Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Hillary’s Story [SUCCESS]

July 20, 2020

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Hillary. She is a 37-year-old physician who enjoys baking, hiking, and reading. Several years before Hillary began trying to conceive, she consulted her doctor about short and irregular cycles. Because she is single by choice, she had to start with a reproductive endocrinologist right away when she was ready to build her family. There, she was diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency. After 5 unsuccessful IUI cycles, some medicated and some not, she switched clinics. Her first IVF cycle was converted to an IUI because she ovulated before her retrieval. At this point, she moved to another state and thus switched clinics again. Following an HSG and polyp removal, she proceeded with her seventh IUI, which failed due to low progesterone. Join us to hear how Hillary finally became pregnant with her son thanks to her eighth IUI, despite once again having low progesterone.

Episode Sponsor:

Infertility Coaching with Heather Huhman

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Hillary was less intense, but very busy and determined in her work to build a career
  • Why Hillary always assumed she would be a mom because it seemed like the natural thing to do
  • Why Hillary took her fertility into her own hands as she approached 35
  • How she found a Facebook support group for single moms by choice and explored her fertility options
  • When she saw her first reproductive endocrinologist to discuss her options, they discussed egg freezing, and she was diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency, pushing her forward even faster than she imagined
  • How everything in Hillary’s life was affected by her diagnosis and her priority of motherhood
  • How Hillary’s original misdiagnosis led to other problems with birth control pills and symptoms
  • How she was given a poor prognosis for motherhood and IUI was recommended
  • The plan to sync her cycle and go ahead with the first unmedicated IUI, which was unsuccessful
  • When the second IUI was also unsuccessful, Hillary questioned the hormone replacement therapy and advocated for a different protocol
  • How the next couple of IUI cycles went as planned, and then Hillary sought other medical opinions
  • How she found one doctor who wouldn’t listen to her concerns, but then found one willing to do IVF
  • While waiting for the IVF cycle, they did a blind IUI cycle, mainly so Hillary felt like she wasn’t wasting more time
  • Because the first IVF cycle was mistimed, it was converted to IUI and failed
  • As Hillary moved to another state for career training, she had to find a new clinic willing to do IVF with her
  • When she found a new RE who had a good plan for her, he did a hysteroscopy and removed a polyp; then she did another IUI that failed
  • How the 8th IUI cycle finally gave Hillary success, and her son was born
  • The pros and cons of being a doctor while trying to become a single mom
  • How Hillary selected her sperm donor
  • Why Hillary decided to have her polyp removed, which is a controversial procedure
  • Hillary’s “doctor-shopping” process and why she recommends second opinions
  • How Hillary feels about the role of progesterone support in her success
  • How Hillary’s circle of support helped her on the journey
  • How Hillary afforded her treatment with good insurance coverage
  • Why Hillary was guarded about her pregnancy until she was very far along
  • How infertility has changed Hillary: “Infertility has made me more myself, but I keep coming back to the words grit and grace. I feel like I have more grit than most people and need to bring a little more grace into it.”
  • Hillary’s advice to her past self: “Continue to trust yourself. You know your body best. It’s OK to get additional opinions and advocate for yourself.”

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