Effects of flying and jet lag on fertility pt 2.

In my previous post I described some research that indicates fertility may be effected by the disruption to the body clock as a result of travelling across time zones (or any other job that requires shift work).  There is one hormone that may be taken as a supplement to help overcome and regulate the problems our bodies face as we fly in to different time zones – melatonin.

Melatonin is not new to me.  Some of my US colleagues have told me about the use of Melatonin to help them overcome their jet lag quickly when they are in Europe.

Last year I landed in Germany with a terrible headache that had lasted more than two days, pain killers just didn’t touch it, and I couldn’t sleep – which was probably perpetuating my headache.  So my US colleague suggested I took some melatonin to help me sleep and kick start my body into a natural rhythm.  He warned me that melatonin can have side effects, such as vivid dreams.  I already dream a lot normally, and I had problems in Afghanistan with Anti-Malerial drugs causing vivid dreams and hallucinations; so I was very cautious of taking melatonin.  But I was willing to give it a try as by my third night in Germany I was consistently unable to fall asleep until about 5AM, then working all day with this awful headache.  So I took two of the little melatonin pills, and they helped me to fall asleep before midnight.  Bliss.  I did have some vivid dreams, actually they were more like nightmares, but at least I got some shut eye!  My headache didn’t disappear though, so I decided not to take any more melatonin. I was more afraid of my dreams than my headache.

I didn’t know much about melatonin at that time; I didn’t really look into it.  But since suffering from infertility I have been educated more into melatonin and its purpose.  I came across it in the book “It starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett, but I didn’t pay it much attention.

So what is melatonin?  It is a hormone that helps regulate many other hormones in the body and helps to maintain our body clocks (or circadian rhythms).  During light hours of the day, our natural melatonin production drops and when it is dark, the body produces more melatonin.  If we are not exposed to enough light during the day or too bright artificial light in the evening this can disrupt the body’s natural melatonin cycle.

What does melatonin have to do with fertility?  Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain, but it is also produced by the follicles within an ovary, the mass of cells that surround the follicles, and in the immature follicle itself.  It is here where melatonin acts as an antioxidant which supports cellular health and protection of the immature egg from oxidative stress, especially at the time of ovulation.  Melatonin has beneficial effects not just on eggs but also on embryos.  Mouse embryos grown in a lab with melatonin showed an increased rate of forming bastocyst-stage embryos [1].  As a result of this success, clinical trials were undertaken.   A study of 115 women showed that melatonin may increase egg quality by reducing the level of one oxidising agent called 8-0HdG in the ovum, which is a natural product of DNA oxidation [2].  Women who were given melatonin had a fertilisation rate much higher than their previous cycle and nearly 20% of the melatonin treated women became pregnant.  Whereas only 10% of the non-melatonin group became pregnant.

Melatonin also helps to control body temperature, the timing and release of female reproductive hormones and possibly egg quality.

Finally, melatonin is known to act as an antioxidant during early pregnancy.  In addition, melatonin in the mother’s blood passes through the placenta to aid the creation of the fetal suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) where the central circadian regulatory system is located.

Melatonin levels decline with age, and as a result the ovaries lose their natural protector against oxidative stress; hence could be an additional contributor to age-related infertility.

If you are going to consider taking melatonin as a supplement when trying to conceive you need to be careful and should ask your doctor, because the melatonin supplement may disrupt the natural hormone balance and interfere with ovulation.  If you are going through a controlled hormone cycle with IVF this is less of a concern.  In addition, melatonin can cause side effects, such as daytime droziness, dizziness, and irritability and may worsen depression.  Melatonin can also interact with other drugs, so this is why it is important to check with your doctor before taking it.

If you are going to take melatonin as a supplement whilst travelling it is also important to know what time to take it.  You should take the supplement after dark the day you travel and after dark for a few days after arriving at your destination.  In addition, taking melatonin in the evening a few days before you fly if flying eastward.  Again, there is caution to be made here because the long term effects of taking the supplement are unknown.  Therefore this is not overly helpful for airline attendants or shift workers, and only for those who travel infrequently.

For me, personally, I am undecided as to whether or not I will take melatonin as a supplement for either my next IVF cycle or when I am on my next international trip.  But I will certainly be asking my doctor next time we speak.

Have you taken melatonin as a supplement? What are your experiences with it?

flying

[1] The effect of melatonin on in vitro fertilization and embryo development in mice.  Available here: http://hera.ugr.es/doi/15015646.pdf

[2].  The role of melatonin as an antioxidant in the follicle.  Available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296634/

Effects of flying and jet lag on fertility pt 1.

I am just returning from yet another trip to Europe, Belgium this time!  This has been my 9th transatlantic trip this year.  Last year I made 10 trips, and the year before that 11.  With an average of a trip every 6-8 weeks I spend a lot of time either sat in a plane or at an airport or, trying not to fall asleep in meetings whilst I try to get over the jet lag!!

Travelling like this is stressful.  I always have a connection to make in the US because I do not live near an international airport, and sometimes I have another connection in Europe as I travel to cities that do not connect directly with the USA so I can often end up with 2 transfers…it can be very stressful making these connections when flights get delayed or security lines hold me up.  For example on this particular trip to Belgium, due to a series of unfortunate and unrelated disruptions it took me 9 hours longer to reach my destination (on top of the planned 14 hours of travel).

I am simply sick and tired of it.  Yes, I get to go visit some cool cities, I am grateful for that opportunity, but it is physically disruptive to my life.  As this is my last trip of the year and I already have 7 trips planned in the first 5 months of next year :-s I am beginning to wonder whether it is such a good idea to do all this travelling.  I am not sure how many of these I will be able to commit to with my next round of IVF coming up.

This got me thinking about how little I know about the effects of flying on my fertility.  Is it even an issue?  Should I be concerned?  So I did a bit of research and here is what I have found so far:

There is currently no overwhelmingly strong evidence that flying has a direct cause of reduced fertility.  However, there are a few studies that indicate that there may be some correlation.

One study I found to be compelling used mice to investigate whether shifting the body clock has an effect on their fertility [1].  The results of this study showed that there may be serious implications for a woman’s reproductive health if her work involves shift work or time zone changes.

To understand the outcome of this study, you need to understand the body clock.  Our body clocks are called circadian rhythms, these are physical, mental and beahvioural changes that follow a roughly 24 hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in the environment.  Your circadian rhythm is produced by your body, but it is also influenced by the environment.  Light is the main thing that influences circadian rhythms – it turns on or off genes that control your internal clock.  Your circadian rhythm can change your sleep-wake cycles hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions [2].  (I know travelling certainly screws up my body temperature because I discovered this last year when we were trying to conceive the good old way and I was actually bothering to monitor my temps.)

The researchers of this study found evidence suggesting the severity of circadian disruption may be linked to the severity of pregnancy disruption: mice subjected to advances of the light-dark circle had greater circadian clock disruption and lower reproductive success.  This group’s pregnancy success rate was only 22% compared with the control group of 90%.

WOAH. That’s quite a difference!

So what does this mean?  This means that if this affects mice, there is a good chance it affects humans too – but to what extent remains unknown, more research is needed before conclusions can be made confidently. ….but I couldn’t find anything taking this research further forward.

Now, there have also been a large survey study of flight attendants to examine fertility….there are two interesting conclusions, first that flight crew were found to be more likely to suffer from irregular periods, and also more likely to suffer a miscarriage.  But I find the study designs less compelling, so I’m not even going to write about this in much detail (but you can judge for yourself here).

So is there something that can be done to prevent suffering from the effects of flying and jet lag?  No one knows for sure, but we do know that Melatonin is an important hormone that regulates other hormones…this can be taken as a supplement, but it can also have negative effects on fertility too when taken as a supplement.  And this is what I will talk about in some more detail in Part 2 later this weekend!

flying.jpg

Am I less fertile because I travel trans-Atlantic a lot?

[1]  Summa KC, Vitaterna MH, Turek FW (2012) Environmental Perturbation of the Circadian Clock Disrupts Pregnancy in the Mouse. PLoS ONE 7(5)

[2] Circadian rhythms fact sheet on the National Institute for General Medical Sciences website

Period after HSG and miscarriage

If you are not into reading about periods and period blood you should stop reading this now and come back tomorrow when I will be talking about less gross things in life 🙂

This is my first period since my recent Hysterosalpingogram – HSG – test.  This is also (probably) my second period since my miscarriage.  And it’s a weird one!!  It is on schedule – for which I am truly grateful for (isn’t it funny how we celebrate the little wins on this journey!!).  But this period is weird so far.  The pains are different, I cannot explain what is different about them, they don’t hurt so much, but the pain ‘rumbles’ inside me rather than the typical’radiating’ and ‘sharp’ pains I get from my normal period.  The blood is a heavy watery-pinky-mucusy mix.  Normally I get dark brown or red, thick and clotty blood.

So I got onto my friend google (like you do in a situation when weird stuff happens to your body).  I extensively searched for possible causes and whether this is normal or something I should call the nurse about.  My biggest concern is that my uterus lining won’t be up to scratch in preparation for our next round of IVF.

The best and corroborated explanation for this unexpected weirdness is that it may be an indicator of anemia or low iron stores and/or unbalanced diet/suffer from poor digestion.  Both of these things are plausible in my case, but can be easily resolved with some supplements.

I was worried it could be associated with the HSG procedure or the miscarriage, but it seems to not be the case.  So nothing to  worry about or to call the nurse about specifically, but I will mention it when I speak to her next.

Crisis averted, thank you google!  Now….pass me the liver and spinach 🙂

November: My blog therapy month #NaBloPoMo15

I challenged myself to write a post every day in November as part of National Blog Posting Month 2015.  Well, I certainly wrote more posts than I thought I would, but I didn’t quite manage to post every day.  I managed  22 posts out of a possible 30 :-s  If you posted every day, kudos to you my friend!!! It isn’t easy.  The thanksgiving holiday and travelling to Europe for work has limited my success in posting every day/  The days I didn’t blog were the days I yearned to write; just had little physical time to sit down and write it.  I got withdrawal symptoms when I didn’t write.  And I still have a long list of things I want to write about.  Fortunately, I never experienced writers block, I always had something to talk about.  Which is surprising, because I am not much of a big talker in real life!

I have written about some things that perhaps have given you more insight to my ways of thinking – an insight to the inner Dani!   If you are still here reading – Thank you for sticking with me!!!!

I have written about infertility related issues, and explored some broader topics about becoming a parent.  I have written about things that have bothered me and simply writing about them has helped me get over them.

I have also killed some time; time until our next cycle of IVF cycle.  I now have a new countdown – Christmas!!!! And I even have an amazing 3D Christmas Tree advent calendar that my granny gave me which will help.  I bought Chris a Birthday present – a daily lesson of couple’s massage for a month.  Basically he gets to be the stooge whilst I learn how to massage properly. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!!!! Not only does Chris get a mini massage on a daily basis (assuming I don’t hurt him whilst learning the massage techniques!), it brings us closer together through the power of relaxation – AND this daily lesson will be another count down to Christmas!  Then, after Christmas it is only 3 days until my Birthday, which will also most likely be the start of my IVF Diary Vol. 2.  Whoop whoop!

Time has flown this month, NaBloPoMo15 has signified a lot more to me than just exploring my ability to write and blog.  I have discovered that writing is therapeutic, something very much needed.  It has helped in my recovery to positivity.  I am feeling ready to start afresh.  January 2016 is going to be a rollercoaster ride.  But I have a feeling that we are going to have a great start to the year.
NaBloPoMo November 2015

Balancing Work and Infertility Treatment

I have been mostly open with my colleagues about the infertility treatment that we are facing.  I told a small number about the three IUIs, but in preparation for IVF I decided I needed to tell a few more of my colleagues in my team.  In fact, my team gave me a gift card for a nice restaurant as a I was about to take four days of sick leave for the Egg retrieval and embryo transfer for our first round of IVF.  But it’s not something that everyone is comfortable  initiating a conversation about it all with me.  They don’t know where the line is, so I try to  be open about it as much as possible and help them to feel comfortable asking me whatever questions they may have.

This ‘open’ approach has mostly worked in my favour; but that doesn’t mean it has been easy.  It is coming up to almost a year of treatment and my boss has known about my appointments and treatment for the majority of that time.  He has been accommodating, caring and supportive to my needs.  But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how supportive your peers and bosses are, there is the issue of the work that still needs to be done.

I feel unreliable, I feel flaky, I feel selfish and I hate not being flexible. I feel like the weak link in the team.  I hate that it is almost impossible to plan long term projects and work travel – a key part of my job.  I feel helpless, sometimes I feel useless.  I try to compensate by being overly proactive in areas that don’t require long term planning; I try to over achieve on short term goals and tasks.  But ultimately this impacts my career.  I feel like I have taken a career break. 

Juggling work with infertility treatment requires meticulous planning – and yet what are you told when it comes to IVF treatment?  Always expect the unexpected.  So planning for the unexpected becomes an overly stressful burden to your sanity.

For me, the first time we went through IVF it was a quiet time of year for us – August.  Many of my colleagues were on their summer holidays, so all was good.  This time around we are expecting to start stimulation in the New Year.  Things start to get a whole lot busier at work at this time of year.  I have already had to say no to travelling to Europe in January because it is likely my egg retrieval will be in that week.  Not attending this meeting in Europe may impact my involvement in the project overall.  Or simply just add another layer of stress even if I do pick it up afterwards from playing catch-up.

Then, there is the added problem of being physically at work; suffering from pain and tiredness as a result of the hormones and your body coping with the side effects of the drugs.  I tried to hide the pain.  I must have gone to the toilets about 25 times a day to hide.  Sometimes I just spent 5 minutes sitting there taking a timeout.  And it wasn’t just the physical pain, the emotional strain plays a part in all this too.  Simply put, the infertility treatment has also affected my mental focus on doing a good job.  For example, I was not satisfied with my output around the time of the IVF (I had a deliverable due just before the start of the IVF cycle – this was a terrible terrible idea!), although I know I am very self-critical and set high bars for myself – no one has actually complained about my work thus far.  I just hope that is because what I delivered was satisfactory, and not because people were afraid to upset me!!!

I just hate this.

And I am lucky that I do not have to lie to my colleagues.  I cannot imagine having that added pressure of guilt and keeping up with lies in addition to the stress of the treatment itself.  Some people need to keep their treatment a secret either for job protection or it is within their nature to keep family life private.

So what have I learned?  Second time around, I will schedule in a combination of annual leave and sick leave into my diary for the start of stimulation.  Fortunately it’s a new year of leave, so I will be able to do this this time around.  Who knows what would happen if we have to do IVF all over again after this round.  But this time, I’m going to try to focus on the treatment rather than juggling it with work.

Maybe I’ll take up some knitting or do some oil painting to keep me occupied.  I’m going to need to find something to keep my mind busy!!!

:-s

As for the long term impact on my career, well, I will just have to not worry too much about it just now.  Maybe if we get to summer next year and still no pregnancy, how I feel about my career is going to really influence my decisions about what we do next.

Random happenings on our first night out in a while

I am trying hard to keep my eyes open, but I don’t want to miss out of NaBloPoMo15. I have a bit of jet leg confusion going on with my body right now….it has no clue what time zone it is in.  All I know is that I am currently in Germany and am due to start working in approximately 8 hours :-s

Speaking of confusion, we went out with friends to have a couple of drinks on Friday evening, at our new local brewery.  It opened up at the end of our road which is perfect because we can both drink and not drive!  During the evening, I went to the toilet only to discover blood in my knickers.  Not much, but enough to make me wonder what the hell was going on. I was on cycle day 11. That’s not supposed to happen! I had a pad with me so it wasn’t a big deal.

—–Note——Last night I fell asleep at this point whilst writing this post!  I woke up at midnight with my laptop still on my lap and I had slept sitting up in bed for an hour!! There were random sentences and words typed after this point.  Who knows what crazy things I was thinking semi-asleep! So I never made it to posting this on Sunday. Whoops- there goes my blogging every day in November promise to myself!  Oh well good intentions and all that…anyway…back to the story!!!——

After freaking out a little bit, realising that there is nothing I could do, and I wasn’t in any pain, I returned back to my friends.  They were talking about going to a strip club.  I’ve never been to this kind of club before, everyone else had.  I panicked  – I didn’t want to go far from home just in case I started bleeding heavily.  So I made up an excuse that I couldn’t possibly go to a strip club with my husband because it would be weird! As you can probably imagine, this excuse wasn’t a sufficient enough reason to void the trip to the club. (although it is true that it would be a little bit weird to go to a strip club with my hubby!)  Eventually, I explained why I really didn’t want to go.  And it was kind of weird because I couldn’t explain it well.

My friends are lovely and understood, but really I couldn’t understand it myself.  It was the first time Chris and I had been out for a couple of drinks together in quite some time.  Why did my body have to go and ruin it?!

The bleeding stopped the next morning.  Who knows what it was and why it happened.  Perhaps it was a delayed response to the HSG test.  One thing I do know is that I am getting used to the unexplained!!!

I survived!

Of course I survived…no one dies from an HSG right?!?!

As I sat on my own in the procedure room waiting for the doctor I noticed just how dated everything in this room looked.  I also noticed two capsules stuck with cellotape onto the wall behind the head of the bed and the other on the needle disposal box.  I was intrigued because they said ‘amonia’ on them.  I wondered why these capsules were stuck there.  As more time passed I finally figured out what it was for – smelling salts for passed out patients! There was a piece of paper stuck on the wall that gave steps of what to do in an emergency – the kind of emergency when  patient passes out and you have no clue what is wrong with them.  The first step said: Keep calm! I found this quite amusing that a doctor/nurse needed to be reminded to keep calm first of all.  One of the other steps described how to use the ammonia capsule to see if the patient ids responsive. There was another sheet of paper stuck on the wall next to these emergency instructions, giving instructions for what to do if a patient was having an allergic reaction.  I suppose some poor people in the past have found out that they truly are allergic to shell fish or iodine as a result of this HSG procedure! So I guess you can die from an HSG afterall.

After waiting for 20 minutes ready to go, the doctor came in and introduced herself – as if I had never met her before.  She didn’t recognise me at all.  Even with my British accent she didn’t recognise me and proceeded to ask me questions as if I was a new patient.  Considering the number of times she has seen my vagina and cervix (I can count 8 monitoring appointments and 2 inseminations) I was a bit upset by this fact.

So we got down to the business….and the procedure hurt so much that I had tears in my eyes.  It was all over after only 5 minutes, but they were a painful 5 minutes.  I peeked at the video of the x-ray as she was cleaning me up.  I could see my upside down uterus and the dye free flowing through my tubes.  And then something weird happened – my uterus flipped upright at the end of the procedure!  I felt her do something weird, did she manipulate my uterus? Or was it just the xray moving to a different position?  Logically the latter doesn’t make much sense…but then again neither does the manipulation! I’ll know exactly what happened when I go for my baseline ultrasound in the new year.

Good news is that I passed the test!! IVF round 2 is on in the new year!!

After the procedure I went back to the waiting room to pick up Chris because he wasn’t allowed in with me.  And there sitting in the waiting room was someone I knew.  It was funny because Chris was sat with his back to them and he didn’t realise he knew them.  It was a bit of a bizarre moment because I guess we didn’t really know what to say to each other.  I don’t know why they were there specifically, but I feel a little sad that infertility affects so many of us around us we just don’t know about. Today was just another reminder of that fact.  Infertility – you truly are a sneaky bag of crap.

The dreaded HSG

I am not going to pretend to be brave here.  I am actually a little bit nervous about tomorrow’s HSG procedure.

The Hysterosalpingogram – AKA the HSG – is an x-ray procedure to check whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked, and if the uterus is normal.  Iodine dye is inserted into the uterus to allow a contrast to be seen on the x-ray.  It allows the doctor to see on the free flow of the fallopian tubes and any abnormal lining of the uterus.  The procedure is relatively quick -about 5 minutes.  But for me it really was painful.  I took 800mg of Ibuprofen an hour before the procedure as instructed – it still hurt.

For my first test I was naive and had no clue it might be painful, so I wasn’t nervous.  But now, knowing what I know now!  I AM anxious!  The crappy thing is that Chris isn’t allowed in with me, there is nothing more I would like than for him to hold my hand whilst the dye is injected and I feel that burning cramping sensation run through my body.

When I called the clinic to make my appointment the receptionist who now recognises my voice (OK so I bet they don’t have that many Brits as patients) asked me why I hadn’t had an HSG already.  I pointed out I had one in January but I had to have another one after the possible ectopic pregnancy thing and how much I was dreading it.  She was very sweet and apologised, her tone also changed to be more somber for the rest of the call.  Bless, it was nice that she sounded to care. It must be a hard job working in a fertility clinic – it must be a bit bi-polar with so many highs and lows everyday.

Perhaps I will do some meditation to help me relax a little before hand :-s

On the positive side about this – once we have the results of this test we can go ahead and hopefully firm up plans for IVF round 2.

My HSG X-ray with my retroverted uterus (it's hard to see because it's hiding behind the catheter)

My HSG X-ray with my retroverted uterus (it’s hard to see because it’s hiding behind the catheter)

The sugar monster

Hello, my name is Dani and I am a sugar addict. Phew. Glad I got that out into the open now :-s

After reading ‘It starts with the egg’ by Rebecca Fett I decided to give up sugar about 2 months prior our 1st IVF cycle.

It starts with the eggActually what I really gave up was simple/refined carbohydrates.  The science behind it all is rather compelling so I thought I’d give it a go.  It turns out that women who follow a diet of low-glycemic/slow carbohydrates have a much lower rate of ovulatory infertility.  Research shows that high blood sugar and insulin levels significantly decrease egg quality.  This in turn reduces the proportion of embryos that can successfully implant in the uterus, reduces IVF success rates, and increases the risk of early pregnancy loss.  As we have no clue what causes my infertility, I thought it has got to be worth a shot.

Well fat lot of good that did me!  Although, as it was my first time doing both the diet and the IVF, it is difficult to know what would have happened had I not followed the diet.  I mean, it was the first time I ever saw two pink lines, so there was definitely something that helped!! Whether it was the IVF or the diet we will never really know. I’m not willing to experiment.

Chris helped me and we made some general food choice changes.  We swapped out white rice and pasta with the brown and black stuff.  We bought quinoa, lentils and whole wheat cous-cous….all slow release carbohydrates.  Our portions also became smaller because we got fuller quicker.  I bought a bread machine and we made our own whole wheat breads. We got rid of the chocolate, cookies and other bads and replaced them with nuts, fruits and plain yoghurt.

After the news of our unviable pregnancy the comfort food came out and the diet went out of the window.  At first, everything was too sweet and I couldn’t eat much of it!  But it soon became easy to eat the bads, and we treated ourselves to whatever we liked.

Today we are back onto the path of a low glycemic diet and exercise.  I got a call from my nurse co-ordinator who went through some dates with me for our second round of IVF and we are looking at starting Birth Control Pills around my Birthday (yey!  Happy Birthday Me!  Have a BCP!!!), starting stimulation injections around about 7th Jan 2016.  So that is 2 months of healthy eating (minus Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays).

At the weekend we bought a new book called ‘the sugar free kitchen’ and we have stocked up the cupboards with the good stuff.

sugar free

Does it seem ironic that there is ice cream on the front cover of this ‘sugar-free’ cook book??!

Our menu for the week looks like this:

Breakfast:

  • Toasted oats cereal with banana and milk

Lunches:

  • Chicken salad (no change this is what we usually eat, we just vary the meat and vegetables week to week)

Snacks:

  • carrots, celery, pistachios, wholewheat cracker bread with butter

Dinners:

  • Avocado, bacon and chile frittata with peas
  • Quinoa, squash and pine nut salad
  • Flat bread pizzas with garlic zucchini ribbons and salad
  • Squash and chorizo quiche
  • Italian meat sauce with whole wheat pasta

Homemade Treats:

  • Raspberry and mascarpone ice cream, frozen yoghurt cups, Ginger and oat no-bake cookies.
Quinoa, squash and pine nut warm salad.  Actually pretty darn tasty and easy to make.

Quinoa, squash and pine nut warm salad. Actually pretty darn tasty and easy to make.

We are generally healthy eaters and cook all our own food from scratch anyway, but the biggest change is the treats.  I get the sugar-low cravings in the mid-mornings and after coming home from work….this is when I typically snack and eat a lot of sugary things.  So for the next week or so my body will hate me as I come off my sugar high.  Hopefully it won’t be quite as bad as last time :-s

We are also getting back onto the exercise.  I was going to be playing dodgeball this winter season, but the league was cancelled.  And our local yoga centre shut down.  So we have to motivate our butts to get moving.  Chris is still recovering from his sprained ankle earlier in the year so we can’t do anything too energetic like insanity….but we will do some P90X again.  We won’t follow the programme religiously, but enough to get a bit fitter than we currently are. So, here we go!

Bodies………………. ready??!?!?! Three….two……one…….*Whistle blows*

(If you ever watched the gladiators you should shout that sentence out loud in a Scottish referee type accent, if you have never watched the gladiators, I am sorry for my randomness but here is a video to help explain it)

NaBloPoMo November 2015

IVF round 2 – December/January 2016

We met for our follow-up appointment with our doctor yesterday.  There were no surprises.  Which is a good thing!  So the plan of attack is a fresh round of IVF…get a couple more embryos frozen:

  1. Schedule a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG – if you would like a refresher what this procedure entails, check out my post from last time here) – I will do this as soon as I start my period (who knows when that will be!!!).  It is very unlikely that my fallopian tubes will be blocked, but she wants to be sure.  Fair enough.  However, I am NOT looking forward to this test.  Last time I was completely naive to the potential pain ahead for this particular procedure, now that I know exactly how much it can hurt I’m a wee bit nervous!
  2. Plan to start Birth Control Pills to regulate my cycle in December with an egg retrieval date for early January 16.  There is a period of 3 weeks that the embryology lab is closed over the Christmas period.  Seriously – how unlucky am I?? Last time my cycle was delayed because the embryology lab was being refurbished.  Oh well – I guess everyone needs a holiday.

There is a potential chance we could start Birth Control Pills in November, and do a retrieval before Christmas, but I think it will be close to my 3 month period of ‘no baby making’ because of the methotrexate shot I had affecting fetus development.  I have been researching this, and I would be willing to go ahead a week or two earlier because doctors are overly cautious with this 3 month time stamp.  As long as I keep taking my folic acid I should have no problems.  However, this is something to be discussed once we have a better idea of a) when my period is likely to be and b) assuming my HSG test is all clear!!!

There will be no change to my protocol, perhaps a slight increase in some of the medication dosages to mature more of my eggs.  As a reminder from our first round we had 9 eggs retrieved, 6 of these eggs were mature, 4 of these eggs were successfully fertilised by ICSI, 2 good 8 cell embryos were transferred on day 3, and 1 of the 2 embryos made it to Day 5 blastocyst and was frozen.  Our doctor mentioned that she would consider waiting to Day 5 for the transfer this time around, especially as our frozen one is Day 5 – she wants them to be the same.  We like this plan!

This gives me some time to concentrate on work for a little while, get my body healthy and start growing some strong eggs!  What is amazing is what the horrrorscopes says for me next week…

horoscopes

I was already planning on going back on my sugar free, healthy diet next week! Freaky! Sooooo….which old friend should I Skype on Sunday next week and wants to reveal a long-held secret to me??!!!?!