7 Quick Takes – Gynecologic Edition

Menfolk, you have been warned. Himself is inured to this by now (I am a biologist), but lots of you are squeamish about these things, and so you don't have to read it.

1. Had the mid-cycle ultrasound today. The nurse was excessively concerned that I didn't have a follicle larger than 12-13 mm (mature are at least 18). I tried explaining that even though it's cycle day 16, I was still at least three or four days away from ovulating, that I don't have difficulty getting pregnant (which should be obvious after six miscarriages), and that my post ovulatory blood work showed low progesterone (hint, damn it, hint!). She was still 'concerned'. I'm more concerned over her poor grasp of how the female reproductive system functions. Stupid black hat OB/GYNs.

2. A black hat is a hacker with malicious intent. When I call an OB/GYN a black hat, I mean he has little to no interest in the healthy and proper functioning of the female reproductive system. He can break it so that it doesn't work, or he can hack it to force it to work, and he does both in such a fashion to seperate as much money as is possible from his patient. The whole thing turns my stomach.

3. I hadn't really thought my opinion of this office could sink further, after they scheduled me for an invasive procedure (for which they did not give me an explanation of the risks) without asking me if the day was acceptable, or even telling me that they'd scheduled me until four days before the procedure was to take place. But look, it just did.

4. I am starting to wonder whether I have a strict luteal phase defect, or both luteal and follicular phase defects. There was a really bad article I read in New Scientist a while ago that claimed women could ovulate multiple times a month. But the article in Fertility and Sterility on which they were reporting actually only observed multiple (as many as three) seperate waves of follicular development. When some women released two eggs in a cycle during the course of the study, it was always within the same ovulation event. And really? It surprised New Scientist that some women released two eggs during one cycle? Where did they think fraternal twins came from, storks?

Anyway. It seems to take an unusually long time for me to mature a follicle, even though my uterine lining is nice and thick with the three layers they want to see on the ultrasound. So is my lining degrading before an egg matures, and therefore progesterone can't sustain a pregnancy because the lining with the progesterone receptors is too old? Or is it a basic case of progesterone deficiency? Or both of them at once? It looks right now that my uterus and ovaries are working on different timelines. But on the other hand, I have blatently short luteal phases, low progesterone, and my only term pregnancy was supplemented early on (~six weeks) with progesterone as a precautionary measure. I don't know how to untangle this.

5. I'm seriously considering a trip to the Vitae Clinic in Austin, but I have no idea whether we could afford it, and I can't figure out how to write that introductory email. I hate making cold emails, even to people I know. But it's misery to be in constant life or death scenarios that none of your doctors take seriously. The head of this clinic has a specific interest in recurrent miscarriage. I wonder if we'd get along.

6. GeekBaby took a lot more interest in the ultrasound this time. I have a feeling we're going to get the “where do babies come from?” question sooner rather than later. Best to start thinking about answers now. Maybe I can detour him into cellular biology to distract him from mechanics.

7. I guess this isn't strictly gynecological, but I do love this Saint Andrew Chaplet. I didn't discover it till mid December last year, and so had trouble sticking with it through to Christmas, but this year I'm determined.

For more Quick Takes this week, we have to go to Camp Patton. Jen @ Conversion Diary is on a reality show. …I never thought I'd type that phrase on my blog. *shudder*


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10 Responses to 7 Quick Takes – Gynecologic Edition

  1. Pingback: 7 Quick Takes – Gynecologic Edition « On the Care and Feeding of Geeks « Head Noises

  2. Megan says:

    I came over here primarily because of the picture at the top. I’m a sucker for biology.

    I am not actually qualified to comment on anything, so…Hi. Nice picture. You have my sympathy and prayers.

    • GeekLady says:

      I knew you lurked, I’m glad to have lured you out!

      The picture is just from Wikipedia. It was made by someone going by Isometrik and he did a very good job. I’d use it in a textbook, if I was writing one.

      (Megan is my baby sister’s name! Can I fight with you?? It would be so homey!)

      • Megan says:

        Oh, I forgot that WordPress uses my first name! I was reading the comment in my inbox trying to figure out why you were commenting on that.

        (I have my own older sister to fight with, but thanks for the offer. :))

  3. priestswife says:

    grrr….docs….. Baby #3 and #4 exist on earth today (I believe) because I ‘forced’ my docs to give me progesterone (I think I was having day 3-5 miscarriages for a year) and heparin (I have mild lupus and I lost a baby at 20 weeks- my only ‘bad’ miscarriage- baby was perfect, placenta calcified)

    now, I have LOUSY insurance (progesterone and heparin will not be approved- I’ve asked) and I am 41 with other complications, so probably I will stay with ‘only’ 4 kids

    so- what I am saying is- get the progesterone

    saying a prayer for you

    • GeekLady says:

      I would if I could! But we moved between GeekBaby’s arrival and the losses afterwards, and so I had trouble acquiring a doctor. It was roughly a twelve week waiting period for new patients (I actually only acquired an OBGYN by having a miscarriage so the ER assigned me a doctor for followup!) and progesterone has to be administered very early to have an effect. I went in at about 4-5 weeks with GeekBaby because I’d had a bought of food poisoning, and I wanted to make sure things were okay, and my OB (sick of my fussing at this point) put me on progesterone as a preventative measure.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I’ve met Dr. K from the Vitae Clinic and heard him speak. He’s not my doctor, but he seems like a nice guy. And if you come to Austin, there are so many awesome Catholic and not specifically Catholic things to do while you’re here!

    Regarding #6, Simcha Fisher wrote a great TOB-oriented post for the National Catholic Register. The Secret Keeper Girl blog had some good suggestions, too (although they are not Catholic). I have tucked these away for my potential future children.

    • GeekLady says:

      I know all about Austin. 🙂 We moved to Austin when I was 16… and I decamped for College Station as quick as I could after!
      Thank you for the two links. I’ll check them out.

  5. Barb says:

    Just to let you know you’re in my prayers! I so agree about the “black hat” doctors, having BTDT for years myself over endometriosis issues. I hope that you can find a doctor who wants to worth WITH you instead of AGAINST what your body would naturally do/need.

  6. melaniebett says:

    Grrrr…. just reading this makes me angry and I haven’t even had that many issues with OBGYNs just the usual petty annoyances of them completely ignoring my actual date of ovulation when calculating due dates and going with the much less accurate date of LMP. This time I just lied to them and re-calculated what my LMP should have been according to their chart based on the date of ovulation.

    I know what you mean about hating cold emails. I abhor that– plus I hate just about any kind of communication with medical professionals. Still, I think I’d be taking the trip to Austin if I could at all swing it.

    Anyway, continuing to pray for you.

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