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When the unexpected happens (i.e. nothing at all)

What happens when “social infertility” becomes just plain “infertility”? When what seemed to be a simple process, supported by the statistics, fails?

And fails, over, and over, again.

I guess when that happens you have three choices. There are variations on those choices, but there are only three main ones. You can either stop, keep doing the same thing, or try something different. You have to make a call. And that’s where we are now. B has had half a dozen unsuccessful cycles, statistically way more than it should have taken for us to get pregnant. She has had all the fertility tests and investigations both her Fertility Specialist (FS) and I could think of. We’ve done Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) on our embryos.  And there is no real explanation as to why my lovely partner is not pregnant.

So we have to decide – do we stop, do we keep doing the same thing, or do we try something new?

At this stage, stopping is not something we want to do. We would love to have a baby together, and we feel like we need to exhaust our options before we call it quits.

Doing the same thing is not really an option either. The swinging hormones are playing havoc with B’s mental health. She already suffers from a mild form of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), so the constant hormonal highs and lows are hell for her. not to mention the dangers posed to her as a survivor of a high-grade hormone-responsive breast cancer. She should be taking Tamoxifen to block those very hormones we are injecting into her, but can’t while we’re TTC! And while she is accepting of the risks, they terrify me.

So then, it seems our only option is to try something new – but what? I’m forty-four, nearly ten years older than B, and my ovarian reserve is two. For those of you who don’t know what that number means, let me put it like this: our fertility specialist used the word “futile” when we asked if my eggs were an option. So donor eggs are a possibility, but we already have PGD-normal, healthy embryos from B’s eggs. It may instead be implantation into B’s uterus which is the problem. Which leads us to the next option: we take our PGD-healthy embryos and transfer them into, as our FS described it, “a proven vessel”. A used uterus, one that has successfully carried pregnancies and delivered live, healthy children. We could find a surrogate, but it seems superfluous to do so when we have a uterus that fits the bill right here in our home. I guess I just need to decide if this forty-four year old body is ready for another go round…

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