Hi I'm new to the forum and have been trying to conceive for roughly a year and a half. I'm on Clomid and considering an IUI this month. My male partner had a semen analysis and has no issues. I'm frustrated with my experience with my Reproductive Endocrinologist and OBGYN and can't tell if this is just the way the process goes at this stage or if I should be looking for another practice. I'd be very grateful for any input. I don't know others dealing with infertility and am trying to make sense of wether what I am experiencing is typical and if so any advice.
I'm 36. I started Clomid with my OBGYN after roughly a year of trying to conceive naturally (BBT chart and ovulation predictor kits were being used). My OBGYN is in his 60s or 70s and not the easiest person to talk to and understand. I went to him when I was in my 20s as he was an expert on Endometriosis (I have not been surgically diagnosed). I have had cysts on my ovaries that were being monitored and panful periods all my life). He was great dealing with that. Anyway after tracking my BBT my OBGYN realized I ovulate very late (around day 21 or later). He put me on Clomid 50mg and had me schedule an ultrasound. He explained none of this (why an ultra sound, when to schedule it for etc). So when I showed up he did an exam with his hands and then said next time I need to schedule the ultrasound later in the cycle. Which as fine, but he did not elaborate why or what he was doing with the ultrasound or communicate or answer any of my questions so I decided perhaps it wouldn't be bad to find a Reproductive Endocrinologist. The Endocrinologist stated she doesn't use BBT charts as they are unreliable. Fine. She kept me on Clomid 50mg. Nothing happened. I came back the next month and met with her nurse practitioner and made her look at my BBT chart which clearly was showing me still ovulating late. Because of this they upped the Clomid to 100mg. When I first started taking Clomid (at the 50mg dose) I had itching just outside the opening to my vagina. I thought it could be due to the fact that it is the summer and hot and maybe I need to wear looser clothing. This only intensified this month, my second month of the 100mg Clomid dose. The itching now moved to my labia. Its almost like a phantom itch. I can not seem to scratch the right place and of course the scratching makes it more raw. (I try my very best not to scratch it, but it literally wakes me up at night and I'm already unconsciously scratching it). I told the nurse practitioner and she told me to use yeast infection cream on the outside only. Its been one week with the yeast infection cream and zero improvement. She said itching wasn't a side effect of Clomid. I've never had a yeast infection before but this doesn't seem like it, there is no discharge or order whatsoever and I'm finding other people mention itching on Clomid. I have changed no laundry detergent, I use no perfume soaps, I change my underwear multiple times a day. Nothing has helped. Also with the Clomid I am super dry. We had to add in pre-seed last month which barely worked. Sex was painful and thus made it difficult to have every other day.
Also this month, after finishing my 100mg Clomid pack I started seeing trailing. Basically in the morning or evening if an object moves I see about 16 lines in the same shape following behind it. I researched around and apparently this is a rare side effect of Clomid. I called my doctor and another doctor in the practice returned my call and said its not harmful and that next cycle we should change to something else. However I've been reading about people with these same vision problems and some of them have been permanent! My doctor seems unconcerned and I since I already took the entire pack of Clomid, I suppose there is nothing more to do now but deal with it.
My larger issues comes down to the fact that prior to Clomid I had a healthy sex drive, I experienced no itching, no vaginal dryness etc. Have intercourse regularly was no problem, however my ovulation was late and thus nothing was working. Now I have the complete opposite. My ovulation is on track but I'm dry as a bone. I've tried pre-seed and I would honestly need to reapply it like three times in the act to even try to make it remotely comfortable. Add on top of that the fact the outside my vagina is itching and burning and I seem to have zero libido. We can do an IUI this month and I'm seriously considering it because we have been unable to have sex due to the dryness. We pay for everything out of pocket so I was really hoping not to do the IUI this month, but I honestly don't see how it will be physically possible to have sex multiples times this month.
I'm also concerned because it says Clomid can cause uterine thinning. I'm not having any ultrasounds to track any of this and with the difficulty I am having do not understand why this hasn't been given as an option. I don't understand if the infertility journey is typically so loose. (I feel like the doctors have no real time line, just throw medication at you and meet with you in person once every 3 months). I did have an HSG, everything checked out normally. Last cycle I did get my blood drawn to make sure I ovulated before cycle day 16 and I did. Beyond that I communicate with nurses when I call with questions, but not the nurse practitioner I meet with then I go in or the head doctor who I only met for an initial consultation over the internet due to the Pandemic back in June.
Last but not least endometriosis does run in the family. (My aunts and cousins have it). I have every painful periods all my life and have had cysts on my ovaries. My grandmother had several miscarriages and my partner's mother also had several miscarriages. An aunt could not conceive and adopted. I realize at 36 I don't have a ton of time left.
Is my experience with doctors normal? Should I be having ultrasounds to track what the medications are doing to my uterine lining? What medications besides Clomid and Fermera I should be considering? Anyone else experiencing itching, dryness, loss of libido? If so, any suggestions?
-Thoroughly exhausted, confused, frustrated and I realize I have only just begun....