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.
Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:
- Samantha L. asks how clinics choose which embryos to freeze, since she had one transferred and one frozen.
- Hilary asks for advice on conflicting issues such as bed rest after transfer, autoimmune issues, and exercise.
- Samantha K. asks about cutting out all exercise and interval training, which she loves, since she is preparing for her second FET cycle and has hypothalamic amenorrhea.
- Erin has been trying to conceive for more than 2 years, just started treatments, and asks about the wisdom in transferring one vs. two embryos.
- Elizabeth has had three early miscarriages in the last nine months and has the MTHFR gene mutation. She asks about the medications her doctor is recommending.
- Susannah is 39 with an 18-month-old son and is trying again. She’s had two early miscarriages and been tested for several disorders. She asks about whether to move to an RE right away.
Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing the emotional couple weeks between a positive beta and ‘graduating’ to your OB/GYN:
- Why do most REs recommend against taking home pregnancy tests?
- What is a ‘beta,’ and when can patients expect the first one depending on the type of cycle (timed intercourse, IUI, IVF/FET)?
- What HCG level are you expecting for that first draw? Does that first beta tell you anything about the future success of the pregnancy?
- Take us through subsequent beta draws. How many should patients expect? How often is blood drawn? What do the results indicate?
- What are normal HCG levels for weeks 4 through 10? What else are you monitoring through blood draws, and what levels are normal for those hormones?
- Based on a blood draw alone, what might make a RE suspect the pregnancy is ectopic or molar? Why?
- What steps are taken from there?
- Is there a certain HCG level at which something typically can be seen in the uterus? Take us through in detail what you’re looking for and what is considered normal during early ultrasounds (weeks 6-9/10).
- Let’s discuss medications. Do patients typically continue taking progesterone and/or estrogen in the early stages of pregnancy? If so, please walk us through that.
- Talk to us about bleeding during early pregnancy. What’s normal and what isn’t?
- At what point do patients typically ‘graduate’ from a RE to an OB/GYN? Does your office do anything special for them?
- Is there anything else you’d like to add about the road from RE to OB/GYN when patients finally become pregnant?
Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.