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Friday, December 11, 2009

Houston, we have a problem....

I'm sure most of you remember this post, where I said that Brian and I (well, me specifically) were having fertility issues and that I was starting a 10-day hormone treatment prescribed by my doctor. Well, here's the update.

I finished the last day of the hormone treatment yesterday. The treatment (progestin, a progesterone analog) was supposed to trigger me to have a period. It didn't. So I talked to my doctor today.

Normally, the combination of progesterone and estrogen trigger women to menstruate. So because adding progesterone to my hormone palate didn't stimulate a period, the problem is likely with my estrogen levels (aka, I'm making too little or no estrogen). There are two likely culprits for this problem: the ovaries or the pituitary gland. Normally the pituitary gland releases FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen. So the problem is that either my pituitary gland is not producing FSH (not telling the ovaries what to do) or that the ovaries are not responding to the FSH (in which case FSH levels build up as the pituitary gland basically "yells" at the "deaf" ovaries).

So my doctor wants me to come in early next week to get my FSH blood levels tested. This should at least tell us whether the problem is with the ovaries (if FSH is high) or some other problem further up the hormone pathway (if FSH is low, that points to the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus region of the brain which regulates the pituitary gland).

So that's where we stand. I'm pretty upset about it. I'm not sure what this means for my health, if I'll have to be on artificial hormones for the rest of my life, if there's some other more serious problem in my brain (that's where the pituitary gland is located), if Brian and I will be able to have another baby at all, if we do whether we'll require fertility assistance, what the hormone levels mean for my breastfeeding Mira, and on and on. On the bright side, this whole experience has made me appreciate Mira that much more, to think that we got so lucky to have her before all this started.


Marcy said...

Wow. Not really sure what to say... how weird that this has come out all of a sudden... which makes me hope it's a temporary issue that will resolve itself just as quickly.

I have no idea how you feel about this, but even if you do end up with long-term fertility problems there's the alternative option of adopting. Zach feels pretty strongly about wanting 2 biological kids, but we've talked about adopting if we feel up to having a 3rd eventually.

Best of luck with the tests and figuring this out. We'll be crossing our fingers for you all.

Anjea said...

Yikes. Marcy said my thoughts exactly - how weird that it was so sudden. I hope that they can figure out what's going on and that it's nothing major or with long-term consequences. Will keep my fingers crossed.


Lindsey said...

I'm thinking of you! Mira is a blessing and I have all the confidence in the doctors that they'll sort out the issue. I didn't have a period for almost a year after R. was born.