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Pregnant after 2 Failed IVFs
September 22, 2008
Hi there! I hope that you enjoyed last week's Baby Dust Newsletter! I'm very excited that so many of you have registered for my upcoming Fertility Teleclasses! There are just a few spaces left in some of the classes, so if you're thinking of registering, I recommend that you do so soon. I'll be closing the classes as they fill up.
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34 year old Pregnant Naturally after 2 Failed IVF Cycles
A 34 year old patient came into my clinic 4 months ago wanting to combine acupuncture with her current IVF cycle. She had a 2 year old daughter that was conceived after a number of rounds of injectable gonadotropins and IUI.
After a number of failed medicated IUIs, her RE recommended that she move on to IVF. Her FSH was 19 and her age was 34 years old. Her doctor told her that she had ovarian failure and that she was running out of eggs quickly.
When she came in to see me, I encouraged her to cancel this IVF cycle and properly prepare her body before moving right into IVF. Both her mother and her husband were uncomfortable with her injecting more drugs into her body and for her new acupuncturist to side with her husband and mother was almost too much for her. However, she agreed that she'd go natural after this one IVF if she failed to get pregnant.
She didn't get pregnant with the IVF and to my dismay she went right into another IVF round. This time we combined more Chinese herbs with the cycle, as her doctor said that she was a "poor responder." (I hate this term.) So, now both she and her husband are taking herbs and supplements, are working on their diet and adjusting their lifestyle to reduce stress. Luckily, their 2 year old is an angel.
Well, IVF #2 didn't go either. My patient wasn't that surprised and she then embarked on a fully natural fertility plan that included acupuncture, herbs, supplements, a stellar diet and a healthy lifestyle. Her chart was up and down and she wasn't even sure if she was charting correctly (It was her first time.)
Usually she had a regular 28 day cycle, but this one looked like it might be 40 days, as she didn't ovulate until about day 35. The whole cycle looked a mess and this is extremely common after coming off of IVF drugs. The only thing that appeared to be healthy about the cycle was that she had great egg-white cervical mucus around Day 15. Well, this cycle never ended and she found out that she was pregnant...."very pregnant" were the words of the nurse who did the Beta test.
I am frustrated with reproductive endocrinologists that lazily put so much emphasis on FSH and age. The first night I met this patient, I believed that she could conceive naturally. Given her menstrual history and health details, I was convinced that she didn't need IVF. Telling a 34 year old woman with an FSH of 19 that she's a Poor Responder and running out of eggs is just lazy and cruel medicine.
As an acupuncturist, I look much deeper than just 2 sets of numbers and I expect the Big Brain Reproductive Endocrinologists to do the same. They have one of the best educations in the world, with their focus on the Endocrine System. I'm actually jealous of the knowledge that they possess and that's why I get so frustrated with them telling women that they're infertile based on only FSH and age. If your doctor refuses to look beyond FSH and age, I encourage you to look for another doctor. I have heard of some enlightened REs in other parts of the country. I don't believe that there are any in New England, unfortunately.
I hope that this story helps anyone with an FSH over 10 to believe that you can still get pregnant naturally. I've seen it happen many times in the clinic. Don't give up hope!
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