Infertility Treatment – March & April

At the end of February, I gave an update regarding what our next steps would be on our journey in becoming parents. March was a neurotic long month for me. In between being frustrated with my employment situation, it was the month of my due date and my period decided to be two weeks late which was not only worrisome for me, but also put a hinder on starting the Clomid.

Thankfully my sister came into town for her Spring Break which kinda broke things up (although this was the time period in which my period was late…a 50+ day cycle). Like always, it was so great to see her and incredibly hard to say good-bye.

Getting ready for some shopping!

Getting ready for some shopping

I got my period the night she left which also happened to be the day after my due date . I started my first round of Clomid a few days later (50 mg) and took it on the nights of cycle day 3-7. My doctor warned me of the potential side effects, but despite my normal anxious state, I went into the treatment relaxed. Clomid, like any type of fertility drug, effects different women in different ways. Here is my experience during my first month (I was advised to take it before bed to reduce the side effects):

  • I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme nausea. I never threw up, but I felt really sick a few hours but was finally able to fall back asleep.
  • I felt extremely fatigued most days.
  • Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15 I was extremely bloated. My lower abdomen protruded and it looked like I was pregnant. It was super uncomfortable (and actually  hurt)…to the point of having to lay on the couch/bed all day. I was also abnormally hungry these days.
  • Saturday, March 29, I got a positive OPK which was cd 16. This was GREAT news as I have only gotten a positive ovulation test between cycle days 19-21 the past 7 months.
WP_20140407_001

Showing how the ovulation test went from negative (cd15) to positive (cd16). The test line must be AS dark or DARKER than the control line.

I had extremely vivid dreams. I don’t know if the medicine itself made me tired or the fact that I possibly slept like shit because of the dreaming. Now, I clearly remember a fabulous dream involving James Franco so they weren’t all that bad, but I’d wake up not feeling rested. And the dreams were bizarre- like people I haven’t seen in years were in them. In addition, I can’t recall ever having hot flashes like this. I literally stripped down one day because I was so hot, but was freezing a few minutes later. I’d wake up in the middle of the night because I was so hot.

My moods were up and down throughout the month. I have moments when I’m still sad about what happened last year, but I’m more nervous about what is yet to come- when/if I’ll conceive again- and if I’ll be able to maintain the pregnancy. You better believe I’ll have my progesterone checked often and demand to be put on a suppository if it reads low.

I was also monitoring my basal body temperature throughout this cycle which I found at Wal-Mart for about $8. It usually takes a few cycles to get somewhat of a pattern (unless you have PCOS), but it was neat to see my temp drop them rise right before and after ovulation. I still didn’t know if this temperature deviation truly meant that I ovulated, but I was ecstatic to see the fluctuation! I called the doctor on Monday morning and left a message notifying her of my news from over the weekend, and she called in my labs.

The morning of Friday, April 4th I went and got my blood drawn (cd22). This would test my progesterone levels which show whether or not you have ovulated. Just as a reminder- WITHOUT any treatment- my results last month were, .95, 2.23, 2.32 (I went 2 times in a week and a half- the .95 was pre-positive opk). My specialist called me Monday, April 7 and told me that my progesterone was at 19.05!

Although we monitored everything closely with basal body temps and opks and with the help of Clomid, I did not conceive this month. However, I’m trying to focus on the fact that my body responded well to the 50 mg of Clomid. I’ve also heard that the first round typically isn’t successful, and that that your chances of conceiving are higher during the 2nd and 3rd attempts with the med. Well, Tyler will be gone next month due to work duties (I know he can’t help it, but we’re literally missing my next ovulation window by like 2 days…SO ANNOYING, AHHH!), so there goes that. Therefore, I’ll take time next month off Clomid and resume when he gets home. I’m just hoping my progesterone levels don’t plummet again, but we shall see. I’ll still monitor my cycle with ovulation tests and the basal temp thermometer -it’s important to know when you get a positive as it reflects how long your luteal phase (LP) is.

So simple. Yet some days, patience is easier said than done.

Finally, I’m not sure how big of a role the acupuncture played in my higher progesterone levels, but we’re going to say it was somewhat of a factor 🙂 I will not be partaking it in while Tyler is gone to save some money ($220…yikes). The weather is beautiful here so I plan on daily walks/jogs, meditation, and crafting all in between the great job hunt. I’ll definitely start again this summer though once he gets home.

This week will be filled with sushi, wine, sunny-side up eggs, bike-riding, and lunch meat…all things women are advised to stay away from while pregnant, haha. This has become my ritual after each failed cycle 😉

Have you or anyone you know taken Clomid?

What were your side effects?

Was it successful?

P.S. My doctor is only going to try Clomid for 6 cycles, perhaps less. The medication can cause the uterine lining to thin, and I was told that if you do not conceive within 6 cycles of using it, then it is unlikely you will conceive on it at all. Other fertility meds (depending on what your hormone levels read), injectables, and IUI are often explored to help with conception after Clomid use is exhausted.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Infertility Treatment – March & April

  1. Hi Kim! I’ve been doing fert treatments for 4 months now, currently on my 2ww of month 4… month 1 and 3 I took 100mg Clomid, month 2 I took 5mg of Femara, and this month I moved on to injectables… Femara gave me terrible side effects but I didnt feel much on Clomid… maybe just bloated.. the worse part though was the fact that my lining was terrible when I took the med… at its thickest it was 6mm trilaminar… This month I had over 9mm so I’m excited about that! How long have you been trying?

    I’ve done some acupuncture too but stopped cuz I didn’t see much difference…

    I just wanted to wish you good luck and baby dust! Aloha, Danela

    • Hope your 2ww goes by fast- those are always the worst, but I lack patience, haha. I’ve heard of Femara, but if you don’t mind me asking, what is it used for- boosting progesterone or estrogen? I am wondering about the thickness of my uterine lining, and hoping that my doctor will agree to ultrasounds during our next round. I know Clomid can thin the lining, so I’m interested in finding out this info! We’ve been trying for almost a year and a half, but I didn’t start using ovulation tests and whatnot until after my miscarriage last September. At any rate, I’ve learned more about the reproductive system than I ever thought possible, and I’m still learning so much each week! What about you?
      Fingers crossed this is your month! Thank you for reaching out- baby dust! 🙂

      • Hi Kim!
        I consider myself a wizard of the reproductive system at this point! LOL All my (dozens of) cousins are also trying or currently pregnant and I’ve taught them so many things that I’ve learned along the way.

        Are you seeing a Gyno or RE? Everyone responds differently to Clomid and Femara treatments, I was one of those that was intolerant to Clomid because it worked against my lining. Femara is supposed to not affect your lining at all. Femara is a breast cancer medication actually and its a estrogen blocker and will impede estrogen from being delivered to the cancerous cells. So, when you have less estrogen, your pituitary gland will up the production of FSH, which will grow your eggies. I had terrible side effects with Femara and it didn’t help my lining at all.

        Do you know what your lining was before getting on Clomid? If you’re up to it, try Clomid for a few cycles and if it doesn’t work then go see a doctor to check the thickness of your lining. But if you’re anything like me, which I’m guess you are :), you don’t want to wait any longer! I’m glad I was being monitored when I started Clomid because I was able to make changes to the protocol super quick.

        Im now taking FSH directly, it’s called Gonal-F, its an injection. Sounds scary but its a piece of cake. Im a little bloated and I gained quite a few pounds since I started the treatment 4 months ago, but hey a girl gotta do what she gotta do. Talk to your doctor about it, if you can skip straight to injectable meds, the success rate is higher than Clomid/Femara. They usually start on the pill because its covered by insurance and its pretty cheap compared to injectables..

        Any ways, stay in touch! Wishing you all the luck and all the baby dust there is!

        Aloha, Daniela

      • I just remembered something I wanted to tell you! Take 1 baby aspirin every day… it’s supposed to help the lining and reproductive organs by bringing more blood to the area! Aloha!

      • I appreciate all of the information you’ve provided! It’s amazing how many different meds and avenues there are to address fertility issues. I’m seeing an OBGYN, but she thoroughly enjoys working with patients that struggle with infertility. I’ll see how this summer goes and ask for an ultrasound (can’t hurt) next cycle when I’m back on the Clomid. I actually picked up some baby Aspirin on Monday that I’m taking this cycle- just one a day. Who knows if it’ll help, but I figured since I’m not taking the Clomid this month, it’s worth a shot 😉 Do you do the injectable the first few days of your cycle? That’s one area that I’m not familiar with as we haven’t gotten that far yet! Have a wonderful evening, girl.

      • Hi Kim! Yo’ welcome sistah! Good afternoon, its only 1pm here in Hawaii! ;P
        This is my first month on injectables… I took 50IU (which is a very small dose) CD3-10 and 75IU CD11-13, then on CD 13 took a trigger shot called Ovidrel. I live it a lot more than clomid/femara..

        I’m down to try anything but my doctor doesnt believe in anything other than FDA approved stuff and he says aspirin is really supposed to help… Glas to help!
        XOXO

  2. I’m on clomid right now. I was on it in Aug, and got pregnant right way, no IUI (but I miscarried). Went back on it again last cycle – no pregnancy. Just finished it for this cycle. I was very bloated too – felt awful. And, I have been having night sweats. Other than that, luckily, I feel fine!

    Sorry about your forced break – hope you enjoy the time!

    • Thanks, Kate! What mg are you on? Is your doctor monitoring you via blood work or ultrasounds or are you monitoring yourself at home with ovulation tests? I’m always interested in hearing about other people’s experiences. Hope good things come your way soon!

      • I’m on 100mg. I did 50mg the first round, then 100mg the last round and this round. They’ve done US and blood before ovulation. I use the OPK for actual ovulation. No sono or blood in the TWW. They did the very first time I was on clomid, but the US showed I ovulated and the bloodwork showed my progesterone was good, so they haven’t done it since. They just send me home to wait! Looking forward to hearing your story and good news from you, too!

      • That’s great it showed you ovulated! Did they increase you to 100mg of Clomid because you didn’t ovulate on 50mg? My doctor is keeping me on 50mg for the second round as my progesterone was high enough to verify ovulation. So I guess I’m just wondering if the only reason docs increase the dosage is because ovulation did not occur on the lower mgs 🙂 Hope this cycle is lucky #3- the 2 week wait always drags for me…hopefully it goes by fast for you!

  3. Hi Kim, I just stumbled across your blog and I just wanted to wish you the best and thank you for sharing your struggles. I’m 34 and my husband and I started TTC at the beginning of the year and I have a feeling this will be a long and bumpy road for me. I’ve always had irregular periods, but thankfully they’ve started regulating a bit, although they are still too long – my last cycle was 50 days with a 10-day luteal phase. I have a very thin frame and I was an avid runner but I’ve cut waaaay back on the exercise (only 3 mi no more than 3 X per week) and I’ve put on a few pounds, with the intention of at least a few more. I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist every other week since December and this last cycle I’ve started taking Femaprin (Vitex + B6) with the hope it will help lengthen my LP. I’m on day 34 of my cycle and still no positive OPK – so frustrating. Anyway, my mind is always racing with this stuff and I find it really helpful to connect with women who can relate. I hope the Clomid is effective for you!

    • I’m so glad you stumbled across the blog and thank you for letting me in on your story! While the situation of struggling to conceive is difficult, it’s always nice to hear that other women can relate in a way. I know I felt so alone after my miscarriage and pretty much until I opened up with our troubles. Were you on birth control for a long time, and if so, when did you stop taking it? I know irregular periods are common after birth control pills are no longer used. Unfortunately, I was on birth control for about 10 years (off and on here and there)…so when I got off of it, I didn’t know what my “natural cycle” looked like, although my periods came about every 5-6 weeks. 10 days is rather short for a luteal phase…have you had your estrogen/progesterone checked? I’d definitely recommend that if not- it can tell you SO much.

      That’s great that you cut back on running, although I know it can be discouraging in a sense as it was probably a stress relief for you! I ran 4-6 days a week (I wasn’t an avid runner- my mileage was only about 15-20 miles were week, but I was doing more high intensity/interval running/jogging) up until my morning sickness (more like all day sickness) kicked in- then I cut back. Then the miscarriage happened and I wanted my body to heal…then I read so much online about how running can stress out the body without even knowing it so I got worried and have pretty much just walked/jogged a few times a week since. I still work on strength training though, so definitely try that in addition to your shorter runs if you don’t already do so! My doctor advised me to start running again to help with stress, but to just make sure it’s nothing too long/intense.

      How are you liking acupuncture? Was the Femaprin recommended by your acupuncturist? What OPKS are you using? Sorry for all of the questions! I gain more insight about this from others and I hope they do as well from my current experience 🙂
      I’ll be rooting for you and hope that you get your positive OPK or period soon. Also, have you tried increasing your healthy natural fats (avocado, nut butters, nuts, etc.)?

      If you ever want to talk or have any questions, you can always Facebook message me or email me! Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

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