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Infertility - I feel so alone


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Hey, all.

I don't really have a question, I guess--mostly I'm just looking for other people who have struggled or are struggling to conceive.

It's been nearly a year now and still no baby (one miscarriage). I've now been told by my reproductive endocrinologist and my midwife that my body is not producing progesterone at all, which is keeping me from ovulating and thus from conceiving. The endo wants to put me on Clomid soon, but I admit that a part of me is avoiding going back for my followup visit because I'm hoping if I just get healthy enough and lose enough weight (I'm 260 right now), maybe it can happen naturally.

I do not have PCOS or diabetes. I do have endometriosis. Every single one of my hormone levels, other than progesterone, has been normal.

My husband is fantastic and supportive, but I find that I just want someone to talk to who is going through the same thing.

Meanwhile, literally fifteen different friends of mine (I counted) have gotten pregnant within the last 6 months. I'm happy for all of them, but there's a part of me that is just so filled with anger and sadness. I have only one friend who had infertility problems--her baby is a year old, and she lives two hours away. I feel completely isolated in this.

I have these moments of panic and depression where I'm convinced that it's never going to happen and I should give up trying, or even hoping.

Is anybody out there? I know I can't be the only one, but sometimes I feel like I am.

 

Edited Jun 01 2010 22:25 by msmysz
Reason: Removed Sticky 06-01-2010
19 Replies (last)

[[[b0910]]]

I haven't been there but I can't imagine the pain/frustration/anger/sadness that you must be feeling. I wish you the best in the upcoming months.

I know exactly how you feel!  Tons and tons of hugs.  I'm really glad you posted this topic.  DH and I have been TTC since June 2009.  I haven't had a period since Aug 1, 2009.   I had two regular cycles after going off BC, and then...nothing.  They think it has to do with progesterone also.  We are actually meeting with the R.E. this afternoon for our first consultation.

I've been into my regular doctor every four months for tests, and nothing has come back abnormal.  They've done blood, urine, thyroid, and even an ultrasound.  No PCOS, no diabetes, no endometriosis, not overweight, not underweight, haven't lost or gained a large amount, I'm 26...it's a mystery.  We tried one 50mg round of Clomid to hopefully start a cycle, but it didn't work, and I wasn't super on board with pumping myself full of hormones, and my doctor was supportive of that decision, so he recommended me to the R.E.

Meanwhile, five of my friends have gotten pregnant in the last year, three in their first month of TTC.  One of them even has endometriosis.  It's easy to feel alone when it seems like everyone else gets pregnant by hardly trying.  They don't get it, and things like, "it'll happen when you stop worrying about it," "don't try so hard," or "just relax, and it'll happen," are about the worse things to hear.  I know they think they're giving advice, but really they have no idea what it's like to feel this way because it happened the way it's "supposed" to for them.

I sometimes feel like I'm less of a woman because I can't do things that my body is designed to do.  It's so frustrating.  DH is really supportive, but I know he's just as disappointed as I am.  We discussed what we would do if we had trouble TTC before we started, and we agreed, no IVF.  It's too unnatural for us, but it becomes a slippery slope when you start talking Clomid and other medications.  I'm excited and nervous to meet with the R.E.

#3  
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realy  very painfull but I wish you the best in coming day .

are you getting your period????   before i had my daughter I miscarried in my 9th week. it made my periods very irregular so i got on the patch for about 6 months to regulate my cycle..   that helped alot.. after I stopped my patch and got one regular period on my own, i got pregnant the next month...  and had a healthy baby girl..      i wish you luck with everything.. and try to keep a positive attitude.. it helps alot..

 

* edited to add that i was around 264 lbs when i got pregnant with my daughter*

You're not alone at all... DH and I will never be able to have children. When I started getting healthy I had great hopes that I'd be able to conceive naturally, but nothing came of them, and another problem showed up that made a natural conception totally impossible for us. It was a very hard year accepting the fact that we will be a family of two...

btw DON'T do what I do - when I realised that a baby wasn't going to happen, I went into a depression and tossed my diet, exercise, and health out the window and regained all the weight I'd worked so hard to lose because I didn't care any more. That was a really stupid thing for me to do and I've been regretting it ever since...

*hugs to you*

My mom had endo, which caused her to loose all but 1/4 of an ovary.  After 10 years of trying to conceive, she adopted me (38 years ago!?), and then 5 years later she got pregnant with my sister.  It CAN happen, but usually when you least expect it!

Good luck to you!

@tasha - I am getting my period, I'm just not ovulating, so it's not actually a "real" period, just anovulatory bleeding. Actually (sorry if this is TMI), I've been on my "period" for two months now without a break. Endocrinologist just put me on progesterone to try and get it to stop, which seems to finally be helping.

 

@All - Thank you so much for your responses and encouragement. I really appreciate it. Right now, the endocrinologist is positive about our potential to be able to have a baby with the help of Clomid, as the only problem she's been able to find is progesterone.

Sigh... we'll see.

Hi bo910, I feel your pain, I really do. I gave up trying to have a baby years ago, after 6 years of trying.  I had numerous miscarriages, numerous doctors visits and finally 4 years ago I decided it just wasn't going to happen for me.  We stopped seeing all our  doctors, the fertility shots, the pills..all of it. In the last four years, not once did we practice safe sex, shoot why should we? We couldn't have a baby!  I dont know why things happen the way they do, but after all the pain, and hurt....God decided to give us a child when HE wanted to. I am currently 11 weeks pregnant, and boy do I NOW believe in miracles! Just stay strong, and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

just want to send HUGS I have been there 3 years of TTC and finally IVF. In those 3 years I started concentrating on me I dropped 40lbs started exercising and found jogging to be one of my best stress relievers. I have always hated jogging, but for some reason with my infertility struggles it gave me an outlet I guess.

Clomid can help but I would make sure that they also put you ona progesterone supplement as soon as ovulation is confirmed especially on a medicated cycle.

Also what stage is your Endo? Have the done a LAP?

HUGS and hang in there it is one of the hardest journeys

No Lap. I scar incredibly easily, and every doc I've seen has been concerned that Laparoscopy would potentially hurt more than it helped, by creating new scarring. So although I was diagnosed 11 years ago, I've still never had surgery.

I did 6 months of Lupron a few years ago and otherwise am treating fairly naturally--high doses of vitamin B1 to control symptoms, raspberry leaf tea and cramp bark when the pain is bad, cinnamon supplements to help control blood sugar, ibuprofen as an anti-progestin agent, cutting out all soy and other major sources of dietary estrogen, and not storing foods in plastic. It's helped a lot with my general well-being, but, well.. no baby.

After 10 days of progesterone, the anovulatory bleeding has finally stopped. A day after it stopped, I got cramps for the first time in four or five months, had another day of bleeding, and then nothing. My semi-secret hope is that the progesterone plus recent weight loss and increased exercise triggered a real period and that maybe my hormones are starting to normalize.

FWIW, I know how it feels. We just spent the last two years in fertility treatment, starting with Clomid/Prometrium, and 3 IVF cycles. Our third cycle, which was the WORST ever in terms of response and every factor, worked, and now I'm PG with twins. So don't give up.

My DH is a physician, so we started off very clinically, but then I moved into seeing a naturopath and an acupuncturist, and that helped a lot.

If you're low on CD21 progesterone, that means that you're not ovulating properly. I was ovulating, but poorly and not producing enough progesterone to support implantation. Clomid and Prometrium helped a TON with that, but we moved on after six months and discovered that DH's swimmers had some issues too.

Get your RE to do a full workup on you and DH (semen analysis). And plan a strategy that works for all of you, whether that's Clomid then IUI then IVF if need be, or something else.

It always feels better when you're actively DOING something. The worst part for me was the wait in between cycles. I lived the last two years in 2-week increments, and it sucked.

#12  
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My husband and I have been ttc for 13 months.  I was curious about when you ladies went to your doctors about suspected fertility problems.  My husband's doctor told him that most would not see you until you'd been trying for 2 years.  I think I'll go crazy if I have to wait 2 years just to find out if something is wrong with me.  

@ averenee - My reproductive endocrinologist told me that most people won't see you for infertility before 12 months of unsuccessful trying. The reason for this is that 80% of couples who are going to conceive naturally will do so within 12 months of actively attempting to get pregnant.

 

@ feydruss - According to my RE, there's no ovulation happening at all. My progesterone was 0.4 -- to low to support much of any ovulatory function to speak of. And she refuses to begin treatment until every other possible avenue has been tested as well, including husband's sperm count. She said there's no point treating the progesterone problem only to find out later that there was something else wrong with me as well, or that husband's boys weren't doing their full share.

To averenee: you should ask your family doctor to refer you to a specialist at this point. The general rule is 1 year of TTC if you're under 35, and 6 months over 35 before further investigation is warranted.

To b0910: I don't understand why your RE is saying that your P4 isn't supporting ovulation. It doesn't work that way. It's your FSH/E2/LH that generates ovulation, and then the P4 is created by the corpus luteum left over after ovulation, not the other way around. She is correct to make sure all the testing is done, though, including a hysterosalpingogram (HSG).

Feydruss - Had the HSG done. Tubes were clear, although the test was the most painful experience I've ever had and I made the mistake of going alone while my husband was at work. Spent 20 minutes sobbing hysterically in the parking lot afterwards. Not the best day ever.

 

FSH, E2, and LH were all normal, as was every single other hormone value except progesterone. "Support" is the wrong word. As she explained it to me, a progesterone level that low, according to her clinic's protocols, indicates that the doc should assume anovulation, which is in keeping with my clinical presentation (very light periods w/no cramping, spotting for weeks at a time, no changes in cervical mucous) for the last 7-8 months.

So far everything but progesterone has been totally normal. They did a full prenatal hormone panel, a full infertility panel, a PCOS panel, an A1C, an HSG, three vaginal ultrasounds, a pap, STD testing, and re-tested progesterone over several months. Nothing is out of a normal range except progesterone.

I still have to do a GTT (glucose tolerance test) and insulin test, and hubs has to have his semen analysis done, and then the doc said she wants to try a round of Clomid, assuming those all come back normal. Given my normal A1C, I expect to get the same result I've gotten from my last three GTT's--hypoglycemia, but no diabetes.

 

The key with progesterone is that unless they check it at the right time then it may not give them the right answer.  How regular are your periods?  It sounds like you are ovulating but it is a weak- meaning the egg is not mature enough.  Obviously you are ovulating or you would not have gotten pregnant.

I went through 2years of infertility in my early 20s.  I do have PCOS, and I eventually got pg with metformin and then 2 more times with clomid.  Clomid works really well if your problems are minor. From those 3 pregnancies I have 3 children.

Good luck with the clomid.  The fact that you got pregnant is a hugely postive sign.  Make sure your RE gives you progesterone for the first 12 weeks to help avoid miscarriage since you know that is your problem.

Oh and I was in a study with my middle child where the were looking for ovulation by taking progesterone levels everyweek.  The week I conceived my daughter was only 2-3 days after ovulation (based on opk and temping)I had .5 progesterone level and the next week it had shot up which is what I mean by it is important it is take the right day.

I also suggest you invest in Taking Charge of Your Fertility it is a great book and she has a great software program to help you chart your fertility so you can know if you are ovulating or not.  There are also boards with lots of ladies going through the same thing.

FWIW, what you describe:

"FSH, E2, and LH were all normal, as was every single other hormone value except progesterone. "Support" is the wrong word. As she explained it to me, a progesterone level that low, according to her clinic's protocols, indicates that the doc should assume anovulation, which is in keeping with my clinical presentation (very light periods w/no cramping, spotting for weeks at a time, no changes in cervical mucous) for the last 7-8 months.

So far everything but progesterone has been totally normal. They did a full prenatal hormone panel, a full infertility panel, a PCOS panel, an A1C, an HSG, three vaginal ultrasounds, a pap, STD testing, and re-tested progesterone over several months. Nothing is out of a normal range except progesterone."

is EXACTLY what I had. I had approximately one week of each month that I wasn't bleeding in some form or another. The Clomid/Prometrium REALLY helped all that, but we still had to go to IVF because of male factor.

Good luck with your tests! 

I'm always sad to hear of others going through this... I have a very similiar problem, low progesterone.  Been TTC for over 2 years, but stopped birth control over 4 years ago.  Nothing...

I'm about a year into the investigation of what's going on with me, they have done EVERYTHING test under the sun, checked for PCOS too, all they could find was low progesterone.  My numbers were just like yours, everything was PERFECT except for my progesterone was off the chart LOW (.6).  Well I was about to start my first round of infertility meds, already bought them, spent a lot of $$ on them and the day I was going to start they did a sono, and guess what?  They found that I DO have PCOS afterall.  I was devastated/irritated and relieved at the same time... Sad because its just one more hang up, but relieved because I felt like they FOUND something that could be the cause.   I have been on Glucaphage/Metformin for 3 1/2 weeks, am on a strict diet and have been hitting the gym 5-7 days a week - per my Infertility Doc.  Soooo the plan is for me to lose 20lbs in the next 3mos (or more if I can) then see how things look. 

I know what you mean about feeling isolated... all of my best friends have recently become moms.  One had a ton of infertility trouble, but finally got pregnant after IVF failed. 

Let me know if you want talk more... Ill give you my email. 

Hang in there, you're definately NOT alone!!!

 

I'm going through infertility myself.

I do have PCOS and hypothryroidism. The thyroid issue is under control w/ meds, but that damn PCOS is still kicking my butt. I don't ovulate on my own and I seem to be very resistant to medications like clomid and femara.

So I had to see an RE and move on to injections. We've been trying since the end of October 2008, and this past cycle has been the only time I've ever ovulated.

I did 15 days of stimulating with injections. It still resulted in a BFN, but I was so happy to even have an actual chance.

Unfortunatly though, when my period started, I went in for a baseline ultrasound, and it showed 4 giant cysts. So we're on a forced break until the cysts go away. It's extremely frustrating when you finally find something that worked, and then BAM, you have to take a break.

I know so many people are hesitant to take medication, hoping things will happen naturally, but honestly, if you aren't ovulating, go for the meds. Clomid has some crappy side effects, but it'll be worth it if it gets you ovulating and gets you pregnant :) I regret SO much wasting time trying to do things naturally when I should've just taken my butt to a fertility specialist.

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