So, I just got home from my doctor’s appointment, and I can’t say that I feel any better.
The doc did listen to me describe my cycles, but he was not especially interested in my BBT charts. He said that he usually advises against charting, and he definitely advises against a lot of internet reading. For normal women, he does recommend – I hope you’re taking notes! – relax, don’t stress, and make love often in the middle of your cycle. (Yes, “make love.” The clinical term.) Then he gave me an overly long discourse on how the female reproductive cycle functions, during which he looked increasingly uncomfortable for some reason.
Now, he did admit that the long cycles and spotting did suggest a possible problem. He was not that worried about the short cycles’ possible luteal phase issue. Spotting usually means that progesterone is not high enough to flush out the uterus completely. While anovulation can cause long cycles, he cautioned that I not rely on my BBT charts to diagnose anovulation, because BBT can be misleading, and mucus can be hard to differentiate, and so on. (As though I might actually stop charting…) He did do a brief exam, which was fine.
With the likely low progesterone problem, he did give me a prescription for Clomid, which I could have predicted. I’m not extremely excited about it… but I am willing to give it a try. The doc said he doesn’t like to waste a lot of time with diagnostics when something as simple as a prescription will help in the majority of cases. So the approach is to try a low dose of Clomid the first cycle, see how it goes, and call the office either when I get my next period or on day 36*,when they’ll do a pregnancy test. If that doesn’t work, then the next cycle I up the dosage and they try running some tests (probably either a progesterone test or a “postcoital” test).
So that’s that. No diagnosis, a couple of meager suggestions served with ‘probably no big deal’ caveats, a prescription, and a regimen of ‘wait and see.’ Clomid starts today.
* I guess I managed to miss updating the blog with the news of my latest period; it started after two days of spotting and was pretty normal. Today is CD6. Usually I’d take Clomid on days 5-9, and call the doctor on day 35, but since I’m starting it a day late, everything will be shifted back a day, and I’ll call in on day 36 instead. Which will be August 19.