Googled out

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!



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14 responses to “Googled out

  1. Egg, I totally understand the “what’s next” mechanism. LG and I had a conversation today about funding IVF– even though we’re 2-3 months out from even visiting an RE and beginning testing, let alone IUIs and other treatments. But knowing your options and feeling confident in your clinic’s ability to get you pregnant will help with the stress.

    I so, so, so, so, so, (can I say “so” one more time?), so want the low E2 to be because of reason #5. I SO want this wonky IUI to be the wonky IUI that gets you pregnant.

    Hang in there. Just two weeks to go.

  2. I agree and highly doubt that you had premature lutenization – I think your E2 would have dropped significantly (I wonder if the Dr. misread your post and mistakenly thought the previous 600 number was from the same cycle). Anyway I am believing it is #5 and believing this is your cycle to get pregnant. Also, keep in mind that your E2 is not that low – there is definitely at least one good egg!
    So good to see you on Sunday and so glad we’re in this 2ww together!

  3. Mara

    I don’t think it was #1 either. I am hoping hoping for #5 and that this is it for you, Egg. Plus your E2 could have gone up significantly between your last monitoring appointment and ovulation, right?

    I totally understand the need to make plans. Totally.

  4. I totally understand the looking to what’s next. I did it after every IUI. You have to protect your heart.

    Hoping this is your cycle.

  5. If I were a betting woman, I would throw some money down on #5, Egg. I love that your hubs is doing some investigative research with you. 😉 I think the What’s Next frame of thinking is so valid and healthy even. I’ll be stalking you this 2ww with my fingers solidly crossed, my dear.

  6. You know, I’ve always thought that #2 was a possibility for me and no doctor has ever mentioned it…

    Anyhow, I can completely understand looking toward the next step. I’m a planner and during every cycle, I always thought about the next IUI or, in the last case, moving on to save for IVF. I think in some ways it helps to take the pressure off of that particular cycle. You aren’t thinking or stressing about what CD you are on in your current wait.

    Fingers crossed for you.


  7. How could anyone be mad at you for thinking about next steps? That is called coping. I learn a lot from reading from your googling so thanks. I hope that your one egg meets the sperm and you do get pregnant even though you don’t have much hope for this cycle.

  8. AL

    I totally get the planning for the next steps after an IUI – keep looking forward, Egg, nothing wrong with that.

    Like Trinity, my money’s on #5. FX.

  9. google scholar = addicting!! i made myself quit it after a week bc i was reading up on way too much stuff.

    fingers crossed for this iui. even if you’re not too hopeful for it, stranger $hit has happened. so you have a chance!

    lightning will strike for us sooner or later. i hope for sooner please!!

  10. Kate

    I would go for the big guns and do IVF. Get this motha f***er over with!!!

  11. Egg, I have faith that it’s #5. And I totally understand the coping mechanism of looking ahead. Even before my IUI on Monday I was already counting the days to se when my next cycle would start and when CD3 and CD12 would land so I’d know when I’d have to go in for monitoring appointments. It’s a game we play that makes us crazy.

    I’m hoping that since we’re on the same schedule that a BFP is in both of our futures in 10 days.

  12. Tarah

    We are probably all in the “What’s next” camp after O – we want to believe this is the cycle finally but with the odds stacked against us…it’s hard not to believe you’ll be seeing AF again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have hope for you! I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed for you and your eggs!

  13. Hoping for #5.

    But, incidentally, how would you find out about empty follicle syndrome, except if you were doing IVF? Can they tell whether you actually ovulated but [something else went wrong] or whether there was no egg in the first place? Oh, the many possibilities of things to go wrong, it’s frustrating.

    Thinking of you and hoping that there was one egg, one wonderful egg that is now fertilized and on its way to implantation.

  14. Just the fact that there are so many potential explanations for what might be going on highlights how hard your situation is. And YES, “what’s next?” is the only thing that keeps me sane. Sane-ish. Also, I think if your RE doesn’t think another IUI could be better tailored to your system, why not go to IVF?

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