Unexplained Infertility: Jocelyn’s Story [SUCCESS]

August 23, 2021

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Today’s journey story of a woman named Jocelyn. She is a 33-year-old finance manager who enjoys traveling, shopping, and spending time with her son. Jocelyn and her husband started trying to conceive right before her 30th birthday. After a few unsuccessful months, they went to a fertility clinic where they were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. They continued to try on their own for the better part of a year. Once her new insurance kicked in, they returned to the clinic to try IUI. When that was unsuccessful, they quickly moved to IVF. Although a lot of eggs were retrieved her first cycle, none of her embryos made it to blast. A second cycle had the same result. She added supplements, changed her diet, and tried again. This time, she didn’t respond at all. At that point, she switched to our regular medical contributor, Dr. Allison Rodgers. Another IVF cycle resulted in 2 quality blasts. Join us to hear how Jocelyn went through a clinic change and several more IVF cycles in order to become pregnant with their son.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Jocelyn was “naively happy” and super positive about life in general
  • How she met her husband in the summer of 2008 when she interned at the Chicago company that he worked for; they met and began dating soon after
  • As a couple, they are solid and strong together
  • How Jocelyn always wanted to be a mom because it was the “expected” thing to do
  • How they bought a house in the Chicago suburbs to provide a better environment for kids
  • In 2017, they started trying just before her 30th birthday and went to their first RE a few months later
  • Tests showed unexplained infertility, so they kept trying on their own
  • With lots of insurance snags, they began IUI in 2019 then moved to IVF
  • As they experimented with different protocols, Jocelyn responded well but was disappointed when 12 fertilized eggs yielded no blasts
  • Second opinions got them no answers, so Jocelyn remained hopeful and turned to the BI podcast for education and inspiration
  • How Jocelyn didn’t respond well to another retrieval with a tweaked protocol, so their IVF was converted to IUI with no success
  • At this point, Jocelyn called Heather for a consultation and switched to a new RE
  • With RE #2, 2019 brought a fourth retrieval that was triggered with HCG; Jocelyn was ecstatic to have two high-quality blasts to freeze and two others that were growing well
  • When Jocelyn advocated for herself and insisted on a Day 3 fresh transfer, the doctor recommended transferring both of the subpar embryos, but still no success
  • In 2020, the protocol was switched up again, but there were no mature follicles and no blasts
  • As COVID hit, Jocelyn had an ERA and Receptiva test, which showed possible endometriosis
  • How she opted for a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy instead of hormone treatment; the surgeon found mild endo and removed a large fibroid
  • As they took a break to let her uterus heal, Jocelyn and her husband enjoyed their summer without infertility worries
  • As they tried again in August 2020, a natural frozen transfer cycle made her hormones crazy, so they waited for the next cycle, which was still unsuccessful
  • When they tried again with their last embryo, they got another negative result
  • With a switch in clinics, they consulted with RE #3 and went for a sixth egg retrieval in November
  • Before they tried a totally new protocol that included baby aspirin, split doses, and a sperm-sorting chip, Jocelyn made a trip to see and touch fertility statues that she had read about
  • With one quality blast that was frozen on Day 5, Jocelyn had a transfer of three embryos that weren’t growing well and would have been discarded
  • One of those embryos took, and they now have a baby son who is happy and healthy
  • Why Jocelyn went to a fertility clinic so early in her journey
  • The differences in protocols with each cycle
  • Why Jocelyn switched clinics even though she liked each of her REs
  • Why you don’t have to be friends with your RE
  • More about Jocelyn’s visit to the fertility statues during the COVID shutdown; did they work?
  • Why Episode 141 of BI is Jocelyn’s favorite episode and helped her in many ways
  • How it felt to have an unexplained infertility diagnosis and not have a specific problem to solve
  • How the lowest point came for Jocelyn after her second retrieval and no blastocysts
  • How a big positive moment occurred when they finally got two quality embryos to freeze
  • How Jocelyn balanced work and treatments with close clinic locations and supportive bosses
  • Jocelyn’s advice for communicating with bosses and coworkers
  • How Jocelyn’s feelings of shame about infertility as a black woman have changed during her journey
  • How Jocelyn’s relationship with her husband changed in positive ways during the infertility journey
  • How Jocelyn’s relationships with friends and family have been affected by her infertility journey
  • Jocelyn’s tips for listeners who are still learning to advocate for themselves
  • How infertility has changed Jocelyn: “Infertility made me bitter and jealous for a bit. Going through my journey made me better able to understand people and what they could be going through.”
  • Jocelyn’s advice to her past self: “Take it one day at a time.”

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Thanks for listening!

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