Shots

Very evocative title, I know.

Got the shot of methotrexate. Two of them. This process is just so undignified. On top of the endless poking and prodding of your vagina and uterus, there’s all the shots to .. well .. not the arms. So far it’s been ok. The injection site is rather sore. And I’m definitely tired. Apparently that gets worse over the next week.

In comforting to me news, I finally figured out how to get decent medical information. Through this fertility treatment process, I’ve struggled with finding information as granular as I want it. For instance, I know that IUI has a success rate of ~20% per cycle. But what are those probabilities for someone of my weight? my TSH level? my gynecological history? It’s been almost impossible to figure out this level of information. And I’m a data person — I need the stats and the numbers to be comfortable with the processes.

In this case, I was trying to gauge what the probability of this treatment working and not having to resort to surgery. Offhand that probability is ~80%. BUT there are indications for better rates (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/576935). In case of HCG levels <1000 (check) and gestational sac < 3.5 cm (check. well, i’m not positive what this means but presumably the round thingy in the ultrasound?), the success rate is ~ 98.5%. HUGE difference. I wish the nurses would have led with that instead of dire warnings about tubal rapture.

That being said, I know probabilities aren’t everything. Apparently only 10-15% of ectopic pregnancies are in women with no previous pregnancy (http://www.obgyn.net/tags/ectopic-pregnancy). I’m assuming a chemical doesn’t count? So not only did I fall into the 2% of ectopic pregnancies, I fell into the minority of that. Plus, I had zero prior indication. Nothing to be done about it but it really does suck.

Also for anyone reading the blog, any input about other questions for which I still don’t know the answers would be useful! What are:

  1. E[time to resolution of ectopic]?
  2. P(successful pregnancy | previous ectopic)?
  3. P(successful pregnancy via IUI | previous ectopic)? E(number of cycles for successful pregnancy via IUI | previous ectopic)?
  4. P(successful pregnancy via IVF | previous ectopic)? E(number of cycles for successful pregnancy via IVF | previous ectopic)?
  5. Correlation between TSH/thyroid and ectopic?
  6. P(ectopic due to bad eggs/chromosomal issues)?
  7. Correlation between weight and .. anything really
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