Yesterday, I finally had an appointment with a new IVF doctor. I chose him because he does thing differently to other IVF doctors. After 13 cycles with no positive result, I decided it was about time to try something new. Some of you may recall that I had decided to stick with my current doctor since he finally changed my treatment protocol and that I had seen another doctor at another clinic who also didn’t seem to have any other ideas.
I suppose I could have given up, but I made a third appointment with yet another doctor. The wait was long and arduous but well worth it. My now new doctor asked me a whole stack of questions that had never been raised before:
- Have you had a biopsy on day 21 to test for natural killer cells
- Have you have blood tests for x, y & z ? Did you fast for the thyroid test that you had?
- Has your husband had a blood test on his chromosomes?
- Has your husband had the SCSA sperm test?
My answers were mostly negative. So we are now all set for a fresh round of tests. The SCSA test that my husband has to do is a test for sperm DNA fragmentation. I read somewhere that if sperm fragmentation is over 30% then the likelihood of getting pregnant is 1%. If this is the case, then we may need to consider other options like a sperm donor. the cost of $500 but I think it is money well spent given I have now spent over $50k on IVF. It would have been better to assess this earlier – maybe I could have saved time and money. I guess I will soon find out. Personally, I feel this could be our major issue. We have lost a lot of embryos due to fragmentation and there is some possibility that the antibodies in my husband sperm have had an impact on this. I feel sure that these things are connected in some way.
The biopsy that I have to do is a test to see if I have any natural killer cells that try and destroy my embryos. Charming. There is heaps of information about this on the web but I recommend not reading the information unless you have a good understanding of biology. For me, reading about this stuff bores me to tears – it is far to technical for my liking. The main point of interest about natural killer cells, is the fact that my new doctor has helped 60% of women found with natural killer cells become pregnant. Apparently the treatment is simple – just some medication to fix the issue.
The other tests are also important and essentially will help the doctor determine the right protocol for me – particularly if the there are no other likely issues revealed by the other tests. So my next test is 2-3 weeks away. Unfortunately we know the full extent of the problem until my Doctor returns back from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Italy which is a massive annual event about all the latest findings on IVF.
So it seems my next steps won’t happen until July. That’s exciting. I hate the wait but hopefully we might know more than what we did before and be able to make some decisions from this point. My husband is really annoyed though – he is angry that our other doctor hasn’t done these tests. I can understand that but it does seem that many doctors follow the tried and true path. My advice for anyone in the same boat is to try different doctors – particularly if you feel you issues are not being investigated thoroughly.