Last week I attended for my pre-period scan on day 25 of my cycle. This is the preliminary scan for my clinic before starting any fresh or frozen cycle. The main purpose of it is to check the ovaries and lining and to ensure that all is as it should be before starting the cycle. I also combined this appointment with one to have an endometrial scratch or biopsy done. This was optional for me as I previously had one done for my last failed FET cycle. However, as the literature mentions the possible benefits of this for implantation, I decided to go for it again. This was not without some trepidation as I found it an uncomfortable experience the last time, though quick.
A nurse brought me into the same room where I had my first transfer back in September. She set up the information on the computer monitor. We had a laugh as for some reason the system would not initially accept my date of birth. The age field came up with 210! I said the situation was bad enough for me regarding age, but not quite that bad. I feared at 210 I should really give up!! The nurse agreed that it would indeed be a miracle pregnancy. She tapped a few keys and the correct details were entered. The nurse left the room then to look for the clinician who would perform the endometrial scratch. I took the opportunity to listen to a 5 minute relaxation on my iPhone. Presently the clinician arrived and introduced herself. I remembered her as the same woman who conducted my last embryo transfer in December. She performed both my scan and the scratch. She started with the scan which revealed nothing remarkable. All looked to be fine. She noted that I had ovulated recently from the left side as the fluid filled follicle was visible. Other non-dominant follicles were also present. The lining was as expected for the time of the cycle.
She then proceeded to do the scratch, which involved first inserting a speculum and then a catheter. I couldn’t really see any of this but I think the process basically involves inserting a catheter well into the uterus which then uses a vaccum like motion to retrieve some tissue. The insertion went fine, deep breathing helped. Then the removal of tissue began to happen which was a bit more painful, but not too bad. I even commented that it was ‘better than last time’. However, when the clinician looked at the retrieved sample she decided there was not enough so said she would need to go in again. I braced myself. This time it really did hurt, she told me to deep breathe and I did, meanwhile resisting the urge to kick out. I stuck with it though and it was over soon enough and she declared she had plenty of sample.
One of the nurses came in then with my prescription and they discussed my file. I was feeling a little dizzy and nauseous and said so to the nurse. I later read that taking some painkillers about half an hour before the procedure would be a good idea, but I had not thought of doing this. She offered paracetamol which I accepted and allowed me to lie back while I got my prescription instructions. I would take the estradiol tablets 4 per day in the evening, once day 1 of my next cycle commenced. I would also take one aspirin tablet 75mg daily- she recommended taking this at another time of day. The purpose of the aspirin is to prevent the formation of any small blood clots which may hinder implantation. I was given a 3 month prescription as this is often given in early pregnancy for the same reason but to avoid miscarriage in that case. I don’t have a sticky blood diagnosis formally, but as I have had two sets of implantation failure so far, I guess they figured it was worth a try. I stayed in the procedure room for 10 minutes or so as I was told not to rush out and no one was waiting on the room. Another nurse came in to check on me and I moved to a cubicle outside, She offered me tea, which I declined and water and biscuits which I accepted as it was some hours since I had eaten. Once the paracetamol kicked in I felt better. After a while I got up and left, just letting a third nurse know on my way out.
I collected my prescription then. The hospital pharmacist said they were no longer stocking Prognyova so I was given a new drug called Fematab which has the same ingredients and dosage. The lovely Crinone progesterone gel was exactly the same. I had to go to a regular pharmacy to purchase the aspirin. When I have my transfer, I will have to get a third drug, not prednisolone after all I think, but something similar as I am having assisted hatching. The additional drug will calm my immune system in case it reacts to the embryos I think, especially as they will have been treated for the hatching (having a little hole put in their shell to help them break out to implant).
I had taken the afternoon off work and was glad of it. I wandered around a few shops and caught the bus home with my bag of drugs. I am a little nervous again about starting this cycle after two negative ones. These are my last 2 frozen embryos too. I am trying to stay positive as much as I can, and trying to keep healthy and active. Trying also not to let stress, particularly at work, get the better of me.
When I got home I noticed that the summary of care letter and copies of the blood tests and SA tests we had both completed with the clinic had arrived in the post. I need these for our consultation at a second clinic on 6th March. If this cycle doesn’t work out, my plan is to possibly switch to this 2nd clinic for a new fresh cycle. We are also waiting on the date of an adoption information meeting in March too.
So at the moment I am on CD30 and waiting for AF to arrive (am guessing 2-3 days) so that I can start my FET2 meds. I could potentially have a transfer around the weekend of St Patrick’s Day 17th March, which is a national holiday here. The day itself is a Sunday so I can’t imagine any transfers that day as the city will be difficult to access due to festival parades. The following Monday is a bank holiday too. I was joking with my acupuncturist that I will nickname the 2 embryos (if they survive thawing), ‘Pat’ and ‘Patsy’ in honour of the festivities. I hope these little ones might decide to stay. Please please stay.
Third time lucky???