I've had lower abdominal pain on and off for the last few years, and after it appeared that my symptoms were worsening (not in frequency, but intensity) I decided it was time to go to the doctor. Mainly for the fact, that we're a perfectly healthy, young couple who has been trying to conceive for the last 7 (now 8 months) and have been unsuccessful. I wanted to make sure that this discomfort I had been ignoring wasn't causing an issue with my fertility.
On January 10th, after an episode of intense- though short-lived- pain the evening before, I made a doctor's appointment. My doctor seemed to think it was a hernia and nothing related to my reproductive organs. I on the other hand was convinced I had a cyst on my ovary... after much research, I was pretty sure it was safe to say it wasn't ovarian cancer (I/nurse always think the worst!).
He then called me with the results and said that there was nothing remarkable on the ultrasound regarding anything on my right side, my ovaries or my uterus. However, I had a "left-sided hydrosalpinx". The short version of this is that my fallopian tube was blocked with fluid (for my nursing friends- it was serous fluid, not pus or blood). I plagued myself with a week of research and reading forums etc and was convinced I was an infertile-mertile unless I had the tube laproscopically removed and we proceeded with IVF (again... always thinking the worse, but I SWEAR that was what all of my research concluded to!).
He referred me to my gynecologist whom I saw on January 23rd and proceeded to state that he wasn't convinced it was a hydrosalpinx for the following reason:
- Testing I had done to rule out infection for the hydrosalpinx was negative
- I only have it on one side, which is very uncommon
- I have no other risk factors (endometriosis etc)
So, he stated that he thought I had a paraovarian cyst. From what I knew about "ovarian cysts" (para means it is located somewhere other than on the ovary) they're pretty common and unthreatening. However, I couldn't find much research on paraovarian cyst- but the doctor said they can effect fertility and they don't usually "disappear" like ovarian cysts= blocked fallopian tube.
He sent me for blood work to check my hormone levels and instructed me to start charting my basal body temperature as well as schedule an appointment for two weeks later where he would do a "post-coital" exam to analyze K's swimmers and make sure there was no male-factor infertility.
Well... after my blood work I got a phone call from one of the nurses stating "I'm really sorry I don't have a complete message for you, but the doctor left a note here that says 'levels very low, have her call when she gets her period'". I had to wait two days until I got my period, then called and he said he wanted me to call because my progesterone level was very low and that's normal if you're expecting your period (I guess he forgot we had discussed when my period was due in the consultation). However, my progesterone level was 2.8... from what I've looked up, it should be 3.3-25.0 during that time of my cycle. So, technically it was still low... even though he said it was fine...
Our plan was to work with him for the following few months and if we wren't successful he would refer us to a fertility specialist.
I am due for my "post-coital" exam tomorrow, but last night, we received a bill in the mail for $730.58 for the blood work I had done. My insurance denied the claim because it was coded as "infertility female of unspecified origin". The doctor specifically told me he was NOT diagnosing me as infertile. So I was pretty furious that the labs were put through with that diagnosis. Now I have the joy of dealing with the insurance company and doctor's office to get the bill coded properly so that we don't have to pay for it.
I also had to cancel my appointment for the exam tomorrow, because there is no way around coding a post coital exam as anything other than what it is... fertility testing.
I am furious that our insurance company won't even pay for testing to determine if we are infertile! If they won't pay for IVF and other procedures, even medication, to correct infertility, I understand that. I don't agree with it, but I understand. But how can you deny claims to help determine if someone is infertile! Am I supposed to live my life not knowing the reason I can't get pregnant?!
I'm working with my gynecologist to try to work around the world of insurance and continue to have my blood work checked for my hormone levels, as well as meet with him to discuss my basal body temperature charts. However, anything outside of that, will have to be paid for out of pocket if we want to get it done. I HATE INSURANCE.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the ultrasound I had done on the 10th was not well reported... it didn't have the size or location of the "hydrosalpinx" so I probably have to get another ultrasound done... transvaginal... not fun. And also NEITHER of my doctors has come up with an answer or has even really focused on my right sided discomfort/pain or the fact that I have a blocked fallopian tube! HELLO... I'm not only on the verge of being infertile, but it appears I also have a medical condition that needs to be tended to.
I'm 27 years old... all I've ever wanted or thought I would be in my life was a wife and mother... not an infertile, otherwise healthy 27 year old.
Never did I think we would have trouble conceiving... Just keeping my fingers crossed that we get a little miracle... just one will do :)