Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shoe Frenzy + Femara Follies: Everything's Lining Up!

I am just going to warn you now; This post is pretty darn exciting! If you've been reading a while, you already know how much I love "before and afters" as well as the occasional home decorating/organizing project. De-cluttering=Free Therapy

How then, have hubby and I lived in this house for almost FIVE YEARS with the fiasco that is our closet? Truth be told, he's been griping about the situation forever, and I've been putting it off...Other priorities and I didn't want to spend any $ to fix it.

This is pretty embarrassing, but we've been living out of these ridiculous hanging canvas shelves. You know, the kind that velcro onto a closet bar and leave all your clothes hanging out of the front in a very dorm room'esque fashion? I'm going to share something with you, but then I'll have to kill you...

Yes, this is the closet of a 35 and 37 year old married couple. So sad.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, "How'd I get so fat?" That is how I feel about this closet...NOT easy to look at! ha! Something just snapped in me last week and I could not take it ONE. MORE. SECOND! Time to bite the bullet and do something about it.

I do not like multiple dressers in the bedroom if I can help it either, because I like an open feel, so I spent last week meeting with custom closet designers, visiting closet showrooms, and haggling with sales reps.  I highly recommend doing this if you have a closet crisis yourself and have the energy. Even if you don't end up buying anything, you will get some fabulous ideas on how to organize it yourself.

I don't think I'll be able to sleep for the next 6 weeks, because that is when 12 new drawers will be custom built into our closet! So exciting!! No more looking at this mess. I will definitely post pics once this side of the closet is done. Stay tuned in December.

The other thing that has been really embarrassing and also quite hazardous is my shoe situation. Apparently, a long time ago I thought it would be smart to pile my shoes into clear plastic bins and slap some Sharpie onto labels to "organize" them. Only problem (besides the fact that it looks like kindergarten class)? I am 5'4" tall and not a good basketball player. Many times while trying to aim for the correct shoe bin a few feet above my head, a shoe will hit the rim and divebomb my face! It happens more often than not to be honest. The more I write this, the more ridiculous I feel.

Anyhoo, we did want to cut costs with the closet people where we could, so I decided to tackle the shoe situation myself. A trip to the Container Store and a couple of broken nails later, I ended up with something so fabulous I should add it to my resume. Prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor once you see the amazing shoe transformation that just occurred!...


This shoe project cost less than $200 and what a difference! I had so much fun that it almost makes me want to organize for a living. I can just breathe easier when things are organized. :)

Speaking of work, I started substitute teaching again on Monday. I have not subbed in about ten years (before I became a certified teacher back in FL) but figured I'd be really daring and jump right in to a position with ED (emotionally disabled) and Autistic middle school students. I learned upon my arrival that the woman I was subbing for had a table and four chairs flipped over on her the Friday before. I really know how to pick 'em!

I did end up (gently) commondeering a pair of scissors from said kid who flipped the table, diffused a few meltdowns, and made it home relatively unscathed.  I would like to think I'm good at helping special needs students, but let's just say Monday was a reminder of why I left special ed and started teaching regular ed science when I did years ago. Phew! I am learning how to navigate the online system where subs go to claim jobs and decipher the abbreviations for the assignments I'd rather not choose. My foot is in the door though, and that is all I wanted. So now, I will pick and choose a tad more selectively.

As if this is not enough excitement for the week, I will share one more happening...As you know, I took 5 mg Femara CD2-CD6 this cycle, in order to scoot up ovulation before hubby flies out this weekend. After some discussion, hubby and I decided that if we are going to try on our own with Femara at home, why not up the anty and just go for an IUI? So, we went in for ultrasound monitoring yesterday (CD12) to discuss with Dr. V and see what follicles were brewing in there.

Turns out I am having probably the best response on Femara I've ever had. I have 3 follicles growing nice and synchronously...

Left ovary: 16.5 mm, 16.5 mm
Right ovary: 15 mm
Lining: 7.4 mm

I have only produced two follies max on Femara in the past, so this is good news. I am most likely still a few days away from ovulation, and hubby flies out on Sunday. So, I am testing with OPK's, and if I don't get a + by Friday afternoon, we'll go back to the RE for another ultrasound to confirm everything is mature. If all looks good (22 mm follies), I'll do an Ovidrel trigger shot Friday night and we'll have the IUI Sunday morning before hubby leaves. Honestly though, I'm hoping I'll get a +OPK naturally by Friday so we can do an IUI on Saturday (CD16). One day at a time. It's taken some creativity and planning, but right now it looks like this cycle is going to work out timing wise!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Last Day of the Never-Ending Hormones: Onto Femara During our "Break"

I can do anything for one month, but I am so extremely ready to move forward from this ass dragging cycle of pregnancy loss, surgery, never ending spotting, and estrogen therapy. How can time (as in years TTC) fly by so fast, yet at the same time seem to craaaaawl by (as in each day of this cycle) at a snail's pace?

Today is the LAST of 25 days on estrogen therapy following the hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. I was taking 2mg Estradiol 2 x's/day. My understanding is that taking estradiol post-surgery helps to rebuild the uterine lining and reduce any risk of scarring where things were removed. We definitely don't want that! I've also been taking 10 mg Provera 2 x's/day for the past 5 days to induce a new cycle since the ole ovaries have basically been sleeping this whole month. I have been a sleepwalking zombie on the Provera and would be perfectly fine crashing at 5 pm every evening. Sleeeeeepy dwarf right here. Yawn:0

In case you are interested in seeing what this eventful cycle has looked like...

CLICK to enlarge

Blood test on CD2 showed hCG back down to zero. Then, we were going to do a Femara cycle before moving onto our final FET. HOWEVER, my insatiable quest to dig deeper for "reasons IVF hasn't worked" resulted in the big surprise that somehow my insurance was magically going to cover the diagnostic surgery we'd been wanting for over a year. So, we scrapped the whole Femara idea, and went straight into surgery literally the next day. Oh, and want to see something really cool? Our insurance really and truly covered my surgery!

I was checking my online claims like a crack feind twice a day, sweating bullets until I saw every bright red "pending" turn to it's beautiful bright green counterpart "processed" on each charge. The $28K+ one took FOREVER to go through too, but it finally did. We are beyond grateful that everything went through. We have zero fertility coverage, and this is by far the most help we've had with ANYTHING during the past 27 months of treatment. Looks like our total cost will be $125 (rather than the $20 I was quoted). However, we will take it!!! I am 100% happy we did it, even if it meant a little pain & more waiting to proceed as planned.

Speaking of proceeding, today was my last day of Provera, so I should begin a new "withdrawl cycle" within the next couple days. We are advised to wait until our next "real cycle" before doing our last chance FET, but we've been given the green light to try by any other means. I have felt fully recovered for a couple weeks now, and we are both excited to start trying again.

So, I open our shared online calendar and realize that during the time I will most likely ovulate naturally, my husband will be 5,000 miles and a 10 hour flight away in Amsterdam. He's gone ever so conveniently during my CD17-CD23... Every. Single. Day. of Possible Procreation. If I am going to ovulate on my own, it usually happens CD21-CD23. This is almost comical. I bang my head on the wall and ask, "Why God must I ovulate so damn late? Why can't I just be normal???"

I believe in miracles mind you, but I don't expect to conceive via immaculate conception or Skype for that matter. And maybe it wouldn't be quite as large of a miracle, but I also don't expect to ovulate anytime before CD20 unmedicated. Lightbulb moment: Good news is that I usually ovulate on CD16 or CD17 when taking Femara. Yes! There is always a back-up plan!

I emailed my nurse and got approval to move forward with a Femara cycle. I am actually a big fan of Femara. Main reasons being zero side effects, linings @ 9mm+ typically, and a much sooner ovulation with up to two mature follicles. Another reason? Well, it got us pregnant the last time I took it...even if it ended up being a god forsaken ectopic pregnancy. That wasn't Femara's fault though. Here was our last Femara cycle, which resulted in pregnancy...

CLICK to enlarge

I can't believe that was a whole year ago. Geesh. Time flies when you're having fun and have entered Advanced Maternal Age. Seriously, can someone please stop time while we try to have a baby?

This cycle, I will take Femara 5 mg on CD2-CD6 to encourage a more timely ovulation and scoot it up an additional day if possible...the goal is a CD16 ovulation. This way we'll get to try before hubby's off jet setting. Worse case scenario, we do also have 50 million (post-wash) sperm frozen if we absolutely miss the boat timing wise and still want to try an IUI using frozen sperm. Wouldn't that be some shit if I got pregnant while my husband was in Amsterdam? We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, but for now we'll just take it day by day and use whatever options we have available to us as this cycle unfolds.

Hopefully I will keep myself busy substitute teaching soon. Right after I blogged about how long it was taking to get hired, guess who got an invite to the sub orientation? I completed that today and should be officially hired as soon as my fingerprints are processed. My subbing definitely won't make us millionaires, but anything extra is extra.

I'll be praying for this cycle to unfold just as it is meant to in the coming days....and as always, for peace and patience in the process.


*P.S. Today is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Day. Feel free to light a candle in solidarity at 7 pm. I'll be lighting one for all the families out there who have experienced loss. ((HUGS))

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Say What? Pregnancy Loss & Infertility Etiquette

What do we call a child who loses a parent? An orphan
A woman who loses a spouse? A widow
What about a couple who loses a child or pregnancy? There isn't a word to describe them.

In case you didn't know, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. President Ronald Reagan actually declared this in 1988. Later on in 2006, the US House of Representatives named October 15th National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. The purpose of this month is to recognize any parent who has lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, SIDS, and many other causes. Infertility Awareness Month actually falls in April, but I want to touch on a couple things regarding that as well.

3 times now, I've had the fleeting dream of motherhood come close to being realized, only to have it taken right back away. I do not pretend to know what it's like to lose a child at 10 years old, or 1 year old, or later on in pregnancy. My short-lived pregnancies have all been doomed almost immediately upon getting a positive blood result. My suspected ectopic lasted 10.5 weeks, but I knew it was over at 5.5 wks. Still, that doesn't mean that the intense hurt and pain we've experienced as a couple throughout each loss is not real.

Not only have we experienced 3 losses, but we are ALSO experiencing the double whammy of infertility on top of it. When you have spent endless hours praying, wanting, and waiting as patiently as possible....Every extra resource available and every ounce of energy towards finding a solution; It's extremely heartbreaking to still feel like you are at square one to ever becoming a parent. One thing that makes pregnancy loss and infertility especially hard is the lack of awareness.

Learning to handle the comments from others who don't understand what we're going through has been something we've had to work on, and I've definitely not yet mastered it. The other thing I haven't mastered are the feelings left in the wake of the idiotic...I mean, well-meaning but extremely misguided comments we hear. We've had supposed "friends" enthusiastically announce their baby's gender publicly front and center less than 24 hours after we told them we were miscarrying. I've had people tell me horrific stories of children born with deformities or special needs as if to say, "At least yours took care of itself!"  I've heard "Have you considered adoption, surrogacy, or taking a vacation?" more times than I can even count. I am surprised I haven't bitten off my own tongue by now. I try to take in the actions and comments as graciously as humanly possible, but it's hard. And while I do feel compelled to gently "educate" others from time to time, even doing that just becomes sooooo exhausting.

The fact is that there are two types of misguided comments: 1) Those that come from a flat out selfish & non-caring place, and 2) Those which truly just come from a place of wanting to help. Unfortunately, even people who genuinely care can say some incredibly hurtful things without even realizing it.  If there is one thing I've learned the past couple years, it's that people tend to be solution oriented when it comes to someone else's problems. It's made me more aware myself of being a more supportive listener.

Let me be clear. I don't want anyone reading to think this post is intended to gain sympathy. It's not.
  It's also not directed at anyone specifically. Believe me, the lack of knowledge in the general public runs rampant. Most of those who comment here on my blog are fellow mom's in the making, but I do get readers from across the globe surprisingly least that's what my blog stats say. Who knew?

Anyways, I wanted to share some Infertility & Pregnancy Loss Resources with you all. Maybe you can use some education yourself to better help someone experiencing infertility or loss. Or, maybe you need something to share with others to help them understand your own journey more. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, I think these can benefit everyone....

Seleni: Infertility Etiquette 101
Seleni: 11 Things You Should Know About Grief
Dancing Upon Barren Land: for Family & Friends
Dancing Upon Barren Land: Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Resolve: Infertility Etiquette
Resolve: Facts vs. Myths About Infertility
Orthodox Church: Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness

There are oodles and oodles of resources on these topics online. If you aren't sure what to say to someone experiencing infertility or pregnancy/child loss get some guidance by doing an online search. Sometimes saying less IS more. Think carefully about what you say BEFORE you say it please.

If you are someone needing more support from those around you, don't be afraid to share resources with people who can use them. It can be a balancing act to handle comments graciously, set boundaries and have our own experiences validated in an appropriate way. One thing is certain though...No one should have to go through this alone. You deserve to be supported in the way that you need to be.

Anyone who wants to participate in Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day is invited to light a candle on October 15th at 7 PM to show their solidarity. I will be lighting a candle at home and praying for all of the mothers and fathers out there that have endured the heartache that comes with pregnancy or child loss. If you have any other resources you've found helpful to deal with loss OR infertility, please feel free to share them here. We can all learn from each other!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Garage Sales, Pumpkin Candles & Football: Fall is Officially Here!

Is it just me, or is there something strangely thrilling about selling your old crap from the comfort of your own garage? Our neighborhood has two community-wide garage sales each year, and every year it's the same thing; My husband laughs at me saying, "No one is going to buy that! Are you kidding me?!" To which I always respond, "Oh, just wait and see! People will buy anything!"

This year, we literally went through every single cabinet, drawer, and corner of our house to pull out anything not being used. Our front hallway was beginning to resemble an episode of TLC's "Hoarding: Buried Alive." BTW, if you are a neat freak like me, I do not recommend watching that show. It's like a bad car accident you can't look away from! Ick

Garage sales in our neighborhood are so insane there are actually traffic jams near the entrances. As usual, there were people bombarding our driveway as the sun was still rising and I was scrambling to set everything up. Then towards noon, the real show began. I sat back in my rocker and watched people drive by with huge truckloads of furniture, name it, all bungeed together haphazardly. It's just astonishing to see how nuts people get for a good deal. That's about the time I usually make a table that says "FREE" which creates a frenzy I'd liken to the release of Cabbage Patch dolls in the 80's. WOW! Take it! Take it all!

4 hours and many "interesting conversations" later, we walked away with $750! Well, technically my husband was out golfing as I wheeled and dealed, but he donated some electronics, so we'll let him slide. If only I could have a garage sale every weekend my life would surely be more interesting. Oh, who are we kidding? The fact that I even find it thrilling probably means I should get a life in the first place. ha!

Why stop there? We have a small jar about 4 inches high in the kitchen that we throw all of our change into. It reads "Vacation Fund" but I am on the prowl for one that says "IVF Fund."

What, they don't make those you say? Still, that jar isn't fooling anyone. We all know damn well none of that $$ is going towards vacation. It's going straight to our two main cash funnels (a.k.a. fertility treatments & hubby's MBA.)

Needless to say, I was shocked when I emptied this tiny jar full of coins into the local Coinstar and out popped a voucher for $60. Hot damn! I love Coinstar! If you have never used one, please dig through your seat cushions immediately and try it out.  It's nothing short of winning on the slot machines in Vegas. Plus, with this there is no risk of losing. All that was missing was a flashing light and siren. It's like free money I tell you!

Even if we aren't planning a vacation anytime soon, we did not waste any time treating ourselves to a dinner out with friends and enough Moet to kill a small horse. You see, this is what happens when you are on such a strict regimen of no alcohol, no gluten, no dairy, no FUN for God knows how's hard to stop once you finally have it! We had an absolute blast, but being that I'm normally such a rule follower while undergoing fertility treatments, I still felt a wee bit guilty waking up in a bit of a haze the next day. Oh well, I won't pretend to be perfect. We took our butts straight to church that morning, which helped me feel like a little bit less of a sinner, especially since we tithed 10% of the garage sale earnings. :)

We were also blessed with a little cold snap and some gorgeous weather this weekend in Austin! Lows in the 50's-60's at night and sunny 70's-80's during the day. Perfect weather for some Sunday lunch, shopping, and lazy football watching. I figured I'd finally make Fall official with this scrumptous addition...

I will admit that Fall, and more specifically November, have become a bit of a thorn in my side from an emotional standpoint. I've lost pregnancies the past two Novembers in a row, and still no baby or even hope for a pregnancy in the next month or two. My ovaries are basically put to sleep right now while I am on hormone replacement as part of recovery post-surgery.  I'm really going to try extra hard to stay positive during the holidays this year. I've got to keep finding joy in the little pumpkin candles, fuzzy slippers, baking cookies and wine by the fire. I know the holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas) can be hard for many of us trying too long to start families, but I hope you'll be able to find joy in the little things too.

Speaking of Fall...As you may remember, I applied to do substitute teaching at my local school district right before the school year started. Well, I have STILL yet to be hired. I am beyond grateful to be a stay-at-home-wife right now, but I'm getting antsy and would love to be back in the classroom on a part-time basis. I would think I'm overly qualified; A former teacher (although certified in FL), and I graduated summa cum laude with an MS in Education. Either the school district is super unorganized, or they have a serious overabundance of subs here, because it's like pulling teeth trying to get hired as a freaking substitute teacher. It's not rocket science, so what gives? Hopefully I will get an offer for employment with them soon. It would really be nice to make some extra $ and still have the flexibility I feel I need to stay sane right now. Just continuing to pray for patience, guidance and peace here...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reproductive Immunology Consult

In my never ending quest to figure out why we haven't been able to get pregnant easily, nor keep a pregnancy once it happens, I've done some personal research on RI (reproductive immunology) here and there. RI is a somewhat limited scope of practice within reproductive endocrinology, and to say that it's controversial would be an understatement. There are very few physicians who focus on treating the immune system as a cause of infertility. The ones who do believe strongly in it's importance and are quick to defend the protocols they prescribe to their patients, many of them claiming to help the women no one else can help.

Most RE's who DO NOT look at immunology on an in-depth level as part of the infertility patient's treatment plan are likely to point out that "there's not enough large scale double blind peer reviewed research." I get this. Even as a lay person, I am extremely selective with which studies I think are worthwhile, and it's not hard to recognize which studies simply show correlation vs. true causation. The infertility field is FILLED with studies showing causal relationships between various lifestyle factors and IVF success/failure rates. For instance, as you probably know, just because someone drinks less than 3 glasses of red wine per week, it doesn't mean that is THE THING that caused them to become pregnant through IVF. It just so happens people who drink less than 3 glasses of wine might also tend to eat healthier, sleep more, and engage in a host of other healthier lifestyle practices, which could ultimately affect IVF outcomes...You see my point.

Still, I do think there is something to be said about treatment options that might not have the huge body of double blind research backing it up quite yet. It's very commonplace to treat cancer patients with drugs that "show promise" through clinical trials. Some of the most effective cancer treatments available today were once only available through clinical trials and that is HOW they were discovered to be so effective in the first place. That is how I kind of view the field of RI right now.

There may not be a sufficient amount of well-designed RI studies that would garner complete acceptance for many of our RE's at this point in time. However, even my RE admits, "We think there's something to it (autoimmunity as a factor in infertility & pregnancy loss)." He is also quick to follow that up with, "We just don't agree with many of the treatments being used on patients, not until there is more research showing sufficient proof."

So, here I am as a patient who has now transferred 5 seemingly normal blastocysts with no success beyond a chemical pregnancy. Was my lining just not optimal? Were our blasts genetically or chromosomally abnormal is some way? Was it just a bad batch of eggs altogether? OR is there some sort of autoimmune issue causing my body to see each embryo as a "foreign invader" and attack it?

There are quite a few doctors who believe some women have heightened levels of activated natural killer cells in their uterus, which basically attack embryos looking to implant. It's even theorized that because activated natural killer cells only live in the uterus and not the fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancies occur in some cases. I have personally had 3 early losses now, one of which being a suspected ectopic. So yeah, it does interest me and make me scratch my head a little, wondering if there's any chance this could be part of our issue? I also have a family member with lupus and have tested positive for APA's (blood antibodies) myself. Both factors are autoimmune in nature and could be seen as "smoke" which might lead to fire in my case.

I already blogged about the book Is Your Body Baby Friendly before, but if you haven't read it and want a Cliff's Notes version of the principles I'm talking about, feel free to check out these videos...

Failed IVF, Chemical Pregnancy, or Miscarriage
Implantation Dysfunction
...More Videos on Infertility, IVF & Pregnancy Loss

There are definitely two sides to the story for women who do seek immunological treatment to become pregnant. There are those who experience years of infertility, including multiple pregnancy losses, failed IVF attempts, and even donor eggs before seeking treatment for the "underlying immunological cause" which seemingly was the answer the whole time. They found THE THING that worked for them, and with some very individualized tweaks to basically "turn off" their overactive immune system, went on to have their own biological children.

Then, there are other women who regret opening the giant can of worms that is RI; Expensive tests done by very few labs in the country, somewhat untested treatment plans (by the larger medical field's standards), some traveling to Mexico for non-FDA approved treatments, and thousands upon thousands of dollars spent and more time wasted,  only to end up with no baby. Some of these same women have even gone back to their original RE after no success with RI, and THEN became pregnant without any immune protocol whatsoever. So obviously, even if specific immune testing revealed abnormalities in these women, they didn't have success with immune treatment but ultimately DID without this special treatment? How do the RI's explain these cases then?

My own RE still contends that our losses and failed IVF's have most likely been due to genetic abnormalities in the embryos (and more specifically those coming from the egg). There is a plethora of research out there to back up his viewpoint that this is the most feasible argument. However, what if I am yet again one of the very few % of women who doesn't just have "flawed eggs" and it's something else?

I have been extremely hesitant to even toy with the idea that there could be something autoimmune related going on with us, because of the mixed outcomes I've seen out there. So far, I've been continuing to put my trust into my own RE's extensive expertise of more than 30 years, while also reading about all the other cutting edge stuff going on and bombarding him and any other doctors who will listen to & answer my questions. Ha!

Hubby and I have been discussing seeking a 2nd opinion for a while now. I guess a forced break following surgery and knowing we only have two embryos left in the freezer lit the fire under my ass. We had a Skype consult with Dr. Geoffrey Sher (in the videos of the more well-known RE's who practices RI) on Monday morning. I read his book IVF: The ART of Making Babies before we ever did IVF, and I am familiar with how he practices from watching his videos. There are other popular physicians like Braverman (NYC), Kwak-Kim (Chicago) and Beer's Clinic (CA) who delve pretty deeply into the autoimmune stuff. To be clear, I'm not jumping ship on my current RE at this point in time. I've asked Dr. V first how he felt about us seeking outside opinions out of respect, and he is all for it. Dr. Sher gives FREE consults to anyone who wants one so why not, right?

Just as I suspected, Dr. Sher would like me to do a blood test for activated natural killer cells; Specifically the K562 Target Cell Test. I have been curious this whole time if I have activated natural killer cells, so I am fine with doing it. I appreciate Dr. Sher ordering the test for me pro bono. I have not paid him a dime. The test is done through Reprosource in Boston, as they are one of the few labs in the country who run this test. They will refer me somewhere to have my blood drawn here, and I will just Fed Ex my sample to them. If it's found to be negative, nothing further will be needed as far as immune testing. If it is positive, then further testing can be performed.

I am doing this K562 test with extremely OPEN eyes; Knowing that while Dr. Sher might truly believe in the importance of it and I'm more than curious to find out the result myself, a good deal of his business is built upon finding a "reason" the patient would need to seek help from him...because most RE's out there do not specifically treat for these underlying immune issues. He has gone so far as to give me his cell phone number, send a follow-up email, the works. I am ultra sensitive to feeling like I'm being sold something, and I really have zero buy-in to that approach.  I kind of feel like a guy just sent me a drink from across the bar, and now I'm half obligated to talk to him or something. I would like to think he really cares that much to help someone for nothing, but I know better.

Plus, I was already annoyed that he was 15 minutes late to our Skype call, even if he was doing it pro bono (It was so early, I had to be his first patient of the day, so no excuse really). He also got a couple of the facts wrong concerning our previous timeline of treatment in his follow-up summary email. Most troubling is that he does not report his success rates through SART because he's a staunch opponent to the entire reporting system. He's created a reputation for himself by being somewhat "rogue" or what he'd probably call a "pioneer", but personally I feel like the non-reporting of success rates through SART is a total cop-out. I see no evidence of his own success reports in a format of his own choosing either on his own website.

I don't care how much you don't agree with the establishment. If your success rates are that great (80% as dictated by his nurse), you will find a way to shout them from the rooftops to every other doctor, government agency, and prospective patient out there! This is a major red flag to me. I have extremely high expectations with the medical care I choose, and so far he's falling short in the "this feels like a fit" department.  So, I will let him do this test because I'm curious and it's supposedly covered by my insurance anyways,  but my bullshit detector is on standby, and it will go off loudly at a moment's notice!

I know there are quite a few women out there who have looked into RI, or those who've at least done research on it and are curious. What did you learn? What are your hesitations? Any feedback on Dr. Sher or other RI's specifically? Would love to hear your thoughts!