Debriefing and Doctor Shopping

It has been a little over two weeks since we received the call telling us our IVF cycle failed. We’ve experienced every emotion from anger to intense sorrow to hopelessness to resignation. I’m now finally able to look at moms and babies without tears welling in my eyes. The struggle has shifted. I find it hard to be happy for fertile people when I hear they are expecting. And trust me, there have been PLENTY of fertile people announcing pregnancies lately. It’s not that I’m not happy for them–I’m just overwhelmed by sadness for us. 

We discussed our failed cycle with our RE. He thinks our cycle was unsuccessful solely because of our sperm. He wants us to try another cycle with more stims (for more eggs and more embryos), and try fertilizing a few with donor sperm to see if my eggs can make it to the blastocyst stage when fertilized by different sperm. If they do, then we know for sure our sperm is to blame. If not, then it’s my eggs. To me, this approach sounds like an elementary school science experiment. 

Our urologist prescribed Clomid for Chris in combination with hardcore antioxidants (that make him sick) in order to boost his sperm motility and overall quality. The urologist advised Chris to take them a couple months before doing a fresh TESE, but our RE wants to drag it out for about 120 days. I don’t want to wait that long to move forward. Our communication with our RE’s office has been slow and frustrating. As you may recall, we’ve also had some rough experiences with them giving us incorrect info in the past. All these experiences finally culminated in me shopping around for another clinic. 

Today we met Dr. W. He seems incredibly confident in his abilities, and had a different take on why our cycle failed. When Dr. W heard that I have over 25 follicles pre-stims, he said that I have PCOS. Our last doctor toyed with that diagnosis, but never made it official. Dr. W also completely disagreed with the medication protocol I was on with the last clinic. He said it’s not a good protocol for someone who has PCOS, as it results in underdeveloped or overdeveloped eggs and possible hyperstimulation. He’d like to change my medications, and use the Lupron trigger instead of hCG before retrieval. Dr. W also thinks my egg quality is probably the main reason we aren’t getting pregnant. He said sperm rarely are the culprit–only about 2% of the time. 

This new clinic is huge with tons of people on staff who are all very friendly. They gave us time and attention, and encouraged us to ask questions. The staff provided an abundance of information, and seemed to want us to understand the process. That’s a huge change from our previous clinic. We have a good feeling about this new place. We don’t know if we’re going to succeed, but at the very least we’d like a positive change of scenery. So it’s official–we’ll keep the same urologist, but we’re changing clinics and REs. We don’t have an official start date yet, but likely July or August. 


29 thoughts on “Debriefing and Doctor Shopping

  1. My Perfect Breakdown says:

    I really like how hopeful you sound at the end of this post. I think it’s great that you have a plan and I also think that it’s awesome that you shopped around for a new doctor. I am a firm believer that no doctor is perfect and if you are able, seeking a second opinion seems like such a great idea. Wishing you the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. workingwomensivf says:

    I am a firm believer in not doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result so good on you for making a change. Fingers crossed the next cycle will be different and yield better results. We have no option to change clinics as I live on a small island and there is only one option but we have had a big chat to our RE and have a few options for future cycles including change in protocol and an endometrial scratch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • heatherhopeful says:

      I’m really glad you have other options, even if changing clinics is not one of them. I agree that it’s a really good idea not to do the same thing and expect different results. Definition of insanity, right? 😜


  3. mrssheandher says:

    I’m so glad you shopped around and didn’t feel bullied or resigned to stick with the same place. You should feel supported all the way through, and absolutely have to right to demand what you want and need. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nara says:

    Your new guys sound a lot better than the old ones in terms of communication and just making you feel better about the process. We are putting our lives in their hands so we have to trust them! I’m really hopeful that your next cycle will be positive as it sounds like you’re eliminating the negative factors. Even if it sounds like a science experiment! That’s a good thing! Hope to hear the positive story of your next cycle!


  5. g2the4thpower says:

    I hope the shit Chris is taking helps! I don’t know anything about sperm health/quality, but with egg quality the cycle is apparently 120 days for changes in habits & supplements to have an effect. Good luck sweetie! Xx


  6. 30yr old nothing says:

    Sounds like a good plan! It bothers me that IVF is usually just experiment after experiment. I wouldn’t mind as much if it wasn’t on my dime though. Wishing you the very best with this new clinic! Excited to follow this next chapter. xx


  7. ashleykyleanderson says:

    Honestly, I am so happy to hear that you have found a new clinic and RE after hearing about all you’ve been through with the first ones. The solution that they gave you absolutely feels like a science experiment! I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been. It seems like your new RE is much more competent and will put you on the right path.
    Don’t feel bad for struggling to hear about new pregnancies or finding it hard to be happy for others when you are dealing with so much pain and sadness. One of the worst things about infertility is that fertility is such a huge part of life itself that you can hardly go anywhere or do anything without being reminded of it. It’s hell.
    Anyway, just wanted you to know that I have been thinking about you guys. xoxo


  8. theonewithjb says:

    Was so sorry to hear I’d didn’t work this time around.

    Certainly know that feeling when it seems literally everyone is getting prefers around you.

    I’ve had it at work (three announcements in one week) and it’s starting to happen with my friends too. Hurts like a red hot needle in the eyeball.

    Definitely a good idea to change clinics. If you’re not getting the personal attention and service that you need then that’s a pretty good indication of how they treat your sperm, eggs and embryos.

    We changed clinics a while ago and found it really refreshing to see a different doctors approach.

    Best of luck.


    • heatherhopeful says:

      That’s a really good point, I didn’t think about the eggs, embryo, and sperm aspect. But it has been incredibly frustrating from a personal standpoint.

      Ugh! Gotta hate pregnancy announcements. I wonder if they will ever get easier, or if it will take beating infertility for that to happen.


  9. hopelovetears says:

    Praying that the new clinic will be the right place for you and the right tests, procedures, medicines, etc will all be successful! I know it’s hard, I’ve been through 3 losses so I can relate to the bitter, angry, sad feelings of seeing someone pregnant. Don’t feel bad about that…it’s part of your healing and processing. Will be saying prayers and following!


  10. Tikeetha T says:

    Awesome news! You have to do what’s best for you. I love it when you said, “this approach sounds like an elementary school science experiment.” I almost spit out my coffee. Good luck! Take some time and enjoy the summer before moving back to the protocol.


  11. andrearhooper2014 says:

    Hey, beautiful! It is nice to hear a smile in your e-voice again! And how wonderful that you found a clinic that matches your determination and professionalism. I wanted to go down there and throat punch people several times over the past few months. X’s and O’s and all my love!!


    • heatherhopeful says:

      Thank you, sis. I agree, there have been times where I’ve wanted to throw a couple throat punches myself. Lol. I hope the new clinic is everything we’re looking for. Hugs to you!


  12. myivfdiary2015 says:

    I love this post for so many reasons. You and your husband should be so proud of yourself. I know your journey is so different to mine but I am so impressed with how you have dealt with all these emotions and looked for answers outside of your first clinic. Doctor shopping is a real positive move. I remeber in my first cycle the quality of my eggs was not good at all. They didn’t expect any to work, then on the second round I had my drugs swapped. The results were astounding. You really do sound like you are riding this turbulent time and are both going to see a break in the clouds and find your sunny day soon. Sending you love from the UK x x

    Liked by 1 person

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