Diminished Ovarian Reserve: Nicole’s Story [SUCCESS]

August 23, 2021

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Today’s journey story of a woman named Nicole. She is a 37-year-old CFO and COO and enjoys reading, going to the beach, and eating out. Nicole and her husband started trying to conceive about a year before they got married. However, after 4 years, she still wasn’t pregnant. Despite her husband’s apprehension much earlier in their journey, they finally went to a fertility clinic where they learned she had severe diminished ovarian reserve. Her doctor suggested trying an IUI cycle first before exploring donor eggs. She began taking supplements and going to acupuncture weekly. After a couple of false starts, she began an IUI cycle that her doctor said would serve as a good test of how she would respond to a mini-IVF cycle because she was taking both Clomid and stims. She developed one mature follicle, and to everyone’s surprise, she was pregnant! After a complicated pregnancy, she gave birth to a healthy son. Join us to hear how Nicole and her husband have been trying to conceive a second child for the better part of a year — and how individually purchased insurance has covered all of her treatments.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Nicole was pretty much the same driven and thorough person
  • How she met her husband at work when they were both married to other people and met again later and reconnected
  • As a couple, they are compatible, easygoing, and agreeable
  • How Nicole always assumed she would be a mom but not in her first marriage
  • Why Nicole chose an accounting career over a legal field because it was easier to navigate as a mother
  • In 2014, they started trying to conceive when Nicole was 32 (her husband is 11 years older)
  • How she saw her OB/GYN after a few unsuccessful months when she was convinced there was a timing issue with her cycles
  • When the OB/GYN was unconcerned, he prescribed Clomid with timed intercourse
  • After no success after several months, her husband was hesitant to move to an RE just yet
  • Finally, in 2018, Nicole saw an RE at a well-known clinic, and tests showed severe diminished ovarian reserve at age 35
  • Even though her doctor was skeptical about IUI success, they formed a plan for two IUIs and two IVFs
  • How Nicole and her husband started supplements and a cyst delayed the first IUI cycle
  • Three months later, with only one mature follicle, Nicole became pregnant with her son, who was born healthy in 2019
  • As they started trying for a second child a few months later, COVID shut down her clinic
  • How her doctor decided to try IUI again without repeating any tests, but the same protocol didn’t work this time
  • When they tried again in January 2021, there were no follicles–they moved to IVF
  • When the doctor suggested microdose Lupron, they got one embryo that fertilized with ICSI and did a Day 5 transfer; Nicole was pregnant again
  • Last May, the nine-week ultrasound showed no heartbeat, and Nicole miscarried naturally two days later while at work
  • In an unusual way, she was able to collect the products of the miscarriage and have them tested at her lab; the embryo was abnormal with trisomy 13
  • How Nicole had to wait to try again until her HCG dropped to below 5
  • When her RE was adamant about not doing further testing, Nicole sought help from her maternal-fetal medicine specialist from her first pregnancy; the tests were done but gave normal results
  • Because she hadn’t gotten her period back after the May miscarriage, she had a No Menses panel done in June
  • The next plan of action was to do birth control priming with lower doses; they started the cycle in July but had to cancel it because no follicles were developing
  • How Nicole is now ready for a new protocol with estrogen patch priming and hopes for a good embryo for a fresh transfer and maybe an extra one or two to freeze
  • Nicole’s thoughts about PGT-A testing
  • Nicole’s unusual insurance coverage, including why and how she chose her private insurance that provides excellent benefits
  • Nicole’s advice to her past self: “Do IVF from the beginning and bank some embryos.”

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Thanks for listening!

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