Trigger warning: Infertility, cycle failure
Next was the sonohysterogram. Although similar to the HSG, this was much milder. The goal of this test was to determine if my uterus was normal by injecting saline into the uterus and performing an ultrasound. Much to my relief, the test was mild and showed no abnormalities. At least I had that going for me.
The next several months consisted of 5:30AM trips to downtown Chicago. I worked full time from home coding medical records, so testing always had to be done at the crickety-crack of dawn so I could get home for work. 6:00AM on the dot – I was standing in line waiting to get into the elevator with the other women who had to test at that unfriendly hour of the morning.
Most mornings consisted of blood draws and/or ultrasounds. 5:00am alarms. Hop in the car by 5:15. Battle Chicago traffic. Blood draws. Ultrasound. Go home. There was nothing glamorous about it.
At this point I was still being given Clomid and tracking ovulation. I remember having so much hope that the medication would work. Another month went by, yet another negative test. December rolled around and I had just had yet another negative test. I couldn’t put together what I was doing wrong. I was taking my medication correctly, I made it to every appointment for monitoring, and yet still nothing happened.
I received a phone call that the doctor wanted to perform IUI. IUI stands for intrauterine insemination, or as it is colloquially referred to: The Turkey Baster, but there were a couple road blocks. First being that insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure because my tubes were blocked. Second being, they also wouldn’t cover IVF if I didn’t try IUI first.
Yes. You read that right. Take a moment to go back and re-read if you must.
The thing about Clomid, is that you can only take it six times in your entire life before the risk of ovarian cancer occurring increases dramatically.
I was up to five at this point.
For five months I had been given this medication, with blocked tubes, and a provider who was aware of that. I begged him to find a way to open my tubes. I begged for an alternative. But there wasn’t. Seemingly, our journey had come to an end.
(Stay tuned for part 4.)