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Feb 5 / Caro

A Date With the Dildo-Cam

One of the necessary evils of fertility treatment is the transvaginal ultrasound. Otherwise known as the dildo-cam. You know, an ultrasound wand shaped like a dildo that gets inserted… Well, I don’t really need to spell it out, do I?

Today was my fourth meeting with the wand-of-doom in this cycle. Taking my knickers off in front of strangers is becoming a reflex (that I need to keep in check, obviously).

The first appointment was a pre-treatment scan which brought me the news that my ovaries looked “lovely” and I had one of the neatest caesarean scars the sonographer had ever seen. I call that good news.

The second scan was my so-called “baseline” scan, carried out on the second day of my cycle to check that the lining of my uterus was sufficiently thin and that my ovaries were nice a quiet, ready to be stimulated to produce lots of eggs. The observant (females) amongst you will have noticed the first problem with this scan. The day two part. And no, there isn’t room up there for the dildo-cam and a tampon.

Yes, it’s icky.

Yes, you leave your dignity at the door when you sign up for IVF.

Ho hum.

The second problem with this scan for me was the results. Far from being “quiet” and despite a month on medication that! amongst other things, was supposed to suppress any cysts, I had a large cyst on my left ovary. This is the first time In all of the gynaecological scans I’ve had in the last 15 or so years that I’ve had a cyst on my ovaries. Talk about timing. And to add to the insult, my right ovary decided to hide behind my uterus where it couldn’t be seen.

I had two options to deal with the cyst. One involved delaying treatment, the other didn’t. Unfortunately the option which didn’t involve delaying did involve another date with the dildo-cam, a large needle and a not insignificant amount of pain.

I took that option.glutton for punishment or just really desperate to have another child? I’ll let you work that one out.

So the following day I found myself with legs in stirrups (again) whilst shaking the hand of our lovely consultant (relieved that it was him doing the procedure, because that’s an awkward way to meet someone for the first time!)

I can honestly say that having a cyst drained with no anaesthetic was one of the most acutely painful moments of my life, but fortunately it was extremely short lived. I was invited to watch the needle sliding up in to my ovary on the ultrasound screen, by way of distraction, but I had eyes screwed tight shut before it had even come in to view!

That was a week ago. Since then I’ve been shooting up like a… ¬†well, like a diabetic, only less often, taking the drugs to stimulate my ovaries to grow lots of eggs. Today I had another date with the dildo-cam to see how I’m getting on.

And this week the news was good. The cyst hasn’t returned, both ovaries were easy to find and I’ve got almost twenty follicles, with many already of a good size. All of which means we’re on target to collect eggs next week and should get a good haul of 12-15.

I have another scan on Friday and then, all being well, my final meeting with the ultrasound wand will be in theatre as I have my eggs collected. One thing is for sure, it’s absolutely nothing like what’s involved in conceiving a baby the traditional way.

And I know which I prefer!

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