Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And here we first swimming lesson...

So we finally had our very first appointment with a R.E. We were on 
a waiting list so it took us 3 months to see him, but I was happy the 
wait was finally over, and we were starting to more foward. The day of our
appointment we woke up and had our early morning tea ('cause
of course coffee is no longer in our diet...we miss you coffee!!) 
during this time I put together my Questions for the R.E. After years 
of being a Doula, I have grown quite skeptical of the Medical Field and 
know that a good patient is a prepared patient :) I also know that many of 
the Dr's I have met in my life have not always had their patients best 
interest in mind, more often then not they are concerned with their ego's 
and their wallets. I know this sounds so pessimistic, but as a child I was
operated on the wrong side of my body, so I feel like I have the right. 

While I sat researching and preparing my list, my husband was psyching 
himself up for making his "sample". It was decided a few minutes later 
that It would be better for me to go down to the local coffee shop and wait 
for him to do the "deed". I was surprisingly nervous while I sat in the coffee 
shop, I wondered what my husband was thinking, what this was doing to 
his pride, if he was doing ok and what if he wasn't able to do this on 
demand....but soon as he came strutting into the coffee shop I knew he 
was successful and that he had a good sample tucked securely under his 

When we finally got to the Dr's office things began to fall apart. 
Its started out well enough, the R.E seemed nice and let us know 
about the clinic and what thought of our situation. He let us look at the 
sample under a microscope and I was SO happy to see the little spermies 
swimmin' around, of course they were not olympic swimmers, but they 
swam and I was happy!!! The R.E. told us that there was defiantly enough 
sperm to get pregnant, but the count was normal to low. There was also 
a lot of white blood cells in the sample which could be a sign of an 
infection, one that would be easy to treat if that was the problem. 
Not bad news, I thought. 

Then we started talking about my role in this process, after reading my 
intake form it was clear to him that endometriosis may be playing a big 
role in all of this. He asked me where my pain was on a scale of 1-10 when 
I have my period. I really didn't know how to answer this, if 10 was 
breaking your arm and still playing an inning of baseball 
(which I have done) then 11 is my answer. I knew he wouldn't go for that 
so I said 8 - 9, painful enough that I cannot work. I was actually happy 
to be telling him this, I have been curled up in the fetal position 
complaining about this for 17 years and no one has seemed to care at all least he was going to test to see why I was having so much pain, 
again....not bad news. 

This is where it all seemed to fall apart. He let us know what our 
next steps would be and as he was standing up to let us out the door he 
asked "do you have any questions?" I knew I wouldn't be able to get in all 
my 15 questions so I picked the two that were most important to me. 

Me: "Are you ok with me doing my own research?"

R.E: "Yeah, sure, I don't see the harm"

Me: (handing him my color coded, cycle charts complete with temperatures, 
cervical mucus and OPK's) "well it looks like I ovulate on day 18 on a 27 
day cycle, so I may have a Luteal Phase issue, would you like to see?"

R.E. (with a smile) "No, I don't want to see those, we have done research
and we know that most of the time woman have no idea when they ovulate"

Me: (blood begins to boil....I worked REALLY hard on those charts, but 
decided to drop it for now) "ok, well how do you feel about alternative 
medicine, I have been working very closely with a Naturopath about 
my fertility"

R.E: "Well, you can do what you want but Naturopaths give you all these
herbs that actually make it harder to get pregnant, She's probably making 
it harder for you to conceive" 

Me: (thinking in my head....ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!?? you really think
that is true, WHAT????) "thank you dr, I will see you soon"

And with that I left, we both should have just kept walking out the 
door but instead I booked the appointments for my Cycle Monitoring,
my SHG ultrasound and my husbands next sample test. I know it was 
fear that lead me to do this, to just keep going on with this R.E. that 
is not a good match for me. I just can't bare the thought of waiting 
another 3 months to see a different Doctor that may be exactly the 
same.....I want this hell to be over, and if this is what we have to do 
to find out what's "wrong" with us, then I guess we will have to do it. 


  1. Oh boy, do I know where you are coming from. We went to a local RE first and she was NOT a good fit for us (I think I may have written about it a few weeks ago). She actually told us that a FERTILE 25 year-old couple had a 90% chance of getting pregnant with IVF. WTF? I’m neither and I’d like to know how many of her patients fall into that category. ARGH! Anyway, when I asked for immune testing (immune issues are VERY common in endo patients) she told me they didn't believe in those and refused to even order the tests! We didn't go back. Treatments for endo related infertility have lower success rates than “regular” infertility—even this RE told us as much—so I did loads of research on why success rates are so much lower and discovered the immune connection. I was infuriated that this RE acknowledged treatment success rates are lower, but didn’t seem the least bit interest in why that might be or how to fix it. My research led me to Dr. Sher in Las Vegas, who really is a pioneer in treating immune issues associated with endo. We had a free consult with him and decided he was the right doctor for us. (And it turns out I DO have endo related immune problems.)

    It looks like you are in Canada, so I’m not sure what kind of insurance you have for infertility, but we are self-pay for treatments, so we didn’t have any financial reason to use a local doctor. We figured if we were going to spend that kind of money we might as well find the best doctor we could for us. We can’t afford to do IVF more than twice, so we had added incentive to get as much of this figured out before starting treatments. It might be something for you to consider. Dr. Sher wasn’t any more expensive than our local RE, so it really isn’t costing us much more to be treated by him.

    Good luck finding an RE, if you decide to switch. I feel like so much of this is hurry-up-and-wait and I’m not a patient person by nature, so it’s been difficult, but finding the right doctor is crucial to getting the treatment you deserve. Hang in there.

    P.S. FWIW, you were totally right to ask about a possible luteal phase problem. I can't believe he wouldn't even look at your charts!

  2. Thank you so much for the response, I am desperately seeking
    some sort of guidance. I don't know anyone who has been though this,
    I feel like I'm all alone digging through the gunk and muck without
    a flashlight. I am in Canada, but even though our health care is publicly
    funded (basically free), this does not include fertility treatments, because it is our choice to have a baby. Our government will pay for surgeries though, such as laparoscopy. Still the cost for IVF and prescriptions ext. falls on us. Its a huge money maker for a lot of these
    doctors and because our health care is the way it is, we need to be referred to a specialist, we can't just pick them. I would actually have to find a new family Dr. just to get him to refer me to a new specialist. What I may do is see if my family Dr knows of any other R.E.'s that may be a little more suitable for us, it sounds to me, from reading your advice that I should at least get myself on another waiting list. I just wish there was a book that said all the problems that are possible, and all the possible ways to resolve them, I would have never known about immune issues until you wrote it here! Thanks for that by the way, I will bring it up in our next meeting, was beyond helpful! Just being
    validated for not approving of this R.E. was so valuable to me.

  3. This R.E. just doesn't seem like the right match for you. I hope that your family doctor can refer you to a better clinic. I hear good things about Repromed in Etobicoke.

  4. Oh, this post about your RE has my blood boiling! I can't believe he wouldn't even look at your charts and talk about a LP defect! The truth is, a lot of these guys once they hear endo is involved aren't interested in looking at hormonal imbalances or immune issues because they consider IVF the only treatment anyway. It's no skin off their back if your IVF fails, even. They get paid either way....