We had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Gustofson at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) for our fertility consult. He was an absolute delight. We first were welcomed by the front desk helper, who was very cheery and escorted back by a nurse who was kind. Dr. G walked in with a spring in his step and an energy that enabled me to feel comfortable and welcomed.
We talked small-talk for a little bit, getting a feel for his personality which was a delight. Dr. G comes highly recommended by a couple of my friends, so I threw their names out there to make more of a connection.
Funny enough, the friend who told Daniel about me is also a patient of his so the connection feels a little more complete. He was personable and engaging. I immediately felt as though I was in good hands.
He opened a binder of labs and records, all which looked as though they had been combed through with flags coming off the sides of the pages.
Then he asked me to share a bit of my history. I laid it all out for him, starting back when I was 11 years old until now. He listened intently while writing keywords intensely. He then asked some questions to fill in the holes and moved his focus to Hubby to share.
After a quick assessment of our stories coupled with the information he gathered from our records and labs, he offered his thoughts plus some next steps.
Diagnosis: Hypothalamic Amenorrhea
Essentially my body is not engaging in a normal cycle because my brain is not properly communicating with my ovaries.
Dr. G believes this may have started when I was going through puberty. Since I hadn’t ever had regular cycles, he is not sure if this condition was present prior to my exercise bulimia or because of it, but either way, the exercise bulimia, and addictive eating did not help my body to grow into a healthy reproductive state of being. (Thank you God for FA to help me be healthier in my body for the past 11 years!)
Dr. G is quite hopeful for our situation because my body did respond to the Clomid (which many people who are full into the Hypothalamic Amenorrhea do not respond). This is good news. Unfortunately, he did say that the Clomid was probably not the best course of action to take with my situation and believes that with a few changes to the course of action over the next 3 cycles, we will have a positive outcome with a baby.
This is encouraging.
- There are a few labs that he still wants to run just to be sure everything is accounted for.
- A full body OBGYN appointment to make sure everything is okay.
- I will have to go through an HSG test (where radiographic contrast –dye- is injected into the uterine cavity) to see that the fallopian tubes are open. I already did a FemVue (where they shot bubbles up) but Dr. G wants to see the dye.
Bummer, we should have gone the dye route the first time. This was NOT a pleasant experience and am not looking forward to it.
Hubby has to get checked again too to make sure his swimmers don’t have the antisperm antibody which would essentially ‘blind’ the sperm so that even if a sperm were next to the egg, the sperm wouldn’t be able to detect it.
Dr. G does not see the need to force a period and (supposing everything goes well with the labs) will start me on Letrozole for days 3-7 of my made-up cycle start. He asks that we do an intrauterine insemination (IUI) to help with the process and will prescribe a progesterone suppository to help improve the receptivity of the uterine lining, enhancing the chances of implantation of a fertilized egg. Yuck, but okay.
Next stop: Billing
How much is all of this going to cost? We will have to call the office next week to find out.
Our insurance (which is a health cost-sharing program) will not cover any of this so we need to be wise with how we move forward.
Continuing to gather all the information to be able to make a decision on what our next right action will be. Praying God will provide the means to do this if this is what we are supposed to try next.