Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Blood Tests

The day after the doc's appointment, I called to schedule the HSG test (it's happening tomorrow) and some unrelated CT scans to ensure a tumor I had removed two years ago hasn't returned.

I also got the results of the day 3 of the cycle bloodwork. Apparently, my FSH levels are fine, but my estradiol had risen from 72 in November to 91 this month. The doc likes to see the numbers below 70. My TSH, for which I've been on Synthroid for more than a decade, was 7.5, up way too much since November, when it was 3.4.

I'm not sure why the TSH and estradiol went so high, so quickly, and I emailed my endo immediately to alter my Synthroid dose. It takes a month to affect the TSH level, though, and while reading a Marie Claire magazine this weekend, I read that babies concieved when a woman's TSH level is off "suffer all sorts of problems." I'm not sure what to do about lowering the estradiol, and the nurse was like "You can talk about that with the doctor when you return in four weeks."

Well, I wasn't planning to wait four weeks to have a lot more sex with the husband on days 9-16 of the cycle, but maybe it'll just be wasted effort if my estradiol and TSH levels aren't in the right place. I figure I'll call the doc's office yet again tomorrow, in between CT scans and HSG tests, to figure out if the sex should be protected this month, just in case.

I've read about the HSG and talked to a friend who has had one. Apparently, you raise your legs up while you're on your back and get an injection of a dye into your cervix and are then x-rayed so that the path of the dye can be tracked. While I'm hoping my tubes are clear and everything looks fine, I'm frankly so used to hearing bad news about my health that I wouldn't be surprised if there's some problem. And since I was told me to take a lot of Advil an hour before the procedure (600-800 mg), I wasn't surprised when my friend told me today that the test hurts. Pain doesn't really scare me any more, but I am glad the test is a short one. I'm hoping I can go back to work that afternoon.

And to top this all off, neither my insurance nor the hubby's covers anything infertility-related, even though we live in a state that mandates infertilty coverage. (Our insurances aren't based in our home state, and we can't change insurance until a year from now). So I've thought about maybe doing all the big-gun infertility stuff like IUI and IVF in a year, when it'll be more likely to be covered under another plan (although I'll be 36 by then), or else just push forward, keep picking up freelance assignments (I do a lot of work outside my day job, mostly for the extra income), and just pay as we go and hope we don't have to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket. An IVF cycle costs $7,500 (that's one try, one month), while an IUI cycle is something under a thousand, for one month. The doc's visit was $350, the blood tests were $375, and tomorrow's HCG test is another $350.

I don't know how people without insurance, or frankly, without savings, have children this way.

But I don't feel sad or upset or anything just yet. I feel like the mister and I are just going through the system, trying to figure out where the problem lies, so we can figure out how to treat it and move on. It's too early to know what'll happen and what the outcome can be.

I did mention to Mr. L. that maybe we should look into adoption agencies now, since I read that the wait to adopt a baby who would look like us can take several years. He told me it was too early to do that and to just see how this week goes.

That sounds reasonable. I can wait a week.


Kassie said...

I was under the impression that insurance companies doing business in a state had to comply with that state's coverage laws. Might be worth looking in to?

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the HSG, and definitely have sex this cycle! It can enhance your fertility, I know of alot of ladies who get pg with 3-4 cycles of having one done (me included. I had one and got pg 3 cycles afterwards). I hope everything looks good and doesn't hurt too bad.

Lyrehca said...


Thanks for both your comments. Kassie--no, the actual IUI or IVF are not covered at all. Believe me, I've asked. And Theresa, I've actually just been told to NOT try this cycle because my TSH (thyroid) levels are too high, and therefore if I were to conceive right now, it's likely the fetus would have problems based on the TSH. What is odd is that my TSH levels were just fine two months ago, so I wonder if it's a question of user error (new lab this month). But now I'm waiting a month for my next cycle and next set of day 3 blood tests.


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