Many of you are aware of our fertility struggles but it’s been awhile since I’ve done an update mainly because since my last miscarriage things have been pretty quiet around here. For one because I needed a break from thinking about pregnancy, fertility, miscarriages etc. For two because we had a gap of time between our most recent loss (in April) and our fertility specialist appointment. Which I was admittedly very nervous and anxious about. Nervous because I had an inclination that they were going to suggest hormones, spending $$$ and possibly being told we can’t have another baby. Anxious because it’s a step in the direction of finally getting pregnant and hopefully carrying a baby again. Hopefully…
Well, we had that appointment several weeks ago and I’ll admit that I left feeling better about my situation. Better but also a little frustrated that taking hormones was of course recommended… Just what I’ve been wanting to avoid. However, I’m lucky in that I don’t have to take much AND the doctor that I met with is against using Clomid which I’ve been adement about avoiding from the beginning. So that made me feel SO much better!
Since then I’ve began a journey with California IVF. I’ll admit that so far it’s been better than I expected but has also had some downfalls. The first thing I was told to do was to take provera which would kick start my cycle since I haven’t had a period since January. This was especially important so that they could perform a saline/iodine ultrasound to better see in my uterus. I started taking that and right away gained a few pounds but it wasn’t until 3 days after stopping that aunt flow came to visit. It worked! Although she didn’t stay long I was able to go in a few days later and have the ultrasound.
I was nervous because I thought maybe they would see something they weren’t seeing in a regular ultrasound that was hindering my ability to carry a baby. Luckily I was all good! Well, not all good. My endometrium lining was pretty thin which he said is most likely the cause as to why I don’t have a period. He said he didn’t see any signs of anything that would hinder my ability to get pregnant and that with some hormonal supplementation I should be able to carry to full term. Yay!
So began the next step. Hormones 🙁 I immediately started taking Estrace which is an estrogen supplement. It hasn’t been all that great…. I’ve been crabby, have gained nearly 5 pounds, and feel bloated all the time. Despite those things it did work. The reasoning for taking it was to increase the lining in my uterus and hopefully allow me to have a normal period. It worked! Another check did indeed show that my uterine lining had thickened which means I’m ready for the next step.
More drugs… As I mentioned above I luckily do not have to take clomid. Instead my doctor has prescribed me Letrozole (generic for Femara) which is actually a medicine used for breast cancer. It’s been shown to have higher pregnancy rates higher live birthrates and less side effects than clomid.
A 750-women government-funded study, one of the largest to date looking at infertility and PCOS, found that the drug letrozole improves ovulation and results in higher pregnancy and live birthrates than clomiphene, sometimes known as Clomid, which is considered the first-line treatment. Letrozole is a generic drug and also marketed byNovartis PLC under the brand name Femara.
There was a study done in 2005 by some Canadian fertility doctors that found there to be higher risk of birth defects when using Letrozole. Of course this scares me to death but after doing a lot of research on the drug, I have found that many sources that highly criticize this study for having improper design and research. Femara is known to have a short half life in the bloodstream and is cleared from the system before the egg is fertilized.
So am I thrilled to be taking it? No, not really. However, my doctor felt confident that it would help me to conceive and carry to term. Which after the past two years I’m 100% ready to do just about anything to make that happen.
I started Letrozole just yesterday and will take that for 5 days then go in for another ultrasound. Once that clears we’ll either do an IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or timed conception. Then because of my MTHF I’ll be put on a prescription of HCG, a higher dose of Folate and most likely low dose aspirin.
So that’s where we’re at. Hopeful for the future and taking it one day at a time 🙂 I’ll keep you guys updated on our progress from here. Fingers crossed I’ll be sharing some good news sometime soon!
- Have you ever taken hormones?
- Do you have any experience with fertility treatments? Clomid? Letrozole?