Cross-posted in Infertility.
DH and I have been officially trying to conceive since about Christmas. When we made the decision, I think I had already ovulated that cycle. I've been off Birth Control Pills since last June when my prescription ran out. From June until January we weren't trying, but we weren't preventing either. I started charting
What I thought were textbook perfect 28 day cycles, turned out to not be so perfect. While I do have fairly consistent give or take a day cycles, I don't ovulate until CD 17 or 18. Since I've started charting my LP has averaged about 10 days. I've had one 14 day LP last month when I'm about 75% sure I had an early miscarriage, and one 9 day LP though I think I ovulated 2 days earlier than FF does. Best I can tell, depending on who you ask 10 days is either the very lowest level of normal or too short.
Progesterone deficiencies run in my family. My mother and maternal aunt both had them' it's suspected that my maternal grandmother did as well. My mom had four very early miscarriages (between about 5 and 8 weeks) and one still birth (6 1/2 months) in about 2 years before she got pregnant with me. After the third miscarriage, they started running tests on my parents, but no one thought to check Progesterone levels until she was pregnant with me.This started in 1982, and I was born in September of 1985. When my aunt got pregnant for the first time in 1998, she started spotting at about 6 weeks. My mother told her to go to the doctor and keep saying "my sister had a progesterone deficiency" until someone ran some tests. Problem was discovered, and she had a healthy baby boy in July of 1999.
Because of this past cycle where I had plenty of pregnancy symptoms (overwhelming fatigue, extremely tender breasts, nausea and vomiting to the point that couldn't keep much down beside ginger ale, heartburn, gas, etc) before getting a late period, I decided (with a lot of encouragement from my mom who didn't want me to deal with everything she did) to call the Base Clinic to see if they could run some tests or refer me to someone who could off-Base. The Base we're at currently is small, and the Clinic doesn't provide any ob/gyn services much beyond pregnancy tests and pap smears. The latter of which are handled by family practitioner. Took almost two days to get an appointment scheduled with the women's health nurse, but I did hoping that maybe now I might could at least get some answers.
The appointment was both useless and completely frustrating. My appointment was at 11, and I was back in the car at 11:30. That half hour includes scheduling another appointment in a few weeks. The nurse who took my vital signs spent more time with me than the Women's Health Nurse. Though the first nurse did have to take my blood pressure twice because it was unusually high the first time due to being nervous. The Women's Health Nurse took my charts which I had printed off, including the wonky ones from when we were moving cross-country and when my great-grandmother died, but told me she didn't look at charts often and wasn't very sure how to interpret them. Despite me trying to get her to focus on them, she ignored them other than to tell me my cycle length was good. She, and the person I scheduled the appointment were both preoccupied with whether or not I'd seen an infertility specialist. I'm not sure why, since as far I know I need a referral to see someone off-Base unless I want to pay for things completely out of pocket.
I asked if she thought my suspicions were correct based on my symptoms if I had suffered an early miscarriage, and she told me she couldn't tell me that. Asked me how old my husband was, though I'm not sure why that mattered, fussed at me for not having had a pap smear since 2007. Though I told her the truth that I didn't see any point in going last year since I didn't want my Birth Control Prescription renewed. She also told me that Tricare would do little beyond testing, and that really, they needed to do a Sperm Analysis on my husband before running any tests on me. And that they couldn't test my Progesterone levels on base anyway.
She finished up by telling me to come back in six months, to try and lose a little weight, that everyone has unusual cycles occasionally, and that I should try not to get stressed over it. She then gave me a memo
on infertility, and told me to schedule a pap smear before I left. This whole thing took at most 10 minutes. Probably less.
I feel like I'm rambling, and if I'm not making any sense, I apologize. I've just gotten now to the point (I think) that I can speak without screaming. I say think because I thought I was at that point at about 2 when I called my mom, but as soon as I started telling her I started crying again, and screaming.
My mom told me that I really need to see an ob/gyn because they'd be more likely to take me seriously, and be familiar with some of the issues I've been having. As opposed to telling me that since I have 28 day cycles, then it's probably just stress. Which brings me to Tricare. In order to see an ob/gyn and/or an RE, I would need to switch from Prime to Standard. It seems to me that if we haven't been using any birth control for a year, that should be enough warrant seeing a specialist. Seeing a specialist would a)give me some answers and let me know how to proceed. Even if it something that Tricare won't cover fixing, at least we'd know. And b) when/if I do get pregnant, I'd already have a relationship with the person who would be helping me deliver my baby. (I'd prefer a midwife for prenatal care and a homebirth, but AL laws make midwifes and assisted homebirths about an inch shy of being illegal. And with DH in the Air Force, I don't want to break any laws.)
So, I guess my questions are:
Do y'all think that despite what the Base nurse told me, I really need to see a specialist now?
I have an appointment August 11th for a Pap Smear, since according to the nurse that's my biggest problem.
That appointment is with a Family Practitioner. Should I take my charts back over there, and see if he might have a different opinion, and possibly give me a referral?
For those of you with Tricare experience, would you switch to standard? DH is currently an E4, and he's waiting until this fall to find out he passed the Staff Sergeant exam and will be promoted to E5 if that makes a difference.
I apologize for the length, and thank in advance for your help.