Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trial Details

So my wife and I had our meeting with Dr. S. this afternoon regarding the Progesterone trial being conducted through IVF Michigan. We weren't welcomed into the Doctor's office until 45 minutes after our scheduled meeting time. Very aggravating, especially when you take off work with plans to make up for the lost time in the evening - for the record, this has happened every single time we've made an appointment at this clinic. Not good. I know Doctors are busy, but come on - they're still people and should be held to some set of common courtesy standards.

Dr. S. greeted us with our files in hand. He was wearing a funky green shirt, blue scrub pants and some strange looking boots ... not at all related to the point of this post, but it was worthy of note. He started out by saying that we might not be ideal candidates for this procedure since the tactics he hoped to employ in our second round of IVF would not meet the guidelines required of the trial. If he were not restricted by the requirements of this trial, Dr. S. would:

-Use a different form of the shot that triggers the ovary to release the egg(s)
-Allow the folicles to develop to 22 mm
-Perform retrieval at 37 hours after trigger injection instead of 36

He reminded us that the quality of eggs retrieved in round one were less than optimal, and that the tactics listed above could help overcome that issue - unfortunately, the first item on the list would not be allowed by the guidelines of the procedure. The second and third bullets, however, would be allowed. Conveniently, the first bullet is the least important of the three, so he gave us a strong urging to participate in the study - seemed sort of contradictory to his initial statement about us being less than ideal candidates.

If we felt comfortable with this recommendation we would likely be proceeding into the trial ... but we've had a really bad feeling about this whole thing ever since our first cycle failed. That same feeling was there throughout this consulation and it was even stronger this time. I tried asking a few questions, but was often cut off before I could finish by an answer that was laden with technical terms above and beyond my knowledge of medicine (I'm an engineer and am thus no stranger to technical jargon ... the answers we were getting often left us more confused than when we started - very similar to our post-failure consulation)

Anyhow, we left the office, got on the elevator, looked at each other and said "We're not doing this." My wife and I are perfectly in sync on this one - we just have a bad feeling about this whole thing, we feel much more comfortable with the second Doctor and want to explore all our options for getting pregnant without being forced into IVF as our only option. That's what this feels like - "Pass go and proceed directly to IVF". I know, we've already done IVF once and failed - perhaps that has left us a little jaded about the whole thing. Regardless of the reason, we regret not getting educated about the process prior to going through it the first time. This is something we have since remedied and has made us realize we were sort of rushed into IVF without exploring all options for achieving pregnancy. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

If we were to participate in this study it would be strictly for the sake of saving $4,000 (that's how much they're deducting from participants' bills) - in my opinion, that's not the right reason to proceed with something like this. There were red flags at every step of our first cycle and we ignored them. Those flags are getting bigger as we explore a second cycle with this clinic - this combined with a strong gut feeling that we should not do this is enough for my wife and I to throw in the towel on IVF Michigan. Nothing against their clinic or Dr. S. (he seems to be a great guy), but it just doesn't feel right to us. So, thanks for the opportunity, but no thanks.

So, we're going to proceed with our second Doctor, whom we have only met once, but feel very comfortable with. Since my wife was sick during her ovulation cycle this month we missed our opportunity to conduct the post coital test. So, we'll be waiting for several more weeks until she gets her next positive ovulation test to have a go at post coital testing. We will be dry on the news front until then.

FYI - I asked Dr. S. why he opted to bypass post coital testing in the build up to IVF cycle #1 and he responded by saying "It's not necessary - nobody does it. Besides, the sperm are misshapen and post coital testing would do nothing to change that situation" I'm sure the man knows what he is doing, but that answer sounds like one that would be given to a patient looking to do IVF. We're not looking to do IVF - we're looking to get pregnant.


Hekateris said...

I thought post-coital tests were done on IUI patients, not IVF? At least, I've never heard of IVF patients undergoing p-c's, but that could be because for the most part, most people don't start with IVF (we were, however).

And as for the 'different' form of the hCG shot, um, does he mean a different brand? Cuz as far as I'm aware, the only difference would be in dosage and form (liquid vs powder), uh, nothing else.

I'm glad you and the wife have decided to go with clinic 2, because this guy sounds like a shyster.

MamaSoon said...

I am glad you are being your own advocate this time around. We learn a lot as we go through each experience. But I did want to say that not each cycle is the same. My first cycle I was able to get 6 mature eggs and this current one only gave 1 mature egg. I wondered it I had a botched trigger too since it is supposed to seal the final maturity of the eggs. But overall, I just think that some cycles suck and some are better. I hope you keep the faith that this next time, your wife's eggs might just be a better batch. Each cycle is different. Unfortunately it is part science and part luck/God/chance. I hope you get the results you want. So what is your next step?

Tray said...

I think you guys are making the right decision. This is a very intimate part of your lives. IMHO, you SHOULD feel comfortable w/your doctor.