Tubal Factor Infertility & Genetic Abnormalities: Ella’s Story [SUCCESS]

January 13, 2020

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Ella. She is a 36-year-old accountant who enjoys spending time with her dogs, DIY projects, and brunch. After 4 months of trying to conceive and consulting her OB/GYN and 2 reproductive endocrinologists, Ella’s left tube was removed due to hydrosalpinx. She got pregnant on Clomid her first month after recovering from surgery, but lost the pregnancy at 6 weeks. It turned out to be a partial molar. Although she was advised to wait 6 months to try again, she started right away and was spontaneously pregnant 6 months later. She lost that pregnancy at 8 weeks due to Trisomy 20. So, they decided it was time for IVF. The first cycle resulted in only 3 poorly graded Day 3 embryos. She transferred all on day 3, which failed. The second cycle produced 7 Day 5 embryos. She transferred one and sent the rest for PGT testing. Her transfer resulted in a chemical, and only 2 of her embryos came back normal. Her third cycle resulted in 9 Day 5 embryos, 5 of which came back normal. Six months later, she was spontaneously pregnant again but lost it at 9 weeks due to Trisomy 16. The fourth retrieval yielded 2 PGT normal embryos. Join us to hear how Ella had one failed FET, an ERA, and finally had her daughter.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Ella had a black and white view of everything and thought she just had to work hard for whatever she wanted
  • How she met her husband through a mutual friend on St. Patrick’s Day
  • As a couple, they are best friends with a solid relationship, and they love being together
  • How Ella always knew she wanted to be a mom, but thought she didn’t want the pregnancy experience early in life
  • How every major decision about where to live and where to work was made with future motherhood in mind
  • In 2016, Ella started trying to conceive and tracked her cycles; after a few months with no success, she saw her Ob-gyn
  • The Ob began with blood tests, an HSG, and infertility workup; there was a big mixup about billing and insurance, which resulted in Ella being charged much more than she should have been
  • The HSG showed a blocked left tube and a hydrosalpinx
  • At the next appointment, the PA told Ella that IVF was the only option
  • The recommendation was to remove the left tube, which cost Ella as much as a full round of IVF because of the billing practices
  • How Ella saw two more specialists for second opinions, one of which wanted to remove both of her tubes without question
  • When Ella saw the third RE, he was the first person who gave her hope about the procedure; he actually called another doctor to find someone who would do the surgery and have her insurance cover it
  • With a new Ob, Ella had surgery to remove the hydrosalpinx and a small uterine septum; she was pronounced “good to go”
  • She got pregnant a month later with Clomid and pushed for early ultrasounds; there was no visible yolk sac, and she had a D & C
  • The products of conception were tested and showed a partial molar, which gave some serious cancer concerns
  • How Ella had to have monthly blood tests to check HCG levels and kept trying naturally with Clomid
  • She became pregnant during the sixth month after surgery and found a low-cost clinic in NY that would cater to travel patients and save them lots of money
  • She miscarried at eight weeks and the products of conception showed trisomy 20
  • The first IVF cycle was in January 2018; they only got three poor quality embryos and transferred all three
  • Ella had put all her hopes on that IVF cycle at the NY clinic, but it failed
  • The second IVF happened immediately, and they got six embryos and transferred one, which resulted in a chemical pregnancy; the other embryos were tested, and only two were normal
  • In the third IVF cycle, they got nine embryos and transferred one, which failed; only five of the eight tested PGT-normal
  • They did a frozen transfer in July 2018 at a local clinic in CA; this was after having all their embryos shipped across the country from the clinic in NY
  • The new RE in CA wanted to do an HSG and saline sonogram, but Ella declined; she now regrets that decision
  • When the transfer failed, they proceeded with testing and a mock cycle
  • She got pregnant naturally in August 2018 but miscarried at nine weeks due to trisomy 16
  • Why Ella wanted one more retrieval cycle to bank more embryos
  • She went back to NY for the retrieval and had two normal embryos shipped back to CA
  • How the BI podcast and social app helped Ella along her journey
  • How Ella was shocked at how small the chances for success are and how difficult it was to get the answers she wanted
  • What Ella sees as the most shocking part of her journey
  • What Ella wishes her friends and family knew about infertility
  • How infertility changed Ella: “Infertility has made me less of a black and white person than I was before. I’m more empathetic and can appreciate people’s struggles more. It’s a reality check that I needed. Overall, it made me a better person.”
  • Ella’s advice to her past self: “ I would tell myself to speak up about infertility more in the beginning. It was hard to talk about, and I should have reached out to people more.”

References:

Thanks for listening!

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