Monday, January 22, 2007

4 DPO (or is it 3 DPO?) + bigtime TMI

I am giving an update, because Charlotte asked for one. There's not much to say this early in the TWW though.

So, FF is predicting my ovulation day as CD20, which is the day I got my positive OPK and the first day we insemmed. If FF is right, then our second insem missed the train.

In looking at my chart, I don't really see why my ovulation day couldn't have been CD21, the day of our second insem. My temp on CD21 is only 0.1 degree higher than on CD20 and even though it shows that it was taken at an odd time, that's only because it was taken at 6 A.M. instead of 7 A.M. I took it an hour earlier than usual because we got up early to do the second insem.

At any rate, it doesn't really matter. It's nearly certain at this point that we insemmed on the day I ovulated, so it's all good. Not to mention, it's not like we can go back and redo our insems, since our time machine seems to be on the fritz today.

I don't know when we will test. I am inclined to wait until at least 14 DPO, but I will let Lo call the shots this cycle. So, if she wants me to test earlier, I will. I don't feel a lot of stress or anticipation this cycle, so I don't think it will be crushing if it's a BFN. Then again, I've said that before.

I am enjoying the fact that this cycle, my chart actually means something again. The meds have made charting a lot less satisfying because Clomid elevates my temps at the beginning and the hoo-ha bullets keep my temps elevated at the end and I never get a positive OPK because we always trigger before I have an LH surge. This time, my chart is all about what my body does naturally. There's something really nice about that.

That doesn't mean I'm not going back to the R.E. next cycle. I'm just saying it's nice.

***TMI, if it's possible on a TTC blog, will follow. You have been warned.***

Here's a question. I read in one of our books that women who find IUIs to be painful (like me) might actually be wasting our time and money. It says, "When your cervix or uterus is traumatized, prostaglandins are released that cause the uterus to contract in a way that can push sperm out. Thus, a painful insemination may result only in trauma, not pregnancy."

Now this book has a lot of good information, but they definitely have a bias toward the natural and homeopathy and acupuncture. That's fine, for them and for anyone else who is more into that. But I'm a western medicine gal.

I don't agree with a fair amount of what is in that particular book. They say things like, "...if you're using a known sperm donor, be sure to ask him to give up caffeine as well." Um, yeah. I can see that happening if you're using a KD who is going to co-parent with you or if your KD doesn't really drink much caffeine anyway and it's no real sacrifice. Otherwise, it seems a bit extreme to ask someone who is already giving you a tremendous gift to restrict his lifestyle to the point that he can't have a cup of joe or a cola.

The book also clearly states that "a vaginal exam need not be painful. We repeat, a vaginal exam need not be painful." Ha! In what universe? I know quite a few women--het and gay--who have never had a non-painful speculum experience, including me. It doesn't matter how gentle the person is or if they take their time. My college P.A., the really sweet queer-friendly community health center P.A., my last 3 GYNs, the guy who did my HSG and Dr. Quick. Yes, they ALL hurt me. I actually got through my last IUI concentrating on relaxing and it didn't hurt when the speculum went in. I just felt pressure like all the books say you're supposed to. But then when he opened it, ow. Ow, ow, ow.

Not that you need this analogy, but every time I go to the dentist, I get told over and over to open my mouth wider. It's not my fault that dentists dislike me. I just have a small mouth. It stands to reason, then, that some of us are just... anatomically smaller... and well, more difficult to open wider. I'm making that up, but it makes sense to me.

Okay, that was TMI. But I don't need a book telling me that I just haven't found the right practioner who can be gentle enough not to hurt me. Hello? What am I supposed to do? Go on to find Dr. Right? It's not going to happen.

But I am concerned at the suggestion that it might mean I won't get pg doing IUIs. Has anyone heard that about painful IUIs being less likely to result in pregnancy? Dr. Quick certainly never said so, and he has a pretty big stake in knocking me up. Did anyone who found IUIs to be painful get pregnant? Would it hurt or help to take a little Tylenol or ibuprofen beforehand, if I'm relying on the trigger shot? I'm not wondering because I can't take pain, but rather because I am wondering if it would help or hurt my chances at all. Should I give up on IUIs, or is that just another thing I should ignore in that book? Opinions, if you read the TMI, please.


Melody said...

I've had many painful IUIs, too. The last two months at the RE have been virtually blissful compared to all the times I had to have my cervix dilated at my gynecologist's office. I attribute a lot of that pain to our not being precise enough with our timing.

The nurse at the RE's office says that they use the smallest catheter possible (MUCH smaller than what my gyno was using) because they want to avoid irritating the cervix and uterus and causing it to expel the miniscule amount of sperm you get with your average frozen sample. They say a little cramping is normal. A lot of cramping is bad. I can only assume that this means I've had several bad IUIs.

I wouldn't be worried about pain with the speculum (yes, I've always found that painful, too), but if you usually have to be dilated or if you experience much bleeding at all from the catheter, I'd be asking to look at what they're using and making sure it's the smallest size available.

Trista said...

Hmmm, I don't have anything for you wrt the painful iuis working or not. However I wanted to commiserate with you on the painful dental visits. I have a teensy tinsy mouth and I'm ALWAYS being told to open wider and I just can't. I always leave the dentist with split lips and aching jaws. Ow.

Tiny Mouths of the World, UNITE!

Co said...


Thanks for sharing your experience.

Dr. Quick has always gotten the IUIs done quickly without extra stuff like a tenaculum, the catheter never bothers me, and in 3 IUIs, only once have I had any cramping when they put the spermies in, and it was mild. I've never seen the catheter, but Lo says it's teeny tiny. I have never needed to be dilated. I didn't even know they did that.

So, you've given me a new perspective on it... that maybe they're talking about if the catheter irritates the cervix and uterus. If so, then I think they are not talking about me.

It's interesting to me that your last two IUIs were better than the previous ones. I felt like my first IUI, which was a more-or-less natural cycle but with a trigger, was quicker and less painful than my medicated cycle IUIs. But I've only had 3... hardly a large sample size.

Calliope said...

I haven't heard of this before. I have had a range from "OW!" to "you're done already??" I certainly think IUI's are less aggresive and invasive than sex.

crossing fingers!!

ms.bri said...

I also have no personal experience here, but I would agree that if there is any truth to that IUI pain thing (and have to say that I also find myself doubting that as a Western med girl), I would bet it has to do with the cervix being pissed off. The specific speculum problem you describe sounds much more muscular or structural or something.

Some of my IUI's (presumably the best timed ones) I couldn't feel at all and some were a little scrapey (presumably when I was more closed up) and some involved a lot of catheter bending and aiming and such (I curve to the left, apparently). None of it actually hurt. I will say - major dilating HURTS. They have to do that for a Manual Vacuum Aspiration and it was the worst thing EVER. If I ever have another dead baby, I am insisting on being knocked out.

CD & SP said...

I commiserate as well. Last IUI was not as "easy" as the last one. But I blame the nurse. She wasn't listening to me or taking the advice that was written in my chart. They said small - use the stinking small one. I was really irritated - mentally and physically.

Gretch said...

All of my IUIs were painful. Uncontrollable-swearing-out-loud kind of painful (which is not something I ordinarily have any trouble controlling, mind you), and as of now, we're still pregnant. So, there you go.

It was explained to me that the reason I had so much pain was because I have a tipped uterus/cervix. And I was assured that this causes no problems getting pregnant (other than the unpleasantness of dealing with the pain during the iui on the way to achieving pregnancy, of course), or with carrying a baby to term.

Sophia said...

not too many people know that speculums come in two styles and three sizes so its a matter of finding the right size for you and insisting that they use the right one for you.