Hashimoto’s, PCOS & Male Factor: Becky’s Story [SUCCESS]

July 15, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Becky. She is a 34-year-old physician’s assistant who enjoys knitting, sewing, and walking with her dog. After trying to conceive for several months, she started charting her cycles. Unfortunately, her cycles were long and predicting ovulation was difficult. She first sought advice from her OB/GYN, who recommended timed intercourse every other day. When that didn’t work, they began seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. Thorough testing on both of them revealed she has Hashimoto’s and PCOS, and he has slightly low motility. Unfortunately, after two timed intercourse and five IUI cycles, she still wasn’t pregnant. Her first IVF cycle resulted in only two Day 3 embryos, neither of which implanted. After making some lifestyle changes and implementing stress management techniques, they decided to try IVF again. Join us to hear how Becky’s second cycle resulted in four Day 5 embryos, one of which became her son.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Becky was more carefree and spontaneous, and “joy came easier”
  • How she met her husband on Match.com, had an hours-long first date, and became engaged just 8 months later
  • As a couple, they are supportive of each other and have similar values and morals
  • How Becky always wanted to be a mom but didn’t always have a suitable parenting partner
  • How Becky made decisions and chose the physician assistant route to accommodate motherhood
  • How she tracked her cycles when they started trying to conceive
  • When she saw her OB, timed intercourse was the first recommendation, but it yielded no results
  • When she was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist, testing revealed Hashimoto’s and PCOS for her and low sperm motility for her husband
  • After two timed intercourse cycles with letrozole, they did several unsuccessful IUI cycles
  • The first IVF was something Becky was sure would bring success, so she dealt with depression when she got a negative result
  • Her RE’s position was that valuable information about her eggs and medication dosages was gained from the failed cycle
  • On the second IVF, her medication doses were doubled, they got four Day 5 embryos, and Becky became pregnant with their son
  • Between the two IVF cycles, Becky made several lifestyle changes, including reducing her workload and starting acupuncture, yoga, and therapy. She also took herbal supplements and eliminated external hormone influencers as much as possible.
  • How her cycle length clued her in to possible problems and suspected PCOS and thyroid issues
  • How Becky tries now to educate young women in her practice about reproduction and PCOS
  • Why she started with her OB first
  • How she chose the RE and clinic, mainly because it was right across the street from her office, so appointments were convenient and flexible with her work schedule
  • What it was like to undergo treatments while working in healthcare
  • How Becky’s history of trauma as a rape survivor impacted her infertility journey and PTSD behaviors
  • How Becky didn’t realize that more than one IVF cycle could be required for success
  • The lowest point: when the first IVF didn’t work, and she battled depression
  • Why the second IVF cycle was so much easier because she knew what to expect and the process wasn’t so scary
  • A positive moment was the deeper connection with her husband and with friends who had also gone through IVF
  • How infertility changed Becky: “I became more open-minded about people in general. I realize that everybody’s story could bring me to my knees.”
  • Becky’s advice to her past self: “Be gentle with yourself. This is the hardest thing you’ve dealt with. Roll with the punches.”

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Thanks for listening!

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