The run-down

This will probably be an extremely boring post for those not undergoing any fertility treatment.  I have to admit until very recently I skipped over these types of posts because they seemed ridiculously detailed and, well, I’d get bored.  Similarly to the way I now skip over details of what an X month baby is doing and/or not doing on schedule these days.  Don’t feel like you have read this is you fall into that category. 


The Good:

–  They were able to remove three spots of endometriosis on my pelvic wall and three more spots on my left ovary using the laser (which is apparently not as good as the surgical knife but only has a 20% reoccurance rate and means I don’t have to come back for another surgery).

–  My tubes are still open with good pressure gradients.

–  I have good mucus and seem to ovulate on my own (will be confirmed tomorrow hopefully).

–  I have good levels of estrogen pre-peak and good progestrone levels in the first part of post-peak….(wait for it…)…

–  I have thyroid levels in the range of normal…(wait for it…)…

–  My husband has an extremely high percentage of normally shaped sperm…(wait for it…)…


The Bad:

–  My FSH/LH hormone ratios is reverse what they should be. (Does this imply crappy ovulation?)

–  My T3/Reverse T3 hormone ratio is also reverse what they should be, which from what I understand, is making my body act hypothyroid even though my levels aren’t individually within an abnormal range.

–  I go from the highest progesterone zone to the lowest progesterone zone in one day, which is more than a 50% drop and puts me as a Type III Luteal Phase Defect (and likely contributes to my massive PMS each cycle).

–  My right ovary has “polycystic tendencies” but Dr. H was “unimpressed” (maybe that should go into the good column…)

–  My husband’s sperm have a slightly lower than normal count and motility.

–  And probably most disconcerting, I have an unusual endometrial lining, what I believe he called “endometris stippling”.  Could be due to low-grade infection but I don’t have the compulsory tail-end brown bleeding that accompanies that, so…its a little different although once the biopsy comes back I’ll probably still be proscribed an antibiotic.  He seemed to be really excited to have a great picture of it to show his fellows though.  It looks white/pinkish and bumpy, although I can’t seem to find what a good endometrium looks like to compare it to.


So there didn’t seem to be any one, clear reason why we’re not conceiving, but a bunch of little factors that may be contributing.  He gave us a 50% – 75% of conceiving assuming my husband can take some supplements.  I was hoping for higher, but I’m not even sure how he came up with that number.  We have a few directions of where he wants us to go from here but I think I’ll save that for later.

Ok, so feel free to comment on this post so I don’t feel like a weirdo for putting all this out there.  Anyone ever heard of this stippling and how serious it is?

Oh yeah, and this being the 4th day after surgery I feel MUCH better.  Hopefully the rest of our 30 hr car ride out west will be tolerable…

36 thoughts on “The run-down

  1. You’re definitely now a weirdo for posting this!! I’ve been through enough to basically understand what all this means. I don’t know how it feels for you, but for me, this seems so good to know. It seems comforting to have a few specific things to focus on and pray about. Somehow all of this seems more manageable than, “I’m broken!” (That’s how I always felt before we identified a luteal phase defect). It’s amazing that they can figure all this stuff out.

    You must be going through so many emotions, including both hopefulness and hopelessness. This stuff is so tough. You’re a strong woman and I’m praying for you. Hope you continue to heal quickly!

    • now or not? ha. oh well. I am glad to know all this, but i don’t know if the answers quite matched up with our questions. i kind of feel like we opened pandora’s box.

  2. I actually find this VERY interesting. I have followed all the post-surgery reports of the bloggers. I am very hopeful for you! I have nothing to offer but prayers!

  3. GREAT! I’m so glad it went well. Hope you are feeling better each day. Thanks again for meeting with us, it was so wonderful to meet you both. Hope the trip home goes well.

  4. You retained a lot! My post-surgery meeting with Dr. H was a huge blur. I’m still not sure what he said!

    I was in the category of many things contributing and it was definitely a matter of knocking each one down, and then going back to the first couple and treating them yet again. Ugh. But it paid off. Praying for your recovery and fertility!

    • we went back and got copies of our hormone panel, but it did feel like a blur at the time. my husband was furiously scribbling down notes so that helped. but you’re right, now begins the treatment!

  5. Wow! I am always so impressed with what Dr. H finds! Yet another reason for me to swallow my pride and forget about having savings and head to Omaha!!!

    IF often feels like a constant uphill battle, but there are so many that have become pg after having surgery with Dr. H. I am only hopeful for you!

    Praying for a fast recovery!

    • I was impressed with what he found too and his fellows are pretty awesome as well! Uphill battle is right and I feel like I’m just starting. Hope I have the stamina to make it!

  6. Add me to the list of those who found it very interesting. And I liked the way you split it up between the good and bad.

    But you already have a 30 hour car ride?!! Supposedly using a pillow between you and the seatbelt helps, but I’m imagining that you’re just going to have to go without a seatbelt after a few hours. Youch! I hope that all goes well and you’re healing remarkably quickly.

    This must be a lot to take in (and booo for continued uncertainty, though yay for hope?) but at least now you have something concrete to do… feed your husband lots of brazil nuts! ;-) I am trying to make light of a serious situation, but in reality I like to make sure that Josh gets plenty of lycopene, zinc, selenium, etc. rich-foods because I feel like the “if it’s not good for a pregnant woman, it’s not good for me” advice can be applied (albeit slightly differently) to men too. And yes, I’m quite aware that for some of these nutrients a placebo will show the same increase sperm quality as the supplement but oh well. It can at least be one part of the process to be amused by since the whole thing must be so seriously frustrating.

    I’m so glad for you that you have all this done with, even though your journey is far from over.

    • Getting my husband to take vitamins has already been an uphill battle, especially when we were only seeing each other on weekends. I hope my gentle reminders, as well as the results of these tests, will be more motivating for him to remember to keep taking them from now on!

  7. I’m glad you got some answers and that you are feeling better! I am always interested in the post-surgery round ups that people write.

    • thank you! yes, we have a little stack of prescriptions to look at. i don’t think its that earth shattering though, but i’ll be sure to write about it.

  8. I don’t fall into either category, but I thought your post was fascinating. Lifting you and hubby up in my prayers that you’ll get your baby Moonhead!

  9. Hola! I was waiting for this post! I am so happy you have a diagnosis.

    Dr. H gives the percentages based on the success rates he normally has when several factors are present (for example he has an 85 % success rate with PCOS, with endo it varies from 50 to 75% etc) , from what I have seen normally he gives lower numbers of success rates than they really are. I even discussed it several times with one of his nurses and she told me she thought the same.

    We share several IF factors:
    Hypothiroid. Also my numbers were off. I had many symptoms that I did not know were realted to this (cold extremities, tiredness, slight depression). T3 saved my life and Dr. H is really really good at this regime
    Late luteal phase defect: Also my progesterone drops strongly. For this he gave me HCG which made my cyces perfect and my PMS much better
    Endo: for this I have taken Omega 3 and done the endo diet. Although he has taken out the endo it really helps to manage the inflammation
    Slight Male factor: A was really helped by Proxeed (pricey , but you can also do the mix from a vitamin shope) and Pycnolgenol, a great antioxidant for men. this was not given to us by Dr. H but many people recommended it and we have seen great results. .
    Did Dr. H mention anything about the reverse FSH/LH ratios to be related to PCOS?

    In addition to you we have: low morphology and adrenal fatigue. he gave us a 65 to 70% chance but my age will become a problem soon. I will look into his medicine book to see if he has anything on this stippling. Never heard of it before.

    Te deseo un buen viaje!!

    • i’m set to look at adrenals next as well as reverse T3 issues, but you’re right, we do almost have the same list! Including the recommended drugs!

      and one thing i am a little sore about is how did he not mention FSH/LH ratios relating to PCOS? he completely did not say anything about that….a little bugged…

  10. I enjoy reading the post-surgery reports as well, so keeping posting about them (well, actually I hope this is your last surgery)….

    Anyway, as another commenter said, I would be in the camp of the more information the better, so hopefully this will help you guys as well. Hmmm….the car ride, that sounds a bit painful, prayers for a nice comfy pillow and no potholes! ;)

  11. Hooray for not needing another surgery! Thank you for the update. PPVI does such a great job of “dissecting” the problem(s). I started feeling a lot better about 5 days post-lap. My endometrial biopsy results took about a week but I am still waiting on the results of my endometrial culture. The biopsy results were normal but I was told I would most likely start antibiotics (along with DH) regardless of the culture results. I never heard the term, “stippling” but it is my understanding that inflammation and endometriosis go hand in hand. Prayers for a speedy recovery!

    • i feel so grateful for not needing another surgery. i do not take the anesthesia well, amoungst other reasons. and you’re right, he told me the same thing about the biopsy and antibiotics as well. i need to figure out exactly what an anti-inflammation diet is now…

  12. I love reading post-op reports, especially detailed ones. :) As soon as I read “stippling” I ran to check the NaPro textbook, but I couldn’t find it. :( I have the same luteal phase defect as you. We did HCG first which helped both the hormone levels and PMS. Recently my PMS has been getting worse, so I just started low dose naltrexone in addition to the HCG. I’m glad you know now what the issues are so you and Dr. H can work on fixing the remaining ones. Praying for you. :)

    • i’ve been reading your HCG posts because we’ll be doing that soon as well! i already warned my husband to stick the needle in all the way! and stippling seems like a new term or something, and hence why he was so excited about the pictures. i appreciate your prayers.

  13. I’m always intrigued by these types of posts :) Maybe cuz I’m a surgery whore.

    So, polycystic tendencies, huh? But not yet full-blown polycystic. Well, look at the bright side, maybe there were environmental factors contributing to your right ovary’s tendencies to behave unnaturally. Both of my ovaries, on the other hand, were born that way ;)

    I think your prognosis sounds pretty awesome, honestly!! That’s one thing I didn’t like about Dr S – he refused to give statistics and I CRAVE statistics!! All I could squeeze out of him was that we would likely hear the pitter patter of little feet soon. (That was 3 years ago, but we do hear all our pets pittering all over, so maybe that’s what he meant?)

    • i thought polycystic tendencies was an odd phrase, huh? i have really regular cycles and a temp shift indicating ovulation so that doesn’t add up to me…but the ‘swiss cheese’ look was different than the lefty very clearly, even my husband noticed it. oh well. i wonder how he got that stat….he kind of seemed to pull it out of thin air. I guess a lot of experience? i guess we’ll see!

  14. I find these posts fascinating too! And helpful. I am so glad you were able to get so much information. On the one hand it may feel overwhelming but on the other… there are answers here and hopefully a game plan.

    I find the thyroid information interesting… there is so much more to thyroid than just “normal” ranges, right? Also the good column does sound quite good so I hope things get better from here!

  15. I find all this info fascinating (I have been lurking in your blog for a while just to see what you find out). My husband and I are not TTC right now, but I have some cyclical weirdness that I am convinced (paranoid) will play out as infertility as soon as we get to TTC. It is interesting to see what kind of symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis others have, because I’m afraid it is in my future too.

    • i’m sorry to hear that you notice some of these same problems already. i hope that its not true, but if it is i think its good to have a head start and a realistic idea about your own fertility. my own subfertility was pretty much a shock and from what i’ve seen, it takes women a while to process it so it may be beneficial that you have a heads up. either way, its still difficult.
      thanks for commenting though!

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