Unexplained Infertility: Sarah’s Story [SUCCESS]

June 17, 2019

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Today’s success story is about a woman named Sarah. She is a 40-year-old teacher who enjoys hiking, running, and hanging out with friends and family. When she was 30 and had been trying to conceive for 6 months, her family doctor referred her to an OB/GYN. It wasn’t long before she transferred to a reproductive endocrinologist in a bigger city. There, she was diagnosed with unexplained infertility and assured she would be pregnant within a year. However, following 3 medicated timed intercourse cycles and 3 IUIs, she still wasn’t pregnant. So, they decided to move on to IVF. Her first cycle resulted in 14 embryos. But again, following 6 transfers, she had 2 miscarriages and no viable pregnancy. Sadly, she didn’t respond well during her second retrieval and was left with no embryos. Join us to hear how Sarah switched doctors, used a new protocol for her third retrieval, and ended up with one embryo that finally gave her a child after nearly 10 years.

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What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Before infertility, Sarah lived a “cushy” life with great parents in a great town, where everything seemed to go her way
  • How she met her husband when they both worked at the same restaurant, chatting first before becoming friends and later dating
  • As a couple, they are a good match and a solid team, even though they are stubborn and opinionated
  • How family was always the focus of Sarah’s life, and she assumed she would be a mom
  • How they made decisions to prepare for adding a child to their family
  • She saw her Ob, who recommended IUI after several months of trying and said they would probably need an RE
  • They met their first RE, who did more tests but remained hopeful and confident in their chances
  • How they did three medicated timed intercourse cycles and three IUI’s—all with no success
  • They began IVF with 27 eggs retrieved but only 14 viable embryos; two embryos were transferred with no success, so they began to lose hope
  • With the 2nd transfer, two embryos were transferred again, but she got a negative beta
  • The RE thought a uterine lining issue was to blame and suggested surrogacy
  • With their 2nd RE, they still had 9 embryos and transferred two with no success; the RE thought egg quality might be the problem
  • A biopsy was done to check Sarah’s lining, and then another transfer was done with a longer protocol; Sarah became pregnant, but they couldn’t detect a heartbeat
  • After another IVF cycle with the same protocol and no success, they considered adoption
  • The Canadian government offered a funded cycle to certain patients, so Sarah pushed for a fresh cycle with PGS testing
  • She discussed her options with her Ob, who suggested she find a new RE
  • The new RE was hopeful, assertive, and ready to move forward, so they did the funded IVF cycle but received no embryos
  • A new IVF cycle began with a different stimulation protocol; out of 29 eggs, there were 5 embryos, but only one PGS-normal one
  • The transfer took place last February, and they have a daughter on the way
  • Sarah’s advice about what to look for in a reproductive endocrinologist
  • How her relationship with her husband remained supportive as they plowed through infertility together, and some friendships changed because of the lack of commonality, but their families remained supportive and shared in their pain
  • How infertility changed Sarah: “I thought life was all about working hard to get what you deserve, and I found that it’s not true. I’ve learned to be more empathetic and try to have a different perspective.”
  • Sarah’s advice to her past self: “Take time to stop and understand people’s situations. Slow down and enjoy every moment.”

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Thanks for listening!

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