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Friday, January 13, 2006

It's just a luteal phase I'm going through

In honor of the person who arrived at my site using the search thread "tissue floating uterus," this post will be a brief update on my fertility woes. Or, should I say, lack thereof, as my doctor can't really find anything actually wrong with me, and so she's going to treat the slightly negative tendency to have a 12-day, rather than a 14-day luteal phase.

What does that mean? I tried to get her to explain it, and she sort of did, but maybe I'm a little stupid, so I'll paraphrase my understanding, and PLEASE feel free to hop onto the comments and advise me if I have this wrong:

The longer my luteal phase, the better the chance of the (if applicable) fertlized egg of implanting. The shorter phase lessens the chance of implantation and increases the likelihood of the (supposed) fertilized oocyte [fancy word for egg I found on the internets today] being flushed right out of my system. Sound good so far?

Basically, I need more progesterone, despite the fact that my progesterone levels have been checked and are good. More progesterone will increase the length of the luteal phase and give Little Egg a better shot. The phase has to be at least 10 days in order for implantation to occur, so really, it could be a lot worse.

My choices are to take progesterone suppositories or to go straight to Clomid. The Clomid is considered to be more aggressive a treatment. I briefly talked this over with Booby, who I assumed would be all set to go for Clomid, and he said he felt like it was "going straight to Def Con 1." While I see his point, I kind of feel like pulling out all the stops at this point. My doctor said to me, "Well, you've only been trying for 8 months, so it's not like you're desperately infertile yet." Or maybe she didn't say "yet." Maybe my paranoid mind added that part. Anyway, I'm not terribly sure why 12 months qualifies as desperate, any more than I know why being 35 or older qualifies as being high risk (when being 34 1/2 doesn't).

The whole thing is enough to make me want to drink a caffeinated soda. But I'll probably have a cup of herbal tea instead.


At 5:56 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Progesterone suppositories SUCK. But they're for a purpose so you deal. I myself was set to go to Clomid if this month didn't take, and who knows if I still yet may.

We do what we have to.

Love and luck to you!

At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Did you give up caffeine for the old pregnancy quest?

You got the LP stuff right. My luteal phase is screwed (like, way less than 10 days) and I'm pretty desperately infertile. You're only slightly infertile, I guess--how nice of the RE to give you that helpful grading system.

I did the Clomid thing. Let me know if you want to hear about it.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger wordgirl said...

Did Clomid with the first baby (My cycles were screwed for my whole life and also had polycystic ovarian disease). Pregnant right away. Did it by myself the other two times. My body just needed a jump start.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I kind of feel like the progesterone suppositories are a waste of time and I'd graduate to Clomid anyway. WG, it's nice to know that it does, in fact, work. Brooke, what I read about the Prog. sups was that they tend to do the slow ooze. If it was more of a sure thing I might be more willing.

Jessica, I would LOVE to hear about your experience on Clomid, and I'm sorry to hear about your short phase. I'll be reading up on your experiences in your archives. Thanks for the input - I really appreciate it!

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Oh, and that's a yes on the no caffeine for fertility's sake. I saw in your post that you're still on demon caffeine? :)

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Oh, dear. I've given up nothing. If I went off the booze or sweet caffeine or the soft cheeses or the sushi, then I probably would be crazy by now. Nothing is verboten (with the exception of street narcotics, 'cause--even I have my limits) but that's because I like my wine and am crazy about food. That said, can't hurt, and clean living never hurt anyone.

Clomid was easy (only involved popping pills for 7 days and then a couple of ultrasounds before the hcg trigger), but I had the regular set of symptoms---hot fhashes and headaches, mostly. Not a lot of mood swings, although a lot of people experience those. The hot flashes sucked, and were seriously uncomfortable. I did three cycles, one with timed intercourse, and two with IUI. From what I understand, Clomid therapy has a greater rate of success with IUI.

Injectibles turned out to have far fewer side effects for me, but sadly, not a greater rate of success, so far. Also, they're a serious pain in the ass--so Clomid is definitely the lesser of two evils. For me, at least.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

So it's all a big question mark. I'm amazed how many gray areas there are in the world of fertility.

Congratulations for getting this far. Best of luck with whatever treatment you decide to go with!

At 12:52 AM, Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

I hope whatever you choose it works out.

Clomid, hmm, if you have 5 babies at least we will get to see you on the Today show.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Mignon said...

I didn't give up anything when I was trying to get pregnant either, but then I fretted all through both pregnancies that the babies were going to be midgets or Republicans. ;)
I don't know that giving up all that stuff helps physically, but if it keeps you from worrying about one thing then it is totally worth it.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

Wishing you the best with whatevr route you choose. I will be rooting for you and will be happy to provide support in whatever way I can.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Lots of luck to you, whatever way you decide to go.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger AstonWest said...

I'm soooooo using the word oocyte from now wife will be thrilled (and confused)...

At 7:11 PM, Blogger ScrapMommy said...

I vote right for clomid with progesterone. Just don't shove them up, take them by mouth. Still works, less ooze.

First IUI I didn't take prog supps, and had a prog level of less than 0!

The next two cycles on prog, my level was getting higher, first a 4 then a 12. Optimum is like 20.

Last IUI, it was 22. I took (by mouth!) prog supplements twice a day for the first 3 months.


At 7:17 PM, Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

As I have no bio-kids and no eggs left in the ovaries, all I can say is I wish you the best on this.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger The Queen Mama said...

I have shortish luteal phases, too...usually about 12 days. So how I ended up with three boys is a big mystery to me. I also used progesterone supplements during the first trimester with kiddos 1 and 2 because of two early miscarriages that I had before any successful pregnancies.

I wish you the best of luck.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous TB said...

I hear you on the 34 1/2 vs 35 thing. Like my husband says, it's not a cliff that you suddenly fall over when you hit the magic age. If you have a problem, you have a problem.
And I don't know about you, but I just want to get started with a treatment that might work instead of constantly thinking about what could be wrong.
Good luck!


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