Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little White Pills of Evil

I am not a fan of Clomid. It looks harmless enough--tiny white pills, no needle necessary. It's often the first level of treatment when you go in for infertility concerns. Your OB/GYN can prescribe it. You don't even need to see a specialist to get it.

What is it? It's a drug that works on your brain to tell your ovaries to produce more eggs than usual. Basically, your ovaries will typically produce one big follicle that will release one mature egg each month. Usually your ovaries will alternate sides, so your left produces this month and your right produces next month (and so on and so on). But, when either you aren't producing follicles or you need to produce more than one to increase your odds (say if you have male factor to contend with, or you're doing an intrauterine insemination (IUI) and the goal is 1-3 eggs released), Clomid comes in to the rescue. It prompts your ovaries to make a few follicles at once. It's notorious for producing "Clomid Twins." I have stubborn ovaries with poor listening skills, so historically for me Clomid tells my ovaries to produce and my ovaries do... nothing. 

Doesn't sound too terribly bad, right? Except that Clomid works with your brain. And it alters your brain chemistry. And turns some people (including me) totally batshit crazy while they are on it. Emotionally, I am all over the place on this drug. I cry. I curl up in a little depressed ball like a pillbug. I snipe and snap. I turn into a total raving bitch from hell over nothing. I also feel completely and totally overwhelmed by absolutely everything and nothing, all at the same time. And, it sneaks up on you--for me, I don't feel the affects until I've been taking the drug for a couple of days. But once those couple of days have passed, watch out! I had to spill the beans that I was going through some medical stuff with my administrator last year because I got all hot and bothered and teary eyed in a parent meeting while on Clomid. I pulled over to cry because a cat came within 100 feet of my car and I was convinced I was going to hit it, or I had almost hit it, or something equally ridiculous. Road rage is at an all-time high while taking this medication. My husband is a very, very good man for putting up with me while on Clomid. I really, really, really hate this drug.

So why am I writing about Clomid now, when I have moved on to IVF, which in no way, shape, or form uses it as a stimulating drug? Because apparently before I can do IVF again under the refund program my clinic offers, I need to undergo a Clomid Challenge Test. This test looks at my FSH levels to see if I have lots of eggs in my ovarian reserve or if it is low and therefore an indicator that I won't respond well to IVF. Even though I have already done one IVF cycle and shown myself to be a good responder to the drugs (even if my embryos weren't so great), the test is a requirement for the refund program application. I'm just irritated because I did 4 cycles of Clomid last year, and they were not fun. I thought Clomid was behind me. I thought I would never have to take Clomid again. And yet, here I am again, getting ready to take the drug of insanity for no actual productive reason. It's a requirement for the refund program, so if I want to potentially save a ton of money and have an "insurance policy" for the next cycle or 3-6, Clomid it is. 

I will do my best to manage Clomid-induced weepiness and rages with grace, but consider yourselves warned. Hopefully November will return me to my normal, non-psychotic self. 

1 comment:

  1. I have been where you are, Jess. If I can help let me know.