I've been doing a good amount of research about my diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve. Mostly I've found information about how it is diagnosed -- usually not as late in the game (though to be fair: we certainly, effectively, and consciously delayed our own treatment); often initially suspected following a higher-than-normal FSH test result (mine was normal); and sometimes (as it was in our case) not until it is discovered during an IVF cycle. It's true that IVF is both a treatment and a diagnostic test; however, most patients (myself included) choose not to think of it that way. So much hope -- damn blinding hope.
I'm not entirely sure how three medical doctors who specialize in reproductive endocrinology missed this diagnosis through the years we were under their care. Maybe they suspected it but, given that there was no overwhelmingly glaring evidence, decided to use the wait-and-see approach. I guess my FSH looked "normal" to them, which is sometimes the case for women with DOR. But my response to ovarian stimulation certainly wasn't within the realm of "normal" for a woman of my age and in good health. In cases like mine, as best I can tell, there are still plenty of eggs (explaining the normal-ish FSH) but those eggs are poor quality. Poor quality leading to decreased fertilization rates and, when pregnancy rarely occurs, mostly non-viable pregnancies. Those rare non-viable pregnancies often end in early miscarriage. Sometimes they end in later loss. And occasionally a real, live, healthy baby is the result. I will share more of my thoughts on this later.
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Plan B: Family of Two is a guest blogger on Bridges.