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Don't count your follicles too soon... - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
Don't count your follicles too soon...
I have not been posting about the doings of my ovaries, so now that my car is finally free of the glacier it was encased in I should probably write an update.

I went in on Saturday, Monday and this morning for follicle checks. On Saturday there wasn't much to see, but Jedi master Grace Wendo reported that my estrogen was nearly twice as high as it had been at the same time in my first IVF cycle, so that was good news. On Monday I learned that I had 21 follicles: One at 13mm, one at 12mm, one at 11mm and the rest under 10mm. Again, this was good news.

Then I went in this morning. My appointment was for 7:45, but when I arrived (5 minutes late) I was told to go and do my bloodwork first because there was still on person ahead of me. Fair enough. When it was finally my turn to be wanded the tech was tired. Apparently everyone she'd seen was on Follistim, which was working, and she really needed an easy Clomid patient. Not what I wanted to hear, since of course I want lots of follicles too.

The tired tech did her survey and seemed very upbeat. Just as she was leaving she told me my biggest follicle was 13.5mm. I questioned that, because last time my biggest was 13. She breezily replied that follicles only grew about 1mm a day, and then she left before I could say anything else. Since I was unclothed from the waist down, following her and questioning her was not a politic thing to do.

Since I believe everyone on my friends list passed 18.01 and can thus can be assumed to be capable of basic arithmatic, I hardly need to point out that if the largest follicle I had two days ago was 13.5mm, and the largest I have today is 13mm, that's only growth of 0.5 mm over two days, or 0.25mm per day, assuming we're measuring the same follicle here. Of course its still growing, and the others are presumably catching up in size, which is all good, but I think its understandable that I am a tad concerned here. Hopefully its nothing to worry about and I can go back to being happy that I have more follicles than last time. But still, I am concerned.

Update: Just got the call. My estrogen is over 1000. I've been ordered to cut back to 400 units a day of the Follistim and come back on Friday. Nurse Ditzy acknowledged that the slow growth of the big one is not expected "in a perfect world" but believes that all the follicles will plump up over the next couple of days. The cut in dosage is to give them more time to mature.
5 comments or Leave a comment
enugent From: enugent Date: February 21st, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't that good, though? I thought you wanted them to be as close to in lockstep as possible, with none running ahead of the pack and getting really big too soon.

Do you go back on Friday?
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: February 21st, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I do go back Friday, and yes we do want them to be all roughly the same size. Its just that I am deathly afraid that the increased dosage won't lead to more eggs, and I'm at the maximun allowable dose. Anything out of the ordinary, like a slower than expected rate or growth, makes me nervous.
enugent From: enugent Date: February 21st, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
The update sounds encouraging. How accurate are these measurements, anyway? Those ultrasounds don't look that easy to read to me, and it seems like it wouldn't be very hard to be off by a millimeter or even more. (Later, you will see this effect when your child's height/length is being measured in the pediatrician's office. They give it to you to the quarter inch, but if you ask them to measure three times, you're likely to get a range of two inches or so, which corresponds to forty or fifty percentile points.) Especially if it's not the same tech, or if the tech is tired, I would try really hard not to sweat it. There are lots of follicles, and they are growing - that's the important part. You are responding to the meds, well enough that they need to cut down the dosage. Even if this cycle doesn't work, you will have learned a lot about your own body response.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: February 21st, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea what the error bars are on the measurements, and the tech did say she was tired. I also remember the predictions for Dorothy's weight changing by about a pound in less than a week when you were blogging about that. In any event, the order to back off on the dosage is a good thing. That if nothing else says that the stuff will do what it is supposed to do.

Do you have any good news of your own?
enugent From: enugent Date: February 21st, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Alas, no news. I think I probably ovulated yesterday, so I start the Prometrium in a couple of days for this cycle. Time will tell.
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