I called my clinic on Official Test Day to give them the good news, but I also had a list of questions. One of my questions I believe I already wittered on about in my last post, is that my clinic normally stop progesterone on OTD rather than after the viability scan or at 12 weeks. My question was why?
The nurse I spoke to is lovely. I’ve met her a few times, and she seems genuinely lovely. Did I already say that? Lovely. Lovely, but she doesn’t speak very good English. Our conversation was highly, highly unproductive and awkward with me asking my questions and her not understanding them, followed by her trying to answer my questions and me not understanding her. I really just wanted the rationale behind their decision as although it’s not unique, it certainly seems more unusual to withdraw progesterone at OTD. It was a difficult conversation, but eventually she said that she would ask the doctor to write me a prescription for an extra couple of weeks if I had concerns.
She then transferred me to reception to pay, but Reception Lady was on her lunch break. She said she would call me back. I waited. I waited more. I waited a bit more, then I called. Straight to voicemail. I waited 5 minutes, I called again. Voicemail. I repeated the calling-everything-5-minutes-technique for an hour, voicemail, voicemail, voicemail. At 3pm I gave up and left a bloody voicemail. I kept on calling now and again. I left another voicemail at 4.30pm. Nobody called me back. I waited on Monday morning, no call. I called again, voicemail. I THINK YOU GET THE PICTURE. I left 2 more voicemails. I kept calling. Straight to voicemail. I was about to spontaneously combust when I left a fifth voicemail on Monday afternoon. There must have been an edge of fury to my tone because a miracle happened, and the nurse called me back an hour later! Hallelujah. She hadn’t sent my prescription off because I hadn’t paid yet. I took a deep breath, pulled my hair out by the roots and bashed my head against the wall and asked to pay. She transferred me to reception. At least I presume she meant to, but she actually cut me off. I called back. Wanna hazard a guess? Straight to voicemail.
I could go on, but lucky for you I have a maximum paragraph length tolerance threshold and I just reached it. Suffice to say, I never got through, I left more voicemails and nobody called me back.
There are many things you don’t know about me because I am very mysterious. One of the things you probably don’t know about me is that I have recently relocated. Yep, relocated during IVF. I’d like to say this wasn’t planned: it was for work, we had no choice! I’d like to say that, but it’s not true so I can’t. I didn’t realise IVF would be quite the time consuming escapade it turned out to be. Whatever the reason, my stupidity or otherwise, it means that I now live 230 miles from the clinic. Crap. Town. It therefore meant (*does hard maths*) a 460 mile round trip to collect my progesterone. Good going Betty, you complete idiot.
[Note for concerned readers: Don’t worry, I’m changing doctors soon, but I have to wait until after the viability scan when I should, God willing, be discharged from the IVF clinic.]
So anyways, you get the picture; getting through to the clinic was hard and I live far away. It’s also sweaty and hot in England at the moment. I had a sweaty and hot journey on public transport and I arrived at the clinic, rather unsurprisingly sweaty and hot. For your pleasure and enjoyment, I shall transcribe the conversation I had with the nurse (note: a different nurse to the one I spoke to on the phone).
Me: Hello, I have come to collect a prescription
Nurse: What for?
Me: It’s for Barren Betty and it’s progesterone
Nurse: Oh yes, I’ll get it
Me: (wipes brow partly from sweat and partly in relief that the bloody prescription has arrived)
Nurse: Here you go. Why do you need it? Have you run out?
Me: Well, actually I called up on Friday because I found out that I am pregnant.. (mouth still open but unable to finish sentence before nurse interrupts)
Nurse: Ah, you were a little bit worried?
Nurse: Well, progesterone does no good you know. It’s totally pointless
Me: Err, okay
Nurse: It just masks the symptoms when something goes wrong
Me: Well, I guess I just want to make sure I’ve done everything I can
Nurse: If you are going to miscarry, it will happen anyway
Me: (makes some silly light hearted remark to make the nurse feel better for being such a bitch)
Apart from being made to feel like a moron, I don’t that think that she is completely correct. Yes, I know it won’t prevent a miscarriage and it can mask symptoms, but progesterone is hugely important in early pregnancy. Do they know my progesterone levels? No they do not. Do plenty of clinics continue with progesterone until weeks 7-12? Yes they do. Does it do any harm? No it doesn’t. Maybe there is only a tiny chance that my body isn’t producing enough progesterone now to sustain a pregnancy, but there was only a tiny (1% chance) of a cyst developing after cycle number 1 and I hit the jackpot then. There was only a tiny chance (1 in 40) that the down regulation drugs would fail. I was in that tiny minority both times.
Well, excuse me if I want to make sure I’ve covered all my bases. It’s not like I can just do this again when they turn round and say, “Well, it was very unlikely, but unfortunately you are one of the few…” I’ve heard that enough already, thank you very much.
I read a clinical trial last week during my progesterone research phase that looked at withdrawing progesterone at 5 weeks and 8 weeks. The rates of miscarriage were the same, but the episodes of bleeding were much higher when progesterone was withdrawn at 5 weeks. Even if it just prevents that and gives me peace of mind, I think it is worth it… and that is saying something since it was an 11 hour round trip to go and fetch it. It wasn’t exactly free either. It’s morbid to say, but I’d rather miscarry at 6 weeks on progesterone than not. At least I can rule it out as a reason then. At least it would be one less reason I could use to blame myself.
If you’ve skim read this steaming pile of turd, I don’t blame you. The gist is: I told the nurse I was pregnant. An IVF patient pregnant after years of trying to conceive, operations and heartache and I was left feeling stupid, deflated and thinking about miscarriage.
I’m wondering how you all stopped progesterone. Did you go cold turkey, or were you weaned off it? I’ve consulted Dr Google and discovered much hysteria surrounding progesterone in general which was hugely unhelpful. I’m obviously not going to call my clinic to ask since I have clearly already been blacklisted. I wouldn’t be surprised if an alarm goes off in the building now when my number pops up on the phone.