PCOS, Tubal Factor Infertility & Secondary Infertility: Christy’s Story [SUCCESS]

December 16, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Christy. She is a 34-year-old educator who enjoys sailing. Christy has known about her PCOS diagnosis since she was 15. Unfortunately, her doctor at the time saw her as a teenager rather than a future parent. So when her appendix burst — damaging her Fallopian tubes in the process — and he surgically removed ovarian cysts, he wrote information about her future fertility in her chart but never communicated with her. Her first child was born after three rounds of metformin and Clomid with her OB/GYN. However, when they started actively trying for a second child, they had significantly more difficulty. After 11 rounds of Clomid and injectables, her reproductive endocrinologist recommended IVF. Her first cycle was successful, but she miscarried at 8 weeks. Her first FET was cancelled because her lining didn’t get thick enough. To determine the best next steps, her doctor did a mock cycle, which went well. Join us to hear how Christy transferred her next frozen embryo against her doctor’s advice, which gave her and her husband their second child.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Christy was 15 with long and irregular periods and a brand-new PCOS diagnosis
  • She and her husband have known each other through elementary school, high school, and college and have been lifelong friends
  • As a couple, they are goal-oriented and fun with similar goals and personalities
  • How Christy always wanted to be a mom
  • How planning for parenthood was woven into all the choices she and her husband have made
  • When nine cysts were removed from her ovaries when she was 15, birth control was the only treatment
  • A friend recommended her dad as a doctor who could help after they had been trying for a few months
  • On Clomid and Metformin, Christy got pregnant, but the doctor was concerned that it might be a molar pregnancy
  • Despite the concern, her daughter was born healthy at 41 weeks
  • They started trying for a second child when their daughter was one
  • With a busy year of work and Ph.D. study, Christy tried the same doctor and the same medicines
  • How the RE put them on a schedule of timed intercourse, based on the timing of her mature follicles
  • After six months with insufficient follicles, Christy was put on a new medication that came in the mail; she accidentally threw it out with the packaging because it was all new to her
  • When the doctor examined her tubes, her reproductive organs had atrophied because of the bacteria from her appendix rupturing years earlier
  • One tube had a 20% chance of working, and the other only had a 10% chance of working
  • Because of Christy’s religious opposition to IVF, her doctor referred her to an embryo donation center located nearby
  • An ultrasound showed a problem that delayed the transfer for another month and then another five months, so Christy focused on her career and enjoyed being able to drink wine during that time
  • One embryo was transferred, and Christy became pregnant but had a subchorionic hemorrhage and a low heartbeat at six weeks–then no heartbeat at eight weeks
  • She took pills to carry out the miscarriage and had massive bleeding for several days and then a D & C
  • The next cycle was canceled because of her thin uterine lining, and this is the point where Christy “lost it”
  • To increase her uterine lining, she tried acupuncture, guided meditation, iron-rich foods, and hot foot baths
  • A mock cycle went well, and then they did another cycle, in which her lining was too thin
  • The doctor didn’t want to continue, but Christy insisted on carrying out the transfer
  • Her perfectly healthy baby girl was born at 41 weeks and is now 15 months old
  • They still have two more embryos and have a transfer scheduled in a few months
  • ‘Why Christy is fighting now with the company that transferred their embryos from one city to another
  • Why they chose to only inseminate 4 out of 12 eggs
  • Why Christy wanted to choose her doctor, who is Catholic and very open about his respect for human life
  • The plan for their two remaining embryos
  • How Christy’s mindset changed with the introduction of a new infertility problem (her uterine lining)
  • Christy’s recommendations about acupuncture and guided meditation
  • Why breastfeeding is important to Christy in having her body work the way it should
  • The lowest point was in the ultrasound room when her lining was too thin, and she had never heard of this problem before; she focused on school, appointments, and medications and tried not to stress out about infertility
  • A positive moment when they found Christy was pregnant with their first daughter much faster than they expected; another positive was being able to work with very smart and helpful doctors, nurses, and an acupuncturist
  • How Christy’s religious community has responded to her IVF story
  • How infertility has changed Christy: “I’m grateful to have gone through something hard because it’s made me more empathetic. It’s helped me to relate to and frame people’s choices and mindsets a lot better than before.”
  • Christy’s advice to her past self: “You can’t be stressed about one area of life and expect it not to affect other areas of your life. I wish I could’ve stepped back and made active choices sooner to reduce stress. I also wish I had questioned the doctor about being on birth control at age 15 for PCOS.”

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Thanks for listening!

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