So, IVF fans, I had an extra scan this morning to monitor the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome situation. Or OHSSS, as I like to call it.
I was finding it hard to work out whether I had OHSS or not, which I guess was a good sign. I didn’t have any post-retrieval pain (so I get to keep the remaining six Solpadol for recreational purposes, yay) but my abdomen was pretty uncomfortable. Having said that, it was uncomfortable for the last few days before retrieval and it’s hard to know what’s normal after a procedure you’ve never had before. Plus, you’re bound to feel discomfort when you’re drinking 4 litres of fluid a day to ward off OHSS in the first place, as I have been since yesterday. It’s not easy to drink 4 litres, I tell you. Plus, I’m not a calorie counter, but I think I took in about 900 extra calories yesterday through the litre of milk, 2 x 500ml cranberry drinks and 1 x 500ml Lucozade Sport I forced into myself. That’s not going to help the straining waistline.
On Tuesday, my lower back was sore and my abdomen was definitely bloated. It was uncomfortable when I didn’t drink, but any amount of fluid seemed to create instant pressure and a lot more discomfort, so I spent a good portion of the day peeing to relieve it. But again, it was a good sign that the pee was clear, and I had no breathing problems, which would have implied that fluid was putting pressure on the diaphragm.
The lovely Nurse M from ultrasound #3 did my scan today. As opposed to the mute Nurse M from ultrasound #4. Her opening gambit was that G, the embryologist, had done very well fertilising 17 of my eggs with his own sperm, so I think it’s safe to say that she remembered our conversation from last Wednesday – if not, we’re in big trouble and I want my donor sperm money back.
The scan confirmed that I have OHSS, but it’s mild. My ovaries are pretty large, as was expected, and I have fluid gathered in my pouch of Douglas. Oooh-ar missus, that does sound a bit Benny Hill. No, I didn’t know I had a pouch of Douglas either, and if you are a woman you have one too. Named after Dr James Douglas, who Wikipedia says “extensively explored this region of the female body” and also has a fold, a line and a septum named after him. I’m sure his mother was very proud. Unbeknownst to me, the pouch of Douglas played a pivotal role way back in my first consultation during the SIS ultrasound, in which they check the passage of fluid through the fallopian tubes into the, you guessed it, pouch of Douglas.
The dark area on today’s ultrasound below shows where the fluid has gathered.
Good news was that there was no need to drain the fluid. Brilliant news was that, as the OHSS is mild and being managed (I’m still on the Dostinex half-tablet every second day), pending a final scan on Friday we’re good to go with transfer on Saturday.
I’ve asked M and another nurse about the danger of taking Dostinex in the week after transfer, and they were both totally cool with it, so I’m going to accept this at face value and not think about thalidomide and genetic mutation and stay away from Google.
The final thing we did was to take some blood to measure how my clotting works, a TEG test. The OHSS can cause blood clots, so I’m to go on Clexane (heparin) blood thinner. The blood test will determine whether I need to go on 20 or 40 units. If I get to transfer and become pregnant, I’ll be on Clexane for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Again, I’m not going to even think about that one.
In summary, they’re managing things well and the OHSS shouldn’t get any worse. And everything points towards transfer on Saturday, in which case the embryologists will be calling me on Friday afternoon to let me know how the embryos have fared.
We can forgive the follicles for having a minor hissy fit after the way they’ve been treated but hopefully they’ve made their stand now.