Yesterday afternoon, H and I were back in the Hospital Out In The Country, sitting in the waiting room shared with the ear-nose-and-throat clinic, along with another sad-eyed couple, a frazzled woman who looked utterly outraged when we were called in before her, several dear old dears with whistling hearing-aids, and the mandatory small and lively child with adenoids. This is how visits to Miss Consultant’s Fertility Clinic always start.
Miss Consultant had yet another medical student with her, a very silent one, pretending to be part of the wallpaper.
Miss Consultant began by complimenting me on my weight-loss (this is getting increasingly weird. I look at myself in the mirror, and I swear to God I look no thinner than I did last summer. I think I have therefore proved I am delusional on this issue. But I digress). We went through the last visit’s notes, and H and I updated her on the very satisfactory amount of times I’ve been ovulating, actually, and the very unsatisfactory behaviour of the resultant embryo. ‘So that makes six miscarriages,’ she said, writing this down in her notes. ‘I am so sorry.’
And then she stated that, given I’d started ovulating again, there was no reason at all to do ovarian drilling, which rather took the wind out of my sails because I was all braced to Make a Stand! On No Drilling! She also thought there was really not much point in doing ovarian stimulation with IUIs, or even IVF/ IVF with PGD if I was ovulating and getting pregnant with no other aid than Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls. (Not that we mentioned that last bit to her as such *cough*).
Now, some Gentle Readers have suggested that ovarian stimulation with injectables might help with ovulation quality issues, what with it taking me nearly a week longer than ‘normal’ to ovulate and the short luteal phase. Miss Consultant however doesn’t think it would help. Because my FSH levels are normal.
I shall repeat that.
My day 3 FSH levels are normal. Not elevated. Normal. I was so flustered by this I didn’t get the exact number (this is a very common theme in my life – me being too flustered to get numbers. I shall have to harrass Miss Consultant’s secretary). And my prolactin is normal.
(As we found out in the Summer thanks to The Professor, my AMH is excellent too).
Dear Satsuma, what in buggery-fuck is your problem then? Eh? What? Were my FSH levels previously elevated and are sorting themselves out now that I’ve lost weight and have a semi-regular cycle? Can that happen? Is the Universe just messing with me? What? What? What do you want?
As for IVF on the NHS, I need to lose more weight (damn Christmas and misery weight. I was briefly at goal-weight in December. For, like, a day). As for IVF with PGD, there’s increasingly very little evidence that it does anything at all to lower the incidence of miscarriage. Nobody really understands that, but there it is. And I am, as she kept saying, cycling and getting pregnant on my own.
Well, not on my own, obviously. And speaking of H, his sperm analysis came back… normal. Normal motility, normal morphology, normal count. Much the same as the last test he had, a couple of years ago. We were completely unsurprised by this not-a-bombshell, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.
And then we discussed my scan from the beginning of January. Satsuma is slightly enlarged, but that’s normal for both PCOS and for being a Single Ovary, valiantly holding up both sides of the ovulation schedule. My uterus, I am told, has three small fibroids. Oh, does it now? What about the adenomyosis? Miss Consultant shrugged and said the notes said something about appearance possibly indicative of adenomyosis, but it was very hard to diagnose. But she seemed quite firm on the subject of the fibroids. But back in March, I had a scan with a gynaecological ultrasound technician as opposed to someone who knew how to work the machine, who said she couldn’t see the three fibroids of appearing and disappearing fame, but could see a ‘diffuse area of vascularity’ with small cysts in it, which is, she assured me, what adenomyosis looks like. Fibroids, this techician explained, have very distinct boundaries and are solid, distinct masses, and adenomyosis is more vague and streaky. And she, unlike the most recent technician who merely um-ed and ah-ed, showed me the screen, and I could see what she meant. And I have been researching on Google, and seriously, folk, last March I had adenomyosis.
Anyway, Miss Consultant was reading me this from a written report, and did not have the images available, so I couldn’t point and argue. And the whole subject makes me tired. I’m not saying I don’t have three small fibroids. For all I know Cute Ute got bored and crocheted them (world’s worst amigurumi). But three small fibroids would not be half-killing me every month, and leaving my uterus tender and swollen and aching for over a week after the end of my period. And it fucking hurts. But because neither adenomyosis nor the bloody fibroids are affecting the cavity of the uterus, it’s not a conception problem, so it is not her problem.
I need to find a gynaecologist who specialises in Making Lady-Bits Not Hurt So Fucking Much. And who will do an MRI, which shows the difference between adenomyosis and fibroids much more clearly. And then we will consider the pros and cons removing Cute Ute altogether and incinerating the wayward bitch.
Meanwhile, we are going back to Plan A – bang husband. Rinse. Repeat. We will return to Miss Consultant’s clinic in August, if nothing adorable has happened. I will try to lose another few pounds. (At this point, I got the Boilerplate Lecture about weight-loss regulating my cycles, also, being good for hormonal issues and recurrent miscarriages, also, ideal weight for IVF if we do need it in the end (I think she was trying to subtly hint that I am no longer in my early thirties), all this while the Silent Medical Student, who was considerably larger that I am, looked earnestly at the floor and I looked earnestly into the middle distance).
So, I am normal, H is normal, my fibroids are normal, my hormones are normal, we’re all normal except for the six dead embryos, who probably were mostly abnormal. Especially on account of being dead.
(Christ, how I hate the two week wait).