Aside from my irrational emotional crap, the appt with Dr RE was very productive and informative. Control freak that I am, I always feel better with a plan, even one that has an unclear resolution. He’s very clinical, professional, and straightforward – a little intimidating, but when it comes to medical stuff, clinical/professional/straightforward would be my top choice.
Warning: Those who continue reading may be exposed to & annoyed by waaaaaaay too much information about the reproductive process. Just saying.
According to Dr RE, there are 5 primary reasons for infertility:
- No/irregular ovulation
- Low sperm count
- Tubal blockage or damage
- Endometriosis – the presence of uterine lining outside of the uterus. Basically, what should only be in the uterus has somehow gone astray. This results in an “inhospitable” environment for little embryos who are trying their little darn best to survive.
- Don’t remember… he was talking too fast. But I think it was something really obvious.
Based on the info that I’ve obsessively collected and charted since Dec-06, he ruled out #1 and #5 (whatever it was). My medical history shows no indication of #3, so that leaves just #4 and the dreaded #2.
And then there’s the clinical trial, called the Moses Study, that’s currently being conducted by Dr RE and his cronies. When Dr RE was at Duke, he was part of a study linking the absence of a certain protein (alpha-v, beta-3 integrin) to infertility in mice. He’s now continuing this train of thought with human lab-rats…. Apparently, he’s found a strong correlation so far. Out of 35 infertile women, 34 have not produced this protein, thus helping explain their infertility.
So the plan is as follows (are you seeing a pattern with the multitudes of numbered lists?):
- Bobby is going to confirm whether or not #2 is an issue. Won’t get into the details here… I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions.
- Assuming that #2 isn’t the problem, that leaves only #4. Which just so happens to be Dr RE’s area of specialty. Well, what about that.
- During the first week of Aug (days 5 thru 9), I’m going to take Clomid.
- Starting on Day 11, I’m going to do *free* ovulation tests that are provided by the Moses Study (those things are freakin’ expensive and I’m pretty excited about the thriftiness of free ones).
- When I get a positive ovulation test, I go in for a biopsy of the uterine lining. Ouch. Dr RE used the word “uncomfortable.” In my experience, when a doctor says “uncomfortable,” that means it’s gonna HURT. But whatever – I’m tough.
- Within a week, I’ll get the results. If my body produces the protein, then my issue is back to “just” endometriosis. If my body doesn’t produce the protein, then I’ll move to the next stage of the Moses Study… dunno exactly what that entails at this point.
- “Just” endometriosis will be combated with a combo of Femara (which was actually developed as a breast cancer drug) and technological “assistance” (aka artificial insemination &/or in vitro fertilization). Sounds romantic, huh?
So ok then. We have a plan.