Monday, 9 June 2008

Polyp watch

On Saturday morning, we returned to the Great Big Infertility Clinic, where a scan revealed that, despite my best attempts to jiggle it loose via an extended session on the Powerplate at the gym, the polyp still continues to cling stubbornly to the wall of my uterus.

How was I, asked Dr Approachable.

I explained that, after two poor responses, I was wondering how many more times I could put myself through all this. Was it perhaps time to start exploring other options, such as egg donation?

And then Dr Approachable uttered the magic words, 'Well, I'm not willing to give up on you just yet.'

Although he and I both now agree that my left ovary does not appear to be functioning as it should, the (Day 9) scan revealed eight follicles on my right ovary. Dr A considers this an indication that there is still clearly something left to stimulate, and so is not willing definitively to diagnose diminished ovarian reserve. He has a plan of action:

First of all, I need a hysteroscopy to deal with the polyp. I phoned my private health insurers this morning to check if this is covered under my policy. They will not pay if it is being done as part and parcel of fertility treatment (UK health insurers will not cover anything whatsoever to do with assisted conception), but will do so if Dr A is willing to recommend that it is an abnormality which should be investigated and removed regardless. If they won't pay, then we will have no option but to find the money ourselves, or else to sit it out on an NHS waiting list.

Once the polyp has been dealt with, we will then attempt to thaw and transfer the one embryo that resulted from this last cycle. Since I ovulate regularly, Dr A suggested that we do a natural cycle FET. I am more than happy to go along with this, as I am reluctant to pump myself full of yet more drugs - particularly when there is a possibility that that one embryo may not survive the freezing process.

If the FET doesn't work, then Dr A recommended that we try an antagonist protocol next time round. In contrast to many of our previous appointments at the Great Big Infertility Clinic, where I've barely had a chance to put my knickers back on before being hussled out of the door, he was in particularly relaxed and chatty mode (perhaps it being a Saturday had something to do with it), and explained in detail the different effects of GnRH agonists and antagonists on the pituitary gland. Given that I haven't responded particularly well either to a long or a short GnRH agonist protocol, he feels that an antagonist protocol may be a better option for us.

We also had a lengthy conversation about the pros and cons of urinary vs. recombinant FSH. Dr A remains a fan of urinary FSH, as he believes that it has the added benefit of LH, which may help with the quality - if not the quantity - of eggs produced.

I'm still struggling with the question, when is enough, enough? But I think I'm coming round to the idea that all any of us can do is take things one step at a time, one cycle at a time. So, first things first, I'm going to deal with the polyp.


Pamela Jeanne said...

Dr. Heathen (since you're clearly as well versed in repro med as any physician I've ever spoken with), I'm sorry the polyp is being so uncooperative.

I'm glad, though, to hear that your doc is still feeling optimistic as his disposition will make your next decisions that much easier. I fully appreciate your wondering how much more you can take ... right here with you to offer whatever support you need.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I think Dr Approachable just proved his weight in gold for those magic words, and for taking the time for the conversation.

You know where to find us all and we're all thinking of you both dealing with this. said...

I'm so glad he said those words. It is way to early to give up yet. I know that the journey is a difficult one but one step at a time is the best way to tackle it.

1. Get rid of the polyp
2. Get knocked up with the FET

Good plan? I'll be keeping everything crossed for you.

PS: Eight follicles is great. That is good news, right?

annacyclopedia said...

You're right - one step at a time is all any of us can do. And I'm glad you have such a caring doctor. Sounds like he would be willing to recommend the polyp be removed for general health reasons so that you can get it covered - at least, I hope so.

Wishing you peace as you go through this and contemplate the options.

And thanks for the comment on my new blog!

Lisa said...

I think this is an excellent plan. Get that polyp outta there and the embie IN. I think your doctor is absolutely right to not give up on you yet -- I know how heavy the emotional toll is, but if you can find a way to try one thing at a time for a bit longer I just have the best feeling that you'll get there.

Lisa at infertileground

charlotte fairchild said...


I don't know how many alternative people comment. is one site I would recommend for the articles, and another is for the links and articles.

I am wondering if the Whole Body Vibration would help you. I know that many people use Clear Passage for scar tissue and blocked tubes.

I hope you check this stuff out, anyway.

Mrs.X said...

I had to laugh at the image of trying to shake that bad boy loose on an exercise machine. I'm sorry it didn't work. Maybe if you relax?

I'm glad that Dr. Approachable is in your camp and not going to give up. It is so important for us to know that our doctors believe in us as much as it is for us to believe in our doctors.

Your plan sounds good, too. Hopefully, you won't have to get to another stim cycle!

Thanks also for your lovely words on my blog. They meant a lot to me.

the Babychaser: said...

We had the same problem with our insurance company. If I'm trying to get pregnant, they'll only cover half of the surgery. But if it's for "medical" reasons, they'll cover it.

My amazing hubby J was on the phone with the HMO for two days straight getting it worked out, but he got them to pay for the whole thing. Here's the deal: no one can contradict you if you say it's causing you pain and severe bleeding (my fibroid was, but I would have made it up if I had to). And your doctor probably will back you up. Just keep pushing.

Your plan sounds solid. At least give the one frozen guy a shot before you make any big decisions.

Good luck!

Malloryn said...

What a difference a good doctor can make, particularly in how they communicate to you. I'm glad he's feeling positive about your chances. Focus on getting rid of the polyp first, and then it's time for the FET. I wish you the very best through all of this.

luna said...

hope you get the removal covered. such a pain to deal with bureaucracy on top of the rest of it. I'm a pro at the uterine surgery thing. the hardest part is the waiting... wishing you well.