Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And the verdict is in...

Regarding the nasty cortisone issue: Our cycle is still a go!! The plan is that my husband is will go in this Friday, a week before retrieval, and produce a specimen, which they'll freeze, as a back-up to the second specimen he'll give on retrieval day.

How did we arrive at that conclusion?
Well, I posted a question to the SIRM forums (totally love that place), and four other RE's gave me their take. The opinions really are pretty varied, which is crazy in an of itself, but it just goes to show you that one good doctor and another good doctor can still have a different take on things. Makes me really value second opinions all that much more. Anyway, their replies were:

The injection of steroids will have no short term ill effects. Don't worry!
Good luck! Geoff Sher

His count is low to start with and any steriod treatment can negatively affect or change hormone release and related events such as sperm and testosterone production. He can collect once to see what the parameters are and then decide whether to move forward or not. Good luck.
Aykut Bayrak, MD

Unlikely to negatively affect sperm, so I wouldnt worry.
Drew Tortoriello, MD

Dear Cathy,
This would be a great question for you to direct to your RE. In most situations, this sort of a treatment should have no impact upon your cycle. If there is a concern however your center should be able to freeze a back up sperm specimen or two now for you to use in your upcoming cycle. That might give you an additional peace-of-mind which can be important in minimizing your stress hormone level.
Best thoughts, ~Robert; Robert Greene, MD

I called my clinic this AM and ended up leaving an embarrassingly long voicemail with Peggy, our IVF coordinator. She called several hours later and I was so totally impressed. It was clear that she had listened to my entire message, even the part where I mentioned I posed this question to the doctors at other SIRM clinics and had received mixed replies. She said that she went and spoke directly with one of their andrologists on staff to get her take.

The andrologist said that while, yes, this type of steroid can possibly affect hormones like testosterone, if it was going to have an impact, it likely wouldn't show itself in this upcoming cycle because the sperm that will be produced have already been recruited several weeks before now. If we were to see an effect, it would be a couple months from now, if it does happen. She said that knowing my husband has had a somewhat lower count before, if it would make us feel more comfortable, we could do two specimens - one this week, frozen and ready to go as a back-up if the specimen he produces in two weeks at retrieval isn't sufficient in quantity. I'm sure this will cost us a bit more money, but, for peace of mind sake, we've decided to go forward with this plan.

I know I won't be happy with myself if I don't put this behind me as we continue to move forward. Luckily, we had the chance to sit down tonight and talk about what happened yesterday. Ok, it was more me just getting stuff off of my chest, but he was great. He listened and really let me just say what I needed to say. There are many times in a marriage when I feel that you just have to talk about the "moral of the story" when a given issue arises. It was less that this happened specifically, and more that I just want him to think more first before making such a huge decision. A decision that will impact both of us. I never want to put myself in a position where I would be apt to blame him for something, nor do I want him to ever be in a position where he feels a huge sense of guilt for something that happens.

After 8.5 years of marriage, I put good communication at the tip top of my list on the things that have kept our relationship so strong. I am always thankful each and every time we're able to reconnect on issues and move foward, growing from the past.

Hooray for Follistim

Today marked the start of 6 evenings of Follistim. I'm not too keen on trying out the top of my thigh or my sholder as an injection site, so all around the belly button we go! I did notice the Follistim was a bit more "stingy" than the Lupron. Most likely because there's just more of it that goes into my skin. All in all, still very bearable. Now it's time to see what this ovary can do! I'll go in this Friday to have my second US. This appt was something that wasn't supposed to be a part of the original protocol, but we wanted to be checked on extra time during stims since I have PCOS and the one ovary. Really rather not take too many extra chances if we can help it. Hopefully this will give us some extra peace of mind going into the weekend, which will be nice. I can't wait to see how everything looks!

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Jess July 28, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

I'm so glad it's a go and you got some great feedback! I'm so excited for this cycle, and I'm constantly praying for you!


Anonymous July 29, 2009 at 5:23 AM  

I am delighted that your cycle goes ahead! And it is really good that you can have a back up plan with a frozen semen sample. That's fantastic actually. So now, do a lot of yoga, breathing deeply, keep your stress level to a minimum and visualise those follicles growing nicely. I know that when you don't know how your body will react, every twinge is a worry, but friday is only two sleeps away and I can't wait to read your news. Love, Fran

Waiting July 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

Thank goodness!!! I was praying for you and Jay!!
Best of luck with the stims!! I'll be thinking about you these next few days!!!

Anonymous July 31, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

I'm so happy to hear about your progress. You are so proactive and a great researcher! I'm sure your cycle will go wonderfully! Take Care

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