Fertility Help

Updated on March 16, 2008
B.C. asks from Perryville, MD
24 answers

Hi there.My husband and I have been trying to conceive since Oct. I was able to get pregnant in August, but had a miscarriage in early Sept. Since then we have not had any luck. We went to see a fertility specialist and all tests came back normal. Our doctor would like us to wait 2 more months and then either pick IUI or IVF. He does not think I will have a high sucess rate with IUI because I have endometriosis (stage4) and he suggests we go straight to IVF. I am going to schedule laprooscopy again for a second time. So my question is, can't we do something else besides going right to IVF? What about Clomid? Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks

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E.M.

answers from Harrisburg on

I went to Shady Grove Fertility in Frederick and I was able to conceive with Clomid and IUI after a few months. (we now have a 3month old) I would highly recommend Dr. Esposito she was wonderful and very understanding of the patients situation. I had trouble ovulating and they were very thorough with their treatment. If you have any questions about them or how it worked out for us you can always send me a message! Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from York on

Personally, I would get a second opinion! I had infertility issues and only used clomid. As a result i have to Beautiful Girl only 15 months apart.
Could of had more but by choice that was my limit.
K. B

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G.B.

answers from Allentown on

In response to your fertility question: Clomid is to regulate your cycle, specifically the ovulation. I have been down that route and conceived my first daughter while on Clomid, after years of irregular cycles and late ovulation. It does not do anything other than that, so if your problem is within the uterus, you may be better off with a procedure. We have also tried IVF; failed once and I now have a 6-week old daughter from the second trial. Good Luck with your decision-making.

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S.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

It sounds as though your fertility issues are related to the endometriosis. Clomid is generally used to stimulate ovulation. Do you have a regular cycle?
We conceived our daughter doing IUI, in combination with FSH (to help me ovulate). We didn't go the IVF route, because success rates aren't that high and most insurances won't cover it. We would have spent over $10,000 for the first cycle and about $8,000 for future cycles. I would try IUI for a little while.
If you want to start with IVF, you can sometimes take part in a study that will help with the costs.
If you live in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend Abington Reproductive Medicine.

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M.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

I've heard tons of good things about acupuncture and acupressure in relation to fertility. You really have nothing to lose. At minimal, you'll get some personal care you deserve! If interested, I can dig up some local resources.

Best Wishes!

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O.O.

answers from Kansas City on

B.,
I know how you feel. I had three miscarriages before I had my son. After the second, a test revealed that I had some kind of a luteal phase deficiency and I had to use twice-daily progesterone suppositories for the first trimester of my pregnancy to allow the implanting of the embryo into the uterus wall. Some doctors advocate that and some think the eventual pregnancy is coincidence. I would get oregnant easily then miscarry at around week 8-10 each time.
It's amazing how many miscariages occur, and after mine I was astounded at the women who confided that they, too had 1, 2 ,3 or more miscarriages. It is common, albeit devastating.
Be persistent and ask lots of questions. Don't give up and best of luck to you and your husband!

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E.V.

answers from Philadelphia on

hi B. - so sorry to hear about your struggles with fertility - my husband and i are going through something similar and it's hard. we're just at the beginning stages of specialists but as far as i can tell you, they seem to only use clomid when it's clear someone is not ovulating. if they looked at your ovaries/uterus through your cycle at various points to check for ovulation and saw everything to be 'normal', then they probably dont see the benefit of using the drug to produce something that's already happening. if they didn't verify that you are ovulating, you may want to request that. if it's a uterine lining issue, that may be why they suggest IVF... if you are still unsure, maybe try a second opinion before going through such a costly and intensive procedure. hope this helps...

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J.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

I went through fertility treatments and it really depends on the reason why you aren't getting pregnant. In my case although I didn't ovulate. They started me with clomid and I began getting eggs that were the right size but then I wasn't releasing them which lead to me getting a shot in the butt when the eggs were mature. We tried artificial insemination and it never worked for us. I ended up taking shots in my legs for 11 days followed by a shot in the butt to release the eggs and then having sex as often as possible after that and I got pregnant in this way three times. The firt child took two months of this regimen and then I had a miscarriage, it took one month to get pregnant the second time which resulted in a daughter and it only took one month the third time which resulted in a son. I think that it all depends on your fertility specialist approach. No matter what prepare for a ton of internal ultrasounds(to check size of eggs) if you use fertility meds and tons of bloodwork(to tell when you are ready to ovulate etc.). Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

B.,
Unfortunately from what I know about fertility drugs and endometriosis is that it can worsen the endometriosis.
My suggestion is get another opinion from another fertility specialist group. Good Luck,
PS: with less stress conceiving is easier, be sure to schedule Weekend rendevous w/ hubby that dont center on just trying to get pregnant. Remember why you married each other, have fun together.
take care.
C.

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K.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

Honestly, you may as well go right to IVF. Why fool around with things that aren't as effective? IVF still isn't guaranteed, but it really will give you the best odds. You also won't go through as many months of disappointment. Good luck!

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J.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

B., I am so sorry to hear about your fertility issues, it's never an easy thing to go through, but try to stay positive! I went through many years of fertility, however I did not have endometriosis. I have PCOS which is a different fertility issue. The bottom line is that you have to do what you feel comfortable with and go to a good fertility specialist. Who are you seeing now? I went to Main Line Fertility and loved them! Every woman has different issues, so it's hard to comment on what is best with you, a fertility Dr would be the best to give you the course of action to work for you. I used Clomid, injectible fertility medication and was close to doing IVF, and somehow got pregnant on my own. Clomid will produce eggs, but the little I know about endometriosis, I'm not sure if that is the cause of the infertility, so it may not help. I think nowadays so many people jump to IVF very quickly, but it is not an inexpensive option, so I would get a second opinion and explore all your options before jumping to IVF. It may work out that IVF makes the most sense for your condition, but you need to feel comfortable with what your Dr. is recommending. I also remember my Dr not wanting me to do Clomid or the injectibles for too long, b/c of the potential risks associated with them. He had a course of action I was comfortable with and I even took breaks (months off not trying) when I needed them. Spending years focused on trying to have a baby impacts how you feel and it was during one of these "breaks" of not trying, that I ended up pregnant. My advice, get a second opinion and find a Dr that you feel comfortable with and just listen to what they recommend. Stay positive and when you need a break, take it, a month or two won't make a difference if is preserves your mental health. Good luck and if you'd like to talk, please feel free to email me!

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi B.,
My sister did clomid and got pregnant the second round. It stimulates ovulation. She became pregnant with twins but lost one early on. She now has a beatuful 17 mth old. But I would strongly suggest you getting in contact with a creighton method specialist. Its a natural family planning approach to achieving or avoiding pregnancy and most women become pregnant within the first 3 months of using it. Many women become pregnant after failed attempts with IVF and IVI through this program. I can't say enough good things about it. I don't know where you live but in Bucks County, Liz Parrish teaches it. Her email is [email protected]____.com and her # is ###-###-####. It would be much cheaper than other scientific approaches and puts both you and your husband needs at mind. Good luck

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E.W.

answers from Scranton on

I was in a similair situation. I would advise you to look at your insurance options and to ask your doctor some tough questions. Clomid will make you produce eggs, but if they can't get down your tubes, that won't do you any good. IVF bypasses the tubes and puts the embryo where it needs to be. I had stage 4 endo and my doc said that my tubes were really damaged- even after lapo, but We tried IUI anyways because my insurance paid half and we really didn't think we could afford the IVF. We had to pay for most of the drugs and that was about $2000 each try, plus our half of the IUI. After three tries, my insurance wouldn't even pay half anymore so we took out loans and went to IVF. Sounds crazy, huh?
If I could do it again, I would go straight to IVF, because the money i spent on the 3 IUI's would have paid for an IVF and I would have had a better chance. My doctor had a program where I paid for 2 IVF's and would get a third IVF free if I didn't get pregnant on the first 2. I had to pay for all drugs - and a pregnancy that lasted 8 weeks was considered a successful pregnancy and negated the third free cycle. I got pregnant on the second IVF and have a 2 year old daughter. It was a long road for me - 3 years and about $40,000. Not to mention hundreds of shots that I learned to give to myself. Read some books, ask around, but don't give up! 6 months after my daughter was born, I was pregnant again, without any fertility help. Totally out of the blue! Now i have a 1 year old son, too! Many people that travel your road find themselves suddenly, explainably pregnant, and many others don't. Some go to adoption. Good luck and god bless!

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M.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi B.,
It seems like more and more people are having fertility issues these days and more and more women are doing the IVF. Many people I know have been trying less than a year and all tests come back normal and the docs still want to do IVF! This does not make sense! I definitely would like to see if these people have the insurance coverage and that's why the doctors push for it.

Anyway, I also have stage 4 endometriosis and tried to conceive for 7 years with a multitude of surgeries, HSG's, post coital tests, biopsies, lupron, clomid 5 times, IUI 2 times, acupunture and finally IVF - which resulted in my beautiful twins. However, you did get pregnant on your own - which is a feat in itself! Perhaps after you get this laparoscopy, they can clear everything out and you'll get pregnant on your own. I agree with getting an ovulation kit so you can pinpoint ovulation a little better. Try not to, key word try, get too caught up in it all. I often had to take a few months off when I was doing everything because I felt like a scientific experiment gone bad. The good news is after I had the twins, I got pregnant nine months later on my own - this was a huge shock and we were not even trying! I can tell you that around the time I got pregnant on my own that I was working out 3x week and totally changed my diet (michael thurman diet) and lost 20 pounds. Then boom, pregnant. Enough about me, I wish you the best and if I were you, I would wait just a little longer before going through IVF.

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C.H.

answers from Allentown on

Get an ovulation kit to help, I had to use them once and 2nd month was pregnant.

Can go for 2nd opinion and that way get someone's else's point of view. Worth it in long run as the costs can add up quickly and be emotionally and physically draining.

C.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

B.,
I think the answer varies with each person.
I have endo and PCOS. I took Gonal F shots (we had excellent coverage that covered my fertility treatments) and conceived my son back in 1999 and he was born 4/2000. I used Clomid for my daughter and she was born in 8/2005. Once ovulation was regulated with the drugs, I got a HcG shot in the office to bring on ovulation and conceived the old fashioned way!! LOL I guess I just need the drugs to pinpoint ovulation.
I knew we were trying again for my daughter so I had the laproscopy done in 10/04 to have everything cleaned out and then she was conceived in 12/04.
I have an excellent fertility doctor that I would recommend to anyone! If you are in the Philly area and want to go for a 2nd opinion, send me a note and I will send you his info.

~C.

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D.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Be your own advocate. Get as many opinions as you have to so that you feel comfortable. I am very lucky to have over come the fertiliy battle. It is something I will never forget. I have two children, they are six years apart. I had eight miscarriages in the process. Did many months of clomid, IUI's and IVF. The doctors could not give me reasons for getting pregnant on my own or with clomid only to miscarry, and not have any luck with all the fancy expensive stuff. Keep in mind that once you start IUI's and IVF that the doctors do not want to let you try clomid. I would start there even with the endo problems for a few months. Clomid is easy to use and not as costly as injectables. I got pg with my daugher who is now 1 on clomid after all the fancy stuff. The reproductive specialist I was seeing at the time would not give me the drug again they said it would not work, and that it could harm me. My OB gave me the Rx after my eight miscarry. He felt it was worth a try I had gotten pg on my own and with clomid all of the other times. I was scared to take it, so I did see another Re who felt it would not harm me. I also was lucky to be able to talk to someone who worked on ovarian cancer research. After that brief conversation with them and one month of clomid and I was pg. Still to this day I can't believe it. Best of luck, I know it is not an easy journey.

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L.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi B.,
IUI and IVF are really very different treatment options. I would be concerned about your doctor if he/she gave you that choice without fully explaining what each option would do for you and how they related to your endometriosis.

Some fertility docs. have a standard path that they push you through and they all seem to love to jump to IVF. Especially if you have a good chance of becoming pregnant (and you do) then you will boost their statistics of successful IVF pregnancies. The stats. are very important to attracting new clients to their practice.

You have already gotten pregnant once which is fabulous in terms of your future chances. I would encourage you to take these 2 months to get better educated about the different treatment options and seek a 2nd opinion from another doctor. Personally, I recommend contacting Resolve ( www.resolve.org ) for treatment info. and Dr. Check at the Cooper Center for Reproductive Hormonal Disorders for a 2nd opinion ( http://www.ccivf.com/staff/check.html ).

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A.F.

answers from Raleigh on

My husband and I had four miscarriages before doing our fertility testing. Like you, all came back normal. All our miscarriages were what is called a blighted ovum, a "fluke" condition in which the egg is fertilized, it implants, but no baby forms in the sac. I also had a Hysteosalpingogram, to determine that my tubes were open. Good there too! Again, no reason for what was happening. Very frustrating!

What helped me was that I used the Fertility Awareness method to get to know my body. It helps you to see if you are ovulating, and when, and other things to determine when you should time intercourse. I have gotten to know the exact day I ovulate and/or when I will get my period. In fact, since I NEVER have a 14-day cycle, I was able to tell my OB when I was REALLY due to have my daughter last August, instead of him going by the Pregnancy Wheel. He would have thought she was LATE and possibly wanted to induce or due a C-section unnecessarily.

I think if your doctor is recommending the IUI and IVF because of the endometriosis, then perhaps that is ok. However, if you don't even know what your body is doing, how can you treat the unknown. If you are not ovulating, then that is a different story. I have friends who were not ovulating and have used Clomid with great success. Again, the Fertility Awareness method can help you determine these things, if you wanted to try it.

The book that teaches it is called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility," by Toni Weschler. Best of luck, and don't worry, it is only a matter of time.
A.

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R.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

I tried for 2 years to get pregnant. We went to a fertiliy specialist and all tests came back normal. The doctor recommended that my husband and I both go on a high protein diet. She said that carbs make your blood sugar go up and down and that could cause problems with getting pregnant. We cut out most carbs and were pregnant within two months. Nine months later I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Not sure if it was just coincidence or not but it is worth a try. I did not have endometriosis though.

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C.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi B.,

I too was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometriosis. We did one failed IUI. Due to the integrity of my tubes, we decided to move forward with IVF. However, just after making that decision I got pregnant on my own??!!

Don't be afraid to try clomid and perhaps a few IUIs before heading to IVF. By your previous pregnancy you have already proven that your reproductive system is amenable to conception. At least one of your tubes is viable and functioned appropriately.

IVF is emotionally, physically and financially very taxing but would probably yield the fastest results. If you are in a big hurry to have children (i.e. if you are older or if you have a high FSH level) then perhaps consider it. Any way you look at it, try not to get yourself too stressed out (easier said than done).

Meanwhile, my thoughts and prayers are with you. People like us with endo are usually good candidates for IVF! So if the other options don't yield the desired results, you can always go down that path. Best of luck!

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L.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I know an accupuncturist, Becky Allen in Northeast, MD who has helped other women get pregnant. If it works you've saved yourself some money. You already know you can get pregnant, perhaps you just need a little "needling" to get your body back into balance and get pregnant again.
Best of Luck,
L. S

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A.L.

answers from Scranton on

Hi B.,
My knowledge is old since my children are now 15 (biological son) and 12 (adopted daughter). HOWEVER, it took us 6 years of fertility drugs and IUI to conceive our son. As others have already mentioned, clomid merely makes you produce more eggs. If the uterus is not in good condition to receive a fertilized egg because of the endometriosis, then there is no point. This is a question you need to ask your doctor. If you are not comfortable with the information your doctor is giving you, definitely get a second, 3rd or 4th opinion until you are comfortable.

Prior to adopting my daughter, I tried fertility drugs again. We thought we knew what formula to follow since we had been successful finally. What I did not consider was that my hormones had changed due to my pregnancy. This maybe an issue for you since you have had a miscarriage. Whatever you decide, spend this time preparing your body healthwise so that you will be ready for a pregnancy and have the best chance of having a healthy child.

Above all, remember to love your husband through this time.

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K.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

It's hard to give advice on fertility without knowing all your history. Clomid is made to stimulate the ovaries. If your hormone level is fine and you can produce eggs normally then Clomid will only make you produce a ton more. My hormones were low so it stimulated my ovaries to produce an egg, which it rarely did on it's own. Get a second opinion from another doc to see what all the options are that are right for your particular case.

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