Yesterday's appointment did not go as we had planned. We headed to the doctor around 3:30 expecting to hear that everything looked good and our IVF was an easy go. The news we received was disappointing. No, that's a nice way of saying it. It was devastating.
The doctor diagnosed me with something called Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), sometimes known as Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. What this means is I have a reduced number of eggs left, a reduction that shouldn't be present for another ten years. All women begin to experience some form of "wear and tear" on their eggs in both quality and quantity as they age, but a significant drop doesn't usually happen until late 30's and early 40's. It's uncommon for women in their twenties and early thirties to have this. When they do, it's diagnosed as DOR.
Three tests were done to check this. Blood tests checked my levels of FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone), and the Saline Sonogram checked the development of follicles among other things. A woman with DOR with have high FSH and low AMH. Furthermore, there will often be a lesser amount of follicles present than with a normal woman. All three tests confirmed each other.
The doctor said that a healthy, fertile couple has about a 20 percent chance of conceiving every month. He guessed that we have -- are you ready for this?? -- a 1 percent chance.
One percent. My eyes filled with tears when he said those words. It was quiet in the room for a moment because neither Robby nor I really knew what to say. We weren't ready for news like that. How do we even continue talking about having a baby when our chances have just plummeted to be one in a hundred?
There was more. The saline sonogram showed something a bit abnormal with my uterus, something the doctor performing the procedure called a bicornuate uterus. My doctor didn't agree with the diagnosis, though. He said we would have seen this on our previous HSG done a few years ago. Who knows. Something's there, and it could be a problem. The options are to have surgery and fix it or to move on.
So, there we were hit with two huge bats of bad news. Somehow we started talking with all that and we actually had a really good appointment. IVF isn't out for us. Not all doctors will perform an IVF on a woman with DOR because the success rate does drop, but ours will. We just have to realize that we won't have the chances we thought we were going to have.
Still, a 30% chance is world's apart from a 1% chance, and we want to take it. In a way, it confirmed for us our desires to move toward IVF. The doctor also didn't think the surgery to correct whatever is up with my uterus was necessary. That was good to hear although I'm still not completely settled about it. Googling doesn't help, either.
We were positive on our way home, albeit completely shocked and shaken by the news. It's all settling in still, and unfortunately I usually feel worse before I feel better. But God's with us, and we hold to that truth.