Let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm 25 and my husband is 27. We have been together since Oct 13, 2000 - I was 16 & he was 18. We've got married Dec 24, 2006. We started trying to conceive in February 2007 with no success.
In September 2007 we were referred to our current doctor (RE) and she specializes in Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility MSc, MD, FRCSC at fertility clinic in Toronto. Me and my husband did many test which all came back with great results. We were tested through Sonohysterogram, Laporoscopy, Hysteroscopy, Hysterosalpingogram (HSG), Semen DNA Fragmentation to name a few...
We did 3 IUI's; Then we decided to start doing IVF to increase our chances. Unfortunately, we found out that I have unexplained poor response to medications. We spent over $36,000 out of the pocket just in 2007 & 2008 for all our procedures. We had 4 failed IVF attempts, some canceled after weeks of expensive injections. Every cycle was a heartbreak and the pain never goes away.
- Natural - Feb.’07-Oct. ’07;
- IUI#1 - Nov '07- Clomid 50mg (cd5-9); HCG; Progesterone 400g;
- IUI#2 - Jan '08- Clomid 50mg (cd5-9); HCG; Progesterone 400mg;
- IVF#1 - Long Agonist Protocol; Feb '08 - BCP; Mar '08 - Suprefact / Puregon 175IU; Canceled after 9 weeks of injections due to 3.2cm cyst on the right ovary
- IVF#2 - Long Agonist Protocol; April '08 BCP; May '08 - Puregon 200 IU/Orgalutran 250 mg; ER May 14 - ET May 17; 5 eggs-3 mature-2 fertilized; Day 3 transfer; transferred two 8-cell & 7-cell grade 1 embies; Progesterone 600mg;
- Natural - June ’08; Aspirin 81mg/Pre-Seed;
- IVF#3 - Short Antagonist Protocol; July '08 - Canceled after 10 days of injections due to elevated prolactin 36.6 & poor response; only 8 follicles and not developing
- IVF#4 - Short Antagonist Protocol; Aug/Sept' 08 -Gonal-f (225iu)/Menopur (150iu); Cetrotide (250mg);Ovidrel 10,000 IU; Progesterone in oil injections (50mg), Aspirin (81mg) Cancelled after 12 days of injections (less than 7 follicles); Later converted to IUI#3
- IVF#5 - Estrogen Priming with MicroFlare Protocol; Oct '08 - Start Estrace Oct5 (7DPO); Stop next CD2 after AF (Oct11) start stim with Gonal-F (450iu) & microdose of Lupron/Suprefact (0.05iu); Took Aspirin 81 mg; Almost canceled due to poor response after 13 days of injections (only 6 follicles developing) + ovarian cysts; ER on cycle day 21 (!!!) after 18 days of stims; Got 10 eggs; 7 mature; 5 fertilized with ICSI; Day 5 transfer of 2 blastocysts (2AB both); one was hatching; None to freeze, all arrested; Crinone 8% & Estrace 6mg after ET
- Greater than 50% of patients achieve pregnancy on their first IVF cycle.
- Close to 50% of patients who had a second cycle also achieved pregnancy.
- Finally, 40% of patients who did a third cycle achieved a clinical pregnancy.
Statistically, most people have become pregnant by their third cycle.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Again, I am not a doctor, but if your do the research, you will see, that it does not. To my opinion being a vegetarian can actually help.
I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I guess not a complete vegetarian because I do eat fish and eggs that are organic and were harvested from free-run (cage free) chickens. I constantly hear that vegans and vegetarians also do not usually get adequate amounts of vitamin B12, zinc, iron and folic acid. But, hello!, who does not take vitamins or supplements these days?! If you take multivitamin, this problem disappears.
Contrary to popular opinion, protein intake in vegetarian and vegan diets is sometimes only slightly lower than in meat diets. For example, an average portion of roast chicken breast contains 24g protein. On average one vegetarian sausage/burger contains 27g of protein. Since becoming vegetarian I get more protein than ever. My suggestion - read labels.
If anything you are probably doing your eggs good by following vegetarian diet. There are over 20,000 different drugs, including steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that are given to livestock animals. These drugs are consumed when animal foods are consumed. The dangers herein, in secondary consumption of antibiotics, are well documented.
Vegetarians eat a lot of soy and that actually may help with IVF success!
High doses of soy estrogens can improve pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, Italian researchers have found.
Women who took 1,500 milligrams of soy isoflavones per day, along with progesterone injections, had significantly greater rates of implantation, ongoing pregnancy and delivery than women given progesterone injections with placebo, Dr. Vittorio Unfer of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Center in Rome and colleagues report.
Also, many RE’s would agree that there is no conclusive proof that your specific diet would affect the number of recruitable follicles in your ovaries (which is really what ovarian reserve means) if you are cycling, and of normal weight.
You should meet with a nutritionist to make sure that you are eating a balanced diet and getting adequate calories, fats, proteins and other nutrients as are important for any pregnancy to proceed well.
You know, many countries where overpopulation is an issue (India for example) have populations that eat a mainly if not exclusively vegetarian diet!
Hope this information will help you to start out on your own quest to better nutrition.
Wishing you good luck, as always!
Friday, February 27, 2009
First, let me ask you this - Did your RE explain exactly how your eggs are bad quality? What exactly is wrong with them? You should be able to find out that information.
For example an egg is comprised of a shell (zona pellucida or just“zona”) and the cytoplasm (ooplasm) which, after fertilization, will grow and develop into the embryo. Every lab inspects eggs upon retrieval and they usually have to make notes of their findings. For example, a good egg would have a zona that is perfectly round, that does not have any distortions/deformities and is most often tightly surrounds the actual egg inside. So, if you have a poor egg quality, your RE should be able to to tell you, whether your eggs have a zona that is way too thick or deformed, which can prevent normal fertilization, embryo hatching and thus implantation. Also, you may have a cytoplasm that is way too big to properly surround and "snug" the egg, thus the actual egg within could potentially become damages from “floating” around. There are many more standards by which your eggs are evaluated like fragmentation, color, etc. Poor eggs sometimes will have dark color and look “degenerative” under the microscope.
You must also know that currently, there is not one single test out there that can conclusively determine egg quality. There is no one perfect test for egg quality. Therefore most labs, and RE’s base their assumptions of your eggs ability to become fertilized and produce normal embryos. Therefore I also believe that just one or two failed IVF’s is not the end of the road, since in every cycle your eggs will differ depending on which particular eggs will be produced during that particular cycle. Each cycle is different with different eggs playing the game of baby making. Know that a normal looking egg may possess underlying genetic problems where an egg that appears “poor” may be chromosomally normal and go on to becoming a healthy baby.
So please, don't take one doctor's opinion and give up on having your own babies. Like I said before, having a PhD does not mean they are not human and can predict your fate...You are strong and can’t try again, go for second opinion, third, forth if you need to. Also there are some clinics that specialize in giving women that other doctors gave up on, their own babies. I've heard amazing things about Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility in New York; Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine; SHER Institutes For Reproductive Medicine.
Do your research and stay strong, don't give up. This road is tough but your are a fighter and you will hold your baby in your arms someday.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I don't believe in it. But here is the info if it helps.
Usage: There is an old wives' tale floating around that pineapple juice will help a fertilized egg implant. However, pineapple juice is not recommended for use in TTC and/or pregnancy. In large doses, it can actually cause uterine contractions and bring on spontaneous abortions (miscarriage).
Recommended Dosage: Drink only in small quantities, if at all.
Side Effects: Large doses may cause uterine contractions, miscarriage, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, very heavy menstrual periods. Unripe pineapple is poisonous, causing excessive diarrhea.
It’s not the pineapple itself but what is inside of it. Pineapple contains a chemical called Bromelain. Only fresh pineapple contains it and not pineapple juice where the enzyme bromelain is destroyed through heat/processing. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks up proteins that inhibit embryo implantation.
Pinapple should not be consumed too early in the cycle because it can actually affect your vaginal and cervical mucus PH, making it more acidic. Sideeffect of too much pineapple (bromelain injestion) include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, menorrhagia (excessively heavy menstrual flow) and possible allergic reactions. One study has also associated bromelain with increased heart rate. Also bromelain is contraindicated during pregnancy as it may cause uterine contractions.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I am not a doctor but I have some thoughts on this. Also, medical community still does not have a final verdict on what is better (as you can see by example studies below) so I believe it depends on individual cases.
For example, lets take my case. Usually one dose is sufficient enough because it is a very concentrated gel. I was originally prescribed only one. Once I became pregnant, I had unexplained bleeding for 2 weeks of bright red blood and passing clots. Freaky, I know. I decided to add one more dose just to be safe and my doctor agreed, but she said it might not have any advantages, but if I felt like it, just for my piece of mind, then go for it. After I started using two a day, my bleeding still continued, but at least I felt good about doing everything I can with respect to extra progesterone. Crinone 8% is generally used once a day though. Each doctor will individualize the correct dosing of Crinone 8% based on the patient’s needs and their situation.
First, it depends whether you are prescribed Crinone 4% or Crinone 8% gel.
Crinone 8% is generally used once a day though. Each doctor will individualize the correct dosing of Crinone 8% based on the patient’s needs and their situation.
Each applicator delivers 1.125 grams of Crinone gel containing either 45 mg (4% gel) or 90 mg (8% gel) of progesterone in a base containing glycerin, mineral oil, polycarbophil, carbomer 934P, hydrogenated palm oil
glyceride, sorbic acid, sodium hydroxide and purified water.
Due to sustained release properties of Crinone, progesterone absorption is prolonged with an absorption half-life of approximately 25-50 hours, and an elimination half-life of 5-20 minutes.
Assisted Reproductive Technology--Crinone 8% is administered vaginally at a dose of 90 mg once daily in women who require progesterone supplementation. Crinone 8% is administered vaginally at a dose of 90 mg twice daily in women with partial or complete ovarian failure who require progesterone replacement.
Further, Jobanputra et al, in a donor-egg IVF study, showed that 100% “in-phase” endometrial biopsies, reassuring pregnancy rates (46–48% vs. 41%) and mis-carriage rates (14–33% vs. 25%) were seen at both the twice and once-daily dosing levels compared to intra-muscular therapy. Pregnancy rates were as high with vaginal as with intramuscular therapy. There were no significant differences in clinical pregnancy and implantation rate using twice-daily Crinone or once-daily Crinone.
(Jobanputra K, Toner JP, Denoncourt R, Gibbons WE. Crinone 8% (90mg) given once daily for progesterone replacement therapy in donor egg cycles. Fertil Steril 1999;72:980–4.)
Although, In their study, Ho et al 1 report that using vaginal progesterone gel twice daily for luteal support resulted in better pregnancy outcomes than intramuscular progesterone. Vaginal progesterone gel seemed to offer more “targeted” delivery of progesterone to the uterus and improved endometrial receptivity.
(Ho CH, Chen SU, Peng FS, Chang CY, Yang YS. Luteal support for IVF/ICSI cycles with Crinone 8% (90 mg) twice daily results in higher pregnancy rates than with intramuscular progesterone. J Chin Med Assoc 2008;71:386–91.)
Whatever you may choose at the end, make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I could have given up. I could have listened to EVERYONE around me tell me to stop doing this to myself. No one understands. Everyone just threw their irritating comments about me needing to stop the drugs, which made me gain weight, made me emotional. I was inconsolable. I could have started the adoption process. I could have had friends, memories, and fun times. All the things I missed while playing the stupid waiting game.
I spent months taking drugs and medications. We spent a fortune on them. We could have gone to five star European resorts with that money. I missed travelling, seeing my family and more importantly, I missed my friends children grow up, and I missed my nephews growing up.
I cried. Almost every day. I thought about infertility every hour.
But it happened. Because I didn't give up.
I still cry, and not happy tears. It still hurts. Until I hold this baby in my arms, it's still my dream....and I'll do number 10, 11 and 12 too. Whatever it takes to get my family. It's not a sick game because I'm competitive, and I want to win the prize, a bunch of babies. It's because I want more than ever to be a mom, and I deserve it.
So do you. Please don't give up.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Having said that, I know your pain. I still feel it and instead of writing about my nausea and vomiting, I've decided I will do my best to try to find articles and new research information to try to help many many women that are still going through the nightmares of infertility.
Research was always important to me and by educating myself I tried to get what I needed and wanted from my RE. I don't take no for an answer. I don't believe of giving your reproductive future to a doctor. No matter how educated and specialized they are - they are us - HUMAN. They have their own opinions and many of them choose not to perform certain protocol "tricks" because they think it's not worth it. Well, it is!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Looking back, I still feel so bitter. I feel bitter because I had to pay to become pregnant. I had to endure many procedures and injections. I know I am lucky that it finally happened to me, while some women are still struggling. So why do I feel so jealous when I find out when someone got pregnant on their first try? I feel a sudden rush of emotions and can barely take a breath because tears swell my eyes. Why can’t I let it go? The truth is, I don’t know if I ever will. When I watch “Baby Stories” on Discovery Health where a couple had to go through infertility treatments, I cry. I cry with them, for them, because I still feel the pain. It still hurts…
Friday, November 21, 2008
When the technician took me in the room, she sounded kinda annoyed with me and kept on mumbling that she has no clue why the heck we are doing this ultrasound because I am only 4 weeks and 5 days today and there is absolutely nothing there to see...
She was wrong....
They failed to establish the reason for my bleeding but they found two gestational sacs in my uterus. I am not sure if we are having twins for sure just yet because I have heard of many girls who have gone through IVF and had vanishing twin (see below). I am also way to early to even know if both gestational sacs will have a baby or not. Conclusion will be drawn at 7 week u/s with heartbeats, I guess.
Needless to say, the ultrasound tech was extremely surprised to even see anything. I did not even expect to see anything but again, I did some research online and all websites say that a transvaginal ultrasound should be able to see at least a gestational sac once the hCG levels have reached between 1,000 - 2,000mIU/ml.
I was very excited, but to tell you the truth, me and my husband are so freaked out by my bleeding that we almost try to imagine that I am not pregnant just in case something happens. I feel like I have this mood switched on, for self-preservation. I am scared to think I am pregnant because i am scared to death that if I loose it I will not know how to deal with the pain.
One gestational sac is measuring at 4 weeks and 1 day
Second gestational sac is measuring at 4 weeks and 0 days
Beta (19DPO)(14dp5dt) is 2,073
More than doubled again. I guess statistically everything is ok, just this annoying bleeding is bothering me so much. I am so scared I feel like this is just a sweet dream that I will eventually wake up from.
What is vanishing twin?
Once a twin pregnancy has been diagnosed by an very early ultrasound, about 1 in 5 of these will subsequently disappear before 12 weeks. When one of a twin conception fails to survive at this early stage, the remaining twin continues to develop normally and hormone levels stay high which prevents a miscarriage, though sometimes there is some vaginal bleeding. As the remaining twin grows, its sac spreads to fill the uterus and the contents of the other sac are absorbed.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
WARNING: TMI (Too much information)
So I've been having clots and tissue come out. It freaks the living breath out of me. Everytime I have this bleeding my life turns into drama. So I called my wonderful RE yesterday and told her what is happening. It took a while to convince nurses to even let me speak to her.
Here is my point: I've been bleeding and passing clots for a week now. My 1st u/s was scheduled for Dec 10 which is 3 weeks away. Let's say I have ectopic and because no one wants to check on me, in 3 weeks I will either bleed to death or my tubes will rapture. What the heck! I want and u/s!
If I get my u/s tomorrow, I will be 4 weeks 5days along.
It is so so early but I did some research and found that the gestational sac can be visualized as early as 4.5 weeks by trans vaginal technique. As long as hCG is over 1,500
In my case, hCG should be over 1,500 tomorrow, since my beta yesterday was 831 so if I have normal pregnancy and it doubles, then my hCG tomorrow should be at least 1,662 to consider this pregnancy "normal"
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My second BETA increased from 327 (15DPO) to 831 (17DPO)...
Due to my bleeding I asked for my Progesterone to be measured too and it came back at 40.1
I guess that is a good number so I still have no clue why am I bleeding then. I'm scared. Really scared that something so amazing could finish so fast and so soon. The worrying never stops. Maybe is I got pregnant naturally I would feel different. I beleive that all women becoming pregnant through assisted reproductive technology know this and could relate.
My ultrasound is scheduled on December 10, 2008 @ 2pm.
We'll see what happens.
My small precious bean...please stay with us...We love you
Monday, November 17, 2008
I got my beta
Today I am 15 DPO (10dp5dt) and my beta is 327.
I think I'm happy, just hard to be positive when having spotting and on and off bleeding.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
After 1 year and 10 months since we started trying to conceive a baby
After months of natural cycles
After 3 failed IUIs
3 IVF cycles being canceled due to poor response
After laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, sonohysterogram & hysterosalpingogram
After spending out of the pocket this year (2008) alone $31,168.55 on meds and procedures
After genetic councilors tried to advise against IVF due to my BRCA1 cancer mutation gene
After almost getting the “donor egg” talk
This just feels surreal and even more scary with the bleeding still here
Friday, November 14, 2008
So I go into a bathroom at home and dip them all into my cup. Leave it and by the time I came back two bright pink lines were there....
I started to shake and almost threw up..n I've never in my life expected this. I already moved on from this cycle because I had spotting and red blood come out and cramping and now this happens. I think I would be more excited if I did not have bleeding, because now with excitements comes worries. What ifs.
Beta Monday, November 17
On top of that today I just decided to test one last time for fun and I got a nasty evap. Just proves how unreliable these tests are because I know it's not trigger so I hate this brand, but because AF is here I know for sure I'm out just again annoyed with stupid evap. Take a look at my tests since trigger and 10 DPO and today's is the last one.
I will not buy FRER because I know I'm not pregnant, just wanted to share the stupid evap.
I know for sure it's evaporation line because I had brown spotting yesterday all day and today it turned to red light flow, so I know for sure this is AF .
Just wanted to share because I am still annoyed with it because if AF wasn't here I would think it's a BFP too. Such a cruel joke....
Thursday, November 13, 2008
How do I feel…when all I feel is
The life I live expresses the grief of being barren, childless, of not reproducing, and being unable to confirm one's relationship through parenthood.
I know it's over because my stomach hurts and I have no symptoms except cramps and spotting just like last failed IVF at exactly the same time of 11 DPO. It even happened in the afternoon like last time. Ugh...Yeah, sure I felt ALL imaginary symptoms of elevated temperature of 37.2 C, "twinkles" in my uterus and imaginary movements in all other parts of my body.
Actually as I'm typing I am coming to a great discovery that at this point my brain is so skillful of imagining and mimicking symptoms, that I should just dare myself to pretend to go into labor and experience it, since it seems like I never will otherwise....
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
…And so we get there. I change into my stunning blue robes and wait….
My RE came to see us before we went into the procedure room.
“So are they still alive or have they all perished?” I said
She lets me know that she will go and check with the lab.
Tick-tock.... Tick-tock.... Tick-tock.... Tick-tock....
“Yes. They are all still there. You have two blastocysts that are both 2AB with grading of 1 being the best. Actually, one of them is already hatching out of its shell. The other three are still late morulas and we will continue to monitor them until tomorrow to see if you have any to freeze.”
A silent sigh….A very heavy stone fell off my chest. I can breathe. At least I get to have a transfer…and I did.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
They're alive My miniature "babies" are still alive!!! Thank lab!!!!
So they are:
- 10-cell Grade 1
- 8-cell Grage 1
- 8-cell Grade 2
- 7-cell Grade 1
- 7-cell Grade 2
Please embabies, grow grow grow!!!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Out of 5 that fertilized yesterday, today those 5 are still "alive" and are:
- 7-cell Grade 1
- 5-cell Grage 1 A
- 4-cell Grade 2 A
- 4-cell Grade 2 A
- 2-cell Grade 2
1 being the best
But I am sad still and worried like crazy that they won't make it to day 5. I cannot even watch TV because I cannot stop thinking about it. I wish I fell into deep coma and woke up on Friday. So frustrated with this wait and we don't have many embryos to play the waiting game with
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Drama last night. I realized that I took trigger at 11:30pm on Friday; so my ER was supposed to be on 11:30 today on Sunday. We'll tonight the clock went back 1 hour because of daylight saving time, so if I came today at 11:30 am for ER, my body would really "think" it's 12:30am. That's 37 hours post trigger. ER should be 36 hours after trigger, yet my clinic did not say anything about that. I called the nurse yesterday night and freaked out so they change my ER to 10:30am (11:30am old time) today. Confusing, isn't it? Well, my body is on it's own clock and cannot adjust to our society's standards....Anyway....Just shoked my clinic would disregard something that important when they leave me messages with "make sure you take it exactly on time , only 5min plus or minus"...
In total disbelief since we got 10 eggs. (last IVF got only 5 eggs/ 3 were mature + got canceled 3 times prior due to poor response) I cannot believe I almost got canceled on Monday. Look what happened in 5 days. I went from 4 to 10 so weird.
I know not all will be mature but I think at least 6 should be. Also getting my fertilization update tomorrow.
My ET is Friday (Nov 7) regardless. We will not do 3day even if we have 1 embryo left, so I might not even make it to transfer yet. We just want to see if it's an embryo problem (it stops growing after 3 days) or maybe it's uterine implantation. This is the only way we'll know. Unfortunately it's a risk we have to take.
Feeling fine. Just regular post ER pain/cramps/light headedness. Nothing that I can't handle in order to have a baby in my arms someday...
Friday, October 31, 2008
I don't have many on my left ovary, but I think it's because I have a cyst there. It was there from the start but we decided to proceed with this cycle regardless. It was 1.2 cm at the beginning and grew to 1.5 cm by today. I read somewhere that cyst "drain" estrogen from the ovary, so probably that's why even though there were 10 antral follicles discovered there during my base u/s, only 1 is somewhat growing...
CD 18 today - I am triggering tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Only because if him and his persuasion, I decided to fight back. I was gonna give up, but he said "don't quit" and I won't...I wasn't even going to purchase any more meds. I called him and said, that's it! I'm done with this cycle. In a calm voice he encouraged me to give this cycle one more day, so I bought the meds.
Spoke to my RE and decided to give this stupid cycle 4 more days of injections. If by Friday (Oct 31) I am not at least close to being triggered, then we'll cancel on Friday. That will be cycle day 18!!!!
I doubt those miniature follicles will ever catch up. I only have 1.3 / 1.2 / 1.1 / 1.0 / 0.7
Estrogen only 1,993 (CAN) or 543(US)....
I am so so sick of this. Today is CD 14 and my RE will most likely cancel me. After all these injections, I have only 5 follicles that are developing s..l..o..w..l..y and are ranging from 1.3 to 0.7!!!!! WTF!!!!
I got canceled twice before in July and my August attempt got converted to IUI. All because my ovaries are not cooperating for unknown reason. I'm 24 and my FSH is 5.5 and no known problems. I am on 450iu of stim meds!!!!!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I do know that when someone does Estrogen Priming Protocol (EPP), one should expect a slow stimulation. I also know that EPP helps produce more follicles, help with issue of dominant/leading follicles; but takes longer stimulation before trigger (12-17 days of stims)...
I am on Cycle Day 10 (after 7 days of stimulation 450iu Gonal-f) and I have this:
Estrogen - 566
LH - 3.8
Prog. - 13.6
Right ovary: 9 follicles; only 2 measurable; They are 1.0 & 0.8
Left ovary: 10 follicles; only 1 measurable; It is 0.5
Seems like I can compare to my last cycle day 6. So I'm statistically 4 days behind...Ugh! Patience...Patience....I think I have about 5 days of stims to go....
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Today is my CD 8, had u/s and u/s tech asked if I am on the meds yet and if this is my baseline today...I also searched online and apparently all girls on this protocol say that the shortest stimming time is 12 days and many trigger only on CD 16, so I still have a whole week or more of stimming. Every injection costs me $480 CDN (about 235 UK pounds or 300 euro)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Me and mu husband were shocked to learn that I have 17 follicles !!!!!!!!!!
I never in my life even on highest doses produced more than 8
I was canceled 3 times due to poor response to Long Lupron Protocol and Antagonist!
Right before we went in to see the nurse, DH and I discussed as to what we are gonna do if it's 4 or something...
Obviously I overdosed myself with Estrace and it helped. This is first-time trying Estrogen Priming Technique. The downer is that I have a 1.2cm cyst but that should not be a problem, because my RE will drain it before the procedure. I am just sitting here and waiting for them to call me (based on bloodwork) and If I am ok to start stimming today...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
For the preparation for my IVF#5 I am on Estrogen Priming and this is what happened!
I was taking
2 pills (4mg) of Estrace 2 times a day = 8 mg in Total,
for my Estrogen Priming and continues to CD2 once period shows up. Well, I am a 28 cycle always and today is CD31, so I reviewed my messages only to find out that
I was supposed to be taking
1 pill (2mg) of Estrace 2 times a day = 4 mg in Total
I am so pissed of at my stupidity and I am always meticulous about my treatment and this time I just screwed up!
Now no wonder my AF is not showing up. I also probably messed up my cycle by over-suppressing myself. I will probably go for my baseline and have only 2-3 follicles because of this! I was taking the double dose. No wonder I was so nauseous that I did not even eat normally for the last week.
What should I do? I am scared to tell RE because she might cancel my cycle. Should I tell her? Maybe I should just start taking normal dose and see what happens at my baseline after AF shows up? Then if it's bad, I will say what I did so she would not think that this protocol just does not work for me but it was my mistake.
$#@@$%! I hate myself right now!
Sorry for venting...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Well, my mom passed away at the age of 50 in 2004. I just turned 20 and quit my job and second year university to stay by her bedside for 5 months of palliative care. She always struggled with cancer and every woman in my family died before reaching 50. My mom had her breast removed at 31 to save her live and the battle never ended ever since. I didn't know about it because my mom was strong and shielded me and my sister from it. Before she passed away, doctors and oncologists were shocked by her aggressive breast cancer, ovarian cancer, esophagus cancer that were all non related...They tested her positive for BRCA1 gene...
BRCA1 is a breast cancer susceptibility gene. People who carry a mutation (abnormality) in this gene are at an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer. The normal gene plays a role in repairing breaks in DNA. However, when the gene is mutated it is thought that this repair function may become disabled thus leading to more DNA replication errors and cancerous growth.A woman's lifetime chance of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits an altered BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Women with an inherited alteration in one of these genes have an increased risk of developing these cancers at a young age..
People who carry the gene have an average 81% lifetime risk for breast cancer and 60% chance of ovarian cancer...
They tested me and my sister and we both have it...
Back to the point...
My case was taken to the medical board and they were very concerned that I am even undergoing any treatments because hormones are my enemy. I am under no circumstances allowed to have any fertility treatments. My oncologist and cancer clinic that I go to believe that it is very bad that I took all those hormones and that I should have never been allowed to take them in the first place. They said they understand that I want a baby but I most likely accelerated my chances of cancer. They said it is ok to complete this IVF cycle , maybe one more cycle after that...... but no more...NEVER because it jeopardize my chanced for future survival...
I need to get pregnant because I have already been advised by oncologist to face the fact that in order to survive this fate I will most likely have to undergo preventative surgery to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by removing one or both breasts before the disease develops. Also called prophylactic mastectomy. As well as surgical removal of the fallopian tubes, ovaries & uterus. Preferably by the age of 35-40.
This IVF has to work or I'm out on my own in search for miracles..
I don't have time to wait for miracles.....
I just want you to know that my post does not call for pity. I just merely wanted to share why I feel so negative...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Estrogen Priming & MicroFlare Protocol - Supposed to work for unexplained poor responders.
Daily b/w from now on to see when my LH surge/ovulation happens. Today is my cycle day 14 so they want to see if I ovulated already or just going to. My RE wanted to do Flare and I convinced her to do Estrogen as well...so basically I start Estrace vaginal pills as of day 21 to AF. Then just start stimulation with Gonal-F 450iu which is a max dose of any stimulation drug (around Oct 10) with a very-very small dose of Lupron/Superfact at the same time. Then Crinone for progesterone support.
ER should be around Oct 23, though they said that estrogen priming sometimes makes it longer to stimulate like 14-18 days of stims before ER.
Flare Protocol is one of the most potent IVF protocols available. It has helped many women with poor ovarian reserves to conceive, and in our opinion, is the last resort before donor egg IVF. The protocol takes advantage of a special property of Lupron. When used in tiny amounts, Lupron stimulates the release of natural FSH from the pituitary for several days before exerting its suppressive effect. During this 'flare' period, the ovaries are stimulated by natural FSH. The subsequent addition of high doses of FSH from medications gives the ovaries maximum stimulation.
Estrogen Priming of FSH receptors has been reported to slow premature follicular development and to promote granulosa cell FSH receptor induction. Estrogen support of the endometrium with vaginal suppositories was used to maintain the endometrium and to prevent withdrawal bleeding until an estrogen-producing follicle has emerged. This protocol over the past four years has given several insights into the treatment of poor prognosis patients. Basically it helps improve egg quality and help with leading follicles becoming too big before the rest of small follicles catch up.
I'm not even excited though...
Oh, and this time we are going to do day 5 transfer regardless of how many embryos I have because we want to see if maybe they stop developing after day 3, so maybe we will know that it's not implantation issue but embryo issue...
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am so upset and was crying like mad on the way home.
Today was my cycle day 8 (stimulation day 6)
I am on Gonal-F 225iu & Menopur 150 iu (high dosage for my FSH and my age)
I was no supressed at all this cycle (no BCP, no Lupron/Suprefact)
My FSH 5.5
No known problems
My follicles are not growing and not responding to anything. I have only 11 follicles but only measuring 16,13,12,10. I wanted to do day 5 transfer this cycle, but I don't have enough to play around with. My RE called to cancel my cycle. So I said that I already picked up meds for the next two days and she said to take them then and come back on Saturday (Aug30) to see what's there and most likely she will convert my cycle into IUI.
Why is this happening?! This is second kind of protocol I'm on and it's not working! My ovaries are stubborn! Last cycle I was on long/down-regulation protocol. This one is short flare protocol.
Such a waste of time and the worst part is that there is no explanation why my ovaries are not responding to meds and the meds dosage is high and I was not suppressed at all. My FSH is 5.5 and that is very good number since anything less than 10 is a reassuring level and one should expect a good response to ovarian stimulation. I'm only 24. No known problems.
She (RE) said she can try another type of protocol next. A Microflare Protocol. It is used for slow/poor/older responders and that it often works much better in the hopes to get more follies.....
I have to start again...Oh...I'm so tired of this.....
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The most hurtful thing is when people that have kids say that they wish they didn’t have them. This world is unjust. They wish they could have my freedom and opportunity to go wherever I want and to have more funds available for themselves. When I hear that my heart bleeds. I know it does, I can feel it. I don’t want to travel because when I come back home there is silence of the empty walls around me. I have no one to share my stories with; I do not have someone missing me here. I go to work and I don’t know why I am trying to succeed in it when I will have no one to leave its rewards to. I’ve lost my drive. I’ve always had it and I’ve lot it. It’s hard and it is so much harder when people around you just don’t get it. I look at the old pictures of myself and I don’t recognize that person; the person with a sparkle in the eyes and a smile. I don’t know if my face is capable of that anymore. How sad. Sad of what I’ve become.
And no, I will repeat it again and again until no breath comes out of my lungs - I will not relax, take it easy, go on vacation, forget about it, move on or wait until a miracle happens until I have a child in my arms. And I don't believe in miracles. So everyone who wants me to pretend to be a happy cheerful clown can just wait. I am sad now and I will take my time being sad. I will not put on a smile. I will keep on doing every other possible medical procedure until I am where I need to be in life. A mother. So I guess after all, I do have a drive….
Monday, June 30, 2008
I have high Prolactin - 36.6
Additionally to being diagnosed with our unexplained infertility, that affects only 20% of all couples that stuggle with infertility, I have another unexplained syndrome.
After excluding all the possible causes like prolactinoma for which I did MRI, to by doing various blood test and excluding PCOS and hypothyroidism, in which an inadequate amount of the thyroid hormone is produced - I also fall in about 30% of the cases, in which the root cause of high prolactin is also unexplained.
What! Can you beleive that!
It's either I have some mysterious biological functions or our medical diagnostic test are not advance enough for my alien body!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I start stimming this Monday. I am also very interested on the outcome of my ER this time. I think I am definitely on higher stim dose now, just a slightly different medications. I am on totally different protocol and being a nut like me, I spent most of my weekend researching medical data available on the net. Not like it will help me have better results, just being nosy. Here is some of the stuff I put together for anyone else interested.
It is long, sorry, just had to share
Before I WAS ON:
Gonadotropins (Follicle Stimulation) injections of:
Puregon 200 IU
GnRH antagonists (Ovulation Prevention) injection of:
Orgalutran 250 mg
Result: 5 eggs retrieved, 3 mature, 2 embryos transferred on day 3 (both 8 cell grade 1 no fragmentation, even cell division)
I WILL NOW BE ON:
Gonadotropins (Follicle Stimulation) injections of:
Gonal - F 225 iu
Menopur 150 iu
GnRH antagonists (Ovulation Prevention) injection of:
Cetrotide 250 mg
Result: Coming Soon
I did some research and gathered some information from various published medical studies/articles, since I have to know everything as to what I’m injecting into myself. I guess I am a control freak! Anyhow, here is some general info on my follicle stimulation drugs if anyone interested:
PUREGON: Follitropin beta belongs to a class of medications called gonadotropins. Follitropin beta contains a hormone similar to the human hormone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). For assisted reproductive technology procedures, the usual initial dose is 150 IU to 225 IU daily.
GONAL-F: Follitropin alpha belongs to the class of medications called gonadotropins. It is a synthetic version of the naturally occurring follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that helps egg development in the ovaries. Doses usually range from 75 IU to 450 IU (5.5 µg to 33 µg) per day. For Assisted Reproductive Technologies, therapy with Gonal-f® should be initiated in the early follicular phase (cycle day 2 or 3) at a dose of 150 IU per day. Treatment is usually started at a dose of 150 IU or 225 IU (depending on your circumstances) once a day. Usual range is 150-300. Doses larger than 450 IU of FSH per day are not routinely recommended.
MENOPUR: Menotropins are a mixture of naturally occurring hormones that include follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The recommended initial dose of menotropins is 225 IU injected under the skin daily for a maximum of 20 days. The dose may be adjusted according to your response, but should not exceed 450 IU.
PUREGON vs. GONAL-F: Both of these medications are made from highly purified human Follicle Stimulating Hormone prepared by recombinant DNA technology. Both are non-urinary products and contain only FSH. There is no LH component. Meanwhile, two published direct comparisons between both follitropins (Tulppala et al., 1999 ; Harlin et al., 2000 ) justify the conclusion that the slight differences between the two molecules do not have any clinical significance. The fact that in the IVF studies, the odds favor follitropin alpha and not beta appears to be mainly due to the fact that, compared to the follitropin beta studies, the control patients perform significantly worse in the follitropin alpha studies (difference: –5.5%; 95% confidence interval: –10.7 to –0.3%; two-tailed P = 0.037). This should have been recognized by the authors.
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 189(2):342-346, August 2003. Williams, R. Stan MD *; Vensel, Theresa MD; Sistrom, Christopher L. MD; Kipersztok, Simon MD; Rhoton-Vlasak, Alice MD; Drury, Ken PhD
Our purpose was to assess the efficacy of two recombinant follicle-stimulating hormones, follitropin beta (Follistim, Organon, West Orange, NJ) and follitropin alfa (Gonal F, Serono, Norwell, Mass) on pregnancy rates in varying age groups of women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Three hundred sixty-five IVF cycles were retrospectively compared, 233 by use of follitropin beta and 132 by use of follitropin alfa, both after gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist down-regulation. Assignment to each medication was indiscriminate. The primary outcome measured was pregnancy evidenced by fetal heartbeat on ultrasonography. Secondary outcomes included days of stimulation, ampules per patient cycle, estradiol level on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin administration, total follicles present on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin administration, follicles greater than 14 mm, oocytes retrieved, mature eggs, fertilization rate, and embryos transferred. Outcomes were stratified by age, including women less than 36 years old, 36 to 39 years old, and more than 39 years old.
There was no significant difference between follitropin beta and follitropin alfa in either the primary or secondary outcomes, although the pregnancy rate was significantly decreased with advancing age.
Success rates are similar, when stratified by age, in women undergoing IVF with either follitropin beta or follitropin alfa.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
We are doing it again! Yep! All over again!
July 2008 - IVF#3
Hoping to get more eggs and this time, not going to be on BCP or any kind of pre-suppression because last IVF did not do any good for me and I was over suppressed. Also, if everything goes well, we're going for a 5 day transfer this time.
All of my medications were switched, which is good. So now I will be on:
Gonadotropins (Follicle Stimulation) injections of:
GnRH antagonists (Ovulation Prevention) injection of:
Trigger injection of:
- Ovidrel 250 µg (10,000iu)
- 81mg Aspirin
- Progesterone (intramuscular injections) 50 mg daily
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Somewhere deep down in my heart, I believe that the reason why I am not getting pregnant is because I have implantation failure. I think that even though my eggs get fertilized with my husband’s sperm and create normal embryos (as shown by IVF) they are just not able to implant either due to NK natural killer cells or because of blood-clotting.
My RE will most likely will not agree to go the blood-clotting test and NK activity test which have been studied as the cause of many unexplained infertility cases. In fact, some researches believe that it is "implantation failure”, and not poor egg/embryo number or quality that is often the root of the problem.
“Considering its importance, it is not surprising that failure of proper function of this immunologic interaction during implantation has been implicated as a cause of recurrent miscarriage, late pregnancy fetal loss, IVF failure and unexplained infertility. A partial list of immunologic factors that may be involved in these situations includes: anti-phospholipid antibodies (APA), antithyroid antibodies (ATA), and, perhaps most importantly, activated natural killer cells (NKa). Presently, these immunologic markers can be adequately measured by only a few (less than a half dozen) highly specialized reproductive immunology laboratories in the United States, from patient blood samples.”
I did a research about therapeutic doses of aspirin and now I am taking 81mg everyday. I am also going to be using Pre-Seed when we BD and I am taking something to help with CM (Guaifenesin). Aspirin is suppose to help with uterine lining and help with even blood-flow (decrease clotting).
“For these patients, and even many without endometrial lining issues, we will typically recommend that she take a baby aspirin per day (81 mg) starting with gonadotropin stimulation. The rational for the use of baby aspirin is that on a micro-vascular level, vasodilation and decreased blood platelet aggregation occurs and therefore improves blood flow to the uterine lining, providing a lining with functional improvement. Blood platelets are the blood cells, which promote blood clotting. Two well designed studies confirm the benefit of baby aspirin use in improving pregnancy rates for patients with endometrial linings <8mm.>
Also an interesting fact that it has been found that aspirin, when taken 12 hr prior to donation of the blood sample causes an 80-100% reduction in the NK cell activity.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Even though we have unexplained infertility and had two good embryos transferred.
My BETA today was 0
Just as I thought
Going to try to take a a break if I can.
We've tried before, but it is so so hard to stop dreaming that one day I will hold a baby in my arms. How can I give up that dream and just "take a break", forget about it?.....How can I? Could you? If you were in my shoes...I bet you would not....