Anxiety / fertility treatments / Going to the Doctor

Ovarian Reserve Testing

I have eggs. Maybe even good ones. This is big news.

The hormone panels were a little inconclusive. My AMH levels were good … so good that my doctor was suspicious, especially when my FSH levels showed possibly diminished ovarian reserve.

The transvaginal ultrasound, which is like a regular ultrasound, only from the inside out, using a sort of robot dildo to take the pictures, showed healthy ovaries and several follicles, however, which means that we can’t count out the ol’ egg basket yet.

All in all, pretty good news, but can I say that my main takeaway from this experience so far is that any lawmaker who requires a woman to get an unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound before having a simple medical procedure like an abortion should be required to have a robot dick stuck up his hooey, and we’ll see how he likes it. Man, it is gnarly, and I don’t think that’s just because of my history of sexual abuse.

But given that, everything about the infertility treatment process feels a little rapey. This is true even when I’m not required to take off my pants, but when we’re dealing with the robot dick, it’s even worse.

To top it all off, the first wand didn’t work, and my doctor announced that by saying, “This is no good.” To which I replied, in true terrified WASP fashion, “Oh dear.”

“Oh, it’s not you!” he said. “It’s the wand.” He swapped it out, with help from a tech, who was also acting as chaperon. Male doctors can’t treat women without a female chaperon present, I assume to protect us from creepy behavior and to protect them from accusations of the same.

Wand No. 2 showed a healthy left ovary. Then there was pressure, seemingly right on my cervix. I balled up my fists and disconnected from what was going on and almost missed the second part: right ovary good, good follicles.

Because he kept talking to me, it was hard to leave the world entirely, so I focused on the mundane details of the treatment room. I noticed how everything was clean but dirty-looking, the way all hospitals look. Like someone had scrubbed it, and it was definitely sterile, but everything had seen hard use and a lot of body fluids. Even after the place had just been cleaned, you wouldn’t want to eat your lunch there.

I looked at the drawer pulls, plain metal horseshoes made with utility and expense in mind, and the laminated cabinet fronts and thought, this is what my mother looked at every day for work for almost 30 years before she retired from nursing. She walked in comfortable shoes on tiles like these. She pulled out paper and swabbed the crooks of elbows and sat as chaperon and held hands and babies and patted foreheads and cracked ribs during CPR and inserted needles and gave hard, necessary news. She told doctors who insisted someone could be saved that it was time to call it.

I write little stories. It’s hard not to feel both like I’m getting away with something and also like my profession is slightly less crucial to the world’s continuing to rotate on its axis.

The wand pressed a little harder and I snapped back.

“This hurts a little,” I explained. “I’m just telling you, in case that’s important.”

He apologized, and eased up.

Excellent. Everything is excellent — he said that more than once, used that word, that is. Eggs present. A good amount for harvesting. He looked pleased.

After he and the chaperon left, I sat there and shuddered for a minute and actually said the word “ugh” several times, out loud, like a cartoon character. There were wipes and tampons in a little bucket, like you’d use to store pens when people had pens. I used my own pad from my purse and reassembled my outfit, and then jumped up and down a couple times to shake off the woogedy-woogedy feelings.

I have eggs and they might be good.

eggs

Image via fbroschart at Flickr

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