Infertility: Ultrasound and Next Steps?

I haven't even started IVF yet and I'm already acting crazy... It's very scary and there's a lot of factors to consider and it can be quite overwhelming. My moods have been all over the place lately and I'm pretty sure 90% of it is due to the amount of anxiety and general fear I have around this process. It's all so unknown and I absolutely cannot deal with unknowns. Anyway, before I go any further I wanted to send out massive congratulations to one of my blogger friends who I have known for quite a few years now, Lyndsay (and her partner V, and the adorable woofer Robbie of course) on their successful IVF cycle!!! Check out her blog, she's awesome.

Image via pixabay
Anyway. Let's go back to 22nd August. It was my 29th birthday and I had an appointment for an internal ultrasound and also had to have some blood work done. I've never been one to make a huge deal out of my birthday so it wasn't like a massive problem or anything but still... having an ultrasound wand assaulting your cervix on your birthday isn't ideal! ha. The tech was so lovely and it really wasn't as bad as a smear. No evil speculum, you get to wear a gown to protect what little modesty you have left at this point, and honestly it's just a bit uncomfortable. The worst part by far was having to hold 1.5ltrs of liquid for over an hour!!!! Initially, the plan was to do the topical ultrasound then go for the internal but because I was cycle day 28 and we were really looking for abnormalities, there wasn't much point to the topical so I was allowed to pee - and promptly sprinted to the bathroom, felt a million times better - then we got down to the awkward bit. 

So what happens in an internal ultrasound? It's just you and the tech. She had the referral and is the master of making you feel at ease. You get your gown, remove what's necessary and assume the position. This part made me laugh. There was nothing for me to put my legs on so all I had was a chair, classy. The most important thing is to relax - yes, I'm aware this is near impossible but just trust me here, think happy thoughts and do some deep breaths. OH! The tech will place a condom on the ultrasound wand, be very generous with the lube and then well... in it goes... ha. 

I'll be completely honest here, I was so fascinated by the images on the screen it nearly almost completely removed any anxiety and discomfort I was feeling. It was amazing to see what was going on inside my body! Of course, part of me was terrified of seeing a massive physical problem but being the medical nerd I am, even that would have been quite cool to see. Yes, she's right up on your cervix to see your ovaries which is pretty uncomfortable, but it's more of a pressure than actual pain, and as long as you don't tense up it's manageable. The whole process took maybe 10 minutes, 15 at most as I kept asking questions and basically had a grand tour of my uterus.... hahahaha. 

Results? There is nothing wrong! Structurally sound and I am indeed ovulating. I had some brilliant follicles and no signs of PCOS at all. The only slight issue was that my lining was quite thin for CD28, but again this is just evidence of my bizarre body so.... meh. So on the one hand it's brilliant news and such a huge relief, but it also puts into mind an awful lot of questions as to why I am failing to conceive. 

The following week I got a letter. I am being referred to an Obstetrician that specialises in pre-conception medical management prior to being sent onwards for IVF. Once again I am left with more questions than answers but I am looking forward to meeting with another specialist and learning more. Of course, I will update when this happens. 

As an aside: I was advised that I need to start tapering off of venlafaxine due to its contraindication in pregnancy. I have not begun this yet as my moods are quite erratic and I don't want to add fuel to the fire. Full disclosure: I am cycle day 39 and an absolute mess. It is well documented that hormones are a catalyst for a range of psychiatric conditions, so even in the absence of the down-regulation and subsequent stimulation aka stimming that IVF provides, I am already struggling. It makes me wonder if I am actually capable of enduring such a massive dose of hormones without slipping into a major depression/psychosis. It's a very scary possibility, which is perhaps why I am being referred to a specialist obstetrician. I don't know. 

Brutal honesty: I am absolutely terrified by the very grim reality that I am at a high risk of perinatal depression and/or psychosis and it does make me wonder if IVF is the right decision. I have considered looking for a surrogate...

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