I know this question will be asked. We are both so young at only 27. Why would two 27 year-old women want to go through IVF? Why would they want to spend the thousands of dollars required to finance it?
We originally wanted to do at home inseminations, but we were having a hard time pinning down when Jen ovulated because the ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) were not able to identify Jen’s LH surge. All this did was cause more stress during a process that one should try not to stress over! After one failed at home insemination because we couldn’t get the timing down, we sought help from the fertility clinic. We were told that Jen was healthy and that unmedicated IUIs would do the trick and miraculously, the first IUI did get us pregnant. However, it was a chemical pregnancy. With the positivity of knowing Jen could get pregnant, the nurse practitioner urged us to continue unmedicated IUIs and were reassuring us that nothing was wrong and that we WOULD get pregnant. According to the nurse practitioner, Jen’s blood work thus far was normal.
A second pregnancy never happened. After more failed IUIs, missed timing by doctors, we were put on femara (ovulation inducing medication) to try to help Jen produce more eggs. All this medication did was make Jen ovulate too early, which resulted in missing the ovulation window. Once again, we faced disappointment, anxiety, and wondered why us? Why were dealing with all of this struggle? Why couldn’t just wanting a baby cause us to get pregnant?
After having failed medicated IUIs, Jen was instructed to have more blood work and have an HSG test done, which checks your uterus and checks to see if your tubes were blocked. The HSG was normal. At this point, we were frustrated. We had a blood test done that day, as well as the scheduling of an IVF consultation.
The blood results showed Jen had an AMH of .93, which is quite low . It shows a decreased ovarian reserve, however other blood tests for ovarian reserve (FSH) were quite normal. Hearing the results of the AMH test caused worry for Jen, so Tiffany decided to test hers as well. Maybe if Tiffany had a high AMH, we could do reciprocal IVF and increase our chances. However, hers was low as well (.90).
With much more anxiety filling our minds, we were scared to start the IVF process. Why? It is expensive. Also, with a low AMH we had doubt that we would even produce eggs.
Our RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), however, was very optimistic. She kept touching on age trumping AMH and that our quality would be excellent. With that statement, we started feeling hopeful again. The RE wanted Jen to have an AFC test done on day 2 of her next cycle, which checks to see how many antral follicles you have in a given cycle before ovulation. We all have so many follicles in our ovary leading up to ovulation, but we only ovulate 1 or 2 of them at a time. IVF makes it possible to hopefully make as many of those eggs mature as possible. Jen’s antral follice count was 16-19, which is considered normal. We were back to feeling positive again!
Currently, we are still in the suppression stage of IVF and are taking birth control pills for 19 days. After that, IVF injections will begin.
So why IVF? The odds are much better. We are looking at a 65% success rate versus a 20% success rate in an IUI. Also, IVF is recommended for women with a diminished ovarian reserve. It increases your chances by providing more eggs to work with, and hopefully healthy embryos to transfer!
We are feeling optimistic again and are looking forward to getting started.