Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our Journey...So Far

Hi Everyone!

This blog is to shed light on the world of people dealing with infertility. I am hoping it will provide me with a place to educate people about infertility as well as allow me to vent my frustrations.

Our journey has not been an easy one.  In December 2003, my boyfriend husband, "E" was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  He had to have radical inguinal orchiectomy followed by intensive chemotherapy.  Before his chemotherapy treatment, he banked 19 vials of frozen sperm - just in case.

By today's standards, we got married young.  We waited to try to have children.  In July 2010, I took my last birth control pill.  My cycle more or less regulated itself immediately. At the time, I was nervous about getting pregnant right away...little did I know.  We tried to conceive naturally for a year.   When that wasn't happening, we scheduled an appointment with a local reproductive endocronologist (RE).

In September 2011, we had our first meeting with our RE.  He was very optimistic that we would be successful.  My bloodwork and HSG sonogram came back normal. "E"'s SA was low (<500,000), but since we had frozen sperm to work with, he was confident that everything would turn out fine.

We started our first IVF cycle in April 2012.  CD 20, I started lupron and then on CD 3, I stimmed with Menopur and Gonal F.  I responded well....too well.  My E2 levels were 4000+.  I triggered and they were able to retreive 18 eggs, 13 of which were mature.  8/13 fertilized using frozen sperm and ICSI.  After the retrieval, I definitely had mild OHSS.  I was bloated and could not stand up straight to save my life.  Three days later, I finally started feeling somewhat better.  We did a 5dt of  2 "slow growing" embryos.  Unfortunately, this resulted in a BFN.

Round 2 - July 2012.  Same protocol, but they lowered the amount of Gonal F.  Once again my E2 levels were high, but slightly more manageable.  I triggered and they were able to retreive 21 eggs, 18 of which were mature.  16/18 fertilized using ICSI.  Once again, I had mild OHSS.  We did a 3dt of 3 embryos.  Once again, this resulted in a BFN.

After this round, I talked to the RE, but he had no new ideas.  How many times are we going to do the same exact thing and expect different results?  We were on the search for a second opinion.

September 2012: "E" sees a urologist and it is verified that he has low testosterone levels and a varicocele.  He is put on anastrozole in October.  In December, he has surgery, to fix the varicocele.

February 2013: Second opinion.  We are traveling 200+ miles to work with some of the best REs in the country.  Our new RE has new ideas and is optimistic that we can be successful.  I need to get all the preliminary tests done again.  We will be starting a fresh cycle in June or July when I have time off of work.

April 2013: "E" provides a semen sample and gets blood drawn to check his testosterone levels.  I begin preliminary testing again.

So that is our journey thus far.  It has definitely been longer than either of us planned.  I do have renewed optimism because of our new RE and I hope this summer is finally our time.

Think Positive!


  1. Here from LFCA. I'm sorry you're here, but hope your journey will not be longer and that you'll find lots of support in the blogger world. I know I did.

    With the protocol - I had mild OHSS and they did something similar for me with regards to protocol. This past cycle they switched up my protocol - no lupron and BCPs instead, then we used Gonal F and something else after awhile. This way if my numbers were high I could either use HCG or lupron to trigger. Maybe something to discuss with your doc? All my numbers were high on all my cycles with lupron, but not the BCP one.

    Good luck!

  2. Thank you for your comment. Our new clinic is eliminating Lupron from our cycle so I am praying this eliminates the high E2 levels, which in turn will improve our embryo quality. I hope both of our journeys end positively in the near future.