My estrogen levels are through the roof today. Again, I started at 45, went to 458 in less than 48 hours, then to 987 in another 48 hours, and now, I’m at 2345! My estrogen went from 45 to 2345 in 6 days.
Doctors don’t like to give ‘norms’ because there are so many variables, and every woman is different, but I pressed the nurse and she finally told me that most women are under 100, even right before ovulation (peak estrogen time), so my levels are more than 200x’s ‘normal.’ My colleague Hen was with me when the doctor’s office called to give me this morning’s results; I think she was quite worried that I may have a meltdown during a pretty important work session. Hen, if you’re reading this, thanks for braving it with me today – we actually got a lot of work done! Maybe I should always be hopped up on Follistim.
Anyway, I digress.
Estrogen levels are tied to the number of follicles being produced. For context, in a typical month, you may have several antral follicles (small, immature follicles), from which one is selected as the dominant – this follicle is special and is distinguished from the others by its size and growth rate. Once it’s mature, ovulation begins. The size of the dominant follicle is 22-24mm in diameter, and the oocyte, or microscopic egg, is attached to the wall of that follicle – a follicle is not an egg (maybe it’s the ‘shell’ of the egg? I just made that analogy up, but either way, it houses the egg and sadly, some shells or houses are empty).
In my stimulated cycle, all of the antral follicles grow and mature. In my case, so far, I have 12 on each ovary, and the goal is to get as many of them to reach 18mm as possible, and hopefully, they all have eggs. So, if all 24 mature, that’s a lot of fat follicles taking up space in my little ovaries, especially when I consider that they normally only have to deal with 1!
I’m a bloated, but my girls don’t seem annoyed by the extra occupancy this month. With that many follicles camping out, I’m surprised there isn’t more cramping and uncomfortableness – maybe my ovaries like hosting a follicular party? Sorry, bad jokes. It’s late.
Now, I never, ever use PMS or hormonal changes as an excuse to behave like a little shit, but if it were ever appropriate for a 36 year old woman to have a temper tantrum, stomp her feet, and generally break down in hysterics, now would be it, no? And yet, today, when my estrogen levels are at their highest, and my ovaries are completely cramped, I feel great. Bloated, but great.
My morning shot went off without a hitch. I think I’m going to miss my shots when I’m done. Crazy, I know.
My evening shot was more interesting because I had some family over for a home-cooked, Hungarian meal (thanks mom), so I had an audience. And I mis-spoke in this video and said I had 4345 estrogen, when I meant to say 2345.
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