Fertility has been on my mind a lot as of lately. Tomorrow’s my 34th (eek!) birthday, so in addition to thinking about how I am yet another year older, I’ve also been thinking about the all that goes with getting older as a woman: biological clock ticking, eggs drying up, fertility significantly declining, etc….you know, the things any single woman in her mid-30s would worry about.
Now throw into the mix the fact that I had to go through chemo, a treatment that runs the risk of causing infertility, and the fact that I can’t even consider getting pregnant until I’ve been on my tamoxifen pills for at least two years (which will be June 2013, a month after my 35th birthday ) and hopefully you can begin to relate to the angst I’ve been having.
With all of these crazy thoughts running through my mind, I thought it would be a good idea to schedule a check-up with Dr. Crane, the fertility specialist I saw prior to my chemo starting in September ’09. I talked in older blog about how freezing eggs wasn’t the right procedure for me at the time my chemo was beginning. I instead went with a less invasive approach, the depot lupron shot.
The depot lupron shot (or lupron depot as it can also be referenced…to-mato – ta-mato) is a “hormonal agent that significantly reduces estrogen levels…the resulting drop in estrogen causes women to experience menopause-like side effects.” Simply put, the depot lupron shots put my ovaries “to sleep”, so while the chemo drugs were circulating through my body, my ovaries remained untouched. Aside from the AWFUL hot flashes that the shots caused, they were essentially painless. And I didn’t have a period for a good 6 months, which was an added bonus!
I stopped receiving the depot lupron shots in November ’09, and have continuously wondered what state my ovaries would return to once the shots wore off. Would my ovaries produce viable eggs like they should, or was chemo, even with the shots, too much for them to handle. Instead of continuing to worry about the situation, I got on Dr. Crane’s calendar last week to get his professional opinion of the situation.
After a rather invasive ultrasound, I’m happy to report that my ovaries appear to producing eggs just as they should be…..for a woman my age of course. Yes, success!! Dr. Crane had a good outlook on my fertility, which made me very happy. I’m still waiting the results of my AMH blood test, a test that is supposed to determine the size of your remaining egg supply….but for the time being, I’m going to bask in the glory of having egg producing ovaries. I’m not going to claim I’m a fertile myrtle now, but it’s at least still possible…which is all I was ever hoping for
Photos from 73 weeks post chemo are below…..