Diagnosing: Katie’s Infertility Factors Part 2

So it was time for surgery. We had been trying to get pregnant for over a year with no success and here was a procedure that may or may not give us more answers. It had been a frustrating and depressing year. But Dr. Drewes had already gotten us a few answers–the Factor V Leiden and that I was not ovulating monthly, if at all. Now we had decided to go forward with a laproscopic surgery to find out if there was endometriosis in my body or not.

This surgery was a turning point for us in a couple of ways. Since my family is such a big part of my life, there was no way a surgery could happen without their knowledge. So it was time to start telling them our difficulties in conceiving. It was also our first “big” expense toward having a kid and our first real medical procedure either one of us had had during our marriage.


The day of the surgery was a long one! Lots of waiting was involved. Waiting to check in, then waiting in pre-op area one for a few hours, then whizzing me off to a second pre-op area to wait some more. My handsome husband was a good sport the whole day, trying to calm my anxiety down and letting me know it would be alright before the surgery, waiting a few more hours for me to wake up when they brought me back, and lovingly shrugging off my drugged comments. He’s the best.  But once I was semiconscious, Dr. Drewes came out to tell me the results. They had found something!! A huge waive of relief came across me and I remember feeling so vindicated for choosing to do the surgery.

Dr. Drewes walked us through what he had done with the surgery and showed us some pictures. They had found mild endometriosis all over the place. They found a large cyst on one of my fallopian tubes along with smaller cysts behind my ovaries. Dr. Drewes cauterized as much endometriosis as he could and removed the cysts. All of which could be what was causing my back pain and affecting our fertility. But Dr. Drewes let us know that my uterus looked normal, they had done some dye tests to check my fallopian tubes, and everything else looked very healthy.

About a week after my surgery we had a post op visit with Dr. Drewes. He went over the results again in more detail and set out our options from here. Endometriosis is a chronic problem. He had removed what he could, but it would grow back. It could come back about the same or could come back more aggressively. I could treat it with forms of birth control but seeing as that I was ready for a baby, that wasn’t an option for us. Since that tissue had been freshly removed, it was a good time to try for a pregnancy so we wouldn’t run into those issues when it grew back. Since we had determined that I wasn’t ovulating monthly naturally (hence the funky periods) Dr. Drewes had me try Clomid, a medication that induces ovulation. His plan for us was to try three rounds and, if after three months I wasn’t pregnant, we would need to look at Jason’s side of things.

The nice thing about Clomid is that it’s a very noninvasive fertility treatment. It’s a pill that affects your hormone levels. But it’s inexpensive and less daunting then other options. We did go over the risks with Dr. Drewes; our odds of having multiple babies at once would be much higher then a natural conception. We were ok with that though and I started taking it. I’ll admit, I was a crazy, moody, emotional mess, but my ovulation test that month did show that the medication was working, so we were once again very encouraged that it was worth it.

Halfway through the second round of Clomid I started having really bad pain in my back and abdomen. A less common side affect of Clomid is developing cysts so Dr. Drewes sent me in for an ultrasound just to rule that out. Unfortunately, I had developed some cysts that were close to bursting, which meant we needed to stop the Clomid.

I started to feel extremely guilty. Logically I knew that I couldn’t control my health problems and that it wasn’t my fault the Clomid was no longer an option or for the health factors to begin with. Still, I couldn’t get past this feeling that my body was directly road blocking our future. I was the cause for my pain. I was the one withholding children from the most wonderful man I know. Jason made it clear that in no way did he agree with my feelings and again, logically I knew my thought processes was irrational, but the feelings were still there and very real. It was hard to push out of my mind and I was ashamed of myself. I’m sure many couples facing infertility have felt the same way at one point or another. It’s a very ugly side affect of infertility.

At this point Dr. Drewes felt that we needed to check Jason out just to rule out any other factors before trying more aggressive treatments for me. This made sense to us but in our mind it was just a precaution. I mean, what were the odds of us both having fertility factors, right?