Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This cup’s for you.

Today was the big appointment. My new doctor is AMAZING. Calming, comforting, and some other C’s I’m too tired to think of right now.

My lovely menses were due yesterday, but have chosen to delay their arrival. Once they get here I have an appointment for blood work on CD3. It’s a full infertility work up -- FSH, LH, DHEA Sulfate, estradiol, prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), rubella titer, Free Thyroxine (Free T4), Testosterone, and Free Testosterone (F-Test).

If you aren’t TTC – or for that matter having trouble TTC – this probably means nothing to you and the rest of this post will be boring. Feel free to skip the rest; I promise I’ll be more entertaining later. Being Type A Niki, I looked all of these up just to see what each means. If you’re interested click here.

Poor Joe had to leave the hospital in between cases and meet me at the Urologist’s office so we could schedule his SA. Thank goodness it’s a drop off specimen procedure, because I think it would be hard to yanky on my wanky in a doctor’s office if I was a guy. Talk about distractions? We basically have a sterile cup and some paperwork that we need to drop off within an hour of the *ahem* collection.

Thankfully we drop off the Tupperware container of babies on Tuesday and leave for vacation that Saturday. Hopefully that will keep us distracted during the processing week (talk about good timing). We get our SA results the first week in May.

In the meantime I need to go in on CD12 for an ultrasound so the doctor can look to see if I have any follies developing (as they should be by that stage in the game).

I am so very thankful that my friends convinced me to switch doctors. I went from being yelled at to being taken seriously and all I did was go somewhere else. I honestly didn’t mind waiting until August to start testing, etc. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that we’ll have some answers soon. To anyone out there that isn’t happy with their current Ob/Gyn practice, take your gut instinct seriously and go elsewhere. Trust me when I say you’ll be happy you did.

Blood work tests defined FSH levels - lower levels of FSH signal a better ovarian reserve. The LH and FSH levels should be close to a 1:1 ratio when PCOS testing is being done and evaluated.

LH levels - lower is also better in this case. An elevated level of LH and a lower level of FSH could be a sign of PCOS and additional tests should be ordered.

DHEA Sulfate - High DHEA-SO 4 levels are often encountered in PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), showing that adrenal hyperandrogenism is a fairly typical part of this syndrome.

Estradiol - a hormone produced in the ovaries by cells that surround a developing egg (follicle) to monitor progress during ovulation induction.

Prolactin levels - when compared to the other female hormones, a non-breastfeeding woman should have very low levels. If the level of prolactin is raised, additional testing should be performed as this hormone can interfere with ovulation.

TSH levels - low levels as well as high levels can signal a problem with thyroid function. If the levels are 'low normal' or 'high normal' additional thyroid testing should be ordered.

Rubella Titer - A blood test that determines if the patient is immune to rubella (German measles), a viral disease that can cause severe birth defects.

Free Thyroxine (Free T4) - Total T4 and free T4 are two separate tests that can help the doctor evaluate thyroid function. The total T4 test has been used for many years to help diagnose hyper- and hypothyroidism.

Total Testosterone levels - testosterone is a normal hormone found in both the male and female, however, levels over 50 are considered high by most doctors and indicate the need for additional testing.

Free Testosterone levels - this is the level of testosterone that is 'free' in the blood and not 'binded' to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).

Sources: Brookside Press; Suite 101; Infertility Lab Test; Lab Tests Online

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