Finally, my period came, 4 days after I finished a 10-day course of Duphaston. This was my 2nd longest cycle, 85 days. The longest record was 5 months, which happened back in 2009.
Having surveyed the Internet since the past few months, I made my initial call to Dr. Prashant's office at KL Fertility & Gynaecology Centre.
This 1st call wasn't easy for me. Thoughts like "Call on the next cycle when you are more ready'", "Why rush?", "Why Dr. Prashant?" kept haunting me.
Well, these thoughts have their own justifications. Just thinking about the money that a couple has to spend to treat infertility makes many patients hesitate. We are not talking about a couple of hundred or thousand here. The figure can easily hit 5 to 6 figures, and is unclaimable from any medical insurance coverage. There is also no limit for the amount to rise until 'infertile' becomes ' fertile'. Very often, a couple finally realizes that the financial drainage is no longer bearable and they have no choice but to reluctantly put a stop to the treatment.
Sadly, in Malaysia there is no financial subsidy from the government to take care of the infertile group, even though statistic shows that 1 out of 5 married couples experience infertility. The success rate of IVF is about 30%, meaning that on average a couple has to go through 3 cycles of IVF to conceive a baby. Each cycle will cost around RM 16K to RM 25K, depending on the condition of the patient. Lately, there was a proposal to allow people to withdraw money from EPF's account 2 for infertility treatment. It was a very good news indeed. However, no one knows when will the law be set. By that time, I might already hit menopause. Just something to share here, I have a friend in Australia who recently went for her 2nd attempt of IVF. Each cycle costs about AUD 7K but the Australian government subsidizes 50% of the cost.
Putting financial issue aside, the physical and emotional stress are always the key factors that weigh you down. Ultimately many unsuccessful couples have no choice but to accept the fact that 'making babies is in God's hand, not human's'.
However, when you are in your mid 30's, when you have gone through some ups and downs in your life, you learn to look at the bright side of life. So, the story leads back to me calling Dr. Prashant's Office for the 1st time :)
A very friendly and cheerful voice answered my call. After expressing my intention to make the 1st consultation appointment, she immediately asked if I could come in at 12:30 pm, which is just 2 hours away. I did not expect for the appointment to come so soon. While I was hesitating, the lady told me that she could slot me in solely because a patient just called in to cancel her appointment, normally the doctor's appointment is very packed. I then asked when is the best time of the menstrual cycle for a patient to see the doctor, she answered "Day 2". Well, since it was coincidentally my Day 2, I was in the clinic 2 hours later.
|Dr. Prashant's clinic is situated at the same building as Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Centre at Jalan Dungun|
|The reception counter|
|The waiting area|
Bernard and I arrived sharp at 12:30 pm and waited for 45 minutes before it was my turn to see Dr. Prashant. After looking at my previous medical reports inclusive of a series of hormonal blood test, pelvic ultrasound and HSG report, he was very certain that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). He then performed a transvaginal ultrasound to check my ovaries. It was quite humorous for him to count the black spots (the ovums) on the screen while I was lying down. Although I have done 4 times of pelvic ulrasound previously, this was the 1st time I got so up-close with my ovaries where you can see the eggs so clearly.
Well, I have about 16 and 20 ovums respectively in my right and left ovaries. When he told us that a normal lady will have 5 visible ovums at most, I asked him does this mean that I was 'abnormal'. It was very kind of him to say: " I cannot say that you are abnormal, you just need some medical help."
After proving that I have PCOS, he suggested for another round of HSG to check on my fallopian tubes. Although the 1st HSG that I have done at Damansara Specialist Centre about 10 months ago showed that both my tubes were blocked, Dr.Prahsant still think that the chances for a lady to have 2 infertility factors (PCOS and block tubes) at the same time is very low. I told him my initial intention was to go for a laporascopy to confirm if the HSG results was accurate. He said he normally doesn't encourage laparoscopy as it is still a surgery process that carries risk. Comparably, the impact of HSG to the body which is just an X-ray procedure ( althought it is more complicated than a chest-X-ray) is lower than laparoscopy.
Asking if IVF was my only choice if we decided to have baby, we were told that 50% of PCOS patient can conceive naturally after taking medication. If not, a few cycles of IUI would be next. If all these fail, IVF will come in. After all, it all depends on the result of my HSG, which is scheduled next week at Pantai Hospital, Bangsar.
I then proceeded to the lab at level 3A to do a blood test. 3 nurses took turn to pat and tie my arm for nearly 20 minutes, just to find my vein. This happens every time I do my blood test. I'm sorry, I just happen to have very fine veins. Maybe this is the true reason why my first HSG showed that I have blocked tubes. Maybe I have very fine tubes too until the fluid injected have difficulty to flow through quickly. To clarify, it was not me who say this, my mum did!
We then bought the medications prescribed to prepare my body for HSG from the pharmacy at the lobby of Wisma Perintis.
|The pharmacy located at the lobby of Wisma Perintis|
After this, we had lunch at Chillax, a very cozy corner at the ground floor of Wisma E&C, located just behind Wisma Perintis.
I coudn't stop laughing when Bernard revealed that he was in fact very delighted to see I have so many eggs during the ultrasound until the doctor said a normal lady should not have that many visible eggs.
We went back to work after lunch. I somehow felt happy that day, at least things were moving forward, although I do not know what would the outcome be. But that is what people always say:" move, rightly or wrongly, otherwise you will stay stagnant!"
Total Expenses RM 535
· Transvaginal ultrasound
· Blood test (Hormonal)
· Zinnat 250 mg x 10 tablets
· Cardiprin 100 mg x 7 tablets
· Ventolin 4 mg x 2 tablets