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Happy Monday, ya’ll! After sharing a bit about my surgery on Instagram earlier this month, (and receiving so many supportive, sweet, and thoughtful comments, cards, and gifts) I wanted to update you on how I’m doing and give you some background about how our infertility journey began. First and foremost, I spent two weeks recovering from the surgery, and even had the opportunity to visit my mother in law in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. My husband and I took advantage of the rest and time with family and I am back to work feeling healthy and rejuvenated today. I am not sure what to even call what I had done, as it was not the surgery that was intended. Instead, it was an exploratory operation which inspected my pelvis and corrected the diagnosis from hydrosaplinx to adhesions. That said, I did not have my tube or anything else removed.
Let’s go back to the beginning now (since this is part I). My husband and I were married in August of last year. We planned to travel to Madeira for our honeymoon in December and per doctors’ recommendations, did not move forward with trying to conceive until after our return as they were concerned about Zika Virus. Zika has not been reported in Madeira; however, at the time, our doctor knew very little about Madeira, so she was hesitant to instruct us otherwise.
After returning from our honeymoon, we started our journey trying to conceive. I stopped using the NuvaRing,which I started many years ago, probably when I was in college. Prior to that, I was on OrthoTriCyclin. My doctor first prescribed me birth control because I was getting heavy periods for many days with extreme cramping. At that time, I wasn’t really concerned with any long term effects, but wanted to be rid of the terrible pain and discomfort that came once a month. Looking back, I should’ve considered this.
So after removing the ring at the start of the New Year, I missed my period in January, February, and March. At that time, I set up an appointment to see my primary care doctor to figure out if this was an issue and what I could do to get my period back. Forgot to mention, I took a few pregnancy tests, all of which came back negative. Upon seeing my doctor, she ran blood work which confirmed I was not pregnant and instructed me to give it another month or two as it is common to miss several periods after years of using birth control.
I returned to my doctor in May after not receiving my period; she ran blood work again and I was not pregnant. She then recommended we get more blood work to ensure all of my hormone levels were normal. My blood work came back normal except for high levels of prolactin. Prolactin is a protein hormone, produced in your pituitary gland, important for male and female reproductive health. It’s main role is to help women produce breast milk after giving birth. High prolactin levels prior to giving birth can be a result of several things: a benign tumor on your pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diseases affecting the hypothalamus, anorexia, drugs, chest injury or irritation, kidney diseases or liver failure, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Most of these could be ruled out in my case, but my doctor ordered an MRI in order to rule out a tumor on my pituitary gland.