Many women have undergone treatment for immune and clotting factors, and couples have addressed the various health issues my partner and I are tackling, but it still feels like we have a steep mountain to climb before we can consider another pregnancy.
And so the next step, after our visit to a private clinic in Athens (and assuming we get the all clear!) will be for me to follow my NHS treatment plan to treat subclinical hypothyroidism and clotting issues:
- Continue with thyroxine before and during pregnancy and regularly monitor Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels
- Take aspirin from positive pregnancy test (this will be a long way away with no plans to try again in the near future)
- Start heparin injections after 4/5 week scan to detect the location of the pregnancy
My private treatment plan is more aggressive and involves addressing immune issues and support for the hidden infection that was found in my womb. It’s a plan I’m exploring in more detail before fully committing to it:
- Intravenous immunoglobulin from ovulation
- Progesterone from a positive pregnancy test
- Steroids from a positive pregnancy test
- Antibiotics during the first trimester
While I appreciate that many successful pregnancies have resulted from a protocol like this, I’m conscious that it’s a lot of medication. Together with my PCOS symptoms and thyroid issues, it’s been hard for me to get my head around.
I also have my daughter to consider. She is the centre of our world and although we want to grow our family she must come first. I have to be in the right frame of mind to embark on treatment while being the best mother I can be to Cora, and that means accepting that plans for a future pregnancy might need to be put on hold.
I have to be in the right frame of mind to embark on treatment while being the best mother I can be to Cora
We made the recent decision to give ourselves at least another 6 months to prepare and ensure we’re in the best health, both physically and mentally, and in that time we want to have a fantastic spring and summer with our girl. We have the opportunity to work abroad in August and holiday with family in September and we had initially disregarded the idea because “what if I’m pregnant?” But we can’t put our lives on hold and say no to new experiences and opportunities to create memories.
There’s a lot we can do in the meantime to continue on our fertility journey; April will be a busy month with travel and digesting more test results, May will no doubt be taken up with adjusting plans and supplements, and June, July and August will be hard for us with our son’s birthdays and other babies’ due dates. There will also be a lot of time dedicated to talk therapy and mentally preparing myself for the next steps.
June, July and August will be hard for us with our son’s birthdays and other babies’ due dates
While we work out the finer details, we’re going to keep being kind to ourselves, and put our trust in those who are helping us; our fantastic GP, friendly practice nurse, NHS fertility clinic and our private clinic. Not to mention the Chinese medicine fertility expert I’m working with over the coming months. Chinese medicine is something that’s very new to me and it’s exciting in some ways. So more on that later as I found my diagnosis interesting and would love to share it with you soon.
Hopefully, some of this has been helpful. And I’d welcome any comments or questions or suggestions for areas you’d like me to expand on.