Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Allison Rodgers. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers currently practices at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. Her personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine in order to help you beat infertility.
Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:
Elke: I am 34, and my partner is 37. We live in the United Kingdom. I’m currently trying for baby number two, and I have spotting during my luteal phase, which I never had before. It usually starts a few days after ovulation and is on and off until my period starts. Spotting can be light and just when I wipe, or it can be heavier so I need a pad but never as heavy as during my period. The spotting started a few months back for a day or two before my period and now is almost constant during my luteal phase. I also cramp much more similar to when I have my period. What can be the causes for spotting?
Anne: I am 32, and my husband is 33. We live in Italy. I stopped the pill and started trying to conceive about 20 months ago. My period came back quickly and everything seemed fine. About 6 months after stopping the pill, my period went from lasting 5 days to lasting only 1-2 days. The change was very noticeable, and it turns out that my lining is very thin: about 4mm at its peak. Since then, my RE and I are working on getting a thicker lining. Scraping the lining and additional estrogen helped improve the lining to 6mm in some parts but it did not grow further. A hysteroscopy did not reveal anything abnormal. What would you advise?
Sara: I am 39, and my husband is 40. We live in the United Kingdom. Do you think donor egg is the only option with a premature ovarian failure diagnosis? What’s your opinion on ovarian rejuvenation? I’ve had one IVF cycle that resulted in miscarriage at 9 weeks.
Renee: My husband and I are both 33. We live in Canada. My IVF retrieval was cancelled prior to receiving my trigger shot because I prematurely ovulated.
My RE is now proposing a long protocol with one month of birth control prior to stimulation. What are your views on the long protocol in situations like this? How common is premature ovulation and can it be prevented going forward without inhibiting follicle growth?
Amanda: I am 41, and my husband is 40. My only fertility issue is AMA. I got pregnant once naturally but miscarried at 6 weeks. After 7 egg retrievals, we only have 3 normal embryos. I did an ERA prior to my 1st FET. I was pre-receptive and need 24 hours more of progesterone. I’m worried that the results are inaccurate because I did it before my first transfer. Should I proceed with my FET using my ERA results? Doing a repeat ERA isn’t an option.
Amy: I am 39, and my husband is 40. I have 2 very high-grade normal embryos frozen. I’ve done a transfer before, but PIO shots cause me to develop body aches and a mild fever. I just did an ERA and my protocol was taking PIO every 3rd day along with 2 Crinone suppositories every day. Do you think that this will be enough progesterone? Should I ask for more? My RE said there’s a study that shows that this is just as successful as PIO every day.
Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly of fertility supplements:
- Alpha-lipoic acid
- Omega 3s
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)
- Pycnogenol (pick-nah-gen-all)
- Vitamin A, C, D, E
- What about supplements for men?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
- What words of hope would you offer to infertility warriors who are concerned about their egg or embryo quality?