Hello, all. Today I am commemorating National Infertility Awareness Week, and I would like to bust an infertility myth - IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) works for everyone.
This is a sad truth, but I am one of the women for whom it did not work. I have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), which means that my ovaries aged - unexplainably - faster than the rest of my body (yep, the rest of me is just so young, baby!). I was diagnosed at 33, and more than likely had this condition from birth. My RE (reproductive endocrinologist) told me that the medical community doesn't know what causes DOR. It can be caused by things like taking cancer chemotherapy or smoking, neither of which I participated in.
Medical research is needed to determine possible genetic factors and increase access to egg freezing, but until then, women like me must walk this road nearly alone. Resolve, the National Infertility Association, gives a voice to women like me, and I have found their information helpful and informative.
In case you can't tell, I have one of the more devastating infertility diagnoses. My RE was so kind to me, and never once told me I might as well give up, or doing a 2nd IVF wouldn't lead to success. Each time we did an ET (embryo transfer), I was given chances of success in the 30 to 40% range. I appreciate his positive thoughts, but 4 ETs later, I have no take home baby. I have had 3 miscarriages and carried 11 embryos in my womb.
My DH and I are nearly broke for the money we have spent to participate in non-covered procedures. We have had multiple IUIs (intrauterine inseminations), 2 IVFs and multiple FETs (frozen embryo transfers), where embryos from a previous IVF cycle are thawed and used. And now, we are pursuing domestic adoption, yet another VERY expensive venture. Government subsidies are needed to help those of us pursuing domestic adoption, whether in the foster care system or through an adoption agency. We don't need government regulation of adoption, but we DO need more help than just the adoption tax credit (which will be very helpful AFTER our adoption is complete). But we have to pay the money upfront, and I wonder, where will it come from?
I am sad to say, that no, IVF doesn't work for everyone. And no one wants to hear that. I know I wouldn't have wanted to hear it, but now, it is my experience.
For more information on infertility, click here. For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), click here.