Biopsies and Dopplers and Holidays, oh my!

As of yesterday afternoon, my IVF clinic is officially closed for the summer vacation like most things here in France that don’t rely on tourism for income. Thankfully my cycle/body cooperated and I managed to get in all of my planned tests in the nick of time. On Thursday I had a uterine Doppler ultrasound to look at endometrial blood flow and yesterday morning I went in for my second ERA biopsy in an attempt to identify my seemingly illusive window of implantation.

The Doppler was an interesting and slightly surreal experience. The sound on the ultrasound machine was turned on and I could hear the blood flowing though my uterine arteries. The noise was somehow very reassuring and, as odd as it may sound, gave me renewed faith in my uterus and its ability to house a healthy pregnancy. It definitely helped as well that the exam results came back as normal. Listening to my uterus also made me daydream of how amazing it would be to listen to our baby’s heartbeat.

The biopsy yesterday morning went fairly well. There was a little blip at the beginning when my RE couldn’t find the special test kit for the biopsy. Instead of quietly panicking in my mind like I normally would have done at the thought of having gone through a whole month of hormone replacement therapy for nothing, I just took a deep breath and decided to read my book while the test kit search ensued. Thankfully my RE ended up finding the correct kit. The biopsy itself, although a bit uncomfortable, went smoothly.

My RE did, however, manage to slide back into her oh so familiar forgetful mode during my appointment by asking if she had prescribed me a Doppler a mere 10 minutes after looking over the results with me and entering them in her computer. She laughed it off and blamed the impending vacation. I attempted to laugh along while silently screaming, “WTF! Are you serious?” in my head.  I know that my RE has a super busy schedule, but I find these incidents quite disconcerting.  I did cut my RE a little slack considering last week she remembered an important detail about my case that I had forgotten.  Here’s to hoping everyone, including my RE, my mind and my body, will be well rested and raring to go after the vacation.

The biopsy cryotube is currently sitting in my fridge because the lab in Spain said it couldn’t be sent directly from me clinic yesterday, before it closed for the summer, because the lab was worried about the extremely high temperatures in Spain over the weekend. The UPS guy is supposedly coming to my apartment on Monday to pick it up. I think I’m starting to really adjust to the French IVF system because things like having my uterine biopsy hanging out in my fridge and have to hold the ultrasound wand myself so my RE has a view of my uterus during embryo transfers are starting to feel normal to me ;-).

The ERA biopsy results should be ready in around two weeks’ time, but I’ll have to wait until my clinic opens back up at the end of August to get them. I have to admit I’m a bit apprehensive about getting the results and slightly relived that I have no choice but to wait until after my upcoming vacation with my husband and parents. I’m not exactly sure what we’d do if the results indicate that my endometrium is still unreceptive after 2 extra days of progesterone. I’m sure we’d figure something out, but don’t really want to think about that possibility in the meantime.

My NK cell uterine biopsy results also came back recently, with the conclusion that my NK cell count is actually too low. For my next transfer we will be trying to boost my NK cell activity and the chances of implantation by performing an endometrial scratch (which apparently will only be effective if done during my mid-luteal phase), by keeping my estrogen levels relatively low, and by adding in pre/post-transfer intercourse (Doctor’s orders).

All in all, it seems like we’re moving towards some semblance of a plan for our next transfer. I am so hoping my ERA biopsy results will come back as receptive and that we can go ahead with a September FET with heaps of renewed energy and hope.

Wishing all of you a wonderful month of August and a wonderful vacation to all of you French gals.

2 thoughts on “Biopsies and Dopplers and Holidays, oh my!

  1. I understand what I can, but… I see that you will have a new “traitement” to boost your NK cell activity, it’s a good news. Il faut que je pense à parler peut-être de ça à ma doc, moi aussi. Pas de biopsie de prévue pour moi, je vais voir si vraiment je devrais pas en faire une.
    i wish you a beautiful month of August !!! with sea, sex and sun ? 😉


  2. Sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I’m just back from beautiful holidays of mountains, sea, sex and sun ;-). Je pense que tu as bien compris l’essentiel de ces histoires de biopsies. J’ai fait deux biopsies diagnostiques (MatriceLab et ERA). La biopsie MatriceLab regarde des trucs immunitaires (cellules utérines Natural Killer). De ce que je comprends, les cellules NK sont un peu comme l’histoire de Boucle d’or. Il faut en avoir juste assez, ni trop ni pas assez. Il semble que je n’en ai pas assez. La deuxième biopsie est la biopsie ERA fait par un labo en Espagne. La biopsie ERA regarde la fenêtre d’implantation. J’espère avoir les résultats de ma deuxième biopsie ERA bientôt pour voir si on a réussi à identifier ma fenêtre d’implantation. Pour l’instant je ne sais pas si toutes ces biopsies très coûteuses en temps, énergie, et argent vont nous apporter des solutions longtemps attendues. To be continued… Bis et bon courage pour la rentrée et ton rdv.


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