It isn’t unusual for people to ask me how I had twins. The answer is easy: a lot of science mixed in with nature.
I was told I had the ovaries of a 50 yo and it didn’t matter how much money I had, it wasn’t worth spending a dollar on my own eggs and should use donated eggs.
My diagnosis did not stop me, in fact it fueled my persistent efforts over eight months with three different clinics that resulted in our twins conceived in IVF cycle with a retrieval of only 2 golden eggs turning into 2 embryos and 2 miracle babies.
Current science is limited for its ability to combat against advanced ovarian aging or in its infancy to regenerate reproductive cells, however sometimes simple yet mindful approaches in this fishing expedition of finding golden egg become most helpful.
One can easily argue it was mere luck and nothing more. Yes, I got lucky! This was quite an experience for a couple who was non-native of the area, naïve to healthcare systems and was just setting their feet in high tech world in Bay Area.
In this darn world of technology, fertility patients often feel perplexed leading to long years of heartaches until they reach their family goals. My only intentions of sharing the practical tips are to help them get on fast paced journey to parenthood.
So, what was the secret sauce in this exceptional fertility journey?
It was only three major ingredients in equal quantities,
33.3% right fertility clinic
- Be Proactive and Go Doctor Shopping: After unsuccessful attempts for six months, I approached local gynecologist who quickly referred me to a long-established fertility center in the area.
The fertility clinic prescribed me clomid to stimulate ovulation for three cycles. This is first line of fertility treatment to stimulate ovulation, fertility treatments are extremely personalized care and its NEVER one size fits all approach. I had a gut feeling I was running against time and can’t invest more time in trying basic line of treatments for severe DOR condition. I knew I needed a second opinion.
I didn’t wait for their cookie cutter approach and went doctor shopping in two months of staying with the first clinic until I located a clinic that felt approachable, diligent in patient care and open-minded in fertility treatment options.
I often meet couples in my support group who wait longer to assess a clinic’s approach or miss out red flags that point to inadequacy in treatment plans. I want you to be more proactive than reactive to help you reduce your time to pregnancy.
- Be Persistent and Learn about Your Diagnosis: I read ovarian biology starting from folliculogenesis, hormones and their functions, ways to rescue ovarian health, scientific evidences on use of supplements and acupuncture, DOR treatment options, and so on and so forth from reliable scientific sources. This allowed me to ask right questions to my care provider, stay most informed and error free throughout my journey.
You’ll be surprised to know how many of us lack on empowering knowledge and fail to think congruently. Internet is loaded with information on every topic, learn to gather information from trusted sources before you invest your hearts and souls into those expensive treatments.
No need for special diet. I did not follow any special diet, just consumed healthy diet comprising of fresh produce, greens, nuts, high protein and low carb. I made sure I was eating regular meals to keep hormones in balance, maintained healthy BMI, exercised in moderation, and consumed coffee in moderation. Yes, that easy!
I relied on several supplements having anti-oxidative and anti-aging properties along with acupuncture every week for five consecutive months to rescue poor reproductive health.
This simple approach brought my FSH levels down slowly from 20 to 16 to 6.5 in five months indicating reduced ovarian stress and possibly better response to stimulation in treatment cycles.
I often meet women, who undergo intermittent treatment cycles, couple of cycles in a year, then the following and then few more subsequent years. The overall outcome is that much longer wait before pregnancy. My uninterrupted treatment cycles helped care provider gain a better sense of response to different treatment protocols and devise more suited plan for subsequent cycles swiftly. Of course, there are individual constraints leading to breaks while pursuing fertility journey, see what fits your personal situation and adapt to a sustainable approach.
- Your Genes Matter: Couples at times invest a fortune and often resort to plan B on fertility path for various reasons. One of the reasons can be your genes; we all know genetic footprint is impossible to change. How much harder you may strive for success, if you inherit faulty genes, it can become impossible to conceive through your own eggs. Moreover, advance maternal age is also linked to most common genetic disorders of chromosomal abnormalities in eggs and difficulty in conception.
Good thing is if you’re young women with DOR, the chances of normal eggs are higher.
Ask your doctors for more advanced genome screens available lately that spams through your entire genome for long list of genes linked to fertility disorders to better design your individualized treatment plan.
Finally, you will find several distractions from friends, families, social media, online fertility communities that often make you feel feeble and lose focus. Learn to differentiate signal from noise to stay determined and goal oriented to get on an accelerated path to success.