Since we received our last IVF round failure notice, we have had three pregnancy announcements and one birth. Since then, we have climbed out of despair and the “it is never going to happen to us,” back to “soon, it’ll happen soon.” I don’t enjoy feeling my hope climb since I’m terrified of the fall. Yet, here we are again. Hoping that it will work out for us. Soon.
To do so, we have to be proactive. We are not a couple that is going to accidently become pregnant. We aren’t the ones that can take a vacation and come back pregnant. No relaxation technique is going to get me knocked up. We have to work at this.
Last Friday, I had a saline infusion sonohysterography (saline injected into my uterus and viewed with a vagina wand). My first one and hopefully my last. This test was followed up by a camera and more saline because they thought they saw something and wanted a better look. This upcoming Friday, I have surgery to get polyps I did not know I had, removed. Moving forward. While these do not effect why our embryos are not developing, they could affect implantation. One barrier will be removed Friday, and I get a three day weekend as a bonus.
Since we have opted to try a third round of IVF, we have done research. Way too much research. Research I wish I had done before I started talking to a reproductive endocrinologist. Though hindsight is just that, hindsight.
Research for me since I’m a scientist is peer-reviewed articles. Since I work on a scientific research campus, it is easy for me to get my hands on journal articles. Like this one on the effect of ubiquinol therapy on sperm. Or this one on vitamin D deficiency and low ionized calcium are linked with semen quality… in infertile men. Or this one on sperm DNA damage caused by oxidative stress. However, we have no idea where the problem lies so I have looked articles about improving egg quality (thankfully, I have plenty of eggs – finally something in our favor). I have found articles such as this one on the impact of lifestyle modifications, diet, and vitamin supplementation on natural fertility. In short, I have been reading anything that suggests ways to improve sperm quantity and quality and egg quality.
From there, we have put ourselves on a supplement regime. My husband is taking a multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin E, ubiquinol (CoQ10), L-Carnitine, vitamin D, copper, glutathione, folic acid, selenium, a-lipoic acid, zinc, and fish oil plus his pituitary medications which his doctor just upped the dosage on a few. Phew. I’m on a prenatal, ubiquinol, fish oil, vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin C. I’m even trying out low dose DHEA as recommended by an RE we recently interviewed.
My husband has switched from boxer briefs to boxers. He drew the line at putting ice packs in his underwear though he has agreed to stop having the laptop in his lap. I now make sure my diet ratio consists of 40% carbohydrates and 25-30% protein. We both have a strict exercise routine. We finally feel that we have some control over our infertility.
These modifications will not work overnight. Part of me thinks maybe with all of this; we will get pregnant the conventional way (sex). In January, my husband is going to get another sperm count. Considering he is at 7 million with 4 million good swimmers, he has a ways to go to get to 40 to 300 million. Fuck his pituitary.
Maybe. I have hope.
And if not, we will do another round of IVF. His sperm will be healthier. I’ll improve my egg quality. We will be able to get some frozen embryos. We will. This time, it will work.
As we have learned, hope easily moves into hopelessness. For now, we have hope, and we have control. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing all of this and planning on another round of IVF. In the spring if we are not pregnant the conventional way, we will try IVF again and hope for better results this time in the form of a baby.