Asherman’s Syndrome: Cordelia’s Story [SUCCESS]

May 18, 2020

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Cordelia. She is a 36-year-old physician who enjoys spending time with her dogs, DIY projects, and going out for brunch. Cordelia’s first pregnancy was spontaneous, but she miscarried at 10 weeks and required a D&C. After 6 unsuccessful months of continuing to try on their own, they made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. Asherman’s Syndrome was discovered, and she had surgery to attempt to remove the scar tissue. They moved to a new state, repeated their testing with a new RE, and were cleared for IUI. Three failed IUIs later, it was time to try IVF. The first cycle resulted in 4 genetically normal embryos. An ERA showed she should be on progesterone for 6 days before transfer, so that’s what they did during her first FET. She became pregnant but miscarried and required another D&C to remove scar tissue. They traveled across the country to see an Asherman’s specialist, and she had another surgery. Her second FET was unsuccessful. Join us to hear how Cordelia began the surrogacy process, did another IVF cycle to bank embryos, and now has a happy and healthy son.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Cordelia was an energetic and extroverted type-A planner
  • How she met her husband through an online dating app while she was in residency
  • As a couple, they have fun together and balance each other out in many ways
  • Since Cordelia is the youngest of six siblings, she always wanted to be a mom
  • How they knew they wanted to have kids even while they were still dating
  • When Cordelia got pregnant in the third month of trying, she was super excited; she started spotting, and the ultrasound showed no heartbeat
  • After a D & C, she wanted to try again, but her period didn’t return for several months
  • Cordelia knew something was wrong as they planned to move from CA to AL; after several visits to doctors, testing confirmed uterine adhesions that required surgery
  • As they moved to AL, the new RE did a saline sonogram to confirm clear results
  • They did three unsuccessful IUI cycles with Clomid in 2017, but Cordelia’s lining never “looked great”
  • They were ready to move to IVF; the first retrieval gave them 22 eggs and 4 PGS-normal embryos
  • More tests and a biopsy to check receptivity showed that Cordelia needed an extra day of progesterone
  • The first FET in 2018 resulted in a blighted ovum and concerns about an ectopic, which turned out not to be the case
  • Another D & C showed more uterine adhesions, which had to be cleared
  • Even though they were ready to move to surrogacy, Cordelia felt confused, so she saw a uterine factor infertility specialist
  • When they tried one more FET with a negative result, they seriously began the surrogacy process, even talking to Cordelia’s sister about the possibility
  • When her sister decided not to be her surrogate, they met a likely surrogate through an agency and proceeded with the insurance and medical paperwork and screenings
  • With a transfer in January 2019, their son was born nine months later
  • Why Cordelia decided to consult medical help in the beginning
  • Cordelia’s initial impressions of the different clinics in CA and AL, and how one of her doctors “mysteriously disappeared” from the practice
  • What it’s like to live with uterine-factor infertility and feel alone and isolated
  • What it was like when Cordelia’s sister decided not to be her surrogate
  • The challenges in transitioning from trying to conceive to using a surrogate
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly of being a physician struggling with infertility
  • How Cordelia was able to induce lactation to breastfeed her son
  • The lowest point for Cordelia was when they took a vacation after the first unsuccessful FET, and she had negative thoughts about a friend who had just given birth
  • How she moved on with time and was able to refocus on the joys of life and moving forward
  • Some positive moments of driving back and forth to the fertility clinic and making jokes about the RE
  • How the infertility journey brought Cordelia and her husband closer together
  • How Cordelia didn’t struggle much to advocate for herself, but still found it hard to let go and listen to the professionals
  • How infertility has changed Cordelia: “The journey has been both bad and good. Now I have more of an expectation that things will go south, when I used to be more of an optimist. On the positive side, I’m so appreciative of every moment with my family and that I’ve learned to let go of having to control everything.”
  • Cordelia’s advice to her past self: “Focus more on what you want in the end rather than on how you get there.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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