April 30, 2009

How safe are you cosmetics and personal care products!?!

Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group.

Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 42,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn't require companies to test their own products for safety.

With all the attempts to eat and ingest healthy... thought this would be a very helpful link for not only women trying to get pregnant, but for everybody!

April 22, 2009

Ovulation Moment Caught on Camera - BBC News

A human egg has been filmed in close-up emerging from the ovary for the first time, captured by chance during a hysterectomy.


Weight Gain/Loss during IUI Cycles

I had gained almost 4-5 lbs during IUI # 1. I was afraid that I was going to be like 100 lbs heavier by the time I finished all my cycles/got pregnant. But to my surprise, I lost that gained weight and I lost additional 4 lbs during the rest cycle (total -8 lbs). I looked slimmer too! :) May be it’s the medication (Follistim, Ovidrel), may be it’s my insulin/sugar in control (due to Metformin), may be it’s the Acupuncture… or may be its just me! :)

With IUI # 2, I was afraid that I was going to gain weight again… though till now, I might have gained 2-3 lbs… in spite of me getting hungry every now and then and hogging so much! Though, I do feel heavier and bloated. Only time will tell the final outcome!

IUI – Cycle # 2

…And so, day 35 came (of the break cycle) and I decided to go to the RE’s office and get my bw & us done to see what’s going on! Guess what, just like January end/February beginning, my lining was thin and hormones were low enough for it to be considered day 3 (without AF). So here we go… IUI # 2! I was still afraid that my cyst would pop up again and we would have to cancel the cycle. I wasn’t at peace till my day 7 us (which is when they found the big cyst during the previous cancelled cycle). Day 7 arrived and things looked okay. In fact, one of my follicles had already started growing in my right ovary (by day 7 us) and was 12 mm and estrogen was 63 units. That was a quickie as compared to the first IUI cycle! It had taken me almost over 8 days to respond last time. During this cycle, I took 75 IU Follistim for 8 days followed by 150 IU for the next 2 days. I triggered on day 13 (of the so called non AF cycle) using Ovidrel. The “big follicle” kept growing up to 18 mm before I triggered. Only 2 more follicles in my right ovary were around 12 mm before I triggered (none >10 mm in left ovary). I forgot to ask about estrogen on the day of the trigger. I know things can be very different every cycle, but I still asked my RE as to why I had such less follicles… he mentioned that this is normally what they expect (& not the "n" number follicles I had last time). I was ready to deal with all the side effect of Ovidrel (with last IUI cycle experience). But fortunately (?) things were much better this time. Slight tiredness, slight cramping and the rest was smooth sailing. I had mentioned to my nurse about my OHSS like symptoms from last time and had asked if I could take an Ovidrel alternative for my progesterone boost if required. I was told that I could take Prometrium (http://www.drugs.com/pdr/prometrium.html) vaginally if the progesterone was not as per the standard requirement (of 9 units or higher).

IUI (insemination 1 & 2) went well. Sperm count was great and it looked like I had one healthy egg (for sure)! With the (minor?) aches and pains that keep coming with all the medication, I wasn’t very successful in telling if I had ovulated (couldn’t identify ovulation symptoms). 5 Days past first insemination, I went in for my progesterone check… level was 6 units (just like IUI # 1). I was prescribed Prometrium vaginally 4 times a day till my next bw (pregnancy test). So, currently I am at the 2WW!

This progesterone suppositories– Prometrium is supposed to help with implantation (progesterone > 9 units for implantation). It’s very easy! Just that it can be messy. Progesterone from the pill is supposed to be absorbed by the vagina/uterus, though some of the ingredients leak out. (Sorry, if it’s TMI!) A panty liner is a must.

I am hopeful, yet even more cautious this time. I am trying hard to not look up every symptom online… trying harder to not look at online (baby) shopping websites… and trying even harder to not be disappointed, frustrated and bitchy! My ovaries have not cramped much this time, though I have felt some twinges once in a while around my uterine area. I feel a little something in my chest/throat… may be heart burn… I am too scared to call it nausea. My inner thigh (mainly right) feels strained. I am hungry a lot and get tired very easily. Approx 7 days past ovulation (DPO), my cervix is soft & low, and my body feels warm. I think my brain is on an overdrive... it’s probably all the medication! May be the next time I will learn to ignore these new symptoms as well (though I truly hope that this is the lucky cycle)!

My Acupuncture routine is the same as IUI cycle # 1. Twice a week while on Follistim; followed by day before and of the insemination; and once a week during 2ww.

My Pomegranates (& Garnets)

I thought I would look around a little bit more before I decided on buying one. I was going to be very busy this (particular) weekend since I was having a (undergrad friends) reunion. I was really looking forward to it! My friends were flying in from all over the country and we were supposed to meet up for dinner before the weekend long party started. After relishing some great food at a Thai restaurant, my Greek friend gifted me a box… I skipped a heart beat when I opened the box. The souvenir had two pomegranates on it and she mentioned that it is a symbol of fertility and prosperity in Cyprus (her home country)! She had no idea that I am going through fertility treatment (till then) and I had been looking for a charm! I couldn’t thank her enough… for how much this meant to me. I mentioned to her about my treatment… she has PCOS too! I loved to admire the pomegranates before I took my shot that night! Is this a sign that there will be a miracle?

Eventually, I actually went to the mall (with my hub) and bought a garnet ring (my birthday present ;)). Garnet is supposed to help with and is a sign of fertility (http://www.articlesbase.com/women's-issues-articles/fertility-gems-and-stones-for-valentines-day-gift-giving-98245.html). Whether these charms help or not, whether I get pregnant or not, this truly is a life changing experience and I am hoping to cherish these charms for years to come.