Contact me !

If you need to contact me , please write to me to this email ID : manjupadmasekar@yahoo.com. I will be happy to help.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Happy Birthday , Dr !





Dear Dr ,

Many more happy returns of the day ! May you live a very long , happy and healthy life , and let no harm come near you. May all your dreams and ambitions come to fruition. Keep smiling , and have a very beautiful life ahead !

Thanks a lot for making Anisha happen ! She has made our life happier and purposeful. We learn a lot from her , everyday. Not even a day goes by without wondering how dull and colourless our life would have been without Anisha ! Thanks to you and your team for all the technical help and support !

For me , your presence has been a great support. When I was shattered beyond words by the loss of our twins , the thought that you are there gave me enormous strength. I wouldn't have fought this battle gracefully without your blog , my blog and you. Thank you , you are a wonderful doctor , and moreover , a beautiful human being.

Have a great day , Dr ! Stay blessed , always.

Manju

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Can stress cause infertility , can the stress of infertility treatments prevent my conception ?




This is the most disturbing question in the minds of men and women fighting infertility. The most important piece of advice you will receive from well - meaning people , when you are struggling to conceive is , " Relax , it will happen ". Even if you are reacting to your situation normally , like every human will do , the ' relax ' advice makes you to worry that you are worrying too much about getting pregnant ,  and hence that stress has come as a stumbling block to conception. Once you start to believe so , you will be stressing all the time not to stress ( instead of working on your stress to make the situation better ) ; you will be worried about how not to worry - as a result , you will slowly be caught in a stress cycle which is not productive. Worrying how not to worry , instead of reacting to the situation appropriately , can never lead to any constructive action , unfortunately !
We are all made to believe that stress is bad for us. The truth is ,  stress is an inevitable part of human life , it helps us to become courageous , it makes us caring and empathetic , and most importantly it makes us resilient ( that's what the new research says ! )  What else do you need to fight infertility ?
The idea that stress is toxic to our body is an old school of thought. As scientists developed proper models and tools to explore further into stress and it's effect on our body , it became clear that stress is not bad , after all. It is our body's defense mechanism to cope with difficult situations. Stress actually makes us healthy - it boosts our immune system , makes us physically and mentally resilient and has a positive impact on our brain health.
Further more , research has also pointed out that , people who believe stress is bad for them tend to experience the negative side - effecets of it ,  and people who think stress helps them to perform better , reap the best out of it. How can it be ? For example , if a person going through infertility treatment starts to believe that the stress of the treatment is causing him / her  not to conceive , they naturally quit their treatment. This happens many a time. People start to believe that the stress of infertility treatments is stopping them from conceiving. Once such a thought enter their mind , they quit treatment and try to take a route which is least stressful - for example , natural cures ( homeopathy etc ).  If the cause of their infertility needs allopathic treatment , they will never conceive in spite of their decreased stress ( for example , if the problem is blocked tubes or low sperm count ). In such cases , their belief that stress is harmful hindered their ability to endure difficulty and fight back. The end result is ,  they end up wasting their precious fertile years and unintentionally decrease their chance of conception. On the other hand , people who accept their stress caused by infertility and use it in the best possible manner will tend to achieve their baby dream much more easily. This is because , they are least likely to give up , they remain energetic , stay focussed and motivated. They rise to their challenge and give their best. They can also use their stress to become best care givers for people who are in a similar situation as they are.
There are three beneficial stress responses ,  ' challenge response ' is one among them. This stress response reduces inflammation and helps you to rise to your challenge. So consider your infertility as an interesting challenge and make the most out of your beneficial stress. To give a simple analogy , imagine a mad dog running towards you. You have two options : you can try not to stress yourself too much and wait patiently for the dog to approach and bite you , or , feel the stress and respond accordingly by running as fast as you can to escape the ferocious dog ( the challenge here is to run faster than the dog ) ( although ' a dog chasing ' is a type of threat response , I have used it as an analogy for ' challenge response ' )
If someone tells you that stress is bad for you , please do not believe them. Stress is not bad. It is not evolved to harm you and your body , but to help you. Nature wouldn't want the human race to end , nature wants that we thrive and flourish. If stress is so bad for us , our body would have developed mechanisms to evade stres all together.
When infertility strikes you , it is a very normal reaction to worry. Worry leads to further actions - you find a doctor , you read a lot about it , you ask for multiple opinions , and you spring into action. If someone says that this is wrong and you must relax , something is wrong with them and not with you ! Except for the threat response , aka , fight and flight response , no other stress response leads to a toxic state. During threat response , it's true that inflammation is increased , our decision - making ability is impaired , hormones which suppress our immune system are released and our brain cell's health is compromised. BUT,  remember , the threat response is only short lived and is helpful too , for that particular situation. Other that that , no other stress impacts us negatively.
Infertility is stressful , there is no doubt about it. If you see it as an interesting challenge and tackle it accordingly , the stress of it will only help you and your body to fare better. Believe in your body , it will not let you down. Don't be afraid of the stress , it is only working hard to make you much stronger , courageous and resilient. Don't you know that the coals which withstands high pressure turns out to be precious diamonds ? If you withstand the stress of infertility and infertility treatments ,  you are more likely to give rise to precious babies :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

IVF failure - when emotional pain is stronger than physical pain !



" Thanx a lot manju...i just love to read your reply.
I am very lucky to have a very loving and understanding husband. Just finiahed my 3rd ivf. Same protocol with 450 iu fsh daily for 10 days fron day 2 and cetrotide. Collected 9 eggs. 4 mature and 3 immature, 1 dead. 4 eggs icsied and got 3, 6 celled and 1,8 celled day 3 embryos and 8 cell embyo was grade a with no fragments. and others with small fragments.they tranfred 4 embyos My dr was very hopeful for this cycle. But just got my bfn on day 14. And this cycle also was not succesful. My progestrone on day of hcg administration was 1.7ng/ml. I was reading that elevated progestrone on day of hcg admnstration have a negative impact on implantation. As endometrium is less receptive. I am not finding any comfort anywhere. I am so hopeless. Just want to have my bundle of joy, but it seems its not going to happen.
I feel good talking to you. Just someone with whome i can share everything.
Thanx a lot for being there. "
Dear S ,
" I understand your pain. I have gone through IVF failures many a time - we feel so hopeless , and future might appear very dark and bleak. All I would say is , cry , cry and cry. It will make you feel better. 
Remember , there are women who go through much horrible times due to infertility. I know women whose husbands took it as an opportunity to leave them. I know women who can't get the baby they want because they do not have the necessary money. And , there are women  who just can't have a baby because their ovaries don't work anymore. Being grateful for what we have helps a lot to feel better at these difficult times. It helps you to feel thankful in spite of the sorrow you feel now. Life is never easy , not for anyone. The battles we fight , the courage and strength we show , will define who we are. 
First , even if you do not succeed in having a baby that's not the end of the world. You are already a wonderful mother and your child will come to you in the appropriate time. Never lose hope.
Yes , progesterone rise at the time of hcg administration can make the lining not in sync with the embryos' developmental stage - this might lead to failed implantation. Why didn't you tell your concern to your doctor at that time ? You could have opted for a FET. Nevertheless , past is past. The good thing is , you produce eggs still. When are you planning to start the next cycle ? Can you write to me before starting it , perhaps a month before you start ?
Now , just take your time to recover - read good books ; grow your spirituality ; do something which makes you feel good about yourself. Life will not stay as such forever - nothing lasts longer. This difficult time will come to an end , too.

Find happiness , please ! You can , it's all within yourself. You just need to know how to experience it , enjoy it , in spite of all the troubles. Finding ways to be happy amidst these difficult IVF times can help you to reach your goal with ease . "

IVF failure is no joke. I have seen couples who became suicidal after an IVF failure. The pain can be excruciating - you feel as if  you are sucked out of energy from every cell of your body ; thoughts about future can be very fearful. You feel as if you can never function properly - doing everyday chores can feel like an Himalayan task ; your professional life can have a set back , for that time being.  But the good thing about an IVF failure is , after you cry your heart out , you feel cleansed inside out. For many , IVF failure can open the door to spirituality - they try to analyze their actions ( life ) spiritually - as a result ,  most couples will definitely become better humans. Your preferences in life will change for the better. Your ego gets tamed , and naturally you start to give importance to the most valuable things in life - you will fill yourself with love and gratitude , rather than hatred and fear. After all ,  that is what life is all about ; that's what a failure does to a mature human being. After a painful experience , you will always be left with two choices - to become bitter or better. The good news is , most humans turn out to be better beating the bitterness within them. The only wise words at such times is , " Stay strong , this too will pass "

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Why are my ovaries unresponsive to stimulation drugs ?




Every infertile couple , when they start their IVF cycle , are full of hopes. They are excited that they are pursuing an infertility treatment which gives them a very high chance of success - and , for some , it is also a last resort for having a baby !  As they go through each and every step of an IVF cycle , they are tormented with different emotions -  excitement , confusion , despair , happiness , sadness and what not ! But for some women , their excitement comes to a crushing halt during the very first step of IVF - their ovaries simply do not respond to the stimulation drugs which are used to grow multiple follicles. When follicles don't grow there is no chance of harvesting eggs - their journey sadly ends before it even begins ! This situation is more painful than a failed IVF  , because ,  for some ,  this can also mean the end of their baby making journey ! Why do ovaries become unresponsive to stimulation drugs ? Can this situation be overcome ?

There are three possible reasons for having  unresponsive ovaries :
1. Poor or diminished ovarian reserve
2. Use of sub - optimal concentration of stimulation drugs ( gonodotropins )
3. FSH insensitivity

Poor ovarian reserve

Aging is the main reason for having a poor ovarian reserve. All the eggs a women harbors in her ovaries are created when she was in her mother's womb . To start with ( at around 6 months of gestational age ) ,  a woman's ovaries contain approximately 7 million eggs .  But at birth , only 1 - 3 million eggs remain , other eggs are lost even before she is born due to a process called follicular atresia ( a self - destructive process ) . Follicular atresia continues as a woman grows , and hence the number of eggs in her ovaries continue to decreases drastically. By the time she reaches puberty , only 300 , 000 - 400 , 000 eggs are left. When she reaches menopause ( the normal age for menopause is around 50 years for most women )  , her ovaries might contain around 1000 eggs.  Many older women ( > 40 years ) , who undergo IVF , might find that their ovaries are no more responsive to stimulation drugs because their ovarian reserve is extremely poor . As the women approach menopause ( even 10 years before menopause ) the quantity and quality of eggs decreases , drastically.  The follicles ( the structures that contain egg )  present in the ovaries also lose their ability to grow in response to FSH ( because they become refractory to the action of FSH ) . As a result , older women find that their ovaries respond very poorly to stimulation drugs leading to poor egg yield , or they might also experience complete lack of follicle growth . This often comes as a cruel shock ,  because , aging of the ovaries are not as obvious as aging of other visible body parts , and hence no one are really aware about it . For example , we are very much aware of our greying hair and skin wrinkles , but we rarely think about our ovaries , and the changes that happens in them , as we age  . Many women are ignorant about their fertile years  , they think , having a regular menstrual cycle indicates all is well with their reproductive system ! Many even think , if they look young for their age , their ovaries remain young , too ( sadly that's not the case ! ) Older ovaries are most of the time unresponsive to stimulation drugs ,  and there is nothing one can really do to make them sensitive to gonodotropins.

Unfortunately , 10 % of young women can also have ovaries which are much older than their actual chronological age. For example , a women can be 25 years old , and can have ovaries which behave like that of 40 year old women's. This is a very unfortunate happening. There can be many reasons for this , like , chemotherapy , smoking , ovarian surgery leading to the loss of majority of ovarian tissues , autoimmune diseases ,  some genetic defects like fragile X syndrome , etc. These women's ovaries might also become unresponsive to stimulation ( FSH) .
Women who have poor ovarian reserve can be identified using a couple of blood tests , such as , measuring their FSH , e2 and inhibin B levels on day 3 of their menstrual cycle  ,  or measuring a hormone in blood , called AMH. Counting antral follicles present on ovaries using an ultrasound probe , during their earlier phase of menstrual cycle also gives a rough idea of their ability to respond to stimulation drugs. But the ultimate proof of their ovaries' ability to respond to stimulation drugs can only be assessed during an IVF cycle . A woman who fails to grow more than 3 follicles with maximum amount of FSH ( 450 IU ) ,  (  and whose e2 is less than 300 pg / ml for a single follicle or less than 500 pg / ml for 3 follicles  ) , for a minimum stimulation period of 9 days , are classified as poor responders.

Use of sub - optimal dose of gonodotropins

The antral follicles carry receptors for FSH in their granulosa cells.  During IVF , the FSH that is used ,  bind to these receptors and help in the growth of follicles. Since , FSH is used in supranatural amounts during IVF  , it rescues most of the antral follicles which will be otherwise lost due to atresia. The sensitivity of follicles to FSH varies with age. Normally , older women need more FSH to rescue maximum number of antral follicles from degenerating when compared to that of a young age woman. In other words , young women's ovaries are much sensitive to FSH and hence they need less FSH to initiate the growth of  maximum number of antral follicles. The usual starting dose of FSH is 150 miu for women aged 25 - 30 , 225 miu for women upto 35 years of age , and above 300 miu for women above 35 years of age. If lower doses of FSH are used for older women , their ovaries fail to respond to FSH. Hence an optimal concentration of FSH is necessary to make the ovaries respond effectively to stimulation drugs.
For example , I responded very poorly to stimulation drugs during my first few IVF cycles. During my first IVF cycle my AMH was 4.5 ng / ml. Because of my high AMH , and because of the fact that I was diagnosed with PCOD , the doctor wanted to be extremely careful. I was 28 years then and the doctor started me with 150 miu of gonal F . Even though my FSH dose was increased gradually during the stimulation period , at the end of the cycle , I had only 3 follicles that were growing and I got only one embryo  ! That was a disaster and I was heart broken. I thought I would have lots of eggs because of my age and PCOD diagnosis.  Now , when I look back , I could guess what might be the reasons for my ovaries ' poor response to FSH - high AMH and insulin resistance ( insulin acts as a co - gonodotropin ) could be the possible reasons which can lead to poor response if the starting FSH dose is not high enough !
Although , PCOD patients are hyper responders to stimulation drugs , getting most of their FSH - sensitive antral follicles growing depends a lot on the initial dose of gonodotropin that is used.  If the initial FSH dose used was too small , many PCOD patients tend to respond very poorly. A recent publication talks about the effect of high circulating AMH affecting the FSH sensitivity of antral follicles. They found that , higher the AMH level , higher starting doses of FSH are needed to create an optimal ovarian response. High AMH levels make the ovaries resistant to stimulation drugs and hence higher doses of FSH is needed to overcome FSH resistance  ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24341292 )
So , not only old age but also having PCOD can make ovaries resistant to the action of FSH. Hence , determining and administering optimal FSH dose is essential to make the ovaries responsive to stimulation.

FSH insensitivity

There is a genetic condition called hypergonodotropic hypogonodism. It is an endocrine disorder where the ovaries are resistant to the actions of FSH. This happens because of a mutation ( genetic defect ) in the FSH receptor ( to which FSH binds and initiates it's action ). As a result , FSH cannot act on the receptors that are found on the granulosa cells of follicles. Because of the lack of FSH action , no follicles could be grown ! The ovaries will not respond to stimulation drugs and at present there are no cures for it !

Friday, June 10, 2016

A burning question in IVF !



Question # 5
" How are you doing? Hope you are having a good time. Going through second IVF cycle
Kindly help me answer few queries:
1.Could you please guide me if bed rest is recommended (or it has slightest impact) after frozen embryo transfer?
2.Can I go for mild stroll after 2-3 days and resume office?
3. Indian roads are bad and there are lot of bumps/potholes on the road, does travelling in the car negatively affect? "
Answer
I have already written a couple of posts regarding bed rest after embryo transfer. Even after that , I get repeated queries regarding bed rest !
Why are women afraid of carrying out their normal day - to - day activities after embryo transfer ? There are many reasons :
1.  Women turn to internet and online forums for advice - the suggestions they get there are very conflicting. They come across women who swear by bed rest for their IVF success.
2. Irrational fears are normal during IVF - ' what if the embryo falls down , is that light pink tissue on my toilet paper my embryo ! ' Couples who undergo IVF want their cycle to succeed  - their baby love cannot be fathomed. They fear failure , and want to do their best ( anything ! ) to find success. These factors play a major role in preferring bed rest.
3. Lack of knowledge about uterine and embryo morphology can lead to unnatural fears about embryo falling out from uterus .
4. Many clinics still send patients with an instruction to take strict bed rest. Even worse , there are doctors who immobilize their patients and keep them in hospital bed , until pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test comes out positive , and if all goes well ,  the bed rest continues until delivery.  These money - mongering medical professionals make good use of the ignorance and fear of their patients to fill their pockets  - shameful of course !
Why bed rest is not necessary ?
It is very natural to wonder  , " if embryos  can be kept inside the uterus via cervical opening , won't it descend down the same way ? " No , it won't.  Your embryo is microscopic , and is like an invisible dust particle - it can easily fit at the tip of a needle. Your uterus is a pear shaped organ. Assume that the widest part of the pear is the uterus , and the narrow region is the mouth of uterus , aka , cervix. If you cut the pear longitudinally there is no cavity in the upper part , the same applies to your uterus , too. Your uterus walls are like two bread slices touching each other. The endometrium where the embryo implants is akin to the jam applied inbetween the bread slices. Imagine keeping a microscopic dust particle inbetween the bread slices - is there any chance that the dust particle get dislodged or fall down ? The same applies for your embryo too. There is no free space in the uterus for your embryo to roll and fall down. There is no real cavity , the uterus only contains a potential cavity and the cavity develops only when the embryo implants and develops into a fetus. The growing fetus will push the walls of the uterus apart creating a cavity. Hence , gravity cannot act on your microscopic embryo.  The endometrium acts like a sticky jam. Endometrium and the embryo are made for each other ( they communicate with each other , a lot ) , and so they love sticking to each other. Walking , running , jumping , sneezing , coughing , falling down , your dog jumping over your lap , bumpy roads , and not even having sex , will push your embryo out of your uterus.
Won't uterus contractions squeeze the embryo out ?
Although , any increase in the frequency of uterus contractions has the potential to dislodge or expel the embryo , the progesterone which is present in large amounts after embryo transfer , doesn't allow the uterus to contract more than usual. Doctors aim for a very smooth embryo transfer. If the embryo transfer becomes difficult for some reason , it might lead to increased uterine contractions , and these contractions can affect IVF success , most probably due to dislodging of embryo or due to embryo expulsion via cervix. But , your normal day - to - day activities will not cause your uterus to contract , especially when such enormous amounts of progesterone is doing its job in your body.
Is orgasm OK ?
It should be OK. Couples who conceive in their bed room have sex after ovulation. If sex and orgasm could expel the embryo from the uterus , human population would have been a lot less. Once the embryo is inside the uterus , it doesn't remember how it came in. Once inside the uterus , they are as safe as the embryos formed during natural intercourse. There are women who orgasm in dream during their IVF 2WW and worry whether they have caused any harm. You can be very sure you haven't spoiled your chance of success.
What does scientific evidence say about bed rest ?
Studies showed no correlation between bed rest and IVF success. Some studies even pointed out that bed rest could actually decrease your chance of success. Even more , if you apply your common sense -  during and after IVF there are enormous amount of different hormones in our body ( much higher than what will be present during a natural cycle ) . This increased amount of hormones increases the risk of blood clots. If someone keeps on lying down without enough movements , it can actually cause much harm  - especially , in women who are prone to blood clots.
What about the ladies who swear by bed rest ?
Please remember that correlation doesn't mean causation ! I ate bananas today , I met with an accident - but that doesn't mean eating bananas lead to the accident !  Anecdotal stories are not proofs. For every lady who got success after lying down in bed all the time , there are ten more who didn't rest and got pregnant. Instead of searching ' bed rest and success ' , search for ' no bed rest and success ' . Google gives you what you want - always be aware of this ( never believe everything what Dr. Google says )  ! If you want a good advice which can be trusted , talk to someone who is knowledgeable (  most probably that person must be your doctor ! )
Shouldn't I rest at all ?
Take rest - but do not overdo it ! For the first 15 minutes after embryo transfer , lie down. Then for the next two days treat yourself like a queen ( don't do what you do routinely , for example , avoid laundry or anything you find difficult ) . After that ,  get on with your routine. Lying down 24*7 will only make you emotionally sick - it will allow your mind to play games with you. Keeping yourself busy , yet , not doing something which you will regret if the IVF fails , is the key.
I felt wet down after embryo transfer ? Is it the liquid within which my embryo was present ? Does that mean my embryo came along with that liquid ,  I found a red dot in the tissue paper after wiping - is it my embryo ?
No , that's not your embryo. You cannot see your embryo with naked eyes. And definitely , your embryo is not red in colour. So , do not panic. The liquid in which your embryo is present during transfer is just a minute drop of cell culture medium . That cannot flow out of your uterus and wet your inner pants. The liquid that comes out after embryo transfer is the one which is used to wash your vaginal canal. It is just a mixture of water and disinfectant. Any wet sensation you feel down doesn't come from any dripping from your uterus.
I wish , before embryo transfer , doctor or the embryologist shows the patient the embryos ,  embryo transfer catheter , the amount of liquid in which the embryo will be kept etc , so that the patient will have some piece of mind. There are many patients who are afraid to ask questions , and suffer the entire 2WW with unnatural fears about losing their precious embryos !
All I can say is , after embryo transfer , close your eyes , imagine a seed in a fertile soil and visualize it rooting and growing , everyday. Your embryos are within you - they are safe !

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Success with diminished ovarian reserve !






 " I am very happy to see Anisha kutty's photos/videos in FB and in your blog. 
To reintroduce myself:
- I follow your blog very closely
- I have talked to you when i visited Zurich over phone
- I tried to reach you when you were in India
- I have had conversations with you through mail, (i have written it over my old mail so that you get the context)
Good news from my side: We are blessed with a girl baby - Shreya. She is 6 months old today.
I am so happy that we as new mothers are going to travel together bringing up our daughters
My IVFs were a failure. My AMH was so low. In my IVF cycle, there were only 3 follicles, out of that only two eggs were retrieved, out of that only one fertilized, that too was only 3-celled. It did not implant. I did not conceive. Doctors gave me up. I was devastated.
I wanted a baby. I was not ready to go for donor egg option. I was given an option of modified natural IVF cycle and egg-pooling. I was told that it is experimental. I still went ahead, since i had no other choice to have my own baby.
I underwent four cycles of egg-retrieval. Those 4 cycles resulted in 1 or 2 eggs. One of the cycles was a total failure. I came back empty handed. All those eggs retrieved were frozen.
After undergoing egg-retrieval cycles for an year, at the end of it there were 6 eggs for the embryologist to work upon.
With God's grace, out of that 6 eggs, 5 got fertilized, 3(eight celled) were transferred, and our Shreya was conceived from one of them. Two of the embryos(seven celled) are frozen.
It was Dr. X who was of great moral support and technical support during these tough times. She is my friend, doctor, God sent Angel all in one ".

Success stories like these are amazing. These stories teach why you shouldn't give up too soon. Not every women with poor ovarian reserve takes home a baby which is genetically related to them. This emailer is relatively young ( 28 years ! ). She had a doctor who is willing to support her and tailor an individual protocol which suited her need. Many doctors will be reluctant to do so because they don't have the time or interest to invest their energy on a single patient. They treat poor ovarian reserve patients like other patients and send them back with a suggestion of donor eggs when they couldn't retrieve good amount of eggs from their ovaries. 
The message from this story is :
If you are young , poor ovarian reserve will not be a major deterrent for having a baby which is genetically related to you. You can overcome your problem with these ingredients -  lots of patience , perseverance , a good doctor , and of course , money !
But , if you are of advanced maternal age , and produce only a couple of eggs , the chance of having success with IVF is greatly reduced. So , if you are a woman who is above 35 years of age , and who is fighting infertility with diminished ovarian reserve ,  you must have a realistic expectation of your chance of success . This helps to chose your battles wisely !

I haven't published the doctor's name who was mentioned in this email. I do not want that my blog becomes a source of advertisement. But if you are interested , please write to me : manjupadmasekar@yahoo.com. I will redirect your emails to the person who sent the above email  so that she can give you the necessary information.


Sharing your infertility journey can help others !




" Hi Manju, I have also gone through infertility. It took 4 long and heartbreaking years including 4 iuis and 4 ivf cycles. Along with the support of dear friends and hospital staff, your blog kept me.going. I had two miscarriages during these years. You won't believe it ...My second miscarriage coincided with.your loss.of.twins. When I had the second loss I stopped following your blog. You were pregnant with twins and in my state of mind it was impossible to share your joy. Months later out of.curiosity I accessed your blog.thinking you may have already.given birth to them. I was shocked.to hear about your loss. And then on the day you announced your.pregnancy on the blog I was also pregnant ...exactly the same nUMBER Of weeks and days!!! Advaith was born just three days after Anisha. I only believed that I could have a healthy baby when I read about Anisha's arrival and it gave me the confidence to approach labor and delivery. I have been tracking her.progress.since then. We seem to have some karmic connection even though you don't know me. CONGRATULATIONS ON MOTHERHOOD AND THANKS.FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. All my love and blessings for your family ".
This is a comment I received recently in one of my blogs. Sometimes , I do wonder whether I was too open about my struggles. Many of my friends have pointed out that I put myself in enormous stress by penning down my emotions. But , when I receive comments like this , I know I was not wrong , after all.   Every human in this word has a story to share  - a story which can give others enormous strength and wisdom , a story which can inspire . Sharing your story is extremely therapeutic for you and for others , too. By sharing your struggles you are making lemonade out of lemons life has thrown at you. By being vocal about your struggles , you are putting them to constructive use - your struggles are no more a mere painful experience ( a destructive force ) ! Your infertility story can assure others who are in a similar situation that they are not alone.
I am so , so thankful to people who reach out to me. It just shows how good people are. All I can say is " THANK YOU ! "

Friday, June 3, 2016

17 IVFs before success !


" I am an OB/GYN and a mother who conceived after 15 years of sterility and 17 IVFs! I came across your blog and am extremely impressed by it, the one about supplements is so well researched and documented! I wish I could just print each advice and post it in my office (like the part about not going crazy the 2 weeks after ET, my patients tend to literally stop breathing and wait..."

This email , which I received long ago made my day. All such emails and kind words from blog readers helped me a lot to fight infertility. I am forever thankful to my blog  and to my wonderful Dr ( Dr. Malpani ).

IVF patients frequently ask this question - how many IVFs should I do before I take home a baby ? Scientific evidence says , 60% of women find success within 3 full IVF cycles ( not 3 embryo transfers ) , provided , they contain good ovarian reserve. This shows how limited IVF success rates are ( or how overstated IVF success rates are ! ) ! Many women , who start their first IVF cycle , religiously search for success stories of women who got pregnant in their first IVF cycle , in order to strengthen their hope. And unfortunately ,  women who succeed in their first IVF attempt are more likely to boast their success in public ( on online infertility forums , etc ., ) . This creates an unrealistic expectation about IVF success rate in the minds of patients. That's one of the reasons why IVF patients become heart - broken after their first failed attempt and succumb to failure. One of the best advice I can give to fellow IVF patients is , please read failure stories - those stories will teach you enormous wisdom and make you mature enough to handle IVF roller coaster ride !
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