over the last week or so, i've been doing a lot of reading - mostly blogs and websites - but i've come across a glimmer of hope. i'm in the midst of changing my rheumatologist to an osteopathic doctor, investigating acupuncture for both RA & IF, and looking into my discovery - the field of reproductive immunology!
most doctors i've talked to don't really acknowledge a correlation between my medical history and my struggles with IF, but i cannot see how they are NOT related. between my RA and HS, reproductive immunology seems to be the next logical step. from what i've read, there are other immunological tests that can be done and different IVF protocols that can be used when there are abnormalities of the immune system.
From a number of websites (including inciid.org):
The indications for testing are:
1) Two miscarriages or two IVF or GIFT failures after age 35 or three miscarriages or IVF or GIFT failure before age 35 - i've only had two failed IVFs to date, but close enough.
2) Poor egg production from a stimulated cycle (less than 6 eggs) - ding, ding, ding - i'm the definition of a poor responder
3) One blighted ovum - n/a
4) Unexplained infertility - ding, ding, ding - again, i have no specific IF diagnosis.
5) Previous immune problems (ANA positive, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or lupus) - ding, ding, ding - RA folks.
5) Previous pregnancies that have shown retarded fetal growth - n/a
6) One living child and repeat miscarriages while attempting to have a second child - n/a
so 4 out of 6 - i think it's time for some immune testing.
now, i don't want to jump to conclusions. since noah was born, we've really only tried to conceive once, which was the failed IVF cycle. we'll try again this summer the old fashioned way, but because of the concern with the possibility of premature ovarian failure or reduced ovarian reserve, i don't want to put all my eggs in that basket - cue the snare and cymbal!
of course, with that said, i really think the IVF cycle failed because my RA flare. the more i read, the more i'm convinced. hopefully i'll get that in check quickly with the help of the OD and acu and maybe Humira, and then everything else will fall into place.
did i mention, i want another baby? --- on a side note, after a year full of bad news and sadness, a dear friend did get some amazing and miraculous news this week. i won't elaborate because i'm not sure who all reads this blog, but let's just say i still believe in miracles, and this time, without medical intervention! :)