Friday, March 23, 2012

A Morning with the Vampires and Alejandro

Well, my date with Alejandro and the Vampires went ok today.

I saw the vampires first. (Funny side note: the RE I saw today saw my bandage and said "I see you already saw the vampires!" I cracked up! I have never heard anyone else call them vampires but me.) They managed to suck my blood for the third time in a week from the same vein without making it hurt, and it is bruised. That is a win in my book! They tested to find out what my LH and E2 levels were. First off, an explanation of these hormones.

LH (luteinizing hormone) is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and egg production/ovulation. They wanted to take this test today to see if I am going to ovulate. The way that works is when a woman is getting ready to ovulate the LH level surges (I have only surged once ever in a monitored was a total fluke!). My level was 1.5 which means I am not going to ovulate anytime soon. During the surge the number will fall between 21 and 50 or so. This is a good result for me at this point, and honestly I don't like it when my body decides to do it on its own during a medicated cycle because it screws up the timing and takes away the control that is needed for IUI (and IVF). (

The second blood test was the E2 (Estradiol). Estradiol is one of the three main types of estrogen, Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). Estrone is ever present in the body. Estriol is made by the placenta during pregnancy. Estradiol is the trouble maker! The description of E2 on WebMD is too good to not just copy and paste:

"Estradiol is the primary sex hormone of childbearing women. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles. Estradiol is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Also, estradiol is important to women’s bone health. Estradiol contributes to most gynecologic problems such as endometriosis and fibroids and even female cancers." (

As I said...E2 is the trouble maker! Anyway, as the follicles mature the E2 level will rise and get to 150-300 (per follicle I believe) at ovulation. This test can tell lots of things, but in my case it gives the RE an idea as to how follicle/egg development is going. My level was 49.9 on Saturday and then 36.? on Monday. Today it was 90! That is very good if you ask me! It is a step in the right direction for once this cycle.

So, what did I learn from Alejandro? The RE came in and started hemming and hawing about how long this cycle is going and said that it isn't uncommon, but at some point we have to decide if it has stalled out. He wielded Alejandro (because Alejandro isn't just grabbed or picked up, he must be wielded!), and I was prepared for the worst.


I was pleasantly surprised! My uterine lining (called the endometrium) measured 8mm (optimal thickness for implantation is 8-12mm), and looked very healthy still, which is awesome considering I'm cycle day 28, and as you ladies all (should) know, a regular menstrual cycle is 28 days, which means if I was having a normal cycle I would start my period today. Since the endometrium is still good we can still keep going! That was a HUGE relief to hear!

As Alejandro continued his inspection of my nether region, we found that I have a smallish follicle in the right ovary measuring 10mm and a slightly bigger follicle in the left ovary measuring 12mm (they need to be 18mm to trigger ovulation). That isn't great, but it is better than what I had on Monday, and combined with my E2 level, we are moving in the right direction. I'm getting my optimism back! It feels good to be out of the ambivalent stage of this mess! I don't like being ambivalent. It doesn't suit me. It makes me sullen and foul tempered. Heehee!

So aside from being exhausted due to getting up at 4am and driving all morning, I am feeling pretty good about things. :P



Mark and Amy said...

Oh how happy you just made me! My follie count did not do well today, but I am only CD 9. If you can still be going at CD 28, I can make it another week!

I'll keep my fingers crossed that your follies get to growing!

Katie said...

Glad to help! We gotta keep each other up!