I just realized I never followed up after the consult we had at the doctor’s office. We went in to see Doctor G a week after the negative pregnancy test. The good news is that he has several things he wants to try when we go into our next round of IVF. The bad news is that he really has no idea why the first round was unsuccessful. He told us that since we did the genetic testing, we knew it was a good embryo. We also knew my lining looked perfect. He said that more than 2 out of 3 times for women my age, it should work. It could have been a case of bad odds. It could also be something medical that has not been diagnosed. I’ve had countless blood draws in the last 2.5 years. At two different occasions I had more than 20 vials of blood taken at one appointment. They’ve explored everything they know to look for, but they are still making medical discoveries every day.
What we know:
I have MTHFR, which is a mutation on a gene responsible for the breakdown of Folic Acid. Folic Acid is absolutely necessary for the process of cell division. When the egg is fertilized, the cells are splitting rapidly in those first few days of pregnancy and that is when brain and spinal cord development take place. Folic Acid is basically B vitamins. I am currently taking about 400% folic acid each day. Doctors are divided on just how much an MTHFR diagnosis affects pregnancy. Taking extra B vitamins for some added insurance isn’t going to hurt anything.
We also know that my FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) level should be at a 3 for someone my age. Mine is at 0.462. Yeah. It’s low and the doctor is somewhat concerned about this because since he has been following my progress for the last two years, that level as decreased.
I’ve had 4 miscarriages, which tells us that I am able to get pregnant, but not able to sustain the pregnancy. The doctor shared a theory that due to my low ovarian reserve (available eggs), the odds are that they might find 4 good eggs out of every 10. Again, this is just a theory and not scientifically proven, but due to the recurrent miscarriages, bad eggs are most likely being fertilized. My body is recognizing this and the natural process is a miscarriage.
What we will try next:
Doctor wants to put me on Lupron before beginning the stimulation drugs. From what I understood at the appointment, this will help somehow with my ovaries. Then, I will begin the Menopur and Bravelle, which are the two stimulation drugs they give you before an egg retrieval. Your ovaries take turns releasing eggs. One month your right ovary will release the egg and the next month the left ovary will release the egg. The follicles in your ovaries battle it out each month to see which one can release the best, healthiest egg. That one egg is released, makes its way thru the fallopian tubes and is deposited into your uterus to wait to be fertilized. Too bad I didn’t retain all this knowledge from the semester I took Human Anatomy…I’m having to learn all over again. It wasn’t really applicable back then.
During our first round of IVF, Doctor prescribed more of the Menopur compared to what he normally prescribes due to my low FSH level. He is going to increase it even more the second round. The first round, he was able to retrieve 6 eggs, which he said he was very happy with, considering my levels. We are hoping for at least 6 eggs again, maybe more. Out of those 6 eggs, just one made it to the point where it could be transferred during the first IVF attempt.
He will also introduce a more aggressive blood thinner. I have been taking a baby aspirin for the last 2.5 years. They prescribe the baby aspirin because it might help, but it definitely won’t hurt anything either. Why not? I’ll give it a try. Well, now he is going to put me on Lovenox after the next transfer. Lovenox is a daily injection I would give myself. It would begin after transfer of the embryo and if I have a positive pregnancy test, the injection will continue thru the first trimester. At that point I will graduate to my regular OBGyn and she will begin following the pregnancy. Doctor G and my OBGyn will consult and decide if the Lovenox continues in the pregnancy or if I stop. If it is continued, it will be until I am within few weeks out from giving birth and they would switch over to Heparin to avoid any complications during delivery.
What we need:
Prayers. Encouragement. Wisdom. We will most likely wait until the end of the summer for our second IVF attempt. Time to kick back, relax, enjoy the summer and finish the remodel of our kitchen.
**Note–I am not a medical professional. The descriptions above are the things I can recall from what the doctor shared with us. It may not be correct, but this is to the best of my memory. 😉