Diminished Ovarian Reserve & Amenorrhea: Monika’s Story [SUCCESS]

December 7, 2020

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Today’s success story of a woman named Monika. She is a 35-year-old coach who enjoys playing with her daughter and dog. At only 29, Monika consulted her OB/GYN, but quickly transferred to a fertility clinic. At first, she was wrongly diagnosed with PCOS, but it turned out to be amenorrhea. After 12 failed ovulation induction cycles, they moved on to IVF. She did not respond as they’d hoped, retrieving only 2 eggs, both of which fertilized and were transferred. The cycle was unsuccessful and her doctor immediately recommended donor eggs. Her second IVF cycle was canceled. She switched clinics and was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. Her third IVF cycle was much better, with 2 eggs retrieved, both fertilized and transferred. She was finally pregnant! However, she miscarried at 8 weeks. She changed her diet and began more holistic approaches. Join us to hear how Monika did 1 more IVF cycle with immunotherapy and became pregnant with their daughter.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Monika was a “control freak” who figured anything was possible to achieve with goals and hard work
  • How she met her husband in Zurich through her twin sister; they hit it off and had similar goals regarding building a family
  • As a couple, they’ve been through the wringer with infertility, traumas, and counseling; they made the decision to leave the city life of London for the great outdoors in the Rocky Mountains, where they live with no regrets
  • How Monika knew at age five that she wanted to be a mom and then lived in fear that something would keep it from happening
  • How the desire to be a mom, and then infertility, impacted Monika’s life in negative ways
  • At age 29, Monika started her journey, which included 12 failed ovulation-induction rounds, four IVF cycles, four doctors, three clinics, therapists, counselors, and alternative practitioners
  • How Monika never got her period after stopping birth control, and then was diagnosed with DOR at age 29
  • Monika’s frustration and fear at the realization that infertility was beyond her control
  • She saw her OB/GYN, who transferred her to a fertility clinic where she was misdiagnosed with PCOS; this sent her treatment in the wrong direction
  • She started ovulation-induction rounds, and every round was a disappointment for a solid year
  • When she started IVF, Monika was naive and unprepared; two eggs fertilized and were transferred–and the cycle failed
  • At age 30, Monika was shocked to have the doctor recommend that she resort to donor eggs to have a child
  • With the second IVF round, there was only one follicle, and Monika felt angry when the cycle was canceled
  • At this point, Monika transferred to the most progressive and aggressive fertility clinic in London and had extensive tests done
  • How she did ovary rejuvenation treatment (PRP) in Greece to try to stimulate stem cells into producing healthy eggs
  • With the third IVF came a different protocol that was much more customized; two eggs fertilized and were transferred, and Monika became pregnant
  • At 8 weeks along, Monika felt that something “just wasn’t right,” and she miscarried
  • How Monika dove into spiritual practices, especially Buddhism, yoga, and meditation; she started to find peace and acceptance as she grieved, traveled, and worked to keep herself distracted
  • How Monika changed her diet and saw alternative practitioners
  • The fourth IVF cycle included immunotherapy, and two eggs fertilized and were transferred; Monika is forever grateful that her healthy daughter was born in March 2019
  • How Monika had to “repair” relationships with those close to her from when she was consumed with grief and hopelessness
  • Why Monika decided to use her experiences to help others
  • How Monika felt about her misdiagnosis of PCOS and the new diagnosis of hypothalamic amenorrhea
  • Why Monika calls infertility “the best teacher”
  • Why Monika started with her OB/GYN at the beginning instead of a fertility clinic
  • What education needs to happen in society to inform people about infertility and fertility, conception and contraception
  • How Monika chose fertility clinics and what her experiences were at each
  • How Monika felt about her various diagnoses
  • Why Monika’s fourth IVF might have been successful over the others
  • How they afforded treatment with savings, a good income, and good healthcare in Europe that provides 50% coverage for fertility treatments
  • How Buddhism and the concept of non-attachment helped Monika
  • How infertility changed Monika: “I’m a better person, more even-keeled, kinder, and more compassionate. I have more perspective on life and more gratitude.”
  • Monika’s advice to her past self: “Have patience. Enjoy life while you’re in the wait. Life is what counts. Be kind and forgive yourself, deal with your emotions, do your research, and seek help.”

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Thanks for listening!

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