Dual Factor Infertility: Dahlia’s Story [SUCCESS]

June 15, 2020

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Dahlia. She is a 33-year-old financial analyst who enjoys working out, traveling, and spending time with family. Dahlia got pregnant the first cycle trying to conceive. Unfortunately, they learned it was ectopic at 10 weeks and her tube was removed. However, because her other tube was functional, they were told she should be able to get pregnant without difficulty moving forward. After 2 years and no additional pregnancies, they decided to seek medical help. A semen analysis proved her partner had azoospermia, so they were referred to a reproductive urologist and fertility clinic. Due to her hormone levels after a thorough fertility workup, they were told even IVF might not be an option. They decided to switch clinics, and her new doctor developed a treatment plan. By then, her partner’s semen analysis results had improved and they were advised to continue trying on their own. A year and half later, they returned to the second fertility clinic, and she was diagnosed with endometriosis and DOR. They were advised to try IVF. Unfortunately, her first cycle was canceled due to poor response. Join to hear how Dahlia’s second IVF cycle was much more successful and resulted in her son.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Dahlia was a planner, but also a carefree, “go with the flow” person
  • How she met her partner at work; she wasn’t interested at first, but they soon began dating and moved in together within a few weeks
  • As a couple, they are a very strong unit; they are loyal to each other, fun-loving, and share many common interests
  • How Dahlia always wanted kids and chose a stable career and a location close to family to prepare for motherhood
  • When Dahlia came off the pill, she got pregnant immediately, but it was ectopic; her tube was removed at ten weeks
  • Even though there was unexplained scarring on her remaining tube and uterus, tests showed that the tube was open and functional, so they started trying again
  • After a year of trying with no success, Dahlia started tracking her cycles
  • Blood tests showed that her partner’s levels were at “rock bottom,” and his semen analysis was “not good enough for IVF”
  • After seeing a second RE, he took supplements which greatly improved his levels after three months
  • While they kept trying, Dahlia had blood work that found DOR and endometriosis; this explained the scarring and tube damage
  • At another clinic, IVF was the immediate recommendation, but the first cycle was canceled due to no follicles
  • A new protocol resulted in 11 fertilized eggs and six good embryos on the second IVF cycle
  • One embryo was transferred, which resulted in the birth of their son, now one-month-old
  • Dahlia’s experiences with doctors and clinics: there was an overwhelming visit to the biggest and most famous clinic in Ireland, then a second doctor who investigated the root causes of her issues, and a third clinic chosen for its location and good reviews; they found a doctor “who truly loves helping couples”
  • The devastation Dahlia’s partner felt at his diagnosis, and how he improved his semen analysis and hormone levels that bodybuilding training had adversely affected
  • The lowest point for Dahlia was losing their first baby, a girl
  • How Dahlia had no symptoms or signs of the ectopic pregnancy until the strange bleeding began
  • The change in protocol from the first IVF cycle to the second one that was successful
  • A positive moment for Dahlia was when she met and bonded with a friend going through a similar battle with infertility; they now share the first moments of motherhood together with their newborns
  • How Dahlia felt when she got the first positive pregnancy test after her second IVF cycle—and went on to take ten more tests that day!
  • Dahlia’s worries about another ectopic and other issues during her pregnancy
  • How Dahlia and her partner balanced their work and treatment schedules
  • The specifics of Ireland’s public health care coverage for infertility treatments and the minimal cost of private medical care
  • How Dahlia and her partner grew closer and stronger during their journey
  • In relationships with friends and family, Dahlia received support from almost everyone; all the family members were cheering and praying for them, and most friends tried to understand and offer support
  • How Dahlia learned to be stronger through self-advocacy
  • Dahlia’s tips about advocacy: “Listen to your body and your feelings. I wish I had been more insistent in the beginning, so speak up if you think something isn’t right.”
  • How infertility changed Dahlia: “Infertility has made me so much more compassionate to couples, especially about early miscarriage. I’m more aware of others’ journeys. I’ve learned to keep my questions and opinions to myself and try to understand when someone is in a bad mood.”
  • Dahlia’s advice to her past self: “Research everything much, much earlier. Don’t worry as much.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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