DOR & Male Factor Infertility: Monika’s Story [SUCCESS]

October 19, 2020

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Monika. She is a 33-year-old health economist who enjoys entertaining friends and family, traveling, and going to the beach. After about 9 months of trying to conceive, Monika was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve and her husband was diagnosed with low morphology and volume. They decided it was best to move straight to IVF. Their first round used an antagonist protocol, and none of their embryos made it to blast. Their second round used a Lupron flare protocol, but again, none of their embryos made it to blast. Their third cycle used an antagonist protocol again but with lower doses and a different method of sorting her husband’s sperm. This time, they had 1 normal embryo. They did 1 more IVF cycle, which yielded no additional normal embryos. An ERA came back receptive, and the Receptiva test indicated she might have endometriosis. Join us to hear how Monika decided not to have surgery or go on Lupron and instead transferred their normal embryo, which resulted in their son.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Monika was career-driven and ambitious with a positive but naive attitude about life
  • How she met her husband through mutual friends when they both lived in New York
  • As a couple, they are true partners who pick each other up as equals
  • How Monika always wanted children but wasn’t sure about marriage until she met her husband
  • How her career choices were impacted by her desire for family and good insurance coverage for IVF
  • How they started trying to conceive right after their marriage, but a semen analysis a few months later revealed low morphology and volume
  • After nine months of trying, Monika saw her Ob, who referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist; tests showed DOR and high FSH, so IVF with ICSI was recommended
  • On the first IVF cycle, they used an antagonist protocol; with six fertilized eggs, there were no blasts, so Monika was crushed
  • After a break from treatment, they attempted a second IVF cycle with a Lupron flare protocol; Monika didn’t like the depression that came with it, and four fertilized eggs yielded no blasts
  • How Monika and her husband decided to relax their diet and put more joy into their lives, and Monika listened to the BI podcast every day while commuting and started therapy
  • On the third IVF cycle, they followed an antagonist cycle with Clomid, and their six fertilized eggs yielded one blast, which was normal
  • How Monika’s doctor recommended an ERA and Receptiva test, which showed possible endometriosis
  • As the doctor presented the options, Monika chose oral progesterone and prepped for a frozen embryo transfer of their one normal embryo
  • Monika’s positive pregnancy test resulted in the birth of her son just a few weeks ago
  • Why they did a semen analysis so quickly in the beginning
  • How Monika and her husband felt about their diagnoses
  • How Monika selected her fertility clinic, along with her first impressions
  • How Monika and her sister both struggled with infertility at the same time, both going through IVF and eventually seeing success
  • How Monika found about IVF insurance coverage at her new job and found extra support to help her cope
  • How Monika came to terms with having to use IVF to have her baby
  • Monika’s remaining insurance coverage and their plans for another retrieval and transfer
  • The lowest points for Monika were the first retrieval that yielded no blasts and how she felt depressed during the Lupron protocol in their second cycle; she recovered as she and her husband relaxed and determined to enjoy life more
  • A positive moment for Monika was when they got news of the one PGS-normal blast after their third round of IVF
  • Why Monika and her husband chose not to learn the gender of their baby until a few weeks along
  • The moment that Monika first knew she would be a mother after so many disappointments
  • How Monika balanced work and treatments by keeping mostly morning appointments
  • How Monika felt comfortable and supported by the coworkers with whom she chose to share her struggles
  • How her relationship with her husband grew closer as they learned to communicate and be strong together
  • How some relationships with friends and family changed because many people didn’t know what to say, and Monika felt challenged to communicate openly
  • Monika’s tips for advocating for herself: “Advocating can be overwhelming at first. Do your research and look at the evidence. More information will help you determine your best options.”
  • How infertility has changed Monika: “I’m a lot more sensitive to people’s struggles. I’ve never had health issues before, so this opened my eyes. I know not to ask certain questions anymore. My journey allowed me to be more open and share my story.”
  • Monika’s advice to her past self: “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t take infertility so seriously and relax more.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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