Today I'll address bullets 2 and 3 from our discussion with Dr. M., contrasting his opinion with that of Dr. S. - it's sort of like a boxing match between two heavyweight fighters ... if they had a physical fight, my money's on S. (he's younger, and appears to be more agile ... and Dr. M's weak handshake may be correlated to a lack of overall physical strength)
Post Coital Test
Next bullet on the list of concerns from our discussion with Dr. M. is Post Coital testing. According to my shallow understanding, this procedure assesses my wife's cervical mucus to determine if it offers a hospitable medium for the migration of my sperm to her egg. Sometimes the cervical mucus kills the sperm, making it impossible for them to reach the egg alive, thereby mitigating the chances of pregnancy. This is a test we bypassed during our first round of IVF with Dr. S. If our first round had worked, we would have been none the wiser for bypassing this test. Given that IVF didn't work, however, we now have to retrace our footsteps picking up the missing piece of information we skipped the first time.
The test requires us to have intercourse (yes!), my wife to lay down for one hour (which will be hard because she will probably have to pee), and for her to go into the office the following morning. They will pull a sample of mucus from her cervix and observe it under a microscope to see if there are living, swimming sperm in it. If there are, this is a good sign and indicates there are no issues with her cervical mucus. If there are dead sperm, then we have a problem - I'm not sure what steps are required to get around it, but I would guess they are pretty straight forward.
No Pill In Following Month
This one really burns us up. In a previous post, I cited some comments from the OBGYN Doctor my mother-in-law works for on the topic of achieving pregnancy in the month following IVF. Dr. M. echoed these sentiments exactly in yesterday's meeting when he said that he has data showing an increased likelihood of pregnancy for infertile couples in the 3 months following IVF! Given that Dr. S. placed my wife on birth control immediately after our failed cycle, we completely missed the chance to cash in on this statistical opportunity! We could get into some discussion of incentives of infertility doctors and how they are somewhat misaligned with the goals of their patients, but I'll assume that these doctors operate ethically. Dr. M. recommended that my wife cease consumption of the birth control pill and that we get busy "trying" as our window of opportunity is not completely exhausted (although 2 of 3 months are gone) Again, Dr. S. and Dr. M. offer completely opposing assessments on this aspect of infertility!
So, there you have bullets 2 & 3 - the 4th and final bullet will be revealed tomorrow (it's nothing big, so don't expect a major revelation ...)