Tuesday, November 14, 2006

problem solver me

I keep thinking there's something I've missed.
There's some little trick, a little twist and if I could just figure it out I would have a better cycle/better embryos/that elusive second line.

So despite the fact that I've been to 5 clinics and seen god knows how many doctors, I keep thinking that if I read enough journals, scan all the abstracts from scientific meetings, consult with all the specialists (ahem...that's you folks) I will figure IT out.

Because surely there's a reason for everything, right?
And it's just a matter of finding the problem and fixing it. Right?

So.....to recap.
7 cycles on my own, 2 of which were cancelled.
2 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 3 = 14 embryos altogether.
Not a single one has stuck.
Some have been 'perfect' (beautiful 7 or 8 cells with no fragmentation); others have been grade II but they are never 'bad'.
Lining is always 8mm or more.
HSG shows no uterine abnormalities.
Blocked tube may have been affecting implantation but the tube was been clipped almost a year ago.
2 Laps to remove endometriosis.

1 DE cycle
3 8-cell, grade I embryos.

Every fricken cycle has been negative. The highest beta reading I ever had was 8.

Sparkle mentioned the Miscarriage Management Program. When I searched around for info I found this great website which got me thinking of the possible issues.

Blood Clotting disorders
They have run a thomophilia panel on me (between cycles 6 and 7).
Everything came back normal.
So it's not a clotting thing.

Chromasomal abnormalities
Well..this is tricky.
There are never enough embryos to do PGD on so that's out of the question.
My husband had been checked for a couple of genetic markers and they came back negative.
There's nothing else to go on (ie. family history) so what else would they test for?
How could all 17 embryos to date have been genetically abnormal?
Shouldn't the more recent ones (from younger healthier eggs) have been normal?
My first IVF cycle was at age 34. Could my eggs have been crap (genetically) even then? But how that does explain the DE failure?

the Uterus
2 HSGs, 2 surgeries and a gazillion ultrasounds.
The uterus appears to be fine.
But what about the beta3-integrins?
I've been thinking about this. I'm not convinced...and I"m not even sure how to go about investigating this since the people who test/diagnose this are in the US and I am not.
From what I can gather, the fix is to take Depot Lupron for 3 months. This can resynchronize the expression of the integrins.
Well...I was on Depot Lupron.
Okay it was 2 shots (2 months) not 3. But that should have helped, no?
Does it have to be 3 shots?
Should I ask for 3 in the future anyway, even if I'm not tested for beta-3 integrins. Can't hurt, right?
And, it's supposed to help quiet the endometriosis. Which is why I took it for 2 months in the first place.
Are the hypercoaguability panels checking for uterine function? Is this a standard thing I can ask an RE for?

The Endometriosis
See above.
The Depot Lupron was supposed to help.
Lots of people with endometriosis get pregnant. I've met them and their babies.
So that's not the only issue.

Immune Disorders
I don't know. I really don't know.
If this was the answer wouldn't they be checking immune issues for all women?
Why is the research so equivocal?
Where the hell is the research to back this up anyway?
I don't know if I can deal with the expense of dealing with one of the US groups that does the immune testing.
And it's begining to feel like I'm grasping at straws.
What exactly is the deal with immune testing ?

Other things....
Corticosteroids (prednisone, medrol etc)
Are supposed to help with implantation by suppressing the immune system.
I did take medrol with cycle #7.
Anyone know more about this?

Asprin, vitamins, acupunture, yoga, relaxation etc.
Yes. Did that.
No. Didn't help.

Liana suggested the possibilty of a gestational surrogate.
To that I say aaaaaiiieeeeee
I just can't contemplate that right now.
In Canada is even more impossible than the DE route (shockingly there are not many women out there willing to gestate a baby for 9 months without any compensation). But it's not just that.
I want to be pregnant.
I want to carry a baby and give birth and have stretch marks and gain 50 pounds and complain about my swollen ankles.
I want that.

I am asking for any and all assvice.