So, you finally decide to take the leap and pursue IVF for family balancing. You schedule your consult and get your pretesting orders- FSH, AMH, Antral Follicle Count, maybe a HSG. But, you’ve had children before! Why do I need pretesting when clearly I can easily conceive children on my own?!? Turns out that “fertile” women can have poor predictive outcomes with IVF too. Who knew?
Many of the families seeking family balancing are in their 30’s when beginning the IVF process. Many times, it is shocking when the physician delivers your pretesting results with an “I’m sorry” attached. I am here to tell you that just because you have children, IVF is not easy. Ever.
When I decided to go the High-tech route for my son after 3 wonderful daughters, I started researching when I left the anatomy scan with DD3. I wasn’t as sad as when I had found out that DD2 was another girl but I didn’t feel this was the end of the road for our family. I do believe good things come in three’s but I was open to 4 good things!
So, off to google I went and came upon the term “Family Balancing”. Yes! That’s it! We just need some balance. I read and learned all I could about the process, understood what all the terms meant and the overall process involved. PGD was really evolving at this time and options like GSN and CGH were coming available which sounded like it would help the pregnancy rates.
Fast forward from the birth of DD3, and at 6 months postpartum, I walked into the hospital pre-op testing clinic with my 6 month DD. I had orders for infertility testing with me and proceeding to give several vials of blood and wait.
When the results came to me via email, it was very surprising to say the least. Day 3 FSH of 10. What? I was 34 with a 6 month old DD conceived the first month trying! I was very healthy, great BMI, but I had 3 naturally conceived children already! How can this be? 10 is seems is the cutoff for when you fall into that category of “may not respond too well” to the meds. I was now classified as a “Poor Responder” as a woman with 3 children already. Seriously. How can this happen. Well, it gets worse.
My doctor had also ordered a clomid challenge test. So, after taking clomid days 5-9 of my cycle, I returned for the day 10 portion of the testing.
Day 10 FSH- 14, AMH of .75
From the lovely online chart- “Reduced ovarian reserve. Expect a reduced response to stimulation and some reduction in embryo quality with IVF. Reduced live birth rates on the average.”
Now, I am in an even worse category. How can this happen? How can a “fertile” woman with a 6 month old have poor pretesting showing a reduced ovarian reserve? Since founding this site and helping others through this process, I can now say that it happens all the time.
At GenderDreaming, we have worked together to find supplements that will help increase our chances at having IVF work for us and we talk about this in our discussion forum. There are supplements that we have found can have a positive effect on your fertility and of course, choosing the right RE and protocol is critical.
My motto is “Proven fertility trumps poor pretesting any day.” They don’t have pretesting stats on fertile women. We are collecting that data ourselves!
As for me, after one cancelled cycle and months of supplements, with one in particular for the next 8 months, I came out of ER with 23 eggs, 10 of which were mature and fertilized and one baby boy who is now over 2 years old. So, don’t let poor pretesting fool you. It just may be a lot harder to find success than you first thought! GenderDreaming.com