I realised recently after a friend discovered my blog, that I hadn’t actually updated anything on here for a year – so thank you for the reminder!  (Check out her blog @ http://www.georgiesmummy.com/).  Not helpful I know, although not a lot has really happened in this year – except that I have FINALLY been referred through to a specialist.  I am totally disappointed with my doctor’s surgery and am glad things are taken out of their hands.  I have also heard wonderful things about the specialist I am being referred to – and even work with someone who successfully had a son thanks to him – so that builds a little more confidence for me.

So before, I promised to write more about the tests for any of you that might need to endure them. So here goes:

Hormone levels:

FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinising hormone) levels.  This is for the girls.  The tests provides an indication of certain levels of these hormones which indicate whether your ovaries are going what they should be.  It is a blood test.  For me, I had several in fact.  I’ve had my tests done at various points, but some key tests have needed to be approximately 5 days before your period.  Therefore – if you are like me with irregular periods – you will need to start keeping a diary so you can at least ‘guess’ when that might be.  For a normal person, you’d think you can do this within a few weeks of being told to – for me it took months before I managed to get the timing right.

Internal Ultrasound:

I don’t know if everyone ends up having this but I did.  This was as a result of my first FSH/LH blood test which gave the doctor cause for concern.  Again – this is for the girls.  And what a treat!  (Yes I am being sarcastic!).  This involved a wand like instrument with a BIG round ball at the end (with the camera) being insherted down below so they could look at my ovaries etc.  For me, this confirmed I had bad PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovaries).

Ovulation:

I think part of this gets tested with the FSH/LH blood tests, but I would also advise anyone to get the home testing kits as well.  Apparently my hormone tests confirmed that my levels weren’t peaking when they should – indicating I don’t ovulate.  This ties in with the PCOS.  The question is then – do you ovulate every now and again, or not at all.  Because I had spent a fortune on these kits and had months of peeing on sticks every morning – it meant I could confirm several more months of tests where I had not had confirmation of ovulation.  If I hadn’t done that – I think I would have had to endure far more blood tests.  Eurgh.

Smear:

Sorry girls – again this one is for us.  We all know what this does and what is involved 😦  The most unpleasant test of all to me!  And for a referral it needs to be relatively recent – so I’ve had more than my fair share in the last 6 years!

Swab:

Near enough the same as a smear.  Exactly the same test but it checks for STDs etc (apparently).  Again this is just to tick off boxes on the referral as far as I can understand.  If you have a doctor with common sense – they will do this at the same time as the smear.  Sods law I didn’t have one with sense – so I had to go through this undignified process yet again one extra time!

Sperm:

Yay – one for the boys.  To get referred as a couple – you both have to provide test results.  For us – there is no issue with my husband, so this was the only test he had to do.  It may be that if there are issues on the man’s side – blood tests etc may have to be done.  Some key factors to note when doing a sperm test – whatever the doctor says – do the test on site and get it to the testing facility as quickly as possible.  The longer delay there is – the more of the little guys that die off and skew the results.  Unfortunately our doctor again gave us the wrong advice on this.  For this – speed is of the essence.  Anyone in the UK – if the results are low on the first test – you HAVE to provide 2 more samples before a referral can be done.  There is no negotiation on this.  Another piece of advice – get them to give you the shallower – wider sample pots as opposed to the taller – narrow ones!! Its all about practicality on that one….!

I wish I had known all of this before I started.  I would have pushed the doctors earlier and done them all as quickly as possible.  Instead there were significant delays because of bad advice.  Now the referral is being made.  I thought we’d never get here!  It may still be months before I even get an appointment – but fingers crossed something can be done to help.  And so the waiting begins……