Diminished Ovarian Reserve

I haven’t posted about this yet because there was just too much going on these last few days with all the will-the-embryos-make-it drama. Plus, I didn’t want to drag the embryos down with my negative diagnosis.

Anyway, after my first IVF, my doctor suspected that that I had “some level of diminished ovarian reserve,” but she didn’t sound convinced. Well, let me tell you, she is convinced now. After this riot of an IVF cycle, I have now officially been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve (or DOR as it’s commonly known, because the infertility world hearts their acronyms). This basically means that although I am 37, my ovaries are somewhere in their 40s. I’m thinking maybe like 42 or 43? Here’s the weird thing, though. My DOR is a sneaky B. There are three tests they use to determine if your ovarian reserve is low: FSH, AMH and antral follicle count. The first two are hormones. And the last one is how many follicles you have at the beginning of your cycle. My FSH, AMH and antral follicle count are all normal! So my ovarian reserve should be fine as well, right? But I don’t respond well to the IVF medication, I don’t make a lot of eggs and the ones I do make are poor quality. So, boom — secret diminished ovarian reserve.

What does this all mean? Basically, it’s not good. No infertility diagnosis is good, let me be clear, but this one is extra-special fun because the only way to fix it is to turn back time. Will the 23-year-old Tanya please come forward? I’d like some of her eggs. What’s that? It’s not possible, you say? Ok, fine.

Turns out I lost my time machine, so here are our options:

1. My doctor suggested another fresh IVF cycle with a new protocol. She didn’t seem all that hopeful that it would work, though. We are extremely lucky that we have infertility coverage, so this is financially the best option for us. An exercise in futility? Maybe. Even still, this option is not off the table. We could also check out another doctor in our network, but I already feel that mine is the best in the area. It’s for sure worth looking into again, though.

2. Get second opinions. We are definitely pursuing this. We plan on contacting the following:

Dr. Braverman: He’s a reproductive endocrinologist. I already know I have one immune issue because of my elevated anticardiolipins, and I just have a nagging feeling that there are some other immunologic conditions going on here.

Center for Human Reproduction:  DOR is their specialty.

Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine: All-around bad-asses in the IVF world.

The one problem with this is that these places, awesome as they may be, are out of network, which means that we likely couldn’t afford them anyway. If we’re going to break the bank, it’s going to be for something that’s more of a sure thing. Even still, I think I’d regret it if I didn’t hear what they had to say.

3. Domestic infant adoption. I haven’t talked about this at all here, but we’ve already been researching this one pretty hard-core. I know it’s not an easy road, at all, but I believe that in the end we would have a sweet baby to love.

Neither adoption or fancy fertility doctors are cheap. We could pretty much do one or the other and that’s it, end of story. What will we do? I have no f*cking clue.

Right now I’m going to cry my eyes out and some drink wine.

Lots and lots of wine.