I’ve written you in the past regarding my fertility challenges and your responses have been very encouraging. In my last, I discussed how I’d experienced an early loss in March after our first IVF attempt. You encouraged me to be strong and keep trying that my chances were good. You were right. I waited until my next cycle began and started a more simple IUI cycle again with just Follistim injections. My first miscarriage in April 2012 after IUI with Femara/GonalF was caused by trisomy 3. I found studies that said use of Femara in some women could increase the chances of aneuploidy. This time we tried without the Femara and I have become pregnant again.
I have gone through the complete RPL panel-DNA analysis, autoimmune, alloimmune, thyroid, hysteroscopy, etc. Everything has been normal. I believe the second miscarriage, because it began just 16 days after embryo transfer, was due to my body being weak (I was very sick during stimulation and had a lap/hysteroscopy/cystectomy 3 weeks before I started stimulants). I am 32, maybe borderline diminishing reserve (last AMH was .9), but otherwise nothing really bad with me.
So I am currently past 9 weeks. My betas doubled and were actually in the higher end of the ranges for weeks along. I did a viability ultrasound at 5 weeks and could see the heartbeat. Embryo measured exactly the right size. At 7 weeks we could hear the heartbeat at 174. RE saw me again at 8 weeks and said I looked good, released me to my OBGYN, said most women miscarry between 7-8 weeks. I’ve had no spotting or cramping. OBGYN is letting me do weekly scans until I’m through my first trimester. Heartbeat has stayed in the 170 range. Growth is continuing. Last ultrasound at 9 weeks showed the baby kicking its legs.
Here’s the thing – I’m a nervous wreck. I’m terrified of something going wrong again. I am fighting to follow reason rather than fear but it is so hard. I have hardly any symptoms certainly none of the “noticeable” ones which means most of the time I don’t feel like I’m pregnant. My last HCG was only at 102,900 when it was checked at 8.5 weeks, which I felt was low for where it had been but I know it slows down. My progesterone in the beginning was all the way up to 75 and is now holding at 30 (I had cysts leftover from after the IUI, made 3 follicles).
The statistics are all over the place. Some say less than 5% when heartbeat is detected but that can jump to 20% if you’ve had prior losses. I read it’s even less once you enter the fetal stage past 8.5 weeks.
I feel stupid for asking but your answers are thoughtful. What do you think my chances are of carrying this baby to term? What would you say my change of miscarriage is? And why in the world do I hardly feel anything? I’m a little tired in the evenings and I pee in the middle of the night with crazy dreams, breasts are bigger but not sore, no nausea, etc. But hardly anything to notice. Thank you so much for your time. L. from Indiana
Hello L. from the U.S. (Indiana),
CONGRATULATIONS 🙂 Like your RE, I release my patients at 8 1/2 weeks gestational age because the risk of miscarriage is minimal. Statistics show that the risk of miscarriage is up to 50% prior to 8 weeks gestational age and then decreases to 5% up to 12 weeks gestation. So you are now at 5% risk but the fact that all the signs have been good, is very encouraging and I would not worry about miscarrying. At this point, the only risk of a miscarriage would be if there is a major genetic abnormality, and this would be a baby that you wouldn’t want to go to term any way. You should certainly consider genetic testing early to check on that. There is now a blood screening test that can be done at an early stage.
In my experience, and as evidenced by the data, most patients will have a successful pregnancy and delivery at this point. The fact that you “don’t feel any different” with this pregnancy is irrelevant. Every pregnancy is different and different people experience pregnancy differently. Some have pregnancy symptoms and some have none. You may be one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to suffer with the “morning sickness” or other such symptoms. For now, pray that all continues to go well and thank God for the blessing.
Edward J. Ramirez, M.D.
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility And Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF
Monterey, California, U.S.A.