My Infertility FAQ.

by katelin on May 29, 2014

I’ve been talking about our struggle to start a family for almost a year on this blog and there are a few things I get asked over and over again. And I don’t mind answering them again and again but it made me think, maybe I should post a little FAQ to help everyone understand our situation a little better. So here you go:

So you said you have PCOS, what exactly is that? 
I sort of answered this last year, but in short it stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. There are a whole lot of factors but the main one is cysts on the ovaries. They can be small or large, but they’re there and they’re usually problematic. In my case, my eggs were developing within cysts and then collapsing on themselves.

It is possible for the cysts to go away (in my case they have) but lingering problems can still stay. As in, my eggs don’t naturally develop or ovulate on their own. They can develop but tend to collapse on themselves or just sort of dissipate.

Why are you gluten free? And are you going to stay gluten free in the long run?
I sort of talked about this in September, but a holisitic healing specialist noticed that I had an intolerance to gluten so I cut it out. At first it was difficult but I’ve been pretty adamant about keeping it up since November. I don’t know if it’s the reason that my cysts are gone (but it could be) but I’ve been feeling better and healthier and apparently losing weight, so it’s not terrible.

And am I going to keep this up? Yes. I think I am. Living in Southern California is definitely making gluten free much easier. There are so many options and yeah it’s a bit more expensive, but I’m feeling healthier and happier all around so I’ll probably stay gluten free. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t cheat with a cupcake every now and then, come on.

What do the injectable medications do for you?
I was originally on Clomid, a pill you take that helps you ovulate, for months thinking that it was working. When really it was not. So instead, we upgraded to injectable medication that basically helps my eggs develop to a healthy size and then there is a trigger shot once the eggs are a good size (I believe it’s over 20cm?) that helps kick start some of those eggs into the ovulation process.

Why do some medications work and others don’t?
I wish I knew. We did a round of injectable medications that worked great (my eggs developed, they were healthy, I ovulated), we did the IUI and it didn’t work. We did another round with the same medication and my body stopped responding with no warning. Bodies are weird. Medication is weird. I just sort of take it day by day and hope that everything will fall into place and work like it’s supposed to eventually.

Does it hurt? 
Yes and no. Matt and I have got a system down when it comes to the shots and mostly it doesn’t hurt. But the new medication I started did prick a little more and left me a little sore. Only after a few doses did I notice that I was bruising a bit, but luckily it still didn’t hurt as much as I imagined.

What is an IUI?
The not so technical explanation is that the doctor gives Matt’s swimmers a fast pass to my uterus and hope they make friends with my eggs. The process is weird and a bit uncomfortable, but my doctor walked me through it as it was all happening. I had horrible cramps the next day and the two week waiting period was the longest two weeks ever. And sadly we know how that one turned out.

Are you going to do IVF?
Honestly, we don’t know. We’ll probably try IUIs a bit more before going down that route. IVF is insanely expensive (usually starting around fifteen thousand) and I think I’d rather look to adoption first if it came to that. So we’ll see.

Is any of this covered by your insurance?
Sadly. No. None of it. Since early January when we started meeting with the fertility specialist I’d guestimate we’ve spent over six thousand dollars. Between medication, the failed IUI and every ultrasound it’s not cheap and it makes me cringe to think about it.

When you do have kids, are you going to tell them about your journey? 
YES. I want our kids to know how much we fought for them. I want them to know how Matt and I had to use a unisex bathroom at a hockey game to do shots. I want them to know how we stopped in the middle of a wedding and went into some random person’s office to do a shot. I want them to know that their parents’ laughed and cried and prayed for them every single night.  I want them to know that they were definitely worth the struggle and the pain. I’ll probably give them my journal one day so they truly know how loved they were before they were even here.


Anyhoo, I hope that helps a little bit. If there’s anything else you’re curious about I am seriously an open book, ask away I do not mind.



 happy thursday!

Posted in Me Things

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