Monday, July 13, 2009

The skinny

Obviously we wouldn't go into this, our last foray into IVF, without demanding some major changes.

The past six months have involved a LOT of research on my part. I am lucky to have full access to almost any medical journal, and believe me, I have been a'readin' and a researchin'. My RE and I have been emailing back and forth, faxing journal articles to each other, etc. etc.

I figure you might want the skinny on the changes, so here goes:

Back to long lupron but no BCPs. I've done this protocol before and had the best embryos from it (though obviously it didn't work, duh) but was possibly oversuppressed on BCPs. So out with 'em.

I'm only adding menopur if my endogenous levels of LH are below a certain level. And even then, we'll add later rather than sooner.

Growth hormone. Controversial? Sure. But why not? I'm already looking forward to feeling like the Incredible Hulk.

A freeze-all cycle. My lining has issues...namely, endometrial hyperplasia. Which, in case you didn't know, is exacerbated but unopposed estrogen. Gee, guess who has soaring unopposed estrogen levels during all her previous transfers? Oh yeah, that would be me. So we'll freeze whatever we get, go home, have a cycle, do a D&C (scrraaaaaaaape), and then go back for a transfer. More to come on what stage we'll be freezing...still some debate on that.

High protein diet. It turns out my RE believes vegetarians do worse on IVF. Who knew? Oh wait, I'd been told this before but just figured I was getting enough plant protein. Turns out I was pitifully under-proteined. So now I'm bulking up on whey protein drinks daily, in addition to beans, peanut butter, eggs (every now and again), couscous, etc. My intake is anywhere from 65-90 grams per day.

No sugar. EGADS. Let me type that again: no sugar. This has been tough, especially because of my hobbies. My RE recommended cutting out all sweets/refined sugar (though not carbs thank GAWD) for two months prior to the cycle. I've made a couple of interesting desserts with agave nectar (which is all natural and doesn't cause the blood sugar/insulin spike that refined white sugar causes) but mostly, I just gave up desserts cold turkey. And discovered that bananas are really sweet and make a delicious dessert! Can you overdose on bananas? I am feeling like a monkey many days.

Acupuncture. I started this after our last failure with the stupid hope that the Eastern way would cure me. Sadly, no natural pregnancy ensued, but my RE feels that I should definitely continue the acupuncture and the herbs. I am going weekly now.

Supplements: nothing super new here, but I'm doing the following: royal jelly, Larginine, CoQ10, omega 3 FAs, melatonin, and of course folate.

Don't think Mr. LastChance has been left out. He's still on mega antioxidants but this go 'round they'll use MICSI instead of plain ole ICSI...meaning they'll magnify his sperm 600,000 times (YIKES) to look for some tell-tale craters in the head (ewwww) and weed those guys OUT.

So this was a technical post, I'm sorry. I know it's boring. But it is what it is.

And yeah, even though we're going into this with a totally different attitude than ever before (for real, ya'll!) I'm starting to get just a wee little teensy tiny bit anxious. I mean, what the hell are we doing? Are we certifiable? Nuts? Just looking for a way to waste 20K fast?

I'm not sure, I'm really not.

But our flights are booked...two weeks from THIS Wednesday. Egads.



  1. Wow, that is very cool that you and the RE have exchanged medical articles!!! I don't think you would have gotten this service if you had the "other" doctor. My previous cycle was Long Lupron without BCP and I did well on it. Adding menopur only if needed and later sounds like a great idea. I think the best change is the freeze all cycle. I too have outrageous e2 levels and believe that was my cause of implantation failure of 8 embryos. Sounds like you have every detail hammered out and I can't wait to follow along. Best of luck to you!!!!

  2. Oh wow! I love technical posts (I'm dead serious about this)!

    It sounds like you have all your avenues covered. I know you're anxious, but try to find some peace in the fact that you and Mr.LastChance are literally doing *everything* you can to give this the best chance of working.

    I'm excited for you!

  3. I am so impressed! It looks like you have changed so much and have made a lot of really good educated decisions on how your next cycle should go. I so hope that all of your hard work pays off! I can't wait to cheer you on and watch how your cycle goes!! Woohoo, let the ride begin! :)

  4. I'm super excited for you and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you've done so much homework. I have such deep respect for people who think science & medicine, read, challenge, plan and take an active role in their lives.

  5. Awesome! You seem to be so well prepared going into this cycle and I think that is so smart. I am really excited for you guys!!

  6. Incredible and not boring at all!

    Wow - no sugar, good for you. I did Atkin's back in the day and the "desserts" I loved were cottage cheese with warm berries, ricotta cheese with some powdered cocoa - oh, can you have heavy cream? That is pretty good whipped on berries and bananas.

    I look forward to this cycle - it sounds very dynamic and filled with hope.

  7. This is a great post! 2 weeks, huh? that is awesome! I think it is great that you did all this research and are making all of these changes...I think you have to try it all. I did Saizen and had no real side effects...not sure it helped but I sincerely doubt it I'd say do it. It is just for a few days. I can't wait to hear all about this cycle!!!

  8. I concur, this is a great post. I love the sciencey details...

    You are a rock star!!!!

  9. Curious why you are using MICSI? Are there identified MF issues? They've always put it on me and advanced age, but I always wonder if there's not something male-factor also going on, especially b/c my eggs make it to day 3 looking really great and then die out after that with only a few making it to day 5. I've heard that the male factor kicks in more after day 3?

  10. Where have I been? I'm so sorry to just be catching up right now on your postings but better late than never right? You are so very smart to do so much research and to be talking with the Dr. back and forth and getting such a great response. You have taken control of the situation and it is a good thing to know that you're approaching the problem very differently. I gave up sugar too which is also hard for me given my similar hobby as you and yes, dessert is very hard without the sugar. I have eaten roasted nuts (cracked black pepper & salt roasted nuts - yum!), lots and lots of fresh fruit and if there is an asian grocery store near you, they often have naturally dried fruits and vegetables that are good. My favourite right now are dried jackfruit chips - they're crunchy and sweet with not an ounce of added sugar. They also have garlic dried green peas...may sound gross, but they're crunchy too with a garlic hint on them. When I miss chocolate, I eat a few dried dates - those are like eating candy. One more tip - if I make oatmeal I make it with all natural apple juice and add applesauce (the ones with no sugar added) to it. I'll have to e-mail you the name of a jam I like that is made purely from fruit and sweetened with some fruit juice so it's okay as well.