All four of them.
Yes, it "appears" (laparoscopically and on ultrasound and MRI) that I actually have 4 ovaries as opposed to the normal two. Double the ovaries should logically make a girl MORE fertile, no?
Let me explain. After my first surgery, April 4th 2008, Dr Ste.gman referred to my lovely, ginormous polycystic ovaries as "dumbbell shaped." There's 1 section, a normal oval-shape and size, then a thin "connective" layer, and then a whole other section of normal shape and size. I remembered as he was describing this that the old Sonographer at Dr J's office (my local NaPro Dr who runs the NaPro ultrasound series) had also once told me that there was a "whole other section" to my right ovary and that if a Sonographer was not diligent, they may miss it entirely. (I wonder if this same Sonographer "missed" the fact that there are two sections to BOTH my ovaries?)
So from that point on, whenever I've had an ultrasound I've been sure to alert whoever was performing the study that there are 2 sections to my ovaries. They usually listen (all but the RE... go figure. When I told him, he said, "yup, yup," and went on to measure follicles on ONE section of both ovaries. Why do most REs think we women don't know our bodies as well as they do??)
Back to my ovaries.
So, my lovely dumbbell shaped ovaries as they have been lovingly referred from that point onwards, are, strikingly, NOT superfertile. Hmmmm. Before the ovarian wedge resection, they couldn't figure out how to ovulate on their own. (And, ovaries, I must now formally apologize for having put you through 5 years on and off of the birth control pill. I don't blame you one bit for completely forgetting what your normal function was supposed to be!) After the ovarian wedge resection, they were up and running like champs, all "four" of them :) But it seemed that Lefty took charge and really did most of the ovulating. In fact, Righty almost never ovulated unless it was IN COLLABORATION WITH a Lefty ovulation (on some kind of stimming med like Femara or Follistim). Last cycle, unmedicated, it appears that Righty ovulated all by herself, as was evidenced in the small resolving corpus luteum on my Right ovary during surgery. I am so proud. A moment of silence in appreciation of that fact...
What is odd to me is that Dr Ste.gman removed the corpus luteum from the ovary. Does anyone know why? I don't remember him telling me he did this, but from the pictures and DH's recollection of his explanation of the surgery, he did indeed lop off the C.L. Maybe it was attached to some adhesions? Anyone thoughts? Anyone whose DH happens to be a laparoscopic surgeon perchance?? ;)
I'll find out all the details at my post-op July 26th.
Back to my ovaries. Sorry, ovaries, I keep getting sidetracked.
So, how is it that a woman with the tissue-equivalent of four working ovaries is not only NOT superfertile, but is the polar opposite? I got to thinking about these adhesions... just how long have they been there? I remember Dr Toth being "concerned" that I had this archaic o.w.r procedure (he's not the only Dr to have said that, but I stick to my assertion that it was the BEST best best treatment decision I have ever made), so he did a transvaginal ultrasound in his office to see (among other things) if there was evidence of adhesions on either ovary. After doing something "kinky" (no, I kid you not, he actually said to me in his thick Hungarian accent, "OK, I am goeeng to do sometheeng a leetle keenky now," - oh, I love Dr Toth) he concluded that there were NO adhesions on my ovaries. What he did may sound horrifying but honestly it didn't hurt, it was just weird. He thrust the TV probe into my cervix a couple of times, the sound beams angled toward one ovary then the other, to see if they "moved" on the screen. It's actually a pretty good technique, though I'm not so sure I'll be using it on any of my patients.
So, is it possible Dr Toth missed the evidence of adhesions? They were primarily concentrated on my ovaries, especially Lefty. Or is it more likely that they formed AFTER Dr Toth's treatment? Can hyperstimulation cause adhesion-formation?? Or was it the fact that I moved/lifted too much too soon after my o.w.r?? Did I do this to myself?
So many questions, so few Drs in my living room.
But now I am, it would seem, endo-free AND adhesion-free, with four working (though more on a "volunteer"-type status- they need real incentive in the form of stimming meds to work to full capacity) ovaries. So NOW will I be superfertile?
Oh wait. It's not just ovaries that get you pregnant. I forgot! I have a gorgeous uterus, lovely cervix (Dr Ste.gman's first comment to me in Recovery Room 1 was, "When I first dilated your cervix for the selective HSG, I was met by a river of cervical mucus." Why, yes, that's how I greet all my friends, Dr Ste.gman.) but not-so-hot hormones, labwork and blood/bloodflow to the zone of implantation.
I am breaking out my prayers to St. Raphael for some serious healing.
What's funny (though not exactly funny-haha) is that Dr Ste.gman must have forgotten what my ovaries looked like when he went in for this surgery. He said when he first got in there, he thought something had gone seriously wrong and that the sutures holding my ovaries together after the wedge resection had fallen out, because it looked like my ovaries were in half hanging together by a thread. Lovely. I'm sure he must have been relieved to realize, oh, no, she just has these weird ovaries that look like dumbbells.
I love my ovaries. I do. They have proven time and time again to perform when I need them most, despite everything working against them. Now if only the rest of those "issues" can follow suit.
And that is all I have to say about my ovaries. Today anyway.