Saturday, April 17, 2010

Second Opinions

It's been about a month now since we received the news about my poor ovarian reserve. T wanted to get a second opinion before we made any decisions. I really did not because I figured we were just going to get the same news because my numbers were so bad. But, I love my husband and he wanted a second opinion, so I agreed. Yesterday we went in to the new doctor for a consultation and I realized how much I had resigned myself to never having kids again. This doctor has a COMPLETELY different philosophy than our previous doctor. I am so glad I decided to get a second opinion.

Just the look of Dr. S's office inspires confidence. A beautifully decorated office that doesn't even look like a doctor's office until you get into the back where the equipment and rooms are located. His office was covered with awards, achievements and pictures. Pictures of all the babies they had helped bring into this world. It was a warm, inviting place. And Dr. S was a very personable, likeable person. He sat us down and had us talk first - talk about what we wanted, what had brought us there, etc. I felt so comfortable talking to him, not nervous or scared. And he wanted to start treatment right away. This surprised me so I reiterated that I had been told I had poor ovarian reserve and we had previously been told our only real option was egg donor. He reviewed my numbers again and stated that the numbers weren't great but numbers didn't mean we had no real treatment options. Then, he went on to outline what he thought we should do.

Dr. S said that one of the big things for us right now is that I haven't been ovulating. He asked, if I haven't been ovulating, how can we know for sure that my eggs aren't any good? That simple question really stopped me. I mean, yeah, my numbers indicate there is a problem as compared to the "average" 35 year old woman, but does it really mean that my eggs aren't viable? If I haven't been ovulating, how do we know that my eggs can't be fertilized AND implant. We know now that T has some morphology issues but his blood work has shown that the medication is helping to correct that problem. Could it be that when I was ovulating, before we went to see a specialist, that my eggs weren't being fertilized because T's sperm couldn't break through and get in to fertilize the egg? But since I am not ovulating now, we can't know if my eggs can be fertilized and implant. Dr. S said to go to the worst case scenerio - egg donor- as a treatment when we hadn't even tried any other less invasive treatments was jumping the gun. First, we need to see if we can get me ovulating again. Then, if I do get an egg or two developing, we can use medication and doctor monitoring to say when the prime time is to try to fertilize the egg(s). He recommends I go on the oral fertility drug Clomid at the start of my next cycle and then be monitored to see if eggs develop.

What a completely different outlook this doctor has as opposed to the last doctor. Start out small and work our way up. Dr. S didn't rule out egg donor. He said that might still be in our future but that we should try other, less invasive and less expensive treatments first. I think of it as you wouldn't use a sledge hammer to hammer in a nail. You would start out with a small hammer first to see if that works. So, oral Clomid to start and then bring in the heavy hitters like injectable drugs if that doesn't work. After that, maybe IVF or egg donor. Start out small.

I started crying in Dr. S's office after he started telling us this. I realized I really had pretty much given up on having any more children, and hearing him say something so different from what we had previously been told, I broke down. I started having hope again. We still have a long road to haul, but.... Going from egg donor to an oral fertility drug is like night and day.

It makes me regret having gone to the other doctor and wish we had started out with Dr. S. We wasted so many months just on testing and never even TRIED any treatments. I know a lot of my testing was already complete before we even saw Dr. S, but, Dr. S was telling us how he wanted to start without mentioning the various tests that might be needed. Before I brought up what the previous doctor had stated and we reviewed my numbers. The other doctor was so focused on testing and getting that high success rate. Dr. S seems focused on getting us pregnant and not on his success ratio. I feel like the other doctor only wanted to do what had the highest potential for success quickest based on my numbers. I can't help but wonder if that office is more focused on their statistics than on the patient. I have a friend who also went to my first doctor's office and received the same treatment option - egg donor. She, too, is now going to Dr. S's office. Egg donor has the highest rate of success so is that the main reason they push it instead of trying other options first? I don't know but I do know that I am done with that office whatever the outcome with this new doctor. Numbers don't make a person and all I need is ONE egg and ONE sperm to get pregnant. Maybe this time we will get them.


  1. So glad you have HOPE again Faith. :)

  2. Good, good news. It is wonderful to hear that you are again hopeful.

  3. Glad to hear about your positive experience, Faith - hope IS a wonderful thing!!