In a nutshell: Consult #1 was awesome!!!
Right off the bat, I was super impressed by how personable Dr. P is. It didn't take long for me to mention that I'm a marathoner (I love throwing that out there! Even if I can't run a marathon right now, it still feels so good to call myself a marathoner!), and he told us that he's a triathlete! Instant points to his street cred!! Obviously, there's more to all of this than that, but I feel understood by this doctor. When it comes to being an endurance junkie, it really takes one to know one.
After spending some time discussing our history, it was clear that he really did read our sizable file before the meeting. Even better yet, he actually had a few ideas on how he would approach our next IVF cycle differently if we were to cycle with him. I really, really liked how genuine and sincere he was while explaining everything to us. As a teacher, I appreciate his presentation style very much and thought he was highly effective (ugh, fellow teachers may eye roll with me on that one!). The best thing, in my opinion, was how adamant he was about "leaving no stone unturned" for our next IVF cycle. I couldn't agree more! TURN ALL THE STONES!!!
Here are the big points that he brought up:
- Morphology/ICSI - This doctor seemed to be far more concerned about our borderline morphology than our current doctor. He explained that the previous standards indicated anything lower than 14% was abnormal. Recently, this has been changed to anything lower than 5% is abnormal. Our first SA was 4% and the second was 6%. For this reason, he would do ICSI for all mature eggs retrieved.
- Immunology Testing - A few of my fellow Dreamers and Bumpies have done this, so it was familiar to me. Basically, it's a blood test to see if I have NK cells that could possibly be attacking embryos in my uterus. If the test comes out positive, then I could take intralipids, an infusion, prior to ET to make NK cells a nonissue. Dr. P said that he was borderline about prescribing this, but the fact that I have endometriosis is what pushed him to recommend this option.
- Lupron Protocol - Dr. P explained his reasoning for why this might be a beneficial protocol for us over the Antagonist Protocol (which is what we've tried the past two times). It all made sense. But simply put: it's a different approach, and perhaps we would do better with it.
- Lining - Another topic that was far more concerning to Dr. P than our current doctor. I told him how my lining was always a source of stress for me throughout my cycles, and he asked how thick I usually measured. My current doctor considers 6 to be borderline, whereas Dr. P considers 8 to be borderline. When I told him that I had fluid in my lining at the beginning of IVF#1, he said that was extremely concerning to him. The good news is that there are ways to help the situation (like taking Viagra! And doing a FET rather than a fresh ET).
- CGH (Embryo Testing) - this is similar to PGD, but instead of just testing a few of the chromosomes, this screens all of the chromosomes. In order to do this, we would need more than two embryos to make it to Day 3 to justify the large expense (that is likely not covered by insurance).
How do I feel about all the above? I feel hopeful. I can't describe how valuable that is to me! I am very much looking forward to Consult #2 which is just a few days away!