I started on Clomid this cycle. In addition to the actual medication, we’re also monitoring the cycle. One of the means to monitor a cycle is to do an ultrasound to count/measure follicles. Going into the appointment my main fear was — what exactly would the ultrasound be. Would it be the abdominal one that you see on TV with pregnant women? Or would it be, *gasp* the dreaded internal one? The only thing I had heard about that is how certain state laws mandate one before an abortion. And I had experience with less than pleasant pap smears so I was not looking forward to it.
As it turned out, the ultrasound was both the abdominal and the transvaginal ones. They actually felt fine – only marginal discomfort. It was quite fascinating to watch the images and I had so many revelations. It’s actually a little sad how out of touch I am with my body. For instance, I didn’t realize that the uterus and ovaries are really low down on your abdomen. And the distance from the ovaries to the uterus is really not much (I guess you can’t see the fallopian tubes on an ultrasound?). I also had no idea that follicles are quite big compared to the ovary – at least from the images they seem to be about 1/3 the size of the ovary. Also, its extremely important to have an empty bladder — its incredibly uncomfortable when that’s not the case (for reasons that are beyond my grasp).
As for results – it’s actually pretty good. There were several follicles which were considered big enough (and numerous tiny follicles but I guess that’s indicative of PCOS?). And my lining’s doing a decent job of thickening up so I don’t need an estrogen supplement to plump it up. (Since clomid is essentially anti-estrogen, one side-effect is reduced lining thickness). I was actually pretty happy after the ultrasound – it looks like clomid is working! At least from the perspective of ovulation.
One thing that would have been useful to have is some sense of baseline. Especially with PCOS, there can be several dud follicles chilling out so it’s nice to have a comparison point.
Still, I’m really happy with the results. I have some confidence that lower level medical interventions will be enough (though of course, nothing is guaranteed). And ever since, I’ve been mentally rooting for the egg and various sperm. Go egg!
** Correction. Follicles are not actually in the same order of magnitude of size of the ovary. According to wiki, it’s around 20mm vs 2cm. Clearly I can’t tell what’s going on in the ultrasound.