Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dealing with Infertility at the Ripe Old Age of 25

We tried for over a year and a half before getting pregnant. I never would have imagined that I'd have trouble getting pregnant. After all, sex ed teaches you that "it only takes one time." Plus infertility is reserved for older parents, right?  Clearly, I was wrong.

I've wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.  I always thought the actual parenting would be difficult, not just getting pregnant.  I think it started getting frustrating at about 6 months of trying.  And by "frustrated," I mean that it was pretty much all I could think about, and I ended up getting really depressed.  About 9 months in, I went to see a doctor for an unrelated issue, and mentioned that we were trying to conceive unsuccessfully (okay, I'm already getting irritated with the terminology...).  Since my insurance coverage was about to change and a specialist visit would go from being free to having a 10% coinsurance, my doctor referred me asap to a reproductive endocrinologist who gave me a workup.  He even referred to a speculum as a crowbar.  Yessss.  Everything went well, but he mentioned offhandedly that I had a pretty sweet goiter.

Yet another misconception that I had - that goiters were issues related to developing countries.  You have first world issues?  That's cute.  I have third world issues.

I had a whole thyroid workup, and while my TSH was normal, my antibodies were super high.  Like off the charts.  But both my primary care doctor and the reproductive endocrinologist said that even though I have something called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, I should just sit and wait.  The reproductive endocrinologist explained it thusly: I should just sit and wait while my body attacks my thyroid, and when it degrades enough that it effects my TSH levels, then I could be treated.  Did I mention that my hair was falling out, I was gaining weight in spite of exercising more than I had been, I felt constantly worn down, and I HAD A GOITER?

Well guess who went directly to PubMed to find info about Hashimoto's?  The same person who has no patience for sitting and waiting, that's who.  And it turns out that Hashimoto's has a pretty decent link with not getting knocked up.  Some studies showed treating the symptoms rather than the TSH levels reversed the infertility.  But my doctor still refused to treat me.  So I went to a nurse practitioner who looked up the studies, called endocrinologists to make sure the Synthroid used to treat the symptoms wouldn't have adverse effects, and decided to prescribe me Synthroid.  I am so grateful to her, since I felt like I was slamming up against a brick wall - like I had found my answer, but no one was listening.

We luckily had a happy ending to our story, and I got knocked up about 3 months after starting the Synthroid.

And yes, please notice my creepy photobombing dog.

No comments:

Post a Comment