Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fertility Misfits

We had our WTF(lip) meeting last Thursday (11/11) and we walked out of there more frustrated than before. This is why I have taken my time posting about it because I’ve had to wrap my mind around all the emotions I’ve been having since then.

Our RE’s determination is that I have poor egg quality. When asked what makes him think this his reply was, “What else is there?” I argued my normal FSH, AMH, normal to low-normal ovarian reserve, and our quality day 3 embryos which are powered on my egg’s DNA as well as my husband’s DNA fragmentation. His reply was that he really didn’t believe in the DNA fragmentation so the only thing left was that it must be my eggs. He continued that regardless of what the labs might say I didn’t stimulate the best so it must be my eggs. But when I brought up that a poor responder was categorized as someone who makes less than 4 mature eggs and that has not been the case with me. I always have ended up with 6 or more mature eggs at retrieval. I may not respond great but I also don’t think I was on the right protocol for me. Our RE shrugged and said that this was the best guess he could give us since he didn’t believe in the sperm DNA. Nice. This is why I wanted to go somewhere else for our last IVF. Clearly I was not going to win this battle and it was better to drop it since I still needed their help for a few things.

We asked for a copy of our records for a few reasons A) We wanted all of the SAs that we’d had since being there B) I wanted documentation of all the drugs I had been on C) and we might get a second opinion at another clinic about 2 hours south of where we live (this is a big might by the way). We also got the names of two physicians that specialize in male reproductive health. Not just a urologist but an andrologist. There were only two physicians that I had found on my own that work in this specialty in our state and it was good to know that these were the only two which were recommended. So we have our appointment set up for January 14th. We went with the younger of the two because we are both sick and tired of older physicians who are so set in their ways. Plus the younger one does some of the newer surgical techniques that are better and less invasive so we are also hoping he might be more open to our DNA problem as well. The other one had been practicing for over 30 years and he sounds as old as the hills. I’m sure he’s very smart but I don’t want to go from one old dog (RE) to another only to find out that he just agrees with our RE.

We also found out more about the embryo donation program at our clinic. Basically they require that the couple has to have used donor eggs first. What? What if you have a male factor issues? Nope, they make you have to use donor sperm and you are not eligible for donor embryos. Well that is just not an option for us for our own personal reasons. I’m not forking out the money for donor eggs just to have them fizzle out as well because of our retarded sperm so that we can get donor embryos for ‘free.’ But we did hear good things about a clinic in Tennessee that is very reasonable in price although we still have to do the homestudy piece with them. (Apparently that is not a requirement with our clinic)

So our next step in that adventure is meeting with a local adoption agency to do the homestudy. Hammer works with a guy whose sister-in-law is a co-founder of one of the largest agencies in our city. His co-worker is going to pull some strings to get us in quickly to start the discussion. So you know, these strings won’t get us a better homestudy or a quicker match so we’re not bumping anyone.

In the meantime, my body actually ovulated on its own, ON TIME. Wow. That has never happened before the first cycle after IVF. I was thankful that I didn’t have to go through more frustrations with my own body. I was totally caught off guard by it so we missed taking advantage of it but honestly I don’t think we could have even been emotionally ready so it’s no big deal. In the last few weeks we did decided that if we were going to continuing trying on our own we’d invest in a fertility monitor. I ended up buying an Ovacue because it gives you an estimate of ovulation 5-7 days in advance. Since we have to ‘prep’ Hammer for 7 days prior to BDing for ovulation I thought this was better than a Clearblue which is only 2-3 days warning. The other benefit is that you don’t have to buy any test strips as it has a sensor that tests the hormones in your saliva. Apparently all these hormones show up in your saliva before they even hit your blood or your urine. So we’ll see how that goes and I’ll keep you updated. Eventually I will likely make an appointment with the doc who does NaPro technology but for right now this is MORE than enough to keep us busy. That and we just want to enjoy the holidays. So on that note, if I don’t post before hand – Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I may not be commenting on your blogs but I am reading them, all of them (and not just the ones on my blog roll which is seriously out of date!)


Allison said...

Wow. That RE sounds pretty awful--I hate the responses that he gave to you and am so glad you're looking into other avenues. I hope you can find your answers and become the mommy that I KNOW you'll be. In my thoughts and prayers always!

Mandy Peterson said...

Ugh! That makes me sick to my stomach. I hate that you are going through all of this heartache and your RE sounds like a big, fat dummy saying things that make no sense at all. I believe that every step of the process is part of God writing your testimony. I just pray that you're nearing the fulfillment of that prayer request. Always praying right along with you.

Mrs. Katia said...

I am so frustrated for you. I know what you're going through... so many doctors aren't even aware of dna fragmentation, and they're too set in their ways to even consider it as a possibility. Hence ME having to de-medicate and force-supplement my poor husband. Our doctors had no clue what I was talking about when I mentioned fragmentation and dismissed the idea that antidepressants could cause any problems with sperm. Get this: They even suggested that antidepressants could help sperm because it would make my husband less stressed. Bollocks! The internet is flooded with valid evidence that antidepressants cause dna damage. Somehow doctors still have no bloody clue.

I'm so glad you're looking around for someone who "believes" in sperm dna fragmentation issues. Don't let the clinic waste your money! Sorry — I just feel so strongly about this, and I hate seeing you deal with a similar situation. Maybe there are some studies or test procedures that you could get involved in at no cost (heck, sometimes they even pay you!). Sure, the idea of fragmentation is new, but that doesn't mean it isn't valid. I think you're smart to go with the youngest doctor!

Hillary said...

I am SO sorry you had such a frustrating appointment. :( I'm so sorry your dealing with this at all.

I just studied the book of Ruth tonight, and was reminded of how God had a very big purpose and plan for Ruth & Naomi....even when their circumstances seemed very bleak. This encouraged me, and I hope it does you. Praying that God guides your decisions and next steps!

Lauren said...

That sounds awful...with all this information out at patient's fingertips and new data popping up everyday you'd think that doctors would listen a bit more. You are paying them...I know you can find one who will listen and work with you.

Best of luck to you...and happy Thanksgiving week :)

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

That is a lot of information. Now wonder you took time to process it.

But wow, you have lots of plans to stay busy the next few months. I hope one of your appointments gives you new hope!