So after six weeks it was time for my appointment with my specialist to find out what my latest blood tests showed and what’s next for me.
As often is the case, there was a trainee doctor in the room and so I wasn’t inclined to ask all the questions I had wanted to – a clever ploy. I also felt more rushed than I do normally when it’s just the two of us – perhaps because they need time for discussion in between each patient? Although it was a 10 minute turn around, and all that was mentioned of my tests was that they were fine, there was one question that couldn’t wait. The issue about aziathioprine and whether it affects fertility.
After being on it for nearly a year, and knowing that he plans to up my dose to the full amount someone of my weight can be on, I had to know whether I’m reducing my chances of being able to conceive. His answer was inconclusive – one more thing the specialists aren’t sure about – but there’s no evidence to suggest it does harm fertility. He did say that other similar drugs to treat MG are likely to cause more permanent harm to the body, whereas there’s no evidence that aziathioprine, my immunosuppressant, does. He added that the steroid I’m on – prednisolone – has worst potential side effects like diabetes, brittle bones and high blood pressure which would likely affect fertility along with everything else. So staying on that instead isn’t really an option.
But for the first time he brought up a plan for me. He suggested that if I could reduce the steroid completely and get the symptoms down/ gone completely on the immunosuppressant, then over the course of about 12 months we would gradually reduce it to hopefully make me drug free. This is exactly where I want to be and it gave me hope that he would raise it. He isn’t the type of man to raise ideas lightly.
He also said that when I do get closer to being ready for pregnancy we can start preparations. He hinted that if I waited a few years it may be a drug free pregnancy, but if I was still on the aziathioprine that would be ok too as it isn’t known for causing birth defects.
While it was a short catch up today, and I’m not back until August, I take away the positive that my consultant has a rough plan in place for me. It left me positive enough to do a tough training session tonight (as pictured running to the gym). Stage one of the plan starts tomorrow – lower the steroids and increase the aziathioprine.