A Lesson To Share

I have learned many many lessons along this infertility journey, they were all tough and hard and took there toll, but there is one lesson above all others that I have learned that I wish every single infertile out there could learn and learn quickly so that they don’t have to deal with the consequences of this lesson. I’ve blogged about this before, but I feel I need to blog about it over and over and over again in the hope that NOBODY else will have to go through this!

The lesson is this: Our RE’s are human beings and human beings make mistakes! We have the right to question and re-question EVERYTHING they tell us. They are NOT God and if you have an RE with a God complex run, run as fast as your infertile little legs will carry you.

So sorry for those of you who have heard my story before but please bare with me, this is something I feel extremely passionate about, mostly because I’m not the only one who has suffered like this and I probably won’t be the last, but I’m a woman on a mission! For starters, if I could, I’d sue the RE that did this to me, if I thought I could win, I’d sue him for what he put me through, for what he put my beautiful husband through. I’d sue him for stealing the best years of my fertility, I’d sue him for every tear I cried while under his care, I’d sue him for the pregnancies lost while under his care, I’d sue him for every wasted cent spent on 3 IVF’s, on PGD, on IUI’s, on endless rounds of timed & medicated cycles.  If I thought I’d get away with it, I’d even use his name right here, I’d tell you all which clinic he operates from but sadly, he is offered a level of protection that I was never given!

So here goes:

After my 3rd miscarriage, W and I decided that it was time to look into further investigative testing to try and establish the problem. We started doing some research online and via our GP and my Gynae. All of them recommended this clinic, and I was quite pleased to see that they were so prominent in the infertility community, they seemed very popular on the support forums, and featured in a lot of  TV shows & magazine articles on infertility. Off we went for our long awaited first appointment. The further investigative testing involved a few blood tests, a scan and a laproscopy for fibroid removal. We started with our first timed cycle and at the first scan  he slammed on the breaks saying that my follicle had come up on the side where I had a “blocked” fallopian tube and that the cycle was a bust. Well wouldn’t you just know it??? We achieved a chemical pregnancy that cycle, the cycle he said would fail because of my damaged tube. From there followed rounds and rounds and rounds of failed timed cycles, then our first IVG with PGD failed, our second natural IVF got cancelled due to no fertilization, the third IVF failed and a lot of other things that out of respect for my DH’s wishes I will not ever discuss on my blog. At the end of it all, at our follow up session after all the failed cycles, do you know what he told me the issue was???? Egg quality related to life style issues!!!!!

I took a long break after that and during that time, I heard from a friend of mine, who’d also been with this RE and had moved clinics and finally gotten a diagnosis and she was shocked and infuriated with the previous clinic. So off I went to visit this new clinic, Vitalab, I took a copy of my file from the previous clinic with me and they immediately informed me that there were a bunch of tests missing. Get this, I’d never had an HSG before, I’d never had an AHM or FSH test done and we’ve never undergone HLA studies. Duly we went through all the testing and boy oh boy was I shocked. The simplest and most basic of all the test was the HSG, which was never done at my previous clinic, showed SHOCKING results!!! I’ll have to list them because there were so many issues:

  1. Uterine scarring – presumably from when my previous RE removed the fibroid as he was the only one who had operated on my uterus.
  2. A partial septum – one of the major causes of recurrent miscarriage
  3. A uterine polyp – another cause of miscarriages
  4. Hydrosalpinges – my hydrosalpinges was so severe that what my previous RE had referred to as a “blocked” tube was in fact a pus filled tube and a major reason for all my treatment failures and miscarriages

So, I spent 4 years at my previous clinic, I spent a small fortune on fertility treatment with them and all the time we had NO CHANCE of success because of all my internal issues, none of which related to “lifestyle” issues as my previous RE had said! I had another laproscopy with Dr G at Vitalab and he repaired all the damage. My first IVF at Vitalab was performed this year and although we never got pregnant from the IVF, the results were astounding in comparison to the IVF’s I’d had at that previous clinic. I had a way higher egg yield and very good egg quality and fabulous embryo quality, all of which grew to blasto stage. The Dr’s at Vitalab all agreed that IVF patients with embryo quality and quantity like mine are few and far between, so so much for “lifestyle” issues.

So the lesson is this: Our RE’s are not God, we have the right to question them, if something seems off, or you’ve spent years at one clinic without success of a diagnosis, get a second opinion. Do NOT make the same mistakes as me, DO NOT accept everything your RE says as the gospel. If you’ve had loads of IVF failures, then question RE as to why he won’t do an HLA study, or check your AMH or FSH levels. And most importantly INSIST on an HSG!!!

Question everything and get a second opinion!

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  • Reply Jules

    I know the lab of which you speak very well. I have a friend who had ‘unexplained infertility’. She eventually did achieve a twin pregnancy via IVF with them but I wonder if she had another opinion what the outcome would have been? To me it’s like the licencing department continually failing drivers… who are the only ones profiting? also many, many people have said they feel like they’re in a meat factory there. and the ‘lifestyle’ issue is pushed due to certain affiliations.. say no more.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:03 am
  • Reply Cheryl

    I so agree with you, my previous ‘fertility specialist’ also did not do all the required tests or a HSG. In fact when I got to vitalab I found out the lap that was done did not actaully remove all my endo! Dr V did not even look at my old file. I am still angry, but vitalab has given me hope, they are an amazing bunch of people.

    July 7, 2009 at 11:59 am
  • Reply WiseGuy

    Oh, you never have to comment on your readers to ‘bear’ with you…

    Just this morning, I was tracing back my story from the first post on Woman Anyone? and I felt that I had lost out quite a few tales from not having started earlier…One of the few IUIs, while I was still in the groove of finding a good doctor, this lady doc, took a peek on my insides before the IUI, and told me that my cervix looked ‘handled’. I shook my head, and told her that I had never had any procedure done (let alone an abortion)…she kept on having our doubts, and asked me again. I said no.

    Cut to a few months later, when I had dumped the IUI doc from before, I had spread myself for inspection again, and guess what I came to know? It was difficult to visualize my uterus, the cervix actually bent so….I quite wonder whether the IUI doc, did actually leave the swimmies at the right place, or left them to wilt at a dark cave….my cervix was not handled, in fact, it was tough to get to my uterus.

    That problem was sorted out in the Lap, when my otherwise fine but awkwardly bent uterus was set right…and the adhesions that pulled my ovary towards the right side were carefully broken!!!

    Two doctors with two polarly different views of my cervix!

    July 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm
  • Reply WiseGuy

    forgive me, my grammar bug is sick today!

    July 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm
  • Reply Abbey

    Shaz, I could have been reading my own story in this post. I truly know the anger,hurt and fear that holds your heart so tight it could burst. I know what it is to feel futile against the wrong that was done to us at that particular clinic. I dont know if I can ever forgive, I certainly will not ever forget. I’m still wary of any medical professionals I do not know, I know I always will be after what happened. Not a day goes by that I do not wish I had never met those Dr’s at my previous clinic. Not a day goes by that my heart is not filled with anger at what they did. Not a day goes by that I dont wish there was something I could do to make them know the sorrow and pain they have brought to my dear husband and myself over the past 2 years. I’m trying to forgive but as yet I’ve been unsuccessful. They say time heals all wounds but I’m not so sure anymore. Time has not healed mine.

    Thanks for sharing Shaz. Sending you big hugs filled with special love and support.

    July 7, 2009 at 12:47 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    That is such an important lesson to learn. I’m hoping the next cycle with your new RE brings great results.

    July 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm
  • Reply stacey

    I appreciate that you’re using what was a terrible, awful experience for you to help other women try to avoid a similar situation. Thanks for the great advice and reminders.

    And I’m SO sorry you went through that. It makes me so angry!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm
  • Reply liisa straub

    It’s so hard because it seems like most of them have this “god” like complex and it’s overwhelming to go through treatments when you have NO IDEA what to expect. But what a great reminder that they aren’t god and we should be asking lots of questions and getting answers–if not, time to move on! I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. So frustrating and heartbreaking. But I hope that you have great success with your new RE.

    July 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Adi


    July 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm
  • Reply samcy

    The problem is that SO many of us experience this through hard life lessons – and what annoys me is how many of us have had this experience with the SAME RE!!!



    July 7, 2009 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Sweepea

    I think my experience with the same FS left me very disappointed. He also never did an AMH test all those years ago! He took my sisters money for 3 IVFs but when she went to VL after I went there in Apr08, had a laporotomy and was told her insides are so damaged by severe endo she cannot carry a child. Why have IVF in the first place if your endo is so bad that the FS calls his colleagues into the scan room to come and see your case the first time you arrive? You are absolutely right-question them always!


    July 16, 2009 at 7:58 pm
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