Scratch Off

I had a lining scratch/biopsy yesterday and I also requested an updated E2 blood draw. My doctor and I discussed how my body held on to the Delestrogen inordinately longer than most others. In fact, it took 50+ days to recalibrate my cycle after the medicated FET. I was happy to learn my E2 finally dropped (from 237 to 81) so a proper bleed is imminent.

They are sending the scratch biopsy out to look for any infection in my lining. We are not testing for the Beta-3 Integrin as I had that test in the past, and it indicated I was not missing the protein. If there is some sort of issue with my lining from this recent biopsy, I need to treat it with antibiotics and then decide if I want to push my next FET back to January, instead of November.

It took me 8 fresh IVF cycles to get these last 3 normal embryos, so I will need to think this through carefully. As much as I hate waiting, the logical me is saying I need to transfer under optional conditions. I have about a week to decide.

Edited to add: The results are back, and I do not have endometritis. And yes, I am surprised.

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Protocol for FET #3

My next FET will vary from my last one in a number of ways. To prep, I am going to do an endometrial scratch and a long course of antibiotics (to treat any possible infection). My last cycle, I had a combo saline sonogram/mini scratch. While my doctor doesn’t put much stock in the scratch, he is willing to do it as it cannot hurt our outcome.     We are also going to follow my natural cycle, with supplementation of estrace and progesterone, only as needed.  There will be 0 medicated suppression.  The immune protocol will remain the same.

Let’s be honest, things aren’t very positive here right now.   We’ve been actively pursing infertility treatments since March 2011 and we have 0 living children.   Short of using a gestational carrier, there isn’t much more we can do to make this work.

Supplements (daily):
Vitamin E (400-600iu), Vitamin D (2000iu), Calcium (500mg twice a day), and Fish Oil (1000mg)

FET Medications
Prenatals
Estrace Pills (Oral)
Progesterone in Ethyl Oleate (100ml / 2m l)
Doxycycline (for 2 weeks)

Immune Medications
Metanx
Baby aspirin
Prednisone 20mg
Lovenox (30mg 2x a day until first ANTI-Xa)
Intralipids

Drug Interactions and Supplement Absorption Crazy

Someone in my Facebook Reproductive Immunology Support group pointed out that I was taking my calcium at the completely wrong time.   In fact, she said,  I should not be taking it with iron (i.e. my multi-vitamin), but should be taking it with my vitamin D.

This sent my crazy brain into overdrive.  Shouldn’t I be taking my medications in a way that maximizes each and minimizes the less than ideal interactions?    OF COURSE I SHOULD.  I am still trying to decide if the subsequent hours of googling/reserach are the mark of intelligence or excessivism, but maybe I will just settle on a little bit of both?  Here’s a peek into the sticky note from my desktop:

no vitamin E with fish oil
no vitamin E with aspirin
no vitamin E with prenatal
no vitamin E with metanx
no vitamin E with Lovenox
no doxy with prenatal
no doxy with calcium
no doxy with aspirin
no doxy with any vitamins
no doxy with fish oil
no metanx with aspirin
no metanx with d
no metanx with fish oil
no metanx with vitamin E
etc…

I am a night owl by nature, so that is a bit of a roadblock for me in terms of spacing medications properly/psychotically.   Also, I will be relieved when the Doxycycline is out of the lineup, so I can move things around a bit.     Either way, I now have a medicine schedule that has me injecting or swallowing a pill nonstop.  Fan-tastic.   Behold my crazy:

10AM – Lovenox, Doxycycline
12PM – Prednisone
2PM – Estrace, Vitamin D, Calcium
4PM – Vitamin E
6PM – Metanx
8PM – Calcium
9PM – EV2, Progesterone, Prenatal
10PM – Lovenox
11PM – Doxycycline
12AM – Probiotic, Baby Asprin, Fish Oil

An Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Infertility

10259325_10152432689699602_7098055327429859716_nAs I gear up for a fall FET, I’ve been slowly working towards following an anti-inflammatory diet. I came to this decision after talking to Dr. Braverman, researching on the internet, and discussing the inflammatory properties of food with the woman in my Reproductive Immunology Support group.

The stress of inflammation has been linked to several infertility diagnosis including PCOS, endometriosis, recurrent miscarriage, poor sperm and egg quality.

The following are things I have been limiting or eliminating from my diet:

Caffeine
Alcohol
Gluten
Dairy
Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame is evil)
Soy
Nitrates
GMO’s

Keep in mind a few things:
1- I am not a doctor
2- Prior to this I generally stuck to mostly organic foods and tried to limit the consumption of GMOs

As a NYC girl whose adores espresso, bourbon (generally not together) and restaurant hopping around the city, this has been quite an adjustment for me. I have no problem giving up gluten, I have done it in the past and I am comfortable creating meals and snacks that work for a gluten limited diet. Having said this, I was tested for celiacs and I do not have it, so my goal is to cook and snack as gluten free as possible, but I will not beat myself up for cross contamination or the occasional mistake.

Saying goodbye to coffee and dairy has been an absolute fight. I love coffee with cream. Not for the caffeine, I’ve learned, but I love the flavor and ritual of coffee. I’ve been working towards drinking decaffeinated coffee (Nespresso or Starbucks) with coconut milk. However, the RI group informed me that even decaffeinated coffee is bad for blood flow issues (one of my problems). Tell me I have to give up cheese for a year and I think OK that’s doable, but take away my coffee and I spiral down in panic.

So what am I eating? That will be answered in the second part of this series of posts. Stay tuned.

FET Audience

Since we have 4 frozen normal embryos, we are leaning towards attempting a frozen embryo transfer soon.  I don’t have much confidence that I can carry a baby to full-term, so I suspect the FET process is something I will not highlight online (at this blog, or on the various forums where I participate) at all.     It is very painful to lose a baby and I believe that hurt is amplified after IVF and the transfer of a PGS normal embryo.

I know this blog is a resource for so many women looking for answers, so please try to understand It was painfully hard for me lose my baby in front of a virtual audience in 2012. I will however, list the proposed immune protocol from my doctors when it is finalized.