PCOS and Endo and Clomid, OH MY

If I hear “I am pregnant!” from one more person I swear!!! How many of you have that thought? I want to be happy for my friends and family and really I am, however it doesn’t stop the hurt and the envy. It is a loss. Now, I am grieving another loss. Let me start from the beginning…

My whole life I have struggled with “lady” issues. I had been on birth control since I was in 8th grade to help regulate my body, and for the most part it worked. When I got married in 2006, I decided to stop taking birth control and just four months after marriage I got pregnant! I am lucky to have a beautiful seven year old daughter.

When she was just a few weeks old I was rushed to the hospital with severe pain. I actually passed out in a store from the pain. They thought I had a blood infection from giving birth. They treated me with IV medications and sent me home after a week of being in the hospital. This was the beginning of my many issues. When my daughter was two years old we decided to REALLY try for baby number two.

I had not been on birth control since before my first pregnancy so I was a little worried when I didn’t get pregnant as easily as the first time. I started tracking my temperature, taking ovulation tests, etc… This lasted about six months. Then I had my first D&C. After that I was given clomid, the first of many medications I would try. I took it for over six cycles with no results. I then had my first laparoscopy. This is when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I had many cysts removed from my ovaries, endometriosis removed, as well as other things that are not important.

The diagnosis of PCOS opened my eyes to many things and all of my past health issues started to make more sense. Many women that suffer infertility suffer from PCOS. (As a side note, if you suffer from PCOS, I highly recommend finding a support group. It is an endocrine disorder that leads to many other health issues.) So, after seeing a fertility specialist and spending more money than we had, and having another three surgeries it came to an end. Not only did the medications, hormones, and surgeries not help; in the end I ended up having a hysterectomy. So at the age of 31 I sit here currently healing physically from the surgery I had just three weeks ago. Mentally, it is still a long road.

While I truly am thankful for my miracle little girl, I still have a hole where another child should be. I always wanted to give my husband a son to follow in his wrestler footsteps. I wanted to give my daughter a sibling, my sister is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life without her. It is not easy. I feel as if I am grieving the loss of someone, but it is someone I only knew. The worse feeling ever is the loss of hope. That loss of hope is what I am dealing with on a daily basis.

I do have a bit of advice to share. If you have a friend suffering from infertility after having a child don’t say “At least you have one.” This doesn’t help. The loss is still real and having this said to them, even when the intent is to be kind, is not at all helpful or consoling. I know I am lucky to have my daughter, but I also know my pain is real.

I want to finish with this thought. As women we need to stop judging each other and comparing our situations, but come together to support each other. I pray that you all find peace and hope in your situation.

-Jayme Iannarelli

Science Friday: Infertility Clinic Courts Controversy With Treatment That Recharges Eggs

From NPR’s Morning Edition
by Rob Stein
March 5, 2015

A new fertility treatment aims to help women who cannot get pregnant because their eggs aren’t as “fresh” as they once were. The theory behind this treatment is that this type of infertility is caused by low levels of mitochondria in eggs–mitochondria are the proverbial “batteries” of the cell. These less-fresh cells’ batteries have simply worn down.

To recharge, mitochondria are extracted from surgically obtained immature eggs. Then, in a procedure very similar to IVF, the mitochondria are injected into the woman’s previously harvested mature eggs–along with sperm. The resulting embryos are transferred into the patient’s womb, with recharged batteries.

To read more, please check out the NPR story–VERY interesting stuff…though the treatment is not available in the US as of yet.

Science Friday: Good news everyone!

Stress and tension do not stop fertility treatment from working, study finds

Women undergoing IVF or other assisted reproduction therapy can be reassured that emotional distress caused by their infertility or other life events will not prevent the treatment from working, according to new research.

Infertility affects up to 15% of the childbearing population and over half of these individuals will seek medical advice in the hope of becoming a parent.

Many infertile women believe that emotional distress (for example stress and tension) is a factor in not getting pregnant naturally or lack of success with fertility treatment. This view is largely based on anecdotal evidence and fertility myths such as ‘don’t think about it and you’ll get pregnant’.

However, doctors are skeptical that stress affects fertility due to the lack of evidence on this issue.

The authors, led by Professor Jacky Boivin from the Cardiff Fertility Studies Research Group, investigated links between the success of fertility treatment and stress by undertaking a large scale review (meta-analysis) of related research.

Fourteen studies with 3,583 infertile women undergoing a cycle of fertility treatment were included in the review. The women were assessed before fertility treatment for anxiety and stress. The authors then compared data for women who achieved pregnancy and those who did not.

The results show that emotional distress was not associated with whether or not a woman became pregnant.

Professor Boivin therefore argues that “these findings should reassure women that emotional distress caused by fertility problems or other life events co-occurring with treatment will not compromise their chance of becoming pregnant.”

Editor’s note: Just to clarify, the Science Friday article from two weeks ago outlined how stress can adversely affect a person’s “natural” fertility. This article outlines how that stress does not lessen the effectiveness of IVF or other assisted reproduction therapy. So yes! Good news!

Good news everyone!
Journal Reference:
  1. J. Boivin, E. Griffiths, C. A. Venetis. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies. BMJ, 2011; 342 (feb23 1): d223 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d223
  2. BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, February 28). Stress and tension do not stop fertility treatment from working, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224201901.htm