Hi bloggies. I hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend! I spent Saturday working on some big freelance deadlines and also fit in some extensive Googling and message-boarding on my low-estrogen situation. Hubs Googled and found some cool studies that suggest the link between E2 and number of mature follies is not as important as I thought. Of course, I also found some studies that suggested otherwise. You can drive yourself NUTSO with Google Scholar, my friends! And don’t even get me started on message boards…oof, lots of scary/wrong/stupid information floating around out there.
Anyway, we got up early on Sunday and IUIed (during the procedure I asked Dr. Nice about my low E2, haha). I was so bloated and BLAH afterward that I rested for a couple of hours before we headed to a Cubs game (where I met up with APlusB during the 7th inning stretch! :)). Monday was filled with more freelance work and then a BBQ in the afternoon. So all-in-all it was a mellow and restful and sunny weekend and it gave me some time to come to terms with my 292 estrogen number on my final day of monitoring. I’ve decided one of few things happened.
1. I had a premature LH surge. This would’ve been why Dr. Nice wanted to do the IUI on Saturday instead of Sunday. On one message board where REs answer queries, the responding doctor informed me: “It sounds almost certainly as if you have had premature luteinization and that I am afraid bodes poorly for egg/embryo quality and for a successful cycle.” 😦 While I think this is a good hypothesis (especially given the limited info I supplied), I think it’s unlikely. (And so does Dr. K, which is why she switched my IUI to Sunday when she was called during her vacation to weigh in on my situation.) Here’s why: I was not monitored on CD18, but my LH was 1.3 on CD17 and 0.2 on CD19, which is exactly how low my LH was throughout the cycle, and during my last injects cycle. I think it’s unlikely I had a sudden and steep rise in LH between those blood tests. (Anything is possible, I realize.)
2. I have empty follicle syndrome. In other words, no eggies in my follies.
3. I have immature eggs in all of my big follies. So they were all emitting low amounts of E2 but none of them was viable.
4. I have a bunch of cysts.
5. I have one dominant follicle. Even though there were several biggies, they deferred to one lead follie, which actually had an egg. (This is what Dr. Nice thinks happened. He said my ovaries might be trying to behave like regular ‘ol ovaries, not super-stimmed-up ovaries.)
It is comforting to believe that number five is the explanation to this mystery of four big follies and a very low estrogen number. I don’t think I believe it, but I do have moments of believing it, and that will have to be enough for me. To be clear, dear commenters: I was not/am not bemoaning “just one egg.” I realize “normal” women get pregnant with just one egg every single hour of every single day. My disappointment is that I maybe had NO EGGS this cycle and did not ovulate. One is a million times better than none. I would be thrilled with one. But I don’t know if I ovulated and that’s just how it is. (Clinic #1 won’t do the 7DPO P4 test to see if I did or didn’t ovulate because it will be artificially high due to my progesterone supps anyways.)
I guess the upside of all of this is that I feel zero desire to Google symptoms or scan my body for weirdness or any of that other stuff I did the one other time I was in a 2ww. I feel very “eh, whatevs” about how this all went down in the end. Not in a bad way (anymore), but more of an “okaaaaaay, so THAT happened” way.
I also feel relief that we will see Dr. Awesome next cycle and hopefully I will not be benched for four weeks before we can try again. I admit that one of the hardest parts about my cycles is that they are not “four weeks long.” They are usually in the nine weeks–long range due to my long stimming protocol and bench month with the requisite cysts. Hubs and I need to decide if we should IUI or move directly to IVF. I always said we’d do three IUIs, but after my wonky response to the injects this time, I wonder if we should to go right to IVF?
Don’t be mad at me for already thinking about “what’s next” a couple days after an IUI. It’s a coping mechanism. And even if all of this has a melancholy feel to it, be assured I am not gloom & doom. I’m just realistically even keeled. Which is not a terrible place to be. It definitely beats the bench!