Fertile Journeys

A Message about Infertility

You may be wondering why I say I’m dealing with “infertility” when I’ve been knocked up so many times? Good question. Women who can’t bring a baby to term are said to be infertile. Infertility effects approximately 17% of women in the US (Scher & Dix, 2005). There are many causes, but what’s sad is that a large number of women face unexplained infertility. Recurrent pregnancy loss (defined as 3 or more consecutive miscarriages) effects less than 1% of the population (Scher & Dix, 2005)*. Similar to general infertility, there are many causes. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the most common causes of recurrent pregnancy loss are uterine abnormalities (10-15% of cases), Antiphospholipid Syndrom (3-15%), genetic abnormalities (less than 5%), hormonal or metabolic abnormalities, male factors, and unexplained (50-70%). As a patient, it is frustrating and worrisome to deal with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss (as I am at this point).

But, there is hope! There are many treatment options available to help couples who are struggling with infertility. A common treatment is to use follicle stimulating hormone therapy to produce more and higher quality eggs in combination with IUI (interuterine insemination), IVF (in-vitro fertilization), or timed intercourse. Other options which may be used alone, or in conjunction with IUI/IVF, include blood thinners, immunoglobulin therapy, progesterone supplememts, hcg supplements, and surgery to correct structural abnormalities (ASRM). Each treatment has varying degrees of success and not every treatment will help every couple achieve their dream of a baby. Sometimes it’s a guessing game!

*Note: Some organizations define recurrent pregnancy loss as 2 or more consecutive losses which effects less than 5% of women (American Society of Reproductive Medicine).

**Check out my Resources page for a list of books and helpful websites as well as full citations.

4 Comments »

  1. Good luck to you with this pregnancy! To ease queasiness, try ginger root tea, warm beverages instead of cold, and baked potatoes for B vitamins!

    Comment by rebecca — July 30, 2009 @ 10:56 am |Reply

  2. Good information. I have had three repeat miscarriages in a row – still no baby in arms. We tried the baby aspirin and progesterone supplements but ended up with a blighted ovum.

    Comment by mandylee4christ — August 11, 2009 @ 4:02 pm |Reply

    • Hi Mandylee4christ –

      I’m so sorry you are experiencing such a hard time. There is no way to take the pain away and you can only move forward. I hope you will keep going and trying again. As heartbreaking as it is, you will find that magic combination that will work for you. Have you had the full work up (including a lap and HSG)? That can give you some clues as to what’s going on. Also, the intralipids are very inexpensive (with shipping, mine was only $105 each time) and they have been proven effective in women with RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss). I hope you are at a fertility clinic at this point – if you aren’t, I highly recommend it. Like I said above, RPL IS infertility – as much as we hate to admit that. But, a fertility clinic has a lot of great tools to help you get that beautiful baby in your arms. I wish you the best of luck and please write again!
      Sincerely,
      Lindsey

      Comment by lhoham — August 12, 2009 @ 8:18 pm |Reply

  3. Yes, we have been with a fertility clinic for a year now. We had the full work up done (including HSG) after our second loss but nothing was ever found. We continue to praise God in the storm and trust that in His sovereign timing we will receive the child we have prayed so much for. His timing is perfect.

    Thanks for responding..

    -Amanda

    Comment by mandylee4christ — November 8, 2009 @ 3:09 pm |Reply


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