ramblings from the noisedoctor

February 18, 2007

for now, we wait

Filed under: Christianity, clomid, family, infertility, IUI, marriage — noisedoctor @ 10:58 pm

After much discussion tonight (and prayer over the past 24 hours), my wife and I have agreed to wait another month before starting her on Clomid.

Some of you just read that last sentence and went “what in the world is Clomid?” Some of you read the last sentence and went “why in the world would you hesitate to start Clomid?” Let me try to answer both of those questions.

Clomid is an oral medication given to women during the early (like day 3-10, for us the doctor was suggesting day 4-8) of her cycle to stimulate ovulation. It does have a good track record at improving conception rates.

Clomid does have some drawbacks/side effects:

  • adds hormones to an already emotional situation–and can cause irritability and other mood affects
  • increases the risk of miscarriage
  • can increase the growth of any existing breast cancer cells (my wife does have genetic and “environmental” risk factors for breast cancer)
  • increases the risk of multiple births (my wife is petite and I don’t want to add risk factors to pregnancy if at all possible–I love my wife and don’t want to add any risk of losing her or potential children)
  • tends to dry out cervical fluids, thus making IUI (artificial insemination) highly recommended (like our doctor said we’d be crazy not to IUI while on Clomid)
  • not covered by insurance, nor would the IUI procedure–obviously money well spent if it were to work, but not “pizza money” either.
  • generally, you want to take it for 3 months or so, consistently. It’s not an on-again-off-again sort of drug and there are risks to taking it long-term.

Additionally for us, we were considering several things specific to our situation:

  • Is this God’s timing for us to take that step? We totally want to trust God and allow Him to lead us and for Him to be totally glorified through this. While we respect our doctor and trust our doctor for the most part, he isn’t truly in charge of the situation. We know Him who is.
  • (probably given the concerns we expressed to our doctor about Clomid) Our doctor prescribed a very (read: minimal) dose of Clomid. While that sounds great in one aspect–lower risk of side effects–it also sounds almost silly in another aspect–why bother taking it at all? If it’s so minimal a dose, is it really worth the money/risk of even taking it?
  • At what point does Clomid work “too well?” By that I mean, Clomid often stimulates the ovaries to release more than one egg. This can normally be predicted via ultrasound. The doctor is anxious to get “more eggs” to meet “more sperm.” Sounds logical. But, that could also lead to multiple births. Because, we definitely aren’t about to consider “thinning” out multiples there. So, if we go in and see what looks like 3 or 4 eggs about to be released, would we just skip the month entirely (most likely) and how logical would that be? Sure, the one-egg thing hasn’t been working, but… even though multiple eggs sounds great–God could still pull a miracle and get all eggs to fertilize.
  • I’ve been burned by those “small percentages” for medical procedures before. My LASIK wasn’t exactly in the 99% success category. So, even with a 1% chance of getting the proverbial short stick… it does happen. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. So, to have a doctor tell me there’s a “small percent” risk of something and it’s no big deal–I have to tell him that it actually is a big deal. We’re not talking about being light sensitive, having to still wear glasses, and having dry eyes–we’re talking about mood swings, miscarriage, multiple births, etc. The stakes are high. These risks need to be seriously weighed, not just dismissed as minuscule.
  • My wife’s menstrual cramps have been getting consistently more severe, to the point where she is completely non-functional for a day or two when her period starts. Having this “drag on” so to speak isn’t helping that at all–and for some reason her doctors can’t seem to explain this.
  • My wife is 32. To me, that means there’s plenty of time left. To her, that means the clock is ticking. So, as much as I’d like to just wait patiently, I respect that she’s not all that content to wait a whole lot longer. Believe me, I get it. I’m 38. I really don’t want to be changing diapers at 45. But, if that’s what God has in store, bring it on.

So, why not go ahead and do it? Well, my preference is to just wait–but I am willing to try given my wife’s desires, medical considerations, etc. But, she’s just not feeling like this is the month–that we should wait one more month, talk to the doctor some more (especially about getting the dosage right, the maximum length of taking it, etc.), and just see if God wants to bless us this month without taking that next step.

So, if you think we’re crazy, so be it. We’re fine with that. It may make no logical sense. It’s just what we feel God wants us to “not do” right now. Thoughts, comments, prayers would all be appreciated.

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4 Comments »

  1. I completely understand with your thinking, and I’m so glad someone else out there feels the same way. My Husband and I decided awhile back not to go the fertility drugs route. Although we both want children, if it’s not meant to be for us, I don’t want to force it. So many people out there don’t understand that thinking…

    I have no problem with other people who take fertility drugs, I just know that it’s not for me. Well, not for me right now. Who knows how I’ll be thinking a year from now.

    Comment by hopingforpink — February 21, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

  2. I am currently going through a workup for infertility and was suggested Clomid. My GYN wants us to wait another month to be sure Clomid is the best choice. To be sure it is the best choice he is redoing my bloodwork to make sure that I am not ovulating. Has your GYN conducted bloodwork to be sure that your wife is not ovulating properly?

    Also, the low dose of Clomid at first is standard. Typically 50mg the first month. Your GYN should conduct a progesterone bloodwork on day 21 to be sure that your wife has ovulated 50mg is the correct dose. If the bloodwork shows that we are not ovulating he will increase the dosage until the bloodwork tests determined they have reached the correct dosage for stimulating ovluation. So the GYNs start with the low dose first to keep down the risk of multiple births. Each person is different and they cannot tell which dosage will work until after the tests are conducted. I think it is wise to wait a month to really talk to your Dr. and see if they are running the appropriate tests to be sure Clomid is right for you.

    I have very painful cramps as well. If she was on birth control before typically the cramps are not as bad. Once I went off birth control my cramps became very painful again. My GYN gave me tips for managing the pain and it has worked well. The key to managing the pain is to start taking ibruprophen (Advil) or Aleve right when her period begins not when the pain starts. When the pain starts it is too late. The ibruprophen keeps the chemical that causes cramps down. You can also supplement with Tylenol to manage the pain as well. But the ibruprophen or Aleve is the medication that blocks the chemical that produces cramping.

    I also understand your faith in God knowing the right time for you. Remember God’s work can comes in many forms. Sometimes that form is the help of others and being guided from within to seek help. I hope this advice was helpful.

    May God Bless you on your path to parenthood.

    Comment by hohaynes — February 25, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  3. Thanks both for the comments. I should have stated earlier that we do believe my wife is ovulating regularly. We’ve charted her temperature for the entire time we’ve been trying (almost a year and a half) and we’ve had two cycles monitored by the doctor (ultrasound and bloodwork) and she was ovulating properly. So, that was another factor as well–since it appears she’s ovulating, why take drugs to “enhance” or “overstimulate” ovulation? So, we’ll be meeting with the doctor this coming week to discuss all this in more detail. It may indeed be the wise thing for us to start doing. We just want it to be clear that it is indeed the wisest course of action.

    Comment by noisedoctor — February 25, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  4. The last cycle didn’t yield a conception. So, looks like we’ll be doing Clomid this coming month.

    Comment by noisedoctor — March 16, 2007 @ 12:16 pm


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