On Being Your Own Advocate

Just to let everyone know- I apologize for strictly writing about fertility stuff and being so sporadic. I plan on diverting away from this realm a bit and focusing on other things in my posts…but first wanted to address this.

I’m on cycle day 34 and still no period….even WITH doing another round of Clomid earlier this month. I called my doctor yesterday (Monday) morning to leave a message letting her know and she returned my call this morning. I’ve had enough and requesting for a referral for a different physician.

I’ve bitched about her before, but my OBGYN has absolutely no bedside manner and is very curt…but I think it’s borderline bipolar. I never know what personality I’m gonna get and that’s frustrating. I asked if perhaps my follicle size and quantity and uterine lining have something to do with my irregular/absent periods. You NEED to be monitored via vaginal ultrasound to analyze this which I have only been ONCE. I was on cycle day 35 the day of my ultrasound and my lining looked as if it was around cycle day 10. Obviously something isn’t fucking right, doc. Provera did not induce a period for me, but birth control did last month.

I’ve gained nearly 10 pounds over the past few months, and while I know gaining weight doesn’t automatically make you conceive right away, it’s still annoying. I’ve been enjoying indulging in more food, but I miss my intense cardio that I’ve been limiting it for almost a year with no results. (I plan on writing a post about healthy eating and working out soon.

Obviously Clomid round 2 was a no-go. My 21 day labs (although it was day 25 for me as I did not get a positive at-home ovulation test until cd18) showed my progesterone level at 13. My doctor claimed this was good, but on my first round of Clomid my level was at 19.6. I know it can vary every month, but wtf? Seriously…have to have a natural low progesterone deficiency because every month I’m NOT on Clomid my levels are below 3.

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The truth.

Anyways, about my conversation with my doc. In a nutshell and without me being dramatic, she mentioned my age could start playing a factor. I appreciate her truth, but I’m not old…more testing would need to be done to check the QUALITY of my eggs. She also mentioned that my body is probably just more prone to stress and cannot handle it well, and once again, said she can only mention acupuncture, yoga, meditation so much. The thing is- I don’t constantly feel stressed. Yes, I have my moments, but there is no way that I’m just one big ass giant stress ball. If I am, then maybe I should be seeing a flipping therapist then (I’d love to if there were more hours in the day and they were free, haha).

The final straw was that she said that we need to seriously start saving our money for more invasive treatment as injectables are about $1000 PER CYCLE and IVF is about $7000. IVF?! I’ve done TWO rounds of Clomid, girlfran. I’m all about being real and honest, but are you fucking kidding me? I’m all for injectables. In fact, I’d like to go that route as it will ENSURE ovulation occurs. They also HAVE to monitor you via ultrasound to check lining and follicle size and quantity during this sort of treatment (this risk of multiples or OHSS- ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome increases dramatically if not properly monitored). Maybe my lining sucks, or perhaps I’m not producing enough follicles or they’re not maturing enough. An ultrasound can tell you so much more than blood tests.

However, Tricare (our insurance) does NOT cover this treatment. They only cover basic fertility oral medications and procedures. I’ll write another post about the different between Tricare Prime (what I’m on now) and Standard sometime…it can be very confusing!

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I requested not to be put on birth control or Provera to induce a period. I want it to come naturally…as long as it takes. She told me to call back in a few months if I still don’t have it and as long as I have 4 periods a year that I’m okay. This is NOT okay to me. I don’t expect to be every 28 days, but why the frick is there no semi-consistency? And call back in a few MONTHS?! LMAOOOOOO.

Did I damage my body so much from being on birth control for 10 years? After I initially got off birth control in late 2012, my periods were every 5-6 weeks- consistent enough…and I ended up pregnant. I had a period every 30 days or so after my D&C back in September, but starting in December, they have been very irregular/non-existent. I was told gaining weight and reducing exercise can help regulate periods….but it seems to be doing the complete opposite for me. Awesome.

I want more blood work done to check my hormone levels at various points in my cycle (pre and “post” ovulation, although I’m not ovulating on my own). I’d also like a few ultrasounds done to check out everything I mentioned earlier pre and post ovulation. I made an appointment with my PCM (primary care physician- basically regular doc) to put in a referral for a different OBGYN that was highly suggested. My appointment is not until August 19th, but that’s fine. I’m hoping I at least get better bedside manner from a second opinion. Figure out ME before even mentioning IVF and shit, ya know?

Anyways, sorry to vent, but this is what I’ve been hassling with on my day off. Fun stuff 😉

***EDIT*** I literally started a new cycle a few hours after publishing this, haha. Crazy!

What did your insurance cover if you ever went through fertility treatments? How did you finance it? Our (okay, mostly TJ’s) DVD collection may be able to cover the costs, haha.

Have you ever had irregular cycles? Birth control masked mine for way too many years, so I don’t know if my body naturally produces regular periods 😦

Any advice on being your own advocate?

 

 

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16 thoughts on “On Being Your Own Advocate

  1. So sorry you are dealing with all of this! It only adds to the stress we already feel! I don’t have any experience with insurance companies and needing to fight for what we need. We’ve been really fortunate in both areas. You sounds like you are being so pro-active and speaking out for yourself, and that is all great. You are so knowledgeable, and that can only help! I’ll be praying that your body normals out and that you can get going with all of this!! Hugs and prayers, girl. xo

    • Military insurance is definitely a blessing when it comes to most things, but also a curse (I’ve heard most insurance companies will not cover infertility treatment- I’m currently looking at mine through my employer to be supplementary). I’m rooting for you guys with your new treatment option, Kate!

    • We can switch to standard which is like a basic insurance, but they still don’t cover treatment…buttholes. I have insurance through my employer (well, not yet as I opted out of it). But I’m going to call and see exactly what they cover.

      • that sucks… I’m thinking of switching to kaiser in a few months, at the open enrollment, just in case my IVF doesn’t work.. then I would be covered again under the new provider… but I hate kaiser! Im really divided… when can you switch? and what are the options?

      • Well, I’m going to try the new OBGYN first. I’ll explain why soon. Hopefully she’s better, but we shall see. If she doesn’t think she can help us any longer, she can refer me to a RE. OR I can switch to Tri-Care Standard (it’s like a normal insurance) and just go to an RE. However, El Paso completely blows for doctors dealing with infertility which is why I’m hesitant to do the complete switch without trying a different OBGYN. I’m going to look into my employer’s insurance- Aetna- they may cover more fertility treatment.

      • You have only done pills so far right? You could try iuis with your obgyn before going to an RE…is moving somewhere else in your near future at all? hawaii kinda sucks for REs too, i regret the one i chose

      • Yeah, we’ve just done pills. I’m going to discuss the IUI’s with the new doc…I need to figure out the costs between Tricare Prime and Standard when it comes to the injections and trigger shot, and possibly IUI as well. There are a few other medications that were suggested by other women, such as Femara and Bravelle. I’m just looking forward to switching- should have done it a few months ago, but I knew it would take a month or two to get an appointment. We should be moving late next year to a small town about an hour away from Tucson, AZ. That’s only a 6 month stint though, and we will PCS somewhere else after my husband’s done with Captain Career Course there! Why do you regret the RE you chose? How did you go about choosing one?

      • I chose it based on cost…Ive seen 2 REs so far, the first one was the top clinic here in HI but very expensive.. watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phfiSETA18k&list=UUrYADt7RaN5-873IsE0NcWQ

        How many months have you been on clomid for? You should definitely switch to Femara after 3-4 months.. but most importantly is getting scans to know whats going on… maybe your eggs arent maturing too late, or maybe your lining is too thin on clomid (mine was very thin on clomid)… if you can get injectables (like follistim or gonal-f) its much better because it’s straight up hcg, while comid and femara play with estrogen…

      • We have done 2 rounds of Clomid- once in late March and then in July. My husband was gone from April-end of May so we couldn’t do anything during that time. Then my period never came- Provera didn’t induce it, so I had to do a month of birth control pills. I have an appointment with the doc that I’m unhappy with tomorrow and requesting another ultrasound to check my lining and eggs. I’ll let you know what she says!

      • If you stick to the “natural” cycles w just pills, you should look into adding vitex, its supposed to shorten your cycle… Having irregular periods is totally “solvable”! Its a matter of time! Lmk what s/he says xoxo

      • We just started on the FET cycle… Lupron shots, some pills… I have 4 weeks to do whatever I want so Im gonna try to do some fun things and see if maybe I can lose the weight I gained with all the hormones Ive taken… Oh, trust me, you don’t want to work for my employer!! I can’t wait to quit! worst employer ever!

  2. I’m sorry you’re going through this… Our fertility specialist did the same to us after 2 rounds of clomid which we’re working successfully, but I am a little of a health/nutrition nut and believe that it was over stressing a preexisting issue… After 6 rounds which produced 12 eggs–nada… He told us to come back when we could afford IVF which he believed was detrimental because of low egg count for my age, hormonal imbalance and potential low egg quality (no issues with DH)… He was recommended by a few friends but I always felt like I was butting heads with him (proving him wrong) and my ‘gut’ never felt at peace… So we decided to let all of it go… Focus on DH business and getting our finances under control… We’ve stopped cycling and our relationship has never been better… I’ve never felt healthier… My advice would be to follow your intuition… You sound healthy and have a head on your shoulders… We have a better connection with our bodies than the doctors… Have faith in yourself and do right by you!
    Ps… I also have a superfit friend who had issues initially but now has 5 healthy children… She ran while pregnant right up until she was 25-30weeks (with her ob’s permission/advice)… And she had long cycles also… All things are possible to those who believe…

    • Thank you for your response! I wish I were being monitored via ultrasound on the Clomid. It can tell you so much more than a blood test, ya know? I really want to know about my egg count…something is definitely not right, and I believe that it is more than a hormonal imbalance. I’m so happy to hear that the whole process has strengthened the relationship between you and your husband. I definitely feel the same way!

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