A Patient Journey
4 years, 10 REIs
This is the Fertility4Me Founder’s journey.
Years of treatments, supplements, yoga, and acupuncture led to no pregnancy. Instead, it was a roller coaster of questions, holding off making plans, cancelled cycles due to unforeseen circumstances, incredible financial drain and time suck, along with “learning things along the way.” We were motived by one and only thing - having a baby.
Finally a Diagnosis
We lived in New York City and thus, had access to the best doctors in the country. For one year of treatments, I commuted between CA and NY, adding CA doctors to my list of experts. Most frustrating was learning this field of medicine involves “protocol shopping,” meaning finding a doctor who will do something different from the previous in hopes that will be “the thing” that
finally works. Sadly, it took visiting with 10 doctors before my diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” turned into “silent endometriosis” and immunological factors.
Scared to move forward
Even with this diagnosis, moving forward with yet another protocol felt like a game of Russian Roulette. I had one IVF left in me so I did the laparoscopic surgery to remove the endometriosis. Once my intense work project concluded, I proceeded with the IVF.
Important to know is my 4 years of treatments did not equate to a treatment month after month. Instead it comprised of REI consults, diagnostic testing, IUIs, embryo banking, IVFs, cancelled cycles, taking a breaking, having surgery. It was grueling because a woman ovulates once per month, so while it may have been ~1500 total days, it was technically only 48 attempts.
Hoping for change
I don’t blame the clinics or doctors, but instead our siloed healthcare system, including limited funding for women’s health research, payers not understanding fertility enough to appropriately allocate coverage, how doctors and trained, etc.