Secondary Infertility, Busy Surgeon, Pregnant with Second Transfer

My husband and I came in with the mindset of having secondary infertility (first child conceived naturally), and then a few early losses. We were at peace with not having another child at all, but also felt that our family was not yet complete at my age of 40. Being a busy surgeon, I was not willing to go through side effects, dysfunction at work or at home, and financial hardship to get our son a sibling. It feels hard to justify funneling time and resources away from your living child and we knew we had already been so fortunate to have him. I researched a lot and found that there is a huge following of physicians as patients going to Life IVF Center, and that meant a lot to me. If doctors who work full time can handle this treatment protocol with its mild dosing of medications, I felt like we could give it a real chance. Plus you know we all have a lot of student loans these days.

The lab is technically amazing and Dr. Yelian and the team are very thoughtful in their decision making and procedures. They are not taking your money and going out to golf in the afternoon. Dr. Yelian is doing telephone consults internationally at all kinds of hours and is growing the practice at a rapid pace. He keeps meticulous spread sheets of all cycles, medication doses, and has the experience to interpret them and to strategize your next step. My procedures all went well with no complications. The physicians all have excellent ultrasound skills and steady hands.

In a nutshell at 40-41 years old, I did a total of 5 mini-stim retrievals. We had 1 unsuccessful transfer (PGS normal but poor grading) after 3rd retrieval. I thought maybe it was time to think about donor eggs because we had made a lot of PGS abnormal blasts. Dr. Yelian reassured me that we should still keep trying, then LOWERED the doses of my meds, and we had 3 more PGS normal retrieved. I got pregnant with our 2nd transfer attempt! It took less than 1 year and would have been more like 8 months if I hadn’t had work and travel commitments. Retrievals were easy and I was able to go back to work same day, having no anesthesia. You can do retrievals on back to back months if everything is going ok. I did all of my monitoring early AM and they tried to factor in my work schedule when possible. I had minimal to no side effects. We are local, but given the caliber of this practice I would not think of going anywhere else in the US.

I personally would like to see mini-stim IVF replace conventional IVF protocols as the normal standard as it has in other countries. This would open up IVF as an option to more families both financially and medication tolerance-wise. This is not my area of expertise, but I don’t feel good about the concept of bombarding women with the maximum medication protocol that a human can tolerate to get loads eggs, most of which are going to be garbage. Another clinic I spoke to wanted me to take oral steroids as part of the protocol, at a dose and duration where I have had to do hip replacements on young people because it caused bone damage. That is a rare side effect/complication but it scared me off and made me not want to do IVF at all. Dr. Yelian and the team made us feel comfortable with the process and even if we weren’t blessed with this success, at least we would know we tried our best. We can’t thank them enough! We would be happy to answer anyone’s questions.

K.S., California

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