F. She was nice, but basically all she did was get me an ultrasound to check for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and when that was negative, she said the same thing as Dr. F: we can do a laparoscopy if you want, but I would recommend IVF because that will get you a baby.

It was at that point that we contacted Wayne State University Physician Group, who set us up for an appointment with Dr. Singh, a reproductive endocrinologist. This was in February 2011, which meant we had drawn our treatment out for over three years. I don’t think that, looking back, I would have necessarily moved any faster. I knew that since all of the tests we’d had done indicated no problem on either of our ends (our official diagnosis is Infertility of Unknown Origin), we would either just get pregnant out of the blue, or wind up needing IVF. I think I needed to take everything slow to get my brain to process the fact that I would eventually be undergoing IVF, which is by no means a simple process. Also, both of us were young enough that we could afford to take our time. In November 2007, when we began treatment, I was 29 and The Man was 32. If we had been closer to our mid-30s, we would have felt more urgency to move the process along.

We began the testing and assessments associated with starting IVF in February 2011. By the end of that month, if we had wanted to, we were ready to proceed. However, our finances required us to delay beginning for at least a month. It was nice to have a month of breathing time to process what we’d been through and what was coming next.

The IVF Series

Part One: Making the decision

Part Two: Flurry of tests and consents

Part Three: Drugs and money

Part Four: Stimulation

Part Five: Retrieval

Part Six: Transfer and waiting

Part Seven: Pregnancy Testing

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