Name: Rainy Waters
FSH, AMH, and/or E2 test results: FSH ranged from 18-34 on day 3 (8 cycles)
How long TTC: 1.5 years from 1st to last IVF cycle this time round (previous success in 2012)
Did your Dr. mention issues with age and TTC: of course, but I went with a clinic that specializes in women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR)
Any natural or herbal remedies used: acupuncture
Diagnosis or any known issues: male factor, diminished ovarian reserve
Treatments you tried: Our clinic specializes in “low stim” IVF, only trying to get 1-3 eggs per cycle out of belief the first few are highest quality anyway. I can only produce that many per cycle no matter how much medication I take, so this made sense in our case.
Treatment (if any) that led to success: Our approach, given my DOR, was to do multiple “low stim” cycles, banking any blasts along the way for PGD testing at the end
Are you using donor eggs or sperm: NO
Protocol (meds taken if any): Varied per cycle, but usually clomid and some Gonal-F
If IVF how many follicles at ER: Usually 2, once 5
If IVF how many eggs retrieved: Usually 2
If IVF how many eggs fertilized: Per cycle varied between 0 and 4
If IVF how many days between ER and ET: 8 months (frozen and PGD testing)
If IVF how many and quality/rating of embryos/blasts transferred: After PGD testing, we had one normal day 6 blast, graded as 523. This was obviously the one we transferred.
Symptoms or issues during 2WW: Truthfully, very sexual dreams the night after transfer (have heard this can happen after implantation) and swollen breasts.
What day you got your BFP: 1 week after transfer.
HPT before blood test: don’t know
Number of first beta: 400, 1200 2 days later (my 1st pregnancy test was a little before 2 weeks)
Number of babies: pregnant with singleton
Why do YOU think that you were successful this time? Listen, let’s be honest: I was a seriously poor prognosis case! My day 3 FSH ranged between 18 and 34 over this 1.5 years. Most conventional IVF clinics wouldn’t touch me. We went with a clinic specializing in “low stim” because it made sense in our case-- and it was truthfully our only option. Since my body CAN’T produce more than 2-3 eggs per cycle, no matter the protocol, we tried numerous cycles on lower doses of meds. (Trying naturally or IUI wasn’t an option for us because we are also male factor). So our success is really due to very careful research about what options remained to us, and a willingness to endure the stress and heartbreak of 8 cycles, 6 of which ended with no blast to freeze. But I had a baby through more conventional IVF in 2013 (conceived in 2012), and she is healthy, happy, brilliant… so we figured that even though we’re really challenged in terms of GETTING pregnant, we CAN make great babies! Our success also wouldn’t have been possible without very generous insurance coverage through my husband’s employer, truthfully. He stayed in the job in part for the coverage. That said, our clinic (New Hope in NYC) does work with clients without insurance and tries to make it more affordable. Last thing I want to say, and this goes out to all you ladies with high FSH: my day 3 FSH in the cycle that led to our PGD normal embryo was 34. You heard that right. Supposedly we had a near zero chance of success. But understand that FSH really measures how likely you are to respond to stimulation (and I respond terribly), BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T MAKE A NORMAL, HEALTHY EGG. The odds are not great… but it happens. I’m the living proof.
Anything else you would have wanted to know before you started this process!