Tag Archives: trying to conceive

Peak +7 Bloodwork

I just scheduled my lab appointment for Wednesday to get my peak +7 bloodwork drawn. Last month, I never took the time to look up what exactly the doctor was testing. All I knew was that his office called with the results and told me, “the numbers are okay, but next month Dr. G would like you to raise your Clomid dosage.” It was a little discouraging to hear the doctor talk about next month when I hadn’t even had my period yet. Could he tell from my progesterone and estradiol levels seven days after ovulation that I would not be pregnant? Anyone know? I’d love to hear what you other IF ladies have come to know about these two hormones in your journeys – I hope you’ll leave comments!

Last month, I had been taking half a Clomid pill for a dosage of 25mg. This month I was instructed to take 3/4 of a pill for a dosage of 37.5mg. I have troubles with diminishing mucus and a side effect of Clomid is mucus reduction. So the doctor is trying to find the balance of just enough Clomid with the least effect to my mucus. To help the mucus, I’ve been taking 1200mg of Mucinex 2x a day and have been using Preseed lubricant.

My peak +7 numbers last cycle were:
Progesterone – 11.8 ng/ml
Estradiol – 224 pg/ml

I’ve spent a little google time checking out what functions these two hormones play since I had never even heard of Estradiol before seeing the lab order.

PROGESTERONE
(info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progesterone)

Progesterone is sometimes called the “hormone of pregnancy”, and it has many roles relating to the development of the fetus:
-Progesterone converts the endometrium to its secretory stage to prepare the uterus for implantation. At the same time progesterone affects the vaginal epithelium and cervical mucus, making it thick and impenetrable to sperm. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels will decrease, leading, in the human, to menstruation. Normal menstrual bleeding is progesterone-withdrawal bleeding. If ovulation does not occur and the corpus luteum does not develop, levels of progesterone may be low, leading to anovulatory dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
-During implantation and gestation, progesterone appears to decrease the maternal immune response to allow for the acceptance of the pregnancy.
-Progesterone decreases contractility of the uterine smooth muscle.

In women, progesterone levels are relatively low during the preovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle, rise after ovulation, and are elevated during the luteal phase. Progesterone levels tend to be 5 ng/ml after ovulation. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels are initially maintained at luteal levels. With the onset of the luteal-placental shift in progesterone support of the pregnancy, levels start to rise further and may reach 100-200 ng/ml at term

ESTRADIOL
(info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estradiol)

In the female, estradiol acts as a growth hormone for tissue of the reproductive organs, supporting the lining of the vagina, the cervical glands, the endometrium, and the lining of the fallopian tubes. It enhances growth of the myometrium. Estradiol appears necessary to maintain oocytes in the ovary. During the menstrual cycle, estradiol produced by the growing follicle triggers, via a positive feedback system, the hypothalamic-pituitary events that lead to the luteinizing hormone surge, inducing ovulation. In the luteal phase, estradiol, in conjunction with progesterone, prepares the endometrium for implantation. During pregnancy, estradiol increases due to placental production. In baboons, blocking of estrogen production leads to pregnancy loss, suggesting estradiol has a role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Actions of estradiol are required before prior exposure of progesterone in the luteal phase.

In the normal menstrual cycle, estradiol levels measure typically <50 pg/ml at menstruation, rise with follicular development (peak: 200 pg/ml), drop briefly at ovulation, and rise again during the luteal phase for a second peak. At the end of the luteal phase, estradiol levels drop to their menstrual levels unless there is a pregnancy.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels, including estradiol, rise steadily toward term. The source of these estrogens is the placenta, which aromatizes prohormones produced in the fetal adrenal gland.

Serum estradiol measurement in women reflects primarily the activity of the ovaries.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Birthday Blues

Today is my birthday and I can’t help but feel a little glum today. It is depressing to know that my eggs are now a year older. I know that I am still young-ish for this IF game, but I worry about how even more difficult conceiving a second and third child will be in the future. My DH and I have always wanted a larger family of 3-4, but now we just need to worry about conceiving the first one. I feel like not only am I disappointed we are still trying to conceive, but that I am grieving the loss of the family we had always pictured. I know I am getting ahead of myself a bit, but it feels true. In my head I thought that if we could easily get pregnant post-lap that there was a chance that we could have easy conceptions in the future. But every month that goes by could mean there are other issues at work too. I really do need to cut myself a break and breathe and give it some more time.

This last cycle, I had so much hope. It was my first full cycle after the endo laproscopy and using Clomid. I had been religious about taking all my pills. Plus we had discovered Preseed to help with my mucus issues. It felt like so much was different than past tries and surely these changes would tip the scale in our favor. It also seemed so perfect that we could get a BFP for our birthdays. My DH’s 30th birthday was on Friday and my 29th today. Plus the baby would have been due on April 24th, AFTER tax season. This is a big deal to us as my husband works in public accounting. It just felt like the stars were aligning.

Early BFNs were followed by the arrival of my period on Wednesday. I cried all the way to work two days in a row. Recently, my car has become my crying safe place. I must have too much time to think in there, because I know I am always at a higher risk of becoming a blabbering mess when driving alone.

So today I am blue about not being pregnant. Instead of going to the pool or doing anything social, fun and distracting, I’ve been moping around the house. The DH has been napping for the last few hours as he had a 24 visit to Chicago for a bachelor party yesterday. So he hasn’t had a chance to curb the pity party taking place on the couch.

Anyone else notice today, that despite the heat it is starting to feel like Indian Summer? I love summer and I am annoyed at myself for wasting one of the last good pool weekends. It is time to peel myself off the couch and get moving. Laying here is not going to make ANYTHING better. Today I took my first Clomid dose for the month, so it is time to look forward again and stop dwelling in what hasn’t happened!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Hopeful Avoidance

You may have noticed that it has been pretty quiet on my blog since surgery. I hoped and almost certainly believed I would definitely get pregnant right away. Therefore, there was no need to blog about infertility, but now I feel my hope wavering a bit. I also still feel new to the infertility communtiy and wonder what right I have to complain when I haven’t had to fight the emotional and physical battles of miscarriages, IUIs and IVFs? What if I did become pregnant “naturally” (with a just a little help from Clomid) and there are all these other deserving women who have been through so much more and may have to continue waiting for their nugget? I always imagine that more veteran IFers are sometimes thinking, ‘oh honey – you haven’t seen bad yet!’

Recently though, I have been making peace with the reality that everyones TTC story is different. My situation may turn out to be easier than lots but it is also more difficult than the typical TTC experience for those lucky 5 out of 6 couples who don’t have to struggle.

So I have decided it is time to reclaim my blog to share my journey and work through the sometimes complicated and messy emotions that infertility stirs up! I hope that you’ll comment and share your experiences too in the comments. I am looking forward to reconnecting with everyone!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Expecting Beginner’s Luck

At the very beginning, I expected that my fertility monitor would inform the perfect timing to conceive and that would be it.  I’d take a pregnancy test two weeks later and there would be two lines.  Why wouldn’t it work that way?  I had been off birth control for months, had been charting and using NFP to avoid pregnancy, the back end of my period had been consistent., and I felt very informed.   When friends would mention that it took them a few months to get pregnant, I always figured that it was because they were just not in tune with their body.

Our parent’s didn’t have any problem getting pregnant.  My parent’s joke that my dad only had to look at my mom and she was pregnant and my husband’s birthday is exactly 9 months after his parent’s wedding anniversary.

I’ve heard so many friends proclaim that they “just knew” that they would have problems getting pregnant.  Ironically – one of those girls got pregnant on accident the first month after stopping the pill.  Another,  got pregnant the second month trying.  I was never feared having trouble getting pregnant.  I truly believed that at the most it would take three months – at the most.

We were expecting beginner’s luck and that positive test at the end of the month, so we checked out “What to Expect While You Are Expecting” from the library.  I signed up for weekly pregnancy updates and began cutting all the no-no items out of my diet.   I started bookmarking cribs and bedding online.  It only took a few months, to learn that this type of behavior was not good for self-preservation.

The weekend before my first expected missed period was a good friend’s wedding.  I pretended to sip beers on the trolley and drank soda water with a lime while I daydreamed about revealing my sneaky ways in a few months when we’d announce the pregnancy.

The month ended with early pregnancy tests and only slightly tempered hopes after the first was negative.  I knew of a friend who only discovered she was pregnant after the second test – the first was taken too early.  But then the cramping started, followed shortly thereafter by my period.  We were disappointed, but convinced that the next month would be the month.

The next month played out similarly again – another sober wedding, more pregnancy tests.  This time though there was a bladder infection from our overly eager efforts.  The doctor warned that since I was sick, it would hurt our chances, but that didn’t diminish my hopes.   Then there was the month my husband was out of town for work exactly on the day I ovulated.   Then there was another bladder infection.  Then there was the month we didn’t try because the baby would be due on my brother’s wedding.  It was easy to explain away why my period kept coming, but the nagging feeling that something might be wrong.

Looking back at this time now, I am mourning the loss of the excitement and anticipation.  It was so fun to imagine our baby and what traits he / she would inherit from us, what names we liked, and how we would be as parents.  I miss that feeling.  It still happens every once and a while, but there is a lot more guarded optimism.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized