Thursday, August 8, 2013

My super secret life (and results of the RMA-NJ consult)

It is funny how much I have going on, and so few people know about it. I'm currently in Canada, visiting family, and they have no idea what I'm going through. I sent my medical history (a mind-boggling total of 70 pages) to RMA-NJ, and nobody knows I've shed so much blood. Almost nobody I see on a daily basis knows about my D&Cs, my attempts to have babies, the fact that I have a blog visited by people from all over the world, that has made me over a 100 bucks in advertising (thank you, Google ads). When people talk about their problems, I kind of am amazed as to what I handle on a day-to-day basis without ever talking about it anymore. Anybody who leads this secret double life and goes about with a smile on their face regularly deserves applause, and I know a lot of you do so.

Anyway, getting to the meat of things:

Next transfer to the surrogate is set for Monday the 12th.

I had my phone consult with a doctor at RMA-NJ today, and it was a fun talk (I'm the only crazy person who thinks a breakdown of my problem is fun). We talked solely about the science of things, and it  is obvious that he would be the best informed and forward-thinking of any of the REs I have been to ( I seem to be collecting them, this would be my fifth RE!). RMA-NJ has a ton of studies going on, and some of them tackle questions that I've spent a while pondering, which is pretty cool.

Here are the salient points of our discussion
Turns out there are 2 roads to infertility as far as the egg goes:
Biochemical aging: Herein, the egg has metabolic issues; it divides poorly and and often does poorly in IVF. People with this issue hit menopause earlier. Importantly, this problem is correlated with the antral follicle count, and women with this issue present with diminished ovarian reserve.
Ovarian aging: Herein, the eggs may have no metabolic issues, even at an advanced maternal age. They may grow well in IVF, and women with this issue can have an abundant ovarian reserve with perfect FSH, and are often found to hit menopause much later. Yet, something is wonky with the meiotic process, and they produce eggs with aneuploidy. Importantly, this does not correlate with the antral follicle count.

The doctor concluded, based on our conversation, that my case may be one of ovarian aging, because, at a young age (early 30s) 2 out of my 3 naturally produced eggs have been aneuploid, and the first one (normal XY by karyotyping)  may have had genetic deficiencies as well, given the way the pregnancy progressed (slowing of growth between the 6th and the 7th week). So unless I'm insanely unlucky, I have an aneuploidy issue. The silver lining is that my eggs are, from a biochemical/metabolic standpoint, stellar. This my explain my family's crazy high fertility. I just have a problem that they did not have.

In other words, if you have decent AFC, decent FSH/E2, ovulate regularly, do well in IVF, get pregnant easily, but suffer from RPL, your issue may be ovarian aging. Here is the bad news: there is no biochemical test that can be done on you to diagnose it: there are no markers, nada. Since we do not know what causes this, we cannot fix this either.  The only way to sort of confirm that this is your issue is through CCS, and it will tell me if I need to go to donor eggs or adoption to have a baby.  So come early 2014, if all my transfers fail, I will pack my bags and return to the US.   

If I have to do IVF, they would put me on the antagonist protocol. The doctor expressed surprise that the microdose lupron protocol was chosen for round 1, given my AFC/AMH. and learn. It sucks to have done 2 IVFs though, and have to go through so much to get an answer. Had I a crystal ball, I would have gone to these people last year, and saved myself a ton of time (and money). Of course, if the surrogate gets pregnant, I'll sing a different tune! 


  1. I will be thinking about you! Hang in there. I am glad you found someone who might have some answers.

  2. I'm still thinking good thoughts for your surrogate and all those frozen blasts.
    But, sounds like a really educaitonal, instructive meeting. Good luck!

  3. In Canada!!! If you're near Toronto & would like to get together, email me!!!
    Keeping fingers crossed for your frozen blasts & surrogate success.

  4. I just answered yes to almost all questions.....I am glad u found a dr who tried to find reasons for RPL. I will definitely be watching out this space for more updates. Thanks Jay...

  5. I nominated you for a Liebster Award.