Fertility & Reproductive Health: Meet others and share your story

Welcome to the Fertility & Reproductive Health group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet people who know first-hand about dealing with fertility complications and reproduction health. Together we can learn from each other and share stories about challenges and triumphs, setbacks and the things that help.

Pull up a chair and connect. Why not start by introducing yourself? What is your experience? Got a question, tip or story to share?

Hello! Thx so much for the welcome! This sounds like a positive, encouraging & supportive bunch!

My husband suggested I look to see if there were any support groups I could join. So I began googling fertility & the Mayo clinic. I haven't been accepted at Mayo yet. I just recently decided to get a 2nd opinion & thought of this hospital.

I started my journey about a year & a half ago. My husband & I got married & decided to begin trying in 2018. He was 36 & I was 38. We started w/ my Obgyn. She said to try for 1 year. Then said if we weren't successful, to contact a Dr she knew at Mid Iowa Fertility, one of the only clinics in Iowa that I know of, which is where we live.

I used an OPK the entire year we tried. I had Positive surges each month, but we didn't conceive. Finally in March 2019, we went to see the fertility Dr.

We both did tests. We found my husband had a 0 sperm count b/coz he was on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). The Dr ordered him to go off & got him on HCG & chlomid. We were to evaluate again in 4 months (July).

I had an ultrasound, HSG X-rays, & bloodwork done. We found I had an about average egg count (7 egg follicles), a normal ovulation cycle that month, & a really small fibroid that didn't cause the Dr any concerns. He suggested we wait until my husband's count increased to try an IUI.

In July, sure enough my husband's count significantly increased enough for us to do an IUI in August. We froze several vials so that he could go back on TRT.

In August, rather than just waiting for my cycle to begin as normal, the Dr ordered me to go on Femara on days 3-7. Then, the Dr said, to go in for my IUI, when I got a Positive surge, or if I didn't have a Positive surge by Day 15, to go in for an ultrasound.

My OPK showed Positive surges every month prior, but while on Femara, it didn't. Instead it would just show flashing (estrogen was detected but not the LH hormone). So, on Day 15, I went in for an ultrasound. We found 4 egg follicles measuring 12 to 15.5 mm. The nurse (only nurses perform the IUI's at this clinic) said we wanted at least 1 egg to be 18 mm. So, I should go back in 3 days (Day 18). I went back in for what we hoped to be our IUI, but the ultrasound showed I had already ovulated, & we missed our window.

So, from August to October, I was on Femara on cycle days 3-7. I would never show a Positive surge (just flashing) even though bloodwork performed later on showed ovulation. During these months, the nurses never caught my ovulation window in time for my IUI. I would either go in for my ultrasound too early, too late, or not have enough ultrasounds done to catch my follicles at the right size before I ovulated.

This month, the day before Thanksgiving, the Dr wanted to take a look at the fibroid we saw earlier, which had been small at the beginning. He said it grew & he advised that I have it removed via abdominal myomectomy before we try an IUI. I was & am heart stricken.

I've been a competitive athlete for many years & still want to compete (or at least train) as long as I can. I took a break so my husband & I could try to get pregnant.

Now, we have to deal w/ this fibroid, which I think was aggravated by the Femara. This med not only made a small fibroid bigger, but it also made my ovulation unpredictable.

I'm worried for the surgery, its possible complications, & it setting me back to workout. The recovery time, then trying again for the IUI, which has already been an emotional roller coaster, has dimmed our hopes on conceiving.

I was hoping to see the Mayo clinic for a 2nd opinion, or alternatives. This clinic we're at now has not been very sympathetic, or helpful.

Thank u for letting me share. If u have any advice, or if u can share ur experience w/ fibroids, recovery, or IUI's I would greatly appreciate it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 🙏🏼💕

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@minnesotamrsa

Hi all!
I’m doing just fine; we had an all day Mayo visit recently with about 6 different appointments. most of them were to get ready for our next round in Feb. We are deciding not to do genetic testing this round. In hindsight we wish we wouldn’t have opted for it last round. We thought we would have 8 embryos to test and then our chances were higher of leading to a live birth because we would’ve taken the best looking one. Looking back we wish Mayo would’ve warned us before sending our ONE embryo for testing. We didn’t realize that Mayo’s policy is they refuse to transfer an abnormal embryo even if we want them too. Had they not done testing they would’ve transferred anyway and then our embryo would’ve had a chance to correct itself (again, something I learned through this process). It was hard learning it would’ve been a girl. My friends all say “that makes it feel a bit more real doesn’t it” when they hear it is a girl. And I have to remind them that although it’s not in my stomach, she IS ”real” and is the closest thing to a baby we’ve ever had. we all start as embryos and this is a loss for us. So I’ve been working through that most recently. But I move on best when I actually move on so I’m trying to just focus on the next round.

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I had no idea that they will not transfer an abnormal embryo either. Maybe somewhere along the line they told us that but I don’t remember that being part of the discussion. I guess that all along I just assumed that was our choice? I am so sorry that you were faced with the loss of that embryo! I completely agree that although a baby may not be in your stomach it definitely is a real baby! Keeping you in my prayers as you move into this next round!

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@phoenixzip

Hello Everyone! I’m finally joining the party! My life has been very hectic and busy this past week all to the good though. My IVF journey is done for now, but I wanted to be part of this group to help support and be a source for whomever needs it. I have had success and failure with IVF. My story is a long one and I won’t bore ya with the novel but in the end we turned to IVF due to endometriosis and me having quite a severe case of it. Something it seems most of you are quite familiar with. I am down to one ovary and the tube to that ovary is blocked which is not helpful at all in trying to have children. When my husband and I started IVF it was about 2 years ago. The fall on 2017. I knew it was gong to be quite an adventure because I have a huge aversion to shots…..ha ha….guess what IVF is. Anyway, after swim we ended up with only 3 embryos which to us was like striking gold! We were told we’d be quite luck if we even got 1 or 2. We actually got pregnant after our fresh transfer…….sadly, it didn’t stick and turned into a miscarriage. The only known miscarriage I’ve ever had. Then we had discovered that through the stimulation process another endometrioma had formed…..doh! And when we got to our second transfer……nothing took. My gut was telling me that my ovary was not going to even try to support a baby if it has to fight an endometrioma too. So I had another surgery to get it removed and sure enough….I was right! Our last transfer…..it was an emotional one, I was in tears after because I wanted it to work soooooo bad (most of you know that feeling a little too well). The next few weeks of testing were stressful because all my results kept coming up in the “gray” area where, I couldn’t quite let myself get excited……then we got to the ultrasound………and we saw it. Flickering pixels! A heartbeat! It is now 2019 and my healthy baby boy is 8 months! I am living proof that IVF can happen. I have learned that persistence in this process is HUGE!!!! And patience is truly learned…..holy cow! About 6 months after having my son, we decided to try again with IVF. Needless to say it didn’t take. We were disappointed because we long for a big family, but we have not given up hope! Currently investigating adoption and who knows what might happen. That’s my story and please feel free to ask me anything. I am an open book!

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Isn’t endometriosis one tough disease to not only live with but to work around? I really appreciate you sharing your story! I also have endometriosis and it really isn’t talked about much! Your story is a wonderful story to read because despite all the what ifs it worked for you! I think its encouraging to know that you didn’t just take no as an answer but will form a family no matter how that may look!

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@kellycattell

Hello! Thx so much for the welcome! This sounds like a positive, encouraging & supportive bunch!

My husband suggested I look to see if there were any support groups I could join. So I began googling fertility & the Mayo clinic. I haven't been accepted at Mayo yet. I just recently decided to get a 2nd opinion & thought of this hospital.

I started my journey about a year & a half ago. My husband & I got married & decided to begin trying in 2018. He was 36 & I was 38. We started w/ my Obgyn. She said to try for 1 year. Then said if we weren't successful, to contact a Dr she knew at Mid Iowa Fertility, one of the only clinics in Iowa that I know of, which is where we live.

I used an OPK the entire year we tried. I had Positive surges each month, but we didn't conceive. Finally in March 2019, we went to see the fertility Dr.

We both did tests. We found my husband had a 0 sperm count b/coz he was on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). The Dr ordered him to go off & got him on HCG & chlomid. We were to evaluate again in 4 months (July).

I had an ultrasound, HSG X-rays, & bloodwork done. We found I had an about average egg count (7 egg follicles), a normal ovulation cycle that month, & a really small fibroid that didn't cause the Dr any concerns. He suggested we wait until my husband's count increased to try an IUI.

In July, sure enough my husband's count significantly increased enough for us to do an IUI in August. We froze several vials so that he could go back on TRT.

In August, rather than just waiting for my cycle to begin as normal, the Dr ordered me to go on Femara on days 3-7. Then, the Dr said, to go in for my IUI, when I got a Positive surge, or if I didn't have a Positive surge by Day 15, to go in for an ultrasound.

My OPK showed Positive surges every month prior, but while on Femara, it didn't. Instead it would just show flashing (estrogen was detected but not the LH hormone). So, on Day 15, I went in for an ultrasound. We found 4 egg follicles measuring 12 to 15.5 mm. The nurse (only nurses perform the IUI's at this clinic) said we wanted at least 1 egg to be 18 mm. So, I should go back in 3 days (Day 18). I went back in for what we hoped to be our IUI, but the ultrasound showed I had already ovulated, & we missed our window.

So, from August to October, I was on Femara on cycle days 3-7. I would never show a Positive surge (just flashing) even though bloodwork performed later on showed ovulation. During these months, the nurses never caught my ovulation window in time for my IUI. I would either go in for my ultrasound too early, too late, or not have enough ultrasounds done to catch my follicles at the right size before I ovulated.

This month, the day before Thanksgiving, the Dr wanted to take a look at the fibroid we saw earlier, which had been small at the beginning. He said it grew & he advised that I have it removed via abdominal myomectomy before we try an IUI. I was & am heart stricken.

I've been a competitive athlete for many years & still want to compete (or at least train) as long as I can. I took a break so my husband & I could try to get pregnant.

Now, we have to deal w/ this fibroid, which I think was aggravated by the Femara. This med not only made a small fibroid bigger, but it also made my ovulation unpredictable.

I'm worried for the surgery, its possible complications, & it setting me back to workout. The recovery time, then trying again for the IUI, which has already been an emotional roller coaster, has dimmed our hopes on conceiving.

I was hoping to see the Mayo clinic for a 2nd opinion, or alternatives. This clinic we're at now has not been very sympathetic, or helpful.

Thank u for letting me share. If u have any advice, or if u can share ur experience w/ fibroids, recovery, or IUI's I would greatly appreciate it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 🙏🏼💕

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Hi! Welcome to our group!!! 🙂 Sounds like you did the right thing by seeking out advice from others! I cannot relate to dealing with fibroids and recovering from that kind of surgery but we did go ahead with four IUI’s before beginning IVF. My experiences with IUI’s weren’t horrible but I do not do well with internal ultrasounds due to painful ultrasounds in the past because of endometriosis and the process of the actual IUI caused me a lot of anxiety. I think by the fourth one I had learned “tricks” to help myself calm down during them which helped a lot! They are definitely cheaper than jumping straight into IVF which is why we were advised to try those first. They allowed us to really make the final decision when it came to how many rounds of IUI’s we wanted to do and we did decide after the four we were ready to move on.

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@phoenixzip

Currently at the very beginnings of it. Mostly doing our research on which way we want to go with adoption. And making sure we have all our finances in order so there aren’t too many surprises. Very similar to IVF I’m that aspect. Side note: stay on top of your insurance people with your IVF stuff! My husband and I have had a few learn the hard way moments/insurance dropped the ball on communication. So hound them if need be!

Circling back……yes very beginnings of the adoption process. We hope to meet with an adoption lawyer or 2 to just ask a few questions that the agencies we’ve looked at so far aren’t really clear on. Gathering lots of intel. Already have several resources/support from friends and family that have been through this process and they have calmed several of my original fears. Cross your fingers we will be able to make it happen! 😉

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Like @phoenixzip I wanted to share my family's story of not being able to achieve pregnancy that partially led our focus to foster care to adoption as the topic of infertility and adoption is important. is important to me personally. My wife and I have been married nearly three years now and were trying to achieve pregnancy from day one. At the same time, we started pursuing our foster care license as we felt that loving those kiddos was a need in the community that we could fill.

We got our license in February of 2018 and that October our first placement, an 8-month old boy, came into our home. Over the course of the next year, through lots of ups and downs, it was decided that he would not be reunited with his bio parents and that we would be his permanency option. As of a few days ago his case file was closed and we are now officially on the path towards adoption.

While we were navigating the roller coaster of our foster-son’s case, we continued to pursue biological children. Through several tests and examinations for both my wife and I, we came up empty as to pinpointing any reason as to why we were unable to achieve pregnancy. While we still have hope that someday we can have biological children, we shifted our gaze completely toward adopting and loving this little boy that came into our home, and now also fostering (for now, possibly adopting too) his two-week old biological brother. Foster care and adoption bring lots of ups-and-down and will feel like a roller coaster but giving a child who doesn’t have a home a safe place to live and grow is well worth it.

I look forward to hearing others stories!

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@loren12

Hi! Welcome to our group!!! 🙂 Sounds like you did the right thing by seeking out advice from others! I cannot relate to dealing with fibroids and recovering from that kind of surgery but we did go ahead with four IUI’s before beginning IVF. My experiences with IUI’s weren’t horrible but I do not do well with internal ultrasounds due to painful ultrasounds in the past because of endometriosis and the process of the actual IUI caused me a lot of anxiety. I think by the fourth one I had learned “tricks” to help myself calm down during them which helped a lot! They are definitely cheaper than jumping straight into IVF which is why we were advised to try those first. They allowed us to really make the final decision when it came to how many rounds of IUI’s we wanted to do and we did decide after the four we were ready to move on.

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Thank you for sharing your experience @loren12 !! It's helpful to know I'm not alone with finding the internal ultrasounds uncomfortable w/ IUI's. And then there's, going in for multiple days during the ovulation window, only to have to try again next month. But I have requested an appointment at Mayo to check on the fibroid. Hopefully I'll be able to get in. Also, hoping for the best for you on the IVF!!

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@kellycattell

Thank you for sharing your experience @loren12 !! It's helpful to know I'm not alone with finding the internal ultrasounds uncomfortable w/ IUI's. And then there's, going in for multiple days during the ovulation window, only to have to try again next month. But I have requested an appointment at Mayo to check on the fibroid. Hopefully I'll be able to get in. Also, hoping for the best for you on the IVF!!

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@kellycattell Thank you and I hope that you are able to get in at Mayo!

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Hi all! I am Jules and I was born with MRKH, which is a congenital disorder of reproductive organs. I have healthy ovaries but unfortunately, my uterus has never grown to its full potential (as I like to call it). I am looking for fellow sisters and infertility warriors to connect with and stay up to date on the latest infertility news and research. My options for having children are: IVF through gestational carrier or uterine transplant. Nice to meet you all!

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@mrkhwarrior

Hi all! I am Jules and I was born with MRKH, which is a congenital disorder of reproductive organs. I have healthy ovaries but unfortunately, my uterus has never grown to its full potential (as I like to call it). I am looking for fellow sisters and infertility warriors to connect with and stay up to date on the latest infertility news and research. My options for having children are: IVF through gestational carrier or uterine transplant. Nice to meet you all!

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Hi Jules, welcome! I had to look up MRKH to learn that it stands for Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/mayer-rokitansky-kuster-hauser-syndrome/) I had not heard of it before. You will certainly get connected with other infertility sisters here, like @loren12 @minnesotamrsa @abcdefghi and others. Actually, in welcoming you, I hope to get an update from all the group members too.

What does 2020 have in store for you? How is everyone doing?

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2020 is going great. We got a positive result from our transfer and are six weeks along right now. We are cautiously optimistic. I hope everyone else’s year is going as well as ours.

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@paddingtonk

2020 is going great. We got a positive result from our transfer and are six weeks along right now. We are cautiously optimistic. I hope everyone else’s year is going as well as ours.

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Wow, @paddingtonk that is brilliant news for 2020. Congratulations (spoken with optimism, cautiously).

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Our news for 2020 is that we are also expecting our first after our fertility journey began this past spring! We are due the beginning of July! The fertility journey is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do but worth it!

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