Male Factor Infertility: Elysse’s Story [SUCCESS]

September 2, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Elysse. She is a 30-year-old master’s student who enjoys hiking, attending musicals, and spending time with her family. After trying to conceive for several months, she sought the advice of her OB/GYN. They quickly transferred to a fertility clinic for a full workup, which uncovered her husband’s male factor infertility — specifically low concentration and morphology. Starting with medicated timed intercourse, she became pregnant during the second cycle. Unfortunately, she miscarried. She was pregnant again about five months later, but miscarried. They moved on to IUI, but after two cycles, she still wasn’t pregnant. They tried medicated timed intercourse again for the next several months, knowing that if it wasn’t successful, they were headed toward IVF with ICSI. Join us to hear how Elysse’s IVF cycle resulted in only two embryos, but she became pregnant with her daughter after their first frozen transfer.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Elysse was a very driven person who tried to plan everything
  • How she met her husband when they both worked at a theme park as entertainers, and she felt a “weird attraction” to him
  • As a couple, they are good communicators with an equal partnership
  • How Elysse wanted to be a mom “forever,” and as the oldest of six kids, she was always babysitting and tending to babies in the family
  • When they started trying to conceive a few months after their marriage, Elysse began using OPKs and tracking her cycles
  • When she saw her OB, her husband went for a semen analysis, which showed major problems that sent them directly to a reproductive endocrinologist
  • With medicated timed intercourse, she became pregnant on the second cycle but miscarried at 6-½ weeks
  • She soon became pregnant again but miscarried at five weeks
  • After two IUI cycles with no success, they were ready to move on to IVF
  • The first retrieval and transfer happened in 2018, and their daughter was born last January
  • How Elysse’s gut instinct told her something was wrong in the beginning and sent her to the OB
  • Why Elysse assumed any problem they had would be with her and not her husband
  • Why Elysse began the infertility journey by seeing her OB but was then fast-tracked to a fertility clinic
  • The first impression of the fertility clinic, which had good reviews and great front desk staff, but seemed impersonal in the way doctors saw the patients
  • How Elysse and her husband processed the MFI diagnosis
  • How Elysse dove into learning more about MFI to look for any solutions
  • Why they chose not to share details of their journey with family members until much later
  • How Elysse found great support online and in Facebook communities
  • Why Elysse is happy to share their infertility journey now that their daughter is here
  • The lowest point was the first loss because they were so hopeful for that pregnancy
  • A positive moment was finding out they were pregnant after the first IVF cycle; another positive is the great friends Elysse has made along this journey
  • How they were able to afford treatment, with great insurance coverage, some savings, and generously donated medications
  • How Elysse balanced her treatments, work as a nanny, and full-time college, and how her husband was able to attend most appointments
  • How Elysse felt crazy with all the hormones, but always had her husband’s understanding and support on the journey
  • How Elysse had to advocate for herself, especially when the clinic wouldn’t call her back or she had to push them for answers
  • How infertility has changed Elysse: “Infertility has improved my empathy for others. I’ve learned to be more patient and go with the flow. I value my partner more and have great admiration and appreciation for him.”
  • Elysse’s advice to herself back then: “Take a deep breath and let it out. Try not to take every single day so seriously. This journey isn’t a quick sprint but a marathon. Try to enjoy your pregnancy and not be so anxious.”

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