Stage 4 Endometriosis, Chocolate Cysts, Pregnant with Additional Blastocyst for Future

I am one of those people that always thought there was a set timeline to how I wanted to live my life. I thought i was going to get married at around 27-28, have two kids by 32-33 but that never happened. I didn’t meet my husband until my 30s and by the time we got married and started trying for kids, several years passed by and I found myself in this position at the age of 39 unable to get pregnant.

All my life, I had very painful periods every month. I never really thought much about it and pretty much resigned to the fact that this is my life and I’ll be taking a bunch of pain medication to make the pain go away and then I would be okay for the rest of that month.

It wasn’t until I started to undergo various procedures (testing hormones, AMH levels, seeing if my tubes were blocked) with my OB to find out a reason for why I wasn’t able to get pregnant and during an ultrasound is when they discovered that I had a bunch of chocolate cysts or endometriomas on my ovaries and in various other areas in the uterus and around it. The doctor told me that the sperm was most likely not able to meet up with the egg due to the endometrial cells in my uterus preventing that or blocking that from happening. And that would also explain years and years of painful periods because i had undiagnosed endometriosis.

I decided to undergo a laparoscopic hysteroscopy back in January 2020 because I really wanted to give myself the best chance at getting pregnant. After the procedure and during my follow up appointment, the doctor basically took one look at me and said that I had stage 4 endometriosis which is the most severe stage that you can get. She said my colon was stuck to my uterus, and she tried to preserve as much follicle cells as she could on my ovaries after removing the chocolate cysts but of course with these type of surgeries, it was bound to take away some of the follicles.

I tried naturally for a few more months after that but my husband and I found ourselves really wanting the help of a little medical science and i felt like time was against us. I decided to just go to meet with another IVF doctor close to me in the area just to see what it was all about. That doctor took one look at my records, sat us down, showed us a general chart of the declining rates of egg quality by age and the first words out of his mouth was “I would recommend the strongest dose of IVF medicine for you but it is going to be very very expensive”. Of course my husband and I were distraught at hearing that because not only could we not afford “very expensive”, i was also scared of injecting a bunch of medications in me not knowing how i would react to it. We also felt that we were treated like a statistic instead of really laying out all of the different options first.

We left that appointment feeling really down and kind of lost as to what to do next. However, I remembered the day that my OB discussed my endometriosis diagnosis with me, she had also mentioned that she has heard of a Dr. Yelian in Irvine making miracles happen. At the same time, a few weeks after, my husband’s coworker had also mentioned that she went to a Dr. Yelian for treatment. I didn’t really put two and two together at the time because my mind was so stuck on the fact that I had stage 4 endometriosis. But finally it clicked and I started googling Life IVF and researching them. Which brings me back to May 2020 when I attended the online seminar.

We both felt a sense of renewed spirit after attending the seminar and submitted our info for a phone consultation right away. Dr. Yelian was so positive and easy to talk that we felt very at ease with taking the next steps. We went through all of the required testing prior to starting IVF treatment and that took the month of June. Life IVF also was offering a 10k promotion which was all inclusive IVF – meaning all the medication for egg retrieval, monitoring and also the transfer cycle, along with PGS testing and the medications for that cycle. We really couldn’t pass up this up opportunity and was excited to be working with a doctor that wasn’t there to try and give you the highest dose of medication to start with or take your money. You can tell that Dr. Yelian truly wants to help people make their dreams come true.

August was when I started my egg retrieval cycle and Dr. Yelian basically had me on the lowest dose of medication. From that minimal stimulation cycle, I ended up retrieving 8 eggs. 7 made it to the blastocyst stage and after PGS testing all of my blastocysts, we had 3 PGS normal blastocysts all from one cycle of low stimulation IVF. We were really really happy with the results. We knew that we wanted quality over quantity because you could be retrieving a high dose of eggs with overstimulation but that wouldn’t necessarily mean healthy eggs and you could end up with OHSS symptoms. I didn’t get any of that.

I took one month off in September just to let all of the medication leave my body and to prepare myself mentally for the next step which was the transfer cycle. We decided to transfer one of my PGS tested blastocyst the next month on October 24 and after my “two week wait”, we were given the most exciting news of our lives that the pregnancy blood test came back positive. Fast forward to today, I am sitting here finishing up my 8th week of pregnancy and I am just 2 weeks away from graduating to my regular OB. I have a long road ahead of me still but I feel blessed to have gotten this far and to even hear the words that I am pregnant. I’ve gotten to hear my baby’s heartbeat during the last two ultrasound scans at Life IVF and here are pictures from just a few days ago.

I also wanted to note that the online portal and all of the nurses and staff are really great and provide a wealth of knowledge and support. I really leaned on them during these last few weeks and I never felt that I was unsupported in any way. I hope my story helps bring some hope to everyone today as it did for me back in May. Thank you everyone and thank you Dr. Yelian!

We plan to transfer our remaining blastocysts in the future.

M.W., California

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