Adenomyosis & Male Factor Infertility: Rachael’s Story [SUCCESS]

January 4, 2021

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Today’s success story of a woman named Rachael. She is a 38-year-old early childhood educator who enjoys reading, cooking, and baking. Rachael’s husband had a semen analysis that showed low motility and count but they were told that they shouldn’t be concerned. For the next 5 years, they tried to conceive on their own. They decided it was time to go to a fertility clinic. By this point, her husband’s numbers had become so severe that they were told to go straight to IVF. Their retrieval resulted in 6 normal embryos. Their first transfer ended in a chemical pregnancy and their second transfer was postponed due to high TSH. When they were approved to move forward, they transferred 2 embryos, which ended in an ectopic pregnancy. They decided to do an ERA and were advised to do 7 or more days of progesterone. The next 3 transfers were cancelled due to uterine lining issues. Finally approved to transfer, their third official FET resulted in a negative beta. Join us to hear how Rachael completely overhauled her transfer protocol, transferred 2 embryos, and became pregnant with their daughter.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Rachael was more carefree and less anxious than she is today
  • How she and her husband met soon after high school and began dating quickly
  • As a couple, they are total opposites who complement each other–mostly
  • How Rachael’s amazing childhood, great relationship with her mother, and career with young children fueled her desire to be a mother
  • How Rachael planned for flexibility in motherhood with her choice of a school calendar career
  • When she went off birth control, she knew something was wrong right away, and her doctor suspected diminished ovarian reserve
  • How they visited a urologist as their first step, and the results weren’t great but weren’t abnormal
  • How Rachael did research, used OPKs, and tried timed intercourse–but still had no success
  • When they saw an RE in 2016, tests showed severe male factor infertility; they were told that IUI would be “pointless” and that IVF was their only hope
  • After taking a year off to decide whether or not to do IVF, they proceeded toward IVF
  • The RE assured them of no DOR, and their retrieval yielded six normal embryos, which were frozen
  • In February 2017, the best embryo was transferred, and Rachael was pregnant! She was extremely happy and relieved, but it turned out to be a chemical pregnancy
  • Why it was hard for Rachael to grasp the fact that their best embryo didn’t take
  • The second transfer was scheduled but canceled due to her high TSH level
  • The next transfer was of two embryos, and there was a positive pregnancy test; confusing results led to an ultrasound confirmation of an ectopic pregnancy
  • How Rachael felt jaded, naive, and uninformed, so she took time off from treatment to get her mental bearings and do more research
  • In 2018, she had two uterine biopsies, Receptiva DX, and ERA test in the hope of getting some answers
  • When endometriosis was ruled out, and her receptivity was pinpointed, Rachael was ready to move forward
  • From nowhere, her uterine lining became uncooperative, forcing the cancellation of her next two FETs
  • After a “light D & C” to clean out retained tissue, her doctor recommended a natural cycle for a change, but her lining still didn’t thicken
  • These unexpected and unexplained uterine lining issues became the lowest point in Rachael’s journey
  • After a break, they moved forward with a new protocol and transferred one embryo; this resulted in Rachael’s first-ever negative pregnancy test
  • In 2019, her doctor recommended Depot Lupron, which is very expensive; Rachael got a second opinion because she wasn’t sure what to do or how to move forward with her two remaining embryos
  • As she proceeded with Depot Lupron, her uterine lining looked great, so they overhauled her protocol to plan for transferring her last two embryos (one of which was a Day 7 embryo that was the last to be frozen)
  • One embryo stuck, and after a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy and scheduled C-section, their daughter was born in December 2019
  • How Rachael made the decision to go with seven days of progesterone and save/freeze a 7-day embryo, which was a controversial move
  • How Rachael felt about being diagnosed with adenomyosis so far into her journey
  • How infertility changed Rachael: “Infertility made me a completely different person in both good and bad ways. I’m more open to helping people. Infertility is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’m much more anxious about my daughter, and I have a hard time coping with difficulties.”
  • Rachael’s advice to her past self: “Do research. Take a middle perspective on doing the research and listening to the doctor. Keep an open mind.”

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