Wednesday, May 4, 2011

opening the blocked tube

So the question arose if they have considered opening the blocked tube and I'm afraid I have not yet explained it (despite my myriad of previous ramblings).  Especially since I scoured the internet for any good opinions on this subject when I found out about it and found virtually nothing scientific - I feel I should explain my assumptions and conclusions.

Here I wil make it clear that I am not talking as a doctor - There is no science to this part of my story - this is just a confused patient talking about what I came up with that sounded rational after overanalyzing the situation.

So the answer is yes and no

First of all - they were not actually convinced that it was blocked.  I couldn't take any anti-inflammatories for the hsg and seemed to have a pretty bad pain at the time.  (I'm someone who took no narcotics for 24 hr after an ex lap yet the HSG was way worse than a huge incision.)  They found a proximal occlusion on the side opposite my previous surgery.  As I had never had any infections or surgeries before that they actually did not initially think that it was closed -- they thought it was just a spasm.

Plus - one only needs one open tube to go forward with ovulation induction.  (goodness knows that lots of pregnancies can even get picked up by the opposite tube).  They offered me a repeat on the hsg with a possible cannulation - but given how much it hurt in the first place and the fact that they didn't believe it was closed . . .  I passed on the opportunity.

Before I go on . . . I always had the choice to go straight to IVF but I thought that was a bit of overkill to treat anoulvatory infertility.

So on we went.  Problem was, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight helping me tell this story,  my open side only has a stump of an ovary so my chances of ovulating out of it are greatly reduced.  Now after 5 failed cycles with only 2 of them producing a follicle on the open tube side the thought is - well maybe it is closed after all.  Why else would I have failed so many cycles (especially since in those cycles I put out 7-8 closed side eggs)?

I could probably choose to go on with ovulation induction for a bit longer hoping to someday get the good side to work, but I probably won't for the following reasons:
1) I feel like crap 3 wk out of 4
2) this is way too time consuming and interfering with life and work
3) this is costing less than IVF but with only about a 10% chance of working each time - the cumulative costs are adding up
4) repeated hyperovulation is not good for my ovaries (increased epithelial damage that requires repair thus theoretically raising a risk of ovarian ca if you do too much)
5) this is not good for my brain - I just don't feel like getting depressed again.

I am reaching the point where mentally and physically I just need it to work.  I am fearful that there may be another reason for the infertility - maybe the closed tube, undiagnosed endometriosis or even just bad luck.  Sure I could go back and have it re-cannulated at this point, but I am not really ready to go back to square one and spend another 6 months doing this.

No mater when I get pregnant, I still need to get through the chance that I will miscarry, and even if everything goes perfectly I am always 10 months away from a term baby.  I have friends who started trying after me who have very cute babies at this point that are about to turn 1 - I am still behind.

May marks the 1 year anniversary of seeking infertility treatment.  I thought I would be further along at this point, but I am still on the starting block.  Maybe I would be decorating a nursery at this point and complaining about kankles if I had decided to open it - or maybe I would have some other procedural complication.  A whole lotta maybes - but it is what it is.


  1. Are you thinking of going forward with IVF soon, then? Good luck!

  2. I think we were in a very similar position at the beginning (although I wasn't having ovulation problems). The insanely painful HSG report was that my tube *could* be blocked, *could* be spasmed, *could* be something else. After a few months of getting burned by Clomid with canceled cycles, I went ahead and had a hysteroscopic cannulation. I'm not entirely sure it did anything but I did get pregnant from that side several months later (but lost it). My current RE suspects that the fibroid he removed in January may have been periodically blocking that tube -- who knows if that's true but I've started clinging to any possible explanation other than "unexplained" at this point...

    I, too, don't know how much longer I can go on just overstimulating my ovaries without much success. I feel like I'm treading water.

  3. Totally know what you mean...although now 29w pg but just not knowing what to do and knowing that I was just so fed up of being so frustrated. I wanted the big guns of IVF and fast to get it all over with...where there were more hurdles even after that...but yes, I think once you reach a point, you reach a point. I hope in a year it looks massively different than right now. Hang in there...your heart will tell you what to do and I think you are closer than you think. And then tell me about it after getting the bfp...after two prior m/c's I was terrified all throughout first tri and still into the third tri?! Its crazy...whatever you decide I'll be here cheering you on.