So after chatting with my reproductive endocrinologist and thinking about how I’d eventually like to STOP going to the clinic completely and actually have a child, I decided that even though the numbers weren’t that convincing that I’d suck it up and do an ERA test alongside a mock embryo transfer cycle. Most people, even those who have gone through IVF, may not even know what this test is. It’s become more common for IVF patients to do this in the last 20 years, particularly after failed embryo transfers, but it stands for endometrial receptivity analysis test. During this test, the doctor will take a biopsy of your endometrium, which is the lining of your uterus, and also the place where a woman’s body prepares for the arrival of an embryo each month. The endometrium, in that sense, is essentially a “home” where the embryo implants and resides during gestation. An embryo is able to implant during a specific receptive period of a time during a woman’s cycle, and this is called the “window of implantation.”
I’m not really that excited about having a ‘biopsy’ done of anything of mine, but I’ve figured… I’ve come so far in this whole terrible process that if there is just one more thing I need to do to give myself some level of reassurance that we’re doing what we can to ensure success, then I will just do it. I was reading about how this test feels, and it is supposed to be about 5 to 10 seconds of an intense menstrual cramp. The worst procedure I’ve had to do during this period that was like that feeling was the HSG exam, where they check to see if your fallopian tubes are open (and YES, both of mine are). It only lasted 10 seconds, but it hurt so badly that I felt faint and light-headed for a good 30 seconds after. The doctor even had to ask me if I wanted some water before getting onto my feet.
So now, this procedure is scheduled next Tuesday. I will be awake for it, so right after, I can just walk back home and go “back to work.” No one ever tells you before you start fertility clinic visits how LONG EVERYTHING SEEMS TO TAKE. There is so much waiting, so little definitive aspects, so much uncertainty.