Once I got the hang of cooking without dairy, eggs or shrimp my husband and I decided to get a second opinion about my situation. Up till this point I had only seen one OB/GYN who was not a fertility specialist. His clinic was not equipped for other tests to see the condition of my Fallopian tubes or ovaries. Any tests performed were sent out of the clinic to a lab. He was a really nice doctor and showed concern for my well being (trust me that doesn’t happen often in Japan), but after several friends suggesting I see another doctor for a second opinion and my friend recommending the fertility specialist she had been seeing, I figured why not? It couldn’t hurt to see another doctor. Although, I did feel bad about switching doctors. I just had to get over that and think about what was best for me and my body.
The only down side about switching doctors was that I would be a new patient and there were some steps that needed to be taken. For example, make an appointment which was easy enough, but the fertility clinic only offers certain days for new patients to have an appointment. I had to wait about a month for my first appointment. Not too big of a deal, it was a delay, but it gave me time to relax and not worry about taking medication for a while. Of course, this also meant my hormones were sitting at low levels for a longer period of time, but what was I going to do? So, I took the first date that was offered to me.
For my first appointment I had to bring my basal body temperature chart. I bought a bbt booklet that allows you to chart your temperature for at least a year or two. These booklets can be found at large drugstores. 基礎体温 or kiso taion is basal body temperature in Japanese. I just asked for a book ( hon), chart (cha-to), graph (gurafu) for writing down my kiso taion and they either told me they didn’t have one (this was at a small drug store) or they took me directly to where they had 2 booklets available (a large drugstore, thank you V Drug!). I also had two paper charts from my previous OB/GYN, but they only could record 3 months worth of data each, so the booklet is better even if I have to buy it myself. Don’t worry it’s not expensive, but who doesn’t like freebies?
I also brought all of the papers that I had received from each doctor’s visit. Each time you visit a doctor you get two pieces of paper when you pay. One lists the number of points you used (insurance related) and the other is how much the visit or tests cost. I took all of those with me, because I thought it might help the doctor to understand what I had done up until then. It couldn’t hurt, right?
At my first appointment I explained to the doctor that my husband and I wanted kids, but I had been told that I had PCOS and we were looking for a second opinion. I also mentioned that he was recommended as the best for PCOS sufferers who want a baby. He said okay and explained that there were three tests that they would do. First, was the standard echo wand ultrasound (which showed I had multiple cysts on my ovaries). This clinic is nice, because there is a ultrasound monitor specifically for the patient to see what the doctor sees. If you haven’t been to a OB/GYN in Japan before I will warn you that you sit in a mechanical chair with maybe a towel draped over your lower body (which they promptly remove when the doctor arrives). Then a button is pressed, the chair moves into a horizontal position and the legs are lifted open. I can’t forget to mention that there is a short curtain separating you and the doctor. I was so shocked the first time I went. It freaked me out that I couldn’t see what was happening on the other side of the curtain! But, after a few times of experiencing the mechanical chair I got used to it. Now at this new clinic their chair faces the patient side and it swivels around to the doctor and then moves into a horizontal position when they press a button. Much better equipment here! Anywho back to my topic…
After the ultrasound I had a blood test and they requested that my husband make an appointment, so they could check his little buddies. They offered him two options, one come into the clinic (full of ladies) and make his contribution there or two, make his contribution at home and bring it to the clinic within 2 hours. He originally chose to do it at the clinic, but he was told that it would be difficult to relax at the clinic and at home might be a better choice. So, he changed his mind and did it at home. They did explain to me what my husband needed to do before making his contribution. Just prepare yourself if you understand Japanese, because they do use the word penis which I wasn’t expecting them to use. I thought there would be a Japanese word, or maybe it was just for my benefit. Either way I almost started laughing like a immature 12 year old. Luckily, I caught myself and focused on the clinical aspect. They also explain how to bring the cup to the office. They recommend wrapping it in a towel to keep the sperm at body temperature. Do NOT cool the cup! It will kill the sperm and your husband will have to do that all over again. Unless he likes that then he might be more than happy to do so. 🙂
After his appointment was my appointment to check my Fallopian tubes. They do this by injecting a dye and taking an x-ray. They say not to eat or drink anything 2 hours before the procedure. My friend had warned me that it is painful (like a bad cramp) and so did the nurse. They don’t recommend taking medication before hand, but my friend did so I listened to her. 😉 She had to do that twice and I wanted to make sure I only had to do it the one time. So, an hour before my appointment I took 2 Ibuprofens and then 30 minutes before my appointment (outside the clinic) I took 2 more Ibuprofens. I think this helped me to keep still when the needle? tube? (again can’t see through the curtain) was inserted into my cervix. It was a slight prick and you have to try to not move or the doctor will have to do it again. I just told myself to breathe and “imagine my uterus opening up” as my friend told me. Haha, sounds weird, but it helped me! I could feel the dye being pushed inside and it was like a bad cramp, but it only took about 2 minutes for this part. I survived and you will, too! We can do this ladies!
They taped the tube to my leg, my skirt dropped down and I had to walk, that’s right walk, through the waiting area to the x-ray room. They do tell you to wear a skirt that comes down to your knees, to help cover yourself. Still not pleasant to walk with something taped to your leg. The x-ray didn’t hurt, phew! Before leaving the x-ray room the doctor removed the tube and applied an antibiotic and inserted a tampon to soak up the bleeding (not much bleeding, don’t worry). I was taken to a recovery room to lay down for 15 minutes. I was able to walk, but I imagine some people may have a hard time walking, especially if they didn’t take any pain meds before hand. I originally, planned to take the train back home, but luckily my husband got off work about the same time when I was finishing so he picked me up. I was not feeling up for a 30 minute train ride and a 10 minute walk home. I highly recommend someone to pick you up after this procedure.
They prescribe antibiotics for a couple days and remind you to remove the tampon within 2 hours. Also, no baths for a couple days, just showers. Overall, it wasn’t a bad experience, but not something I want to repeat if I can help it. Next time, test results!