Estrace Test Update

So turns out I miscalculated and I am actually expecting AF much sooner this month than I had previously thought! (I went and actually counted how many BCPs I had left, rather than assuming as I was doing before). So basically I will be able to complete the Estrace Test and schedule my ultrasound for a couple of days before I leave on vacation, so looks like I shall be Estrace Testing in a few weeks after all!

This is what the updated schedule looks like:

May 29 – Jun 1 (CD1 -4) Estrace 0.5mg twice a day, call to book transvaginal ultrasound on CD15.

Jun 2 – 6 (CD 5 -9) Estrace 1mg twice a day

Jun 7 – 11 (CD 10 – 14) Estrace 2mg three times a day

Jun 12 – Ultrasound

Book appointment with Dr. G for 2 weeks after ultrasound.

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Donor Egg Options, Costs, and an Estrace Test.

Met my RE on May 5, here’s a brief synopsis of our meeting:

Donor Egg Options

First we discussed DE options. I told Dr.G that my sister was willing to be an Egg Donor, however she is likely to start her family in the next year or so, and so I was feeling a bit apprehensive about putting her through the whole process before she has even had a chance to use her own eggs.  Especially since there are always risks involved. Dr. G felt the same way, he also assured me that the age only becomes an issue after 35. So we have a bit of time, since she is only 25 this year. He suggested I could come in with my sister to discuss with him further.

Dr. G also mentioned that they have started working with an egg donor bank in the US which can offer us another option if we wanted. The donor bank, apparently, offers a whole host of ethnicities, which is important since we are likely going to want to go with a similar ethnicity to ours, i.e. South East Asian. Although now that I think about it, if the child isnt going to be genetically linked to me, do I care if it is a pure-Brown? This could be my chance to have a mixer baby! A little Brown-Asian cocktail maybe? Jokes aside, the ethnicity is really a non-issue for me, especially if the baby is not going to have any of my family’s genes.

Cost

The cost of using a known donor (my sister) would be close to $18,000, depending on drug protocols etc. But this does not include legal counsel, as Dr.G recommended getting an agreement with independent legal advice between the two of us so as to make clear the rights to the child. The cost of using an anonymous donor from the egg bank would be closer to $26,000, all in. So at the end of the day, it is going to cost us in the ballpark of $26,000 (we are talking Canadian Dollars here). That is a nice chunk of change to do something that most couples don’t think twice about. Bollocks!

Estrace Test

All of the above is of course prefaced by one big question: Can I physically carry a fetus? During our meeting, Dr. G asked if I received radiation therapy during my transplant days. Yes I did. (I remember lying on the radiation table and them zapping at my pelvic area, where the bone-marrow tends to stick, so as to make sure that they killed off all of my cells, to make room for the donor cells).  Dr. G stated that there is a chance that the uterus was harmed during this process, but since I do get periods on the pill, this is a good sign.

So step 1 for me: test to see if uterus is working. I am to go through a prep-cycle where I shall attempt to build the lining in my uterus upto that optimal >= 0.7cm thickness that an embryo needs to stick. In order to build the lining I am to take Estrace (Estradiol), basically estrogens, for 14 days in varying does and then go in for an ultrasound to check the lining on CD 15.

So for those that are interested, like I am, here is the play-by-play:

Currently, I am on the pill, so I must wait till I get to cycle day 1 to start taking Estrace. According to my calculations, my next CD1 will be Jun 6. Which means CD15 is going to be Jun 20, which is slap bang in the middle of my vacation to Newfoundland! Boo! So I can either wait another cycle, and start Estrace in July, or I can cheat, miss a few BCPs, and start my period early… but make sure I am actually within a reasonable driving distance on CD15.

So after doing the math, (which has lead me to believe that only type-A personalities have infertility issues, because you would have to be a serious organization nut in order to go through all these cycles, and calculations that IVF puts you through. Any scientists out there want to test my hypothesis? anyone?), I have decided to cheat a bit, but I wont be going through the Estrace Test till my July cycle. I plan on CD1 being Jul 1 (note to self, stop taking pill on Jun 27), which means:

Jul 1 – Jul 4 (CD1 -4) Estrace 0.5mg twice a day, call to book transvaginal ultrasound on CD15.

Jul 5 – Jul 9 (CD 5 -9) Estrace 1mg twice a day

Jul 10 – Jul 14 (CD 10 – 14) Estrace 2mg three times a day

Jul 15 – Ultrasound

Book appointment with Dr. G for 2 weeks after ultrasound.

It’s funny after all my calculations my CD’s and the actual date align so perfectly… go figure.

Well I guess I shall wait and report back how the Estrace Test goes. I shall also be asking my sister to join me on my next trip to Dr. G. That way we can discuss her participation, and she can get a better sense of the whole process.