It wasn't a fertility test that gave me a fright this time -- it was my thyroid!
Julia Childless: It's day 61 of my cycle. When I first went to see the Reproductive Endocrinologist 42 days ago, I assumed all the scary-sounding fertility tests she'd spewed out would have been done by this point. But since I can't take them until I menstruate, I'm undergoing all kinds of other tests instead.
My health insurance doesn't cover fertility testing, but it does cover amenorrhea. So I have been going to see my gynecologist for that (I'll call her Dr. G). Dr. G ordered a bunch of tests, all of which came back normal -- except for one. Low thyroid levels.
Dr. G had scribbled a note at the bottom -- "Come in again to retest TSH." The letter came in the mail, right before the three-day weekend began, so I had 72 hours to obsess over what this could mean.
I remembered Oprah having had an issue with her thyroid. Why oh why hadn't I paid attention to that episode?! She had talked about its connection with her weight gain, and sure enough, that was what came up over and over again when I looked up low thyroid. But wait a second -- I haven't been GAINING weight. I've been losing it, steadily, for the last six months! That has a lot to do with my change in diet (I stopped my binge eating disorder) but perhaps it had something to do with hypothyroidism? I recognized some of the other symptoms -- depression, nausea, lethargy, moodiness, cold temperatures -- but my hair wasn't falling out, I wasn't constipated -- how could this tiny gland be causing so many problems and I wasn't aware of it?
I should've listened to Oprah last year and requested a thyroid test!!!
This is when I had to take a deep breath and close the computer. No site was going to give me a satisfactory answer. What I needed to do was relax -- after all, stress can also cause low thyroid levels -- and talk to my doctor. Discussing it with my girl friends, I realized just how common a problem this is, and how easily it can be fixed.
I did manage to contact my Reproductive Endocrinologist (Dr. R.E.) via email, and she answered a few questions. No, the low thyroid levels had nothing to do with me being on Clomid or hormones the last few months. No, weight loss was not a common characteristic. Yes, hypothyroidism can lead to infertility problems with implantation and cycles. No, all of this did not mean for certain that I had it.
So now I'm going back for more tests, to make sure. In addition to the TSH tests, Dr. R.E.'s also ordering a slew of others, since it's all covered under amenorrhea. In the meantime, my job is to practice a little patience and stay off the Internet.
|Julia Childless is a working actress living in Los Angeles without fertility insurance who has been trying to produce a bun in the oven for over a year.|