For many of you experiencing infertility, this is old news. I thought I'd share what a typical visit to my fertility clinic is like during cycle monitoring...
- The clinic opens at 7am and I like to be there by 6:50am to make sure I'm the first there
- The first step is to get blood taken... pretty standard stuff.
- Then it's off to ultrasound. There is a wonderful receptionist at my clinic who often lets me sneak in first even if my appointment time is later. Getting to work on time is a huge potential stress for me and this really helps. The ultrasound is the not-so-fun internal kind and can take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending on what's happening inside. The goal of fertility drugs is to produce more follicles (eggs) to increase chances, so the ultrasound is to measure the quantity and size of follicles as well as how thick the lining of your uterus is. It always amazes me that they can track these things so closely.
- After that you wait for a nurse who will review your progress and then wait for a doctor who essentially does the same. They also make decisions based on bloodwork. I'll often get a phone call later in the day when my results are in with doctors orders to change my dose of drugs for the night.
I have a love/hate relationship with my clinic. It is large and many women are herded through each day. There is a different doctor on call each day so various people are making decisions on your protocol. I only ever see my specialist at specific appointments. Each doctor is different with a slightly different philosophy and of course, they make mistakes. I have to remember they are human. The good thing in my specialist often calls in to check in on her patients and ultimately makes the decisions when she can. It is comforting to see so many other women struggling to get pregnant and sometimes I see someone who makes me feel young... it's amazing who's trying to have a baby out there. My naturopath told me she just helped a 48 year-old woman conceive.
It's very draining to have to go in day after day. Some days are discouraging... too many follicles, too few follicles, follicles that aren't growing, follicles that have turned into cysts, cancelled treatment because things aren't going well. You can go in expecting one thing and find out that in only 24 hours, your body has done something completely different. It's hard to wake up early only to start your day with needles and wands that feel quite invasive. But overall, I am very thankful for a great clinic with doctors who know what they're doing. It's not perfect but I know without the treatment I'd be at a dead end.