Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Estrace & Ovulation (or lack of!)

I thought I'd provide an update since this is my first cycle TTC again post-surgery. The problem is, I'm not ovulating!!! I am SO frustrated right now. And I think I know why.

I was put on Estrace for 2 months following my surgery in November. I was told to take 2mg 2x daily up until the IUD was removed in December. Then I was told to switch to just 2mg 1x daily until the remainder of the pills were gone. So I took it while I was taking Provera, while I was on AF, and continued to take it through CD20 (yesterday). Since I thought I would actually have the opportunity to try again this cycle, I've been taking OPK's, but not taking my temps due to the Estrace. Each one has been negative, and I kept hoping that maybe the Estrace just delayed ovulation and that it might happen later than usual. I normally ovulate around CD13-14 so the fact that it's a week later and still no positive OPK...needless to say I started Googling to find out what the heck is going on.

Well it turns out that if you start taking Estrace on CD1 and continue taking it through the follicular phase of your cycle, it can prevent follicles from developing. Similar to what testosterone does if men take it for extended periods of time, their body will stop producing sperm. Because the hormone is being provided from a pill instead of the testes or ovaries being stimulated to produce it themselves. I think this is the problem! My ovaries are probably complete duds this cycle because I've been drowning them in estrogen for 2 whole months.There has been nothing to signal them to produce mature follicles.

I must admit that this is a theory; after all Google isn't a doctor and neither am I! But through research and reviewing what other women have experienced, I think it's a logical conclusion that I will NOT ovulate this cycle. 

So what do I do? The only thing I can think of is to start taking progesterone to trick my body into thinking it ovulated. Then when I stop the progesterone, my body will be tricked into having a period. Last cycle I had to induce AF by taking Provera, which is a form of progesterone, so I think that will probably have to happen again this cycle. I might give my body another week and if I still don't get a positive OPK, I will call my doctor's office to request Provera.

I'm just so annoyed with my doctor's office! They know I am actively TTC, so why would they put me on Estrace non-stop for 2 months? I understand that they wanted to increase the blood flow to the uterus to help it heal properly, which is great, but at the same time it's preventing me from ovulating and having any opportunity to even try to get pregnant. What should have happened is this: I should have stopped the Estrace from CD1-5 or maybe 1-10 to allow my FSH and E2 levels to increase and stimulate some follicles to grow, and THEN start the Estrace again. That way I would have ovulated while still supplementing with the Estrace. But I guess there's no point looking back, hopefully I never have to take it again.

There's still a slim chance I could ovulate on my own, but like I said it is very unlikely. So I'm pretty disappointed in this cycle. I was so excited to start trying again and then this happens. I'll actually be looking forward to AF so I can start TTC for reals in February!

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