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Old 04-01-09, 08:19 PM
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Default A few questions

Hi all,

I'm new to the site and this is my first time posting. I have a few questions, but first let me give you some background.

My husband and I have been married for 3.5 years. He's 30 and I'm 27. Just about a year ago I went off seasonale. We waited a month before trying to conceive, based on my doctor's recommendation, so we've been trying for about 11 months. We didn't get really active about it until last summer though.

Before I went on birth control my cycles were very regular, coming about every 30-31 days. My first cycle off of birth control was a bit long, about 35 days, but after that it was regular and back to about 32 days. Starting in September 2008, though, my periods became irregular and very long. I had a few cycles that were longer than 50 days. I had my annual exam in October, after I had just finished the first of one of these lengthy cycles. I told my doctor about it, and she said to come back in a few months if they weren't back to normal. I went back in January when they still weren't normal, and she did nothing for me. She just gave me a referral to a fertility specialist in case I wanted to go to one. My cycles since then have gotten shorter again, going down to 37 and 36 days (still long). I started charting and using ovulation predictor tests last fall. My long cycles were obviously a mess, but for the last two months I could see that I was ovulating, and we timed accordingly--but I'm not pregnant yet.

Here are my questions:
1-Even though I've been off birth control for a year, I do not feel ready to see a fertility specialist. We've been actively trying only since last summer, and then my periods were irregular for a few months. The irregular periods concern me a little, but now they seem back to normal, and considering we are otherwise healthy, I think it makes sense to wait a while and see what happens. My doctor wasn't helpful--she said it was up to me about whether I wanted to see a specialist. What do you all think? Should I be concerned about the long periods and go see someone?
2-Was it normal for my OB/GYN to do nothing for me when I went to her last? She didn't even have me take my clothes off. I asked her if there were any tests she could do right then, but she said no (no blood work or anything). I just want to know if there's some step I can take in between my regular doctor and going to a fertility specialist--are there OB/GYNs who will do some preliminary testing?
3-I have to say I'm very upset that I'm not pregnant yet. Just about all my friends have children (some have 2 or 3), and it's very hard for me. I feel anxious all the time, and I'm always afraid that something is wrong with me and that I'll never be able to have kids. I know that stress can make it harder to conceive, but I don't know how to tell myself to relax--does anyone have any tips on this?

Thanks.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:39 PM
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Hi and welcome!

Can I ask why you don't want to go see a fertility specialist? They don't automatically put you on drugs and insist you do treatments or anything. Most of the beginning stages involve doing some of the testing you're talking about. They may also get you temping and using ovulation predictors.

I don't think you *have* to go see a fertility specialist, however, as someone who tried a long time, I was very upset to find out that I wasn't ovulating properly all along, and I'd "wasted" all that time trying when I didn't even have a chance. I had "perfect" 28-30 day cycles, except one problem. I was ovulating on day 20 or 22 and getting my period on cycle day 28 or 29.

I think that giving you the referral was the best thing that your doc could have done. Many ob/gyns don't have expertise in the fertility world and that's why they give a referral to a specialist.

Everyone deals with this in a different way. Some people exercise, take up a hobby, plan a nice trip somewhere, etc. My "therapy" was doing something about the situation. I educated myself, and I went to a fertility specialist who took a lot of guesswork out of what was wrong. I also tried to keep myself busy doing all the things I knew I wouldn't have much time for once the kids came.

Good luck!
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Old 04-03-09, 09:01 AM
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Firstly
 
to TBC! I'm 36 and we've been here for 8 years and honestly couldn't have done without TBC. We TTC'd for 10 years before finally seeing our first positive pregnancy test, through the miracle of IVF, in October last year.

I'll do my best to answer your questions...

1-Even though I've been off birth control for a year, I do not feel ready to see a fertility specialist. We've been actively trying only since last summer, and then my periods were irregular for a few months. The irregular periods concern me a little, but now they seem back to normal, and considering we are otherwise healthy, I think it makes sense to wait a while and see what happens. My doctor wasn't helpful--she said it was up to me about whether I wanted to see a specialist. What do you all think? Should I be concerned about the long periods and go see someone?

I can only speak from my own personal opinion, but I was 25 when I came off the BCP, and 26 when we properly started TTC. I put off testing and resisted treatments, and now I regret this. I am going to be a 36 year old Mum, and it was never part of my plan for me to be this age and expecting #1. By the time our child goes to school I will be 40, and the likelihood is that we will have an only child.

If you feel that you're relaxed about waiting, then wait. But if you feel that you want some answers then seek some basic tests.

2-Was it normal for my OB/GYN to do nothing for me when I went to her last? She didn't even have me take my clothes off. I asked her if there were any tests she could do right then, but she said no (no blood work or anything). I just want to know if there's some step I can take in between my regular doctor and going to a fertility specialist--are there OB/GYNs who will do some preliminary testing?

Most OBGYN's will do some preliminary testing around a year of being off birth control, even if it's just basic tests on your hormones. However, it could be that your Dr is either reluctant or possibly doesn't have a lot of experience in treating infertility.

There are basic tests you and your DH can have, and in view of the stress you are feeling, personally, I would perhaps push for these to be done sooner rather than later.

The tests are:
* Semen analysis (SA) to check your husband's sperm count (number) morphology (shape) and motility (ability to move forward)
* On cycle day 3-5 a blood test to measuring the levels of reproductive hormones in your body: Prolactin, LH (luteinizing hormone) , FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) , TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).
* About 7 days before your period is due a blood test (sometimes called a day 21 test, due to the 'typical' 28 day cycle) to measure your progesterone levels.
* Ultrasound scan - to check everything's ok with you physically.

These 4 simple tests could give you some answers that can allow you to relax, safe in the knowledge that everything is fine, or give you an incentive to go and see the RE/fertility specialist.


3-I have to say I'm very upset that I'm not pregnant yet. Just about all my friends have children (some have 2 or 3), and it's very hard for me. I feel anxious all the time, and I'm always afraid that something is wrong with me and that I'll never be able to have kids. I know that stress can make it harder to conceive, but I don't know how to tell myself to relax--does anyone have any tips on this?

I know exactly how you feel! In the time that Neil and I had been TTC his Brother had got a divorce, remarried, had 4 children (all singletons) and had a vasectomy!! This doesn't include all my TTC friends that were blessed, and all the other children born to friends and family.

Not being a Mum when you're TTC is sometimes is a very lonely time, and this is why I've clung to TBC. It's been there in my hour of need, and I've made some amazing friends here. I'm in the UK, and I've been blessed to have met 3 of the wonderful ladies that I've become indebted to on here.

I wanted to mention about you worrying about being stressed. Stress hasn't categorically been proved as a contraceptive, I was stressed up to the hilt while doing IVF, more stressed than I've ever been, but luckily our treatment still had a positive result for us.

However stress isn't good for us generally, and long-term stress isn't good for a relationship. So it's important that you find strategies to help you recognise when you're getting stressed and also things to help you relax.

I hope this has helped. I'm not offering advice, just saying what I would do differently now. Please post any questions, or PM me direct if you need to. We're all here to help
 
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Old 04-10-09, 06:27 PM
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Personally, I think you have to do what you think is the right thing to do based on "where" you are with things. I am a very anxious person and I like to have answers ASAP - as soon as my husband and I started TTC and I stopped BCPs, I went into my ob/gyn for the full hormone workup. Each month I have been charting and checking for ovulation. Since we still have not conceived, now we are moving onto sort of the next step. I had the HSG test done and my husband is scheduled for the semen analysis. My ob/gyn has coordinated all of this - I have not yet gone to a fertility specialist.

If you want to go at your own pace, then do that. Just maybe check out some basic things that your obgyn should be able to do easily (blood work). If my obgyn wasn't willing to do at least that basic part of it, I would have started looking for another one. But again, that is just me and how I am.

My last thought is on the anxiety and fear you have that you will never conceive- I have those same feelings and I am sorry - they suck! But being proactive and having things checked out can alleviate your fear and either give you info that something is NOT wrong or if something is, you can start thinking about how to deal with it. Hang in there and give yourself some time to process everything. As far as how to decrease stress which makes conception more difficult? Beats me - I have tried yoga, acupuncture, therapy, reading, gardening, etc - and am still pretty stressed
 
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Old 04-10-09, 09:19 PM
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I think I would have expected my ob/gyn to get to try to get to the bottom of my long cycles. Unless your insurance specifically covers infertility going to an infertility dr is going to be all out of pocket. It all is based on how the dr codes your Dx, if the dr said they are seeing you for infertility, when what you really went in for was irregular cycles you may have to pay out of pocket instead of insurance possibly covering it. Some insurance covers getting a Dx but not any treatment. I would make sure you know exactly what you are in for $$wise. I was told my HSG would be covered and because of coding it wasn't that was a surprise $900 that I had to pay. I was more than willing to pay, but I would have liked to have planned for it.

Good Luck!
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