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  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to start a new thread about my various fertility problems, as it is the biggest cause of ongoing stress in my life and has now caused years of depression and anxiety.

    A bit of history - I am 31 and have had three miscarriages and no live births yet. Two of my miscarriages were around 3 weeks, and physically quite straight forward, but one was at 13 weeks and was extremely physically and emotionally traumatic and required a lot of medical intervention.

    Since then I've had many, many tests to determine the cause of my miscarriages. It was eventually determined that I have a hyperactive immune system which means that my body attacks the growing foetus. I will need to take steroids, anticoagulants, and intralipid infusions in order to suppress my immune system enough to maintain a pregnancy.

    It was also found when I was 29 that my ovarian reserve was 8.9 nmol (1.2 ng) which is about the expected level of a woman of 40. That was almost two years ago, so goodness knows what it is now. It means that I have a smaller window of opportunity in which to fall pregnant than most women.

    I've been single for 2.5 years now and so due to time being against me I decided to go ahead with IVF with donor sperm. I currently have six frozen embryos, which have all been tested and found to be chromosomally normal.

    Unfortunately I have also just been diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, which can also cause miscarriage or severe health problems in a baby. Once the toxo infection becomes latent in theory it should no longer be a problem, but I'm a bit concerned that the next time I'm pregnant on steroids and my immune system is suppressed the infection will re-emerge and cause significant problems.

    So that's something I'm going to be discussing with my GP tomorrow!

    All I want is to have my own family. My only close family are my parents, who are 69 and 75, and once they're gone I won't have anybody. I can accept never having a husband or boyfriend but I want so badly to be a mother. I know I have a lot to offer a child. I've been working very hard to fulfill my family goals over the last few years and I'm just going to keep trying and trying until either I succeed or I know I have done absolutely everything possible.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Today I spoke to my doctor.

    She said it was a shame that I wasn't told about the toxoplasmosis infection sooner, and instead had to wait six weeks for my follow up appointment to be told! But never mind.

    I'm going to have a repeat blood test to see if the infection is still active. My lymph nodes are still up, three months on, so who knows. I'm off the steroids, though, so my immune system should be normal again now.

    If the infection is still active, I'll need treatment.

    My doctor also said she'd speak to the microbiologist and see if this is going to be a problem for me in future pregnancy when I'm back on the steroids. If the steroids suppress my immune system enough that the toxo can resurface then that would of course be dangerous for the baby.

    Just one more hurdle to overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    I had my repeat toxoplasmosis blood test today.

    Not sure how long the results will take.

    I think they have to send the sample to Swansea.

    There was nobody else getting their blood drawn at all. I just walked straight in. The nurse was pretty pissed about Boris' latest briefing.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    I saw the letter from my consultant today following my discharge from the ENT clinic, when the toxo was first diagnosed.

    The letter mentions that it's strange I contracted toxo, since I don't have cats, and that the infection is significant for future pregnancy and should be discussed.

    My suspicion is that I probably first contracted toxo many years ago and then when I was on steroids recently my immune system was weakened enough to allow the infection to become active again.

    But I HAVE to go on steroids in order to prevent miscarriage. But if every time I go on steroids I get toxo then I'll probably miscarry anyway, or have a brain damaged child.

    I'm feeling quite down today. I am already facing so many obstacles to becoming a mother, and just as it seemed like maybe I had a plan in place to prevent miscarriage it turns out that the medicine in question may actually allow me to get an infection that will cause miscarriage.

    It's too much. I really, really need a break. I don't have extravagant dreams - I don't need the perfect family - I can deal with not having a husband or boyfriend, I can deal with having a small extended family, I can deal with not having two or three children like I wanted when I was younger. Just one child would be enough. Just some sort of family.
    Last edited by O_O; 13-05-20 at 18:15.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    I thought that once you'd had toxo you were immune to it and it couldn't be reactivated?

  6. #6
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    I thought that once you'd had toxo you were immune to it and it couldn't be reactivated?
    Normally, but the infection can become active again in certain circumstances - such as if you're on immune suppressant medication.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Can you get a second, NHS opinion on whether you need to go on steroids to maintain a pregnancy?

  8. #8
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Can you get a second, NHS opinion on whether you need to go on steroids to maintain a pregnancy?
    Unfortunately, the NHS hasn't done much research into pregnancy loss. Tommy's, who are an NHS body, are currently undertaking research into reproductive immunology (which I participated in) but by the time immunological treatments become available on the NHS it will be too late for me.

    However, my NHS doctors are aware of my immune treatments and approve. It is understood that certain immune treatments can help women whose immune systems attack their babies, even though such treatments are not commonly available on the NHS. My regular GP has advised me to take my fertility consultant's guidance on the matter.

    It seems like a bit of a gamble for me now, unfortunately. Either way, I'm risking miscarriage. But if I don't try, I'll never have a family. So, I suppose I'll just keep trying.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Didn't your endocrinologist rule out an auto immune issue though?

  10. #10
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    Apr 2010
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    1,132

    Re: Fertility problems and pregnancy loss

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Didn't your endocrinologist rule out an auto immune issue though?
    No, he just said I probably didn't have Hashimoto's. So that's something.

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