Learn how this Baton Rouge area couple chose IVF as their fastest path to parenthood
Bre and Cameron never thought they wouldn’t have their children the “old-fashioned” way. But after Bre’s diagnosis with lean PCOS in 2017, the couple knew they wanted to find the fastest path to a pregnancy.
After not having a period for a long time and ready to get pregnant, Bre’s obstetrician diagnosed her with lean polycystic ovary syndrome, or lean PCOS. While women with PCOS tend to be overweight, it is possible to have PCOS and be a healthy weight or even underweight. Women with lean PCOS may struggle with irregular periods, blood sugar control, fertility problems, and other symptoms caused by elevated androgen (testosterone) levels such as excess facial hair and acne. However, Bre had few of these symptoms and wanted more information and a second opinion from a fertility specialist.
Happy to have a possible diagnosis that she could research, Bre was still shocked and overwhelmed with what to do next. She made an appointment with Fertility Answers, and then set about finding as much information as she could about lean PCOS and what it meant for her chances of becoming a mother. She searched the internet, joined online PCOS forums to connect with others who were diagnosed with lean PCOS, and even read medical research journals to find out more about its symptoms, possible treatment options, and the odds of getting pregnant. “I knew I needed to read actual research articles that contained facts and statistics, not just online forums of other women’s experiences,” says Bre.
Treatment decisions were based more on what the fastest path to pregnancy would be
At their consultation with Dr. Neil Chappell, they were presented with different treatment options ranging from conservative to aggressive. “The decision to go straight to IVF was a no brainer for us,” says Cameron. Although IVF is not cheap, their decision, he says, was based more on the odds of success rather than the cost. Their decision was also influenced by their desire to have more children. “What if we had to do IUI four or five times, a procedure with lower odds, just to have one child and then we had to do that all over again to have another child? We just felt like IUIs would cost us more in the long run in time and money, not to mention the toll on us physically and emotionally,” explained Cameron. With IVF, it was possible to do one retrieval to harvest enough eggs to ultimately freeze embryos for later transfers.
The couple also decided to do PGT-A testing to test the chromosomal viability of their embryos. PGT-A carefully evaluates each embryo for any chromosomal abnormalities and enables a normal embryo to be transferred, thereby increasing the chances of conception even more. “This was also an easy decision for us,” says Cameron. “We were going to do everything we could to make sure we got a healthy baby out of this.”
Bre and Cameron began their IVF journey in the fall of 2018 with an egg retrieval that ended in a trip to the emergency room after she experienced ovarian hyperstimulation that left her nauseous, vomiting and weak. Of the six eggs retrieved, five fertilized and became embryos. These embryos were then tested with PGT to determine if any were not chromosomally sound. The couple was elated when four embryos tested chromosomally normal. Four chances for a healthy baby. They decided to transfer one and freeze the remaining embryos for later family building.
Now the proud parents of Adalynn born in August 2019, Bre and Cameron shared this video they created of their IVF journey.