Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To B-Yaz or not to B-Yaz

My men and me
Yesterday I went to Dr. B for my annual/second opinion check up. Since my progesterone shot a few weeks ago, I am still without period but after my visit, I am more educated and will, in turn, share my knowledge with you.

To begin, I will review a bit of what I  learned and recorded back when I heard that I would be an IVF-er.
One's menstrual cycle is stimulated by estrogen increasing during the follicular phase of the cycle, thickening the lining of the uterus and the eventual release of an ovum (or egg). Meanwhile, under the influence of progesterone, the uterine lining changes to prepare for potential implantation (pregnancy). If you do not get pregnant within about two weeks, the estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly, the lining sheds, and that is your period.
This explains why I was getting my period when on the pill. The pill was providing my body with the increased levels of progesterone and estrogen. When I reached the placebo pills, these hormones dropped, causing my lining to shed and creating a period. Dr. B explained he could give the pill to a woman who has gone through menopause and she might get a period because of the hormone changes in her body. Capisce?

After speaking with Dr. B yesterday, it was reconfirmed that my estrogen and progesterone hormones are still sleeping and because they are at a stagnant level (without any significant increases or decreases), they are still unmotivated to make a period. The good news is that this isn't bad news. Unlike women suffering from poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), where hormones are out of balance and there is the potential to stop ovulating, get acne, and/or grow extra facial hair (eesh, as if infertility wasn't stressful enough), I am still a victim of hypothalamic (or "athletic") amenorrhoea. I still find this hard to believe because in all of my Googling, these women are either ultra-exercisers or anorexic. Wikipedia writes "women who diet or who exercise at a high level do not take in enough calories to expend of their exercise as well as maintain their normal menstrual cycle". I certainly don't fit into that category, but at least it isn't saying "women who are fat messes with beards".
PCOS is also genetic and since everyone else in my family seems to be normal, fertility wise, that is the unlikely culprit.

Amenorrhoea has only a few long term side effects, outside of difficulty conceiving. One of which is osteoporosis As Dr. B did, many will many physicians, put patients on an oral contraceptive to trigger a period to help prevent osteoporosis and keep them from getting pregnant - just in case. We decided to go with B-Yaz because back in 2002, my body was cool with regular Yaz and there were no annoying side effects, there is an extra bit of B vitamin which is a win for everyone, and it is a lower dose of estrogen - a benefit he explained but now I can't remember.

In any event, the new plan is to go back on the pill and live life as normal (awesome, optimistic, and energetic), bask in the glow of my little man, and then see what happens when we decide to go for Baby #2. Worst case, we go back to IRMS and defrost one of Austin's siblings for an embryo transfer.

Final thought - Should we have to have another transfer, Austin and Baby #2 would unofficially be fraternal twins since they were fertilized on the same day. Weird Sciences.