Thursday, March 13, 2014

Looking Like Infertility

I left Dr. Jean’s that day armed with a gray folder for my chart and paperwork, a heart full of hope, and a phone number.  The phone number was for a renowned surgeon who had been fellowship-trained at the Pope Paul VI Institute in NaProTechnology, Dr. Kyle Beiter.  Now that I had seen Dr. Jean and she had gone through my history, the next step was to meet with a surgeon to see if I was a good candidate for surgery.  I knew I was going to be a great candidate.  Your charts don’t lie.

When you chart with the Creighton Model it becomes evident what is going on with your body.  Too little progesterone, too little estrogen, not enough B6.  Your body has its own biomarkers to reflect exactly what is happening during your cycle.  I had just never known to look for these biomarkers.  I had previously understood bleeding for weeks on end to mean misery and pain.  Days of heavy mucus were simply days of extra trips to the bathroom.  Periods of time without any bleeding or mucus were considered days of freedom. 

Now I was learning not only to look for these signs, but to write them down in my chart and interpret them.  Once I started my charting I began to recognize just how unusual my cycles were.  When I first started charting with the Creighton Model I was given a booklet.  It was all of the basics I needed to understand the method of charting, what I was to look for, how to record it, and even provided sample charts.  As I compared my chart to the samples given in the book I was able to notice similarities with one chart in particular: infertilityMy chart looked exactly like the sample infertility chart

What did this meanWhat was I supposed to do?  Jonathan, always the voice of reason, told me not to worry.  I still had to get my blood work for Dr. Jean and I was going to meet with Dr. Beiter.  Surely, after reviewing my hormone levels and speaking with the surgeon we would be told good news.  Right? 

Wrong.  Both Dr. Jean and Dr. Beiter confirmed exactly what I had been suspecting: infertility.  My hormone levels were not good.  I had very, very low progesterone.  My estradiol levels were significantly low as well.  Even if I were to get pregnant, which would have been extremely unlikely, I certainly would not be able to maintain the pregnancy for longer than five or six weeks.  It was the worst news that I could hear, yet also the news I had prepared myself to receive.  However, that didn’t make it easier to accept.  I was being told that I was currently infertile.  The hope was that surgery would take care of the endometriosis and return my fertility to me.

Dr. Beiter reviewing an ultrasound with a patient

Surgery needed to be performed at a specific time in my cycle if it was going to be the most effective.  More rounds of blood work were needed in order to determine when that was, as I was still not having regular cycles.  Not showing signs of ovulation, the plan was to take Prometrium twelve days before surgery, in order that I might bring on a period.  This would ensure that I would be having surgery between days five and seven of my cycle, the optimal time for removing the endometriosis.  Surgery date: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coming soon – my second laparoscopic surgery.  Stay tuned!

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