It's official. This cycle is a bust. I have to remind myself, though, that I accomplished a lot in the last 4 weeks. I passed the clomid challenge, had two mammograms, and submitted to an HSG. I know now that there is no obvious reason for the five IUI cycles to have failed, aside from the most glaring excuse. If I were 30 instead of 40, I bet I'd have gotten pregnant by now.
I really wanted to see the RE before CD3 so we would have options, but the earliest appointment I could get is next Wednesday, CD7-ish. The RE, and all of the doctors in the same practice, are on vacation this week. Probably because they all have kids who are off school for the week. Blast them! I did have a chat with one of the nurses this morning, who explained that the RE had outlined in my chart a clear plan for the next cycle if this one didn't work. I'm not too happy with this "plan," though. It sounds exactly like the plan I followed for the last 3 cycles... 100mg clomid CD5-9; OPKs from CD12 until I get a positive, then consecutive IUIs. No mention of monitoring or adjusting the dosage. No one knows if the clomid is doing too little or too much or anything at all. More follies doesn't necessarily mean better ones, so maybe I'd be better off unmedicated. I just don't know. And the doctor isn't around for me to ask.
I feel like they just don't want to spend any time or effort on me. I want attention. I want some proof that the clomid/OPK/IUI protocol does what it's supposed to (up to the point of conception, which we obviously haven't achieved yet). I want to rule out all possible explanations for why I am not a mom yet. Another same-old-sh*t cycle will either get me pregnant or do nothing. I won't necessarily learn anything from it, but there should be a lot to learn if only the doctor would pay attention and meet with me DURING the damn cycle. I don't think I'm asking too much, and I plan to insist on monitoring of some kind this cycle when I see the RE next week. I think that's perfectly reasonable. And that way, if it doesn't work, at least I'll have one more piece of information in my arsenal.
I thought about seeking a second opinion, but I really don't feel like starting from scratch with someone new right now. Also, the other nearby fertility clinic is staffed by a lot of men. Ever since an inappropriate groping by a physician when I was 22, I've stayed away from male doctors. I've never had a male doc examine my female bits, and I can't imagine being comfortable with it. It's awkward enough, but at least a female doc has the same parts as me and has probably been intimate with a speculum before. I know there are probably some wonderfully compassionate male REs in the world. I just don't want one.
So, back to the drawing board. Tomorrow will be CD1. I'll start my clomid on Monday. There's no time to get a prescription for something else, like injectibles. So I am stuck with repeating my last three attempts. They say that repeating the same actions over and over while expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
5 years ago