BONUS 262: Moving on to the Next Treatment

June 5, 2020

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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.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:

  • Kandace is the mother of two boys, ages 7 and 5, but she’s battling secondary infertility in trying to have a third child. With good results on her blood work and her husband’s semen analysis, she asks if IVF is her only option.
  • Leslie’s doctor has suggested ICSI after three unsuccessful retrievals. She asks if there is anything she can do to improve egg quality besides healthy lifestyle changes and supplements.
  • Grace has been trying for four years, and her husband has a low sperm count. With their first IVF, the only embryo was abnormal. She asks for recommendations for her next cycle.
  • Ana has diagnosed herself with hypothalamic amenorrhea after going off the pill. She’s stopped running and gained weight but still has no period. She asks if she should keep waiting for a natural cycle or use Letrozole.
  • Quatisa’s husband has three adult children, but she also wants three children. She asks if science can help her have identical twin girls and if she can become a surrogate or donate her eggs after she’s finished having children.
  • Raychel has had three miscarriages in the last two years. She takes medication for hypothyroidism, and her blood tests are now normal. She asks for advice about having a hysteroscopy to remove an indentation in her uterus.

Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing how to decide when it’s time to move to the next stage of treatment:

  • Broadly speaking, if a patient wants to move on to the next stage of treatment, how should she discuss this with her doctor? And what should she expect that conversation to look like? Are there any specific questions she should be asking?
  • How can patients best use a break in treatments to decide their next move?
  • Timed intercourse to IUI
    • For those who aren’t familiar, please describe the timed intercourse process (both medicated and non-medicated).
    • Please describe the IUI process.
    • At what point should a patient consider moving on from timed intercourse to IUI? Why?
    • Do you have any success stories of patients who were unsuccessful with timed intercourse but were successful with IUI?
  • IUI to IVF
    • Generally speaking, please describe the IVF process.
    • At what point should a patient consider moving on from IUI to IVF? Why?
    • Do you have any success stories of patients who were unsuccessful with IUI but were successful with IVF?
  • IVF to donor or gestational carrier
    • Please describe the donor egg process.
    • Please describe the gestational carrier process.
    • At what point should a patient consider moving on from IVF with their own eggs to IVF with donor eggs? Why?
    • Do you have any success stories of patients who were unsuccessful with IVF with their own eggs but were successful with IVF with donor eggs?
    • At what point should a patient consider moving on from IVF to using a gestational carrier? Why?
    • Do you have any success stories of patients who were unsuccessful with IVF but were successful with a gestational carrier?
  • Have any of the recommendations you’re sharing now changed throughout your career?
  • Do you anticipate science changing in the near future to make any of these options more successful?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • What words of hope would you offer to patients who are considering moving on to the next stage of treatment?

Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.

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