Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Possible Uterine Abnormality Or Immunologic Disorder Causing Four Miscarriages In 32 Year Old: IVF With Surrogate Again?


Background: I am 32 as is my husband. We had an ectopic pregnancy 10/2005, 8.5 week miscarriage 3/2006, 10 week miscarriage 8/2006, 9 week miscarriage 2/2007 (genetic testing done - female/chromosomally normal), and 9 week miscarriage 8/2007 (male/chromosomally normal).

We had a healthy son via gestational surrogacy with my egg in 2008. During the IVF (in vitro fertilization) procedure for this surrogacy, I only produced 6 eggs and only 1 blastocyte made it to the 5 day transfer as an 8 cell blastocyte. I have Hashimoto's Disease (on medication since 2000), diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2005 (2nd lap in 1/2010 showed it is gone) and diagnosed with Adenomyosis in 1/2010, after which I took Depot Lupron for 4 months.

I have had every genetic test I've heard of and the only issue is one copy of the MTHFR gene. I took 81 ASA and Heperin with my last two pregnancies, and progesteronne with the last four. I even did IVIG with the 5th pregnancy. Two weeks ago I tested my FSH and it was normal. I also had an AMH test and it was 0.2, very low.

My RE has told me that I should try IVF (with me being the carrier) but I'm not sure. I know they are concerned about the number of eggs I have left and the quality of the eggs that are left. What I want to know is if my 2nd through 5th pregnancies could progress to 8-10 weeks with normal hearbeats and the last two we know were chromosomally normal, does this have anything to do with poor egg quality? How could these last two pregnancies test normal but be of poor quality? Is that possible?

Thanks! D. from the U.S.


Hello D. from the U.S.,

To answer one of your last questions, since your pregnancies were know to be genetically normal, this is not an indication that you have poor egg quality. Poor egg quality leads to abnormal embryos (genetically) because the chromosomes within are fragile and break during division. It is most likely that you have either an immunologic disorder or a uterine abnormality. The latter might be the case because a surrogate was successful with your eggs.

I don't see any reason for you not to try with your own uterus if you can afford it financially. The only downside is if the uterus is a problem, you will end up miscarrying again and will have spent the money for that IVF cycle. I am not sure that I am convinced that it is a uterine problem, however, because the previous pregnancies progressed as far as they did. I would recommend that you go the gamut with the next in vitro fertilization cycle, using aspirin, heparin and IVIG if you decide to use your own uterus. That may be what it takes. If finances is an issue, then I would recommend that you use a surrogate again.

I know these are tough decisions but your young age, the positives that you have had, in addition to the child you have already had via surrogate two years ago, make your chances for another pregnancy very likely.

Good Luck,

Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.

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