“Ummm… you could have a tumor in your pituitary gland.”
I’m sorry… what?! All I wanted to know is if I am able to have a baby!
Abby here. To talk a little about our experience of finding out the results from our fertility appointment #1. As Chrissy mentioned earlier, our first fertility appointment was nothing less than a disappointment. Nothing got better after we left.
Finding out how to become pregnant when you have “fertility problems” (read: we don’t have sperm in our relationship) is scary to start with. We knew it would be daunting. We knew that our chances of getting pregnant the first time with IUI would be about 20%. We knew from our appointment and research that it was going to cost about $1200 per cycle. What we didn’t know is that your healthcare provider can sometimes make it even harder. Even scarier.
I had a panel of blood tests and an ultrasound done at my first doctors appointment. We waited 2 weeks for the doctor to call us with our results. The phone finally rang. The nurse introduced herself and said she had the results of my biopsy.
Biopsy?? I didn’t have a biopsy!
I politely reminded the nurse of this. She was looking at the wrong file. “I’ll call you right back” she says. 2 more hours go by.
When she finally called me back (with the right file this time) she let me know that my blood levels told them two things:
1. I probably have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I know enough about PCOS to know that it can cause thick facial hair, weird, irregular periods and cystic acne among other things. She said to me that this is probably the reason I am having a hard time getting pregnant. Hey lady! I am a LESBIAN. That is why I can’t get pregnant! Please read my file. (I will get more into PCOS in a later post.)
2. High Prolactin levels. I had no idea about Prolactin. What is this? Is this something that can cause me to not get pregnant? Is this something serious? I just have no idea. This is not something they went over in Grey’s Anatomy! (Only sort-of a joke…)
That’s when it comes out. “Ummm… you could have a tumor in your pituitary glad causing the high levels of this hormone. I’m sure that there are other things that could cause it though! People hear tumor and just freak out when they don’t need to!” Trying to stay calm and not immediately flip out, I asked the nurse to please ask the doctor and call me back. Again, 2 hours go by.
She calls me back and says there are multiple things that could cause this heightened Prolactin levels. But, they would like to get an MRI to make sure that it is not a tumor. It wasn’t discussed (but I later found out through our good friend Google) that if it was a tumor, it is benign. That it is not cancerous. I wouldn’t have to go through chemo. I wouldn’t have to have brain surgery. I wouldn’t even have to take meds for the mass! It was literally just a small growth that could possibly cause the high levels of Prolactin. They never told me any of that. They just threw the word TUMOR into my day and then told me not to freak out. Okay, lady. That sounds GREAT! (scoff)
(Don’t worry, it was not a tumor – everything came back clear.)
Now, I’m not telling this to make you more aware of tumors or prolactin or just to blab. I want people to know how scary this process can be. That nurses sometimes don’t read your chart. Sometimes they don’t have the answers and say things they shouldn’t say when they don’t know for sure. Sometimes doctors have the personality of a wet mop (see previous post). Some doctors offices act like they have no idea how to handle two ladies trying to make a family together. For this reason, we have chosen to go with another doctor’s office. Would you allow someone to put a baby in you that seemed to have little to no care about you, your wife and your potential family? Uh… no.
You have the choice of doctors and you should absolutely feel comfortable. Talk to your doctor. Ask them questions. Know what your deal breakers are. Know what is going to make you and your partner comfortable and uncomfortable. Chrissy and I sure did. Now, onto the next! Our appointment with our new doctors office is in September. And now we wait.