BONUS 226: Conditions That Make Pregnancy High-Risk

September 27, 2019

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Allison Rodgers. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers currently practices at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. Her personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine in order to help you beat infertility.

Episode Sponsor:

Fertility Centers of Illinois

Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:

  • Maria has had 44 eggs retrieved over her infertility journey, but only six have matured. Even though she got pregnant on her own 3.5 years ago, her RE now advises her to use an egg donor, so she asks why she isn’t getting pregnant on her own now.
  • Nidhi has been trying to conceive for four years but has had painful intercourse and vaginal discomfort with every procedure. As she prepares for her third IUI, she asks for recommendations about her course of action.
  • Sandy has a 14-year-old son from a previous relationship and has been trying to conceive for about six months. There are possible tubal issues as she prepares for an IUI. She asks if she should see an RE due to her age.
  • Gabriella carried her son until 22 weeks, but delivered him early. She asks if there is research that links PCOS or infertility in general to cervical competency issues.
  • Stephanie had 8-week miscarriages at age 40 and 41. She asks if she should have an ERA test and if there is any way to know how long her lining was exposed to progesterone with those cycles.
  • Noemi had twin girls with an IVF cycle and would like to do a single embryo transfer next, but her remaining embryos are frozen as a pair. She asks about the wisdom of thawing and refreezing one embryo, or just transferring them both.

Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing what a high-risk pregnancy entails and the conditions that might lead to one:

  • High-risk pregnancy
    • Overall, how is high-risk pregnancy defined?
    • What doctors does a high-risk pregnancy typically involve, and what are their roles?
    • What are the potential outcomes of a high-risk pregnancy, and how likely is each one?
    • Do you have any self-care tips to help reduce the potential negative outcomes of a high-risk pregnancy?
    • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • Conditions that might lead to a high-risk pregnancy: How is each defined, why might it lead to a high-risk pregnancy, and how likely is it to lead to a high-risk pregnancy?
    • Diabetes
    • High BP
    • History of certain cancers
    • High BMI
    • Some cardiac malformations
    • Infectious diseases like HIV
    • Turner Syndrome
    • Blood clotting disorders
    • History of stroke
    • Some mental health conditions
    • Others?
  • Has there been any recent research about conditions that might lead to a high-risk pregnancy? What does this research tell us? What lessons can we learn?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • What words of hope would you offer to patients who have a history of one or more of these conditions about the best path forward?

Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.

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