Update after hospital appointment

I had my hospital appointment on Friday morning. Sorry I didn’t have time to write an update straight after as we had to rush to get on a plane to go to northern Scotland for a long weekend (a much needed relaxing break after all the recent stress).


Scotland this weekend: freezing but beautiful

The appointment had been fitted in between other appointments and as a result it was pretty rushed. What I picked up from the high speed Italian was that I can proceed to do the next FET with our remaining genetically normal embryo on our next cycle (starting around 18 May). For the antinuclear antibodies they prescribed me low dose aspirin daily to start taking from now and also heparin shots which they told me to start taking if I get a positive HCG beta.

On the way back home after the appointment I realised that I was pretty frustrated with how things went and have three issues…

a) The beta date for my last embryo transfer (which resulted in a chemical) was VERY late: 14 days past a 5 day transfer so 19 days past ovulation. The HCG level was only 89 and then lowered on subsequent betas which makes me think that the miscarriage happened before the beta day (i.e. the HCG had already peaked before and was already lowering by beta date). So if that happened again then starting the heparin on beta day would be WAY too late. To remedy this I’m just going to take matters into my own hands and start peeing on sticks from earlier on, and if I get a positive I’ll start the heparin early….frustrating but at least I can manage this issue myself.

b) They tested me for the MTHFR gene mutation and I came back as heterozygous for this which they seemed to think didn’t matter at all. I had read online about how taking synthetic folic acid is potentially bad for those with a MTHFR mutation but they just looked confused when I asked about it so I had to just give up on that. I’ve ordered some methylated folate supplements online and will start taking them when they arrive.

c) The final issue is the most worrying to me: almost everywhere online where I have read about antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) refers to taking low dose Prednisone as a treatment before and during the embryo transfer to suppress the immune system. There was no mention of this in the appointment, and as we were so rushed (and it was in Italian) I didn’t have time to ask.

I’ve emailed the doctors ask about the MTHFR mutation and also the ANA issue….but they aren’t guaranteed to respond (this is public sector not private and so they are not obliged to respond). If they don’t respond by the end of the day I am going to book in a private appointment with them to ensure that I can get my questions answered before the next cycle.

So progress I guess, but feeling pretty frustrated. I can’t begin to explain to you how stressful this all is when it’s so complicated and in a foreign language and rushed. I’m not feeling comfortable at all about it at the moment….but will continue to fight for some answers before we take a chance on our last little embryo.




How many issues can one person have?!

Ok so today has been an unexpectedly eventful day and I’m still not sure how to feel about it. I’m trying to see the positives, but it’s hard…

I started spotting very lightly late yesterday and was really really hoping to be able to do my next FET on my upcoming cycle, so started panicking that my period would arrive before our scheduled hospital appointment on Tuesday.

The date was set for Tuesday because on Monday I was due to receive the results for some blood test results done after our FET with a chromosomally normal embryo (that ended in a chemical pregnancy). Late yesterday I decided to call the blood test centre to see if the results were ready early, and indeed they were. So this morning I rushed over to the centre to pick up the results with the aim of trying to move our hospital appointment to today.

For some reason I wasn’t particularly concerned about what the results would say…I assumed that they would come back normal and I’d be ok to go straight on to do the FET if I could just get hold of my doctor. So I grabbed the results and called the hospital and got told everything was fully booked. Dejectedly I trudged home and only then, about 30 minutes later, did I actually open the results.

It was not what I was expecting….

In addition to my Balanced Translocation, my low-ish AMH/high-ish FSH and my husband’s borderline/low sperm it seems that I have not one but TWO more issues…

Firstly, I have what is called a gene mutation called a MTHFR (its not an acronym for a swearword…honest!) From my frenzied Googling this doesn’t seem TOO bad…it means that I need to ditch taking folic acid and vitamin B complex (which I though had been helping in fertility, but seem to have been having the opposite effect for me). I might have to take aspirin as well.

Secondly, I have anti-nuclear antibodies present in my blood and it looks as if my body produced them in response to our embryo. The thought that my body killed off our embryo with an immune reaction is pretty heart-wrenching to be honest…it’s making me a bit teary to think about…so I’m trying not to. It seems like there is hopefully treatment for this, but it looks like we might need more tests first to work out which drugs I’ll need to take.

It’s hard to know where my emotions are right now…

On the negative side I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself…how can one person draw so many short straws in the fertility lottery?

On the positive side I’m trying to look at this as progress: more issues identified hopefully means that they can be treated and can get us one step closer to our goal.

As I couldn’t get an early appointment with my doctor I’ve emailed him the results and am hoping he’ll magically have time to reply in the next hour or so before he goes home for the day (but I doubt it as its not a private hospital). So it looks like I’ll probably have to wait until our scheduled appointment on Tuesday.  And so the chances of doing our FET on the upcoming cycle are looking very very slim indeed.