Diminished Ovarian Reserve: Tenley’s Story [SUCCESS]

September 16, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Tenley. She is a 41-year-old counselor who enjoys cooking, reading, and yoga. After trying to conceive for just over 6 months, a semen analysis revealed that her husband has slightly low morphology. Once they hit the 1 year mark, she saw her first reproductive endocrinologist and had a fertility workup. They learned she had high FSH and low AMH. Despite their dual factor infertility, she became spontaneously pregnant just 2 months later. Unfortunately, she miscarried at 7 weeks. A few months later, they switched clinics and started their first IVF cycle. However, none of their embryos survived long enough to transfer. They switched clinics again and started their second IVF cycle using mini IVF. Although two embryos became blastocysts, neither was genetically normal. Join us to hear how Tenley went through another five retrievals in order to bank several normal embryos, only to become pregnant spontaneously.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Tenley was carefree, organized, career-focused, and fun-loving
  • How she met her husband on Tinder, but it took a while for them to begin dating
  • As a couple, they are a team, have similar upbringings, and are loyal to family
  • How she always felt like they would be parents someday
  • How their preparation for parenthood impacted decisions about finances and travel
  • At age 37, Tenley began tracking her cycles, then saw her Ob, when a sperm analysis showed slightly low morphology
  • When Tenley saw her first RE, her FSH was high, and her AMH was low, which indicated low ovarian reserve
  • She had a spontaneous pregnancy in January 2016 that ended in miscarriage, but it gave her hope because she knew her body could do it
  • When they switched to the second RE to move on, but IVF was presented as their only option
  • With Clomid and timed intercourse at first, they prepared then for IVF egg retrieval; they got four eggs, but none survived until the transfer
  • Donor eggs were mentioned as an option, but Tenley still wanted to try with her own
  • In October 2016, they moved on to their third RE and did the second IVF (mini-IVF with less stimulation) and got four fertilized embryos that were all abnormal
  • The next retrieval yielded three eggs and only one normal embryo, and another retrieval gave them one more normal embryo
  • The 5th and 6th retrievals yielded no normal embryos
  • They took a break, and Tenley spent time taking a closer look at her husband’s sperm analysis, which had improved greatly with supplements and lifestyle changes
  • Their 7th retrieval had no embryos surviving until Day 7
  • During another break, Tenley developed a virus that became subacute thyroiditis that led to hyperthyroidism
  • When they tried again, she had more issues with her period and then had a hysteroscopy that showed several polyps
  • The transfer took place in October 2018 but gave a negative result
  • Tenley did more research and met with a fourth RE to discuss options
  • How Tenley did everything that was recommended to help with fertility, even securing a fertility coach
  • In the middle of moving last January, Tenley found that she was spontaneously pregnant and is now 34 weeks along
  • How Tenley found the RE’s she used and why she switched several times
  • Why Tenley chose to do mini-IVF and has no regrets about that decision
  • The foods that Tenley ate to contribute to egg quality: raw milk, avocados, bone broth, and eggs
  • How infertility affected Tenley’s emotions during pregnancy
  • How Tenley and her husband felt when they received their diagnoses
  • The lowest point of many, the failed transfer with their PGS-normal embryo last October
  • Two positive moments: when a friend gave her a symbolic gift and when her nephew was born
  • How they were able to afford treatments when everything was out-of-pocket, because her husband is an attorney and they used credit cards and were able to write off many expenses
  • How Tenley’s relationship with her husband grew stronger and altered them in the face of so much vulnerability
  • How Tenley’s relationships with friends and family changed, and how she figured out that the best thing to do is to simply check in on someone going through a difficult time
  • How infertility changed Tenley: “It rattled my faith in myself and the universe because it seemed like the world was against me. Infertility helped me become a better coach and an empathetic listener.”
  • Tenley’s advice to her past self: “You don’t need to win at fertility. You just have to thrive in life, no matter what. Choose joy.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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