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Ovulation experts needed!

My weekend included the following:

  • A follicle scan for my upcoming IUI. The dominant follicle is on the right ovary, so there’s actually a chance of the eggs getting into a fallopian tube.  So YAY on that front. They all need a little more cooking time so I have another scan tomorrow.
  • A ninety-minute massage. Ahhhh, that rocked.
  • A cathartic conversation with my husband in which we tackled the tricky issue of how to deal with our mutual lack of interest in sex (though it remains to be seen whether we will actually do anything about it).
  • A lot of FREAKING OUT about something that ultimately doesn’t matter.

To wit: I’m afraid that I’m going to spontaneously ovulate and miss the opportunity for my IUI. I brought this on myself by using my fertility monitor, which detects the LH surge. Despite the fact that the pamphlet says not to use the monitor while on Clomid. But my cycle is screwed up because of the general anesthesia. I’m on day 15 right now, and usually get the LH surge on day 14. But I have the follicles of someone on about day 11. So I figured I’d use the monitor and if I got the LH surge, I could call the clinic and ask them what to do. Of course I got the surge on Sunday. The monitor is known to be inaccurate at representing some things if you’re on Clomid, but is thought to be good at detecting the LH surge.

So I should call the clinic. But now I don’t want to because I’m embarrassed that I don’t understand the biochemistry of ovulation and because I was using the monitor, which is VERBOTEN. I thought maybe some of you IVF veterans could give me some reassurance. My basic question is: what controls ovulation? I mean, I know it’s a surge in LH and FSH, but how does my pituitary decide it’s time? Will my pituitary keep to its normal schedule despite my tiny follicles? And since Clomid leads to increased FSH and LH, can’t that also trigger ovulation? Is my monitor giving me a false positive or am I going to ovulate before my eggs are ready?

On the other hand, I really should STOP CARING. I’ll find out soon enough what the deal is. The worst case scenario is that tomorrow’s scan will show I ovulated already (or am about to do so), and with such immature follicles, the eggs will not be viable. BOOOO! SAD! But more important, where the hell did this stupid HOPE come from? Just a few days ago I was treating this IUI as a hoop to jump through before having another surgery. So I could move on to IVF knowing I gave IUI my best shot. Now suddenly I’m obsessing over ovulation? It’s so aggravating that no amount of disappointment will cure me of dreaming that I might get pregnant this time.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. I don't know the biochemistry of ovulation either. It's a good thing that it's not our role to know that stuff. Call them! You have a perfectly good question to ask and you honestly want to know what they think. And I'll do some hoping on your behalf (if you don't feel like hoping right now). Here's wishing a speedy end to aggravation!

    February 1, 2010
  2. I just found your blog. Not sure how helpful this is as I've never been on Clomid. But I did an injectable IUI cycle and the meds most definitely messed up the LH reading I got from my monitor (also verboten for me…like you, I just couldn't help myself). I know that fertility monitors tend to pick up the very start of the surge and that they say you will usually ovulate the next day. But I figured out through temping that even in a natural cycle it was often 2 days later. I'd call your clinic for reassurance. When I had my IUI I did all sorts of things I wasn't supposed to (fertility monitor, testing too early) and they only tut-tutted me a bit. They'd seen it all before (and I even had them on speed-dial).

    February 1, 2010
  3. JB #

    I think — but I'm just an immunologist so don't quote me on this — that Clomid drives up the FSH from your pituitary (this is why it also works for dudes to increase spermatozoa production), which in turn leads to an LH surge. It is possible that Clomid causes a more prolonged LH surge than a normal cycle, which could be why using the monitor is verboten. I would go ahead and call for reassurance. You are surely not the first patient who has used the forbidden monitor while on Clomid. And they will probably delight in telling you so. But go ahead and call. You'll feel better for it, I bet.

    February 1, 2010
  4. Does your clinic draw blood each time you visit? I think their test is pretty accurate. I was totally paranoid that I'd ovulate before my IUI's and even my IVF, but it turned out the doctors actually knew what was going on. The only thing I remember is that ovulation takes about 36 hours or so. So even if you saw a surge, and even if that surge weren't influenced by the Clomid, it might just be the beginning of the surge and you could be days away from ovulation. They don't get paid if you don't get the IUI, right? I'm sure they won't let you miss it 🙂

    February 1, 2010
  5. Can't wait to hear the answer to this question. You'd think after this many years, I'd know all the ins and outs to every single phase of my cycle…yet there's some things I still can't figure out.

    February 2, 2010
  6. I wish I could help, but am clueless. By now-ish, you'll know anyway, I think. So I'll hope for the best result.On the husband stuff, in my experience, libido is cyclical, and *will* return, (but not like Terminator, one hopes). After the lap, it is not surprising it has temporarily vamoosed. Hang on!

    February 2, 2010

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