Tubal Factor Infertility & Endometriosis: Maria’s Story [SUCCESS]

January 11, 2021

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Today’s success story of a woman named Maria. She is a 34-year-old marketing professional who enjoys taking trips to Disney. After only a few months of trying to conceive, Maria got pregnant spontaneously. Unfortunately, she miscarried. During the ultrasound, her doctor saw an ovarian cyst. A few months later, the cyst was still there, and her doctor confirmed it was an endometrioma. She switched to a fertility clinic and her reproductive endocrinologist discovered she also had a blocked tube. Following 2 failed IUIs, they decided to remove her tube. She changed fertility clinics after another failed IUI. She tried IUI twice with her new doctor, too, and both failed. It was time to move on to IVF. She became pregnant following her first retrieval and fresh transfer, but it was ectopic. Her first frozen transfer failed, so they ran a few tests. Both a hysteroscopy and ERA were normal. Two more retrievals later, she had some normal embryos. But a frozen transfer failed again. Join us to hear how Maria reached out to me for coaching and got pregnant spontaneously with their son.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Maria was a slightly pessimistic, type-A planner who was not able to “trust” happiness
  • How she met her husband online and was drawn to his height because he was taller than her; she felt a spark on their first date
  • As a couple, they are good friends who complement and support each other
  • How Maria always wanted to be a mother except for during her teenage years
  • How they bought a car conducive for a car seat and Maria kept a job she didn’t love because of the insurance coverage
  • The signs of endometriosis were there–but they were ignored, along with her concerns when Maria saw her OB/GYN at age 25
  • Soon after their marriage, they started trying to conceive, and Maria used OPKs; her OB/GYN told her to “keep trying”
  • She got pregnant the next month, but bleeding and an ER visit led to a slow miscarriage and the discovery of a cyst
  • A few months later, her cyst was confirmed to be an endometrioma; she went to her first RE, who diagnosed her with Stage 3-4 endometriosis
  • The RE said she had a slim chance of getting pregnant and then found that her left tube was blocked by a hydrosalpinx
  • After trying IUIs in January and February 2018, her tube was removed in March; they quickly did a third IUI because her husband wasn’t ready yet for IVF
  • How Maria met with another RE, who was mean, rude, and condescending during the consult, but he noted low AMH levels that had never been brought up to her before
  • How a friend referred her to another RE; they quickly did two more IUIs with a new protocol, and Maria was labeled a poor responder
  • As they were finally ready for IVF, Maria began acupuncture; the first retrieval in September 2018 yielded eight embryos, and they transferred one
  • After an initial negative result, Maria got a positive test a few days later; the six-week ultrasound showed an ectopic, so she took the methotrexate shot and felt devastated
  • An HSG showed that her tube was open, so they did another transfer in February 2019; it failed, so Maria had more extensive tests done, which gave normal results
  • With more stims and a new protocol, her next FET in September 2019 also failed
  • When her doctor recommended surgery to remove the endometriosis, Maria contacted Heather to find some answers; they agreed that surgery was the best next step
  • Surprisingly, there was no endometriosis to remove during the surgery, so the doctor flushed out her tube
  • The doctors couldn’t explain the result, but Maria’s husband had declared war on their infertility, and they had resorted to air filters, mantras, and probiotics–a drastic measure to improve the health of their home and Maria’s body
  • While tracking ovulation and still trying to conceive, Maria took a pregnancy test and was shocked when it was positive; she’s now thrilled to be the mother of a son
  • Maria’s advice to others who are hesitant to change doctors
  • What it was like to do monitoring at her old clinic even though she’s moved on
  • What it was like to be told that her tube needed to be removed
  • Why they tried IUI so many times before moving to IVF
  • Maria’s advice about how to decide to change clinics and how to do research
  • Maria’s surprise at her ectopic pregnancy–and the questions that remain unanswered
  • How it felt to be spontaneously pregnant after so much medical intervention
  • The lowest point for Maria was the ectopic pregnancy, seeing it on the big screen, and the anxiety attacks that followed; time and relaxation techniques helped
  • A positive outcome is the friends that Maria made through her infertility journey
  • How they spend about $90K over two years, using credit card balance transfers and being diligent about receipts and tax write-offs
  • How Maria balanced work and treatment, which was easier because her clinic was across the street from her work
  • How Maria learned to advocate for herself and found it easy to talk to her RE
  • How infertility changed Maria: “I don’t assume that everyone has an easy life. I don’t know what they’ve gone through. I also handle other people’s grief differently now, and I’m more compassionate. I try not to say empty words to them.”
  • Maria’s advice to her past self: “Don’t let your doctor ignore you.”

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