Diagnosis: Numerous Implantation Hurdles

So more tests have rolled in and unfortunately they’ve presented some issues. Luckily we were able to get in with Dr. Hail Mary this morning to get an explanation of what those test results mean and what we should do about them.

While we’re still waiting on the results of the receptivity biopsy, the Beta-3 Integrin biopsy has come back negative…and this is one that you’d rather hear “positive” as a result. Beta-3 integrin helps with implantation….without it, things are…..”tougher” – not impossible, but “tougher.”  Also, they also found out that my endometrial lining is out of phase – meaning, it doesn’t mature at the proper time (this could be causing the negative Beta integrin) which also makes implantation difficult. The negative beta integrin can also be secondary to inflammation – meaning, there could be some endometriosis in there.  (These issues are on top of the elevated Protein C we found out about that can also get in the way of implantation – I’ll take blood thinners for that).

By the way – I am completely asymptomatic for endometriosis, but the doctor roughly 1/3 of all women with endometriosis do not have any symptoms.

He gave us 5 options for how to proceed:

1. Repeat test/trial cycle with a different hormone protocol i.e. injectable estrogen to build up lining and injectable progesterone to mature the lining – see if they can build as hospitable apartment in there.

2. Ignore the results.

3. 3 months of Lupron to shut down system, shrink any endometriosis (if there’s any) that might be causing negative Beta-3 and then try to get pregnant after that.

4. Laparoscopy/hysteroscopy – go in, look for endometriosis, get rid of it if it’s there.

5. Use a gestational carrier.

We found 2 not so logical, 3 not really an option due to our insurance ending in May/June (at least insurance that has fertility coverage, so we need to get this show on the road) and 5 just made us giggle.

So, we’re going to combo-platter 1 and 4: test/trail cycle at the same time as laparoscopy.

If they get in there with the laparoscopy and there’s no endometriosis then we’ll continue the testing/trial cycle by repeating the endometrial biopsy to see if the injectable estrogen/progesterone did the trick re: maturing the endometrium during the necessary window of time for implantation. If they find endometriosis then we’ll end the trial cycle – the doctor figures that would be the cause of the negative Beta3, therefore no need to repeat that biopsy (which was a real joy to do the first time…..cough cough…hey look over there!).

I mean, it’s enough that I gotta stress about making at least one friggin good embryo – now I gotta worry about even being able to build a house that’ll accept a resident!

The laparoscopy is scheduled for next Friday, March 14, so we’ll see what we see then. In the meantime, I start injectable estrogen tonight.

Ah the joys of what we do.

13 thoughts on “Diagnosis: Numerous Implantation Hurdles

  1. Yikes. Of course it is good to know what might be causing issues. But ignorance suddenly looks blissful in an ostrich-y kind of way. Sorry for all the stress. Wishing for good news and a not-awful experience next Friday.

    • Thanks. Yeah, must be nice to just get pregnant, stay pregnant and have a baby….instead of knowing everything that goes into it! I will say, Monday when we got the test results they felt like a deal-breaker, but today after meeting with him they feel more like red flags to address….so that’s a little helpful….but I thought I’d be on birth control now and getting started, so that’s been an adjustment. I’m ready to go!!!

    • Thank you so much! Big picture: happy to know what’s going on and why stuff hasn’t worked but man, wouldn’t it be nice to not have one more thing to think about!!! How are you these days??

      • I’m hanging in there. I am good most days. Emotionally stable, but get sad sometimes. Taking a break from it all, but deep down know that I should start thinking about where to go next and what to do next. The thought of that makes me want to curl up in a fetal position…. Thanks for asking!

  2. I think the combo plan is a great place to move forward from. I hope the surgery is easy and yields some answers – if not some new data for you to work with. I had an emergency ectopic removal which was done by lapro and the scarring near/in the belly button is minimal. I recall having a harder time “intestinally” after the surgery (not sure if it was the CO2 or what) dont want to hit you with TMI but you may want to have a little stool softner or gas-x on hand for afterwards. Otherwise rosehip oil worked wonders on the small incision sites there were 3 for me. One in the belly button, one a little to left lower in the belly button and one off to the left but they did have to take parts out might be better if they are just having a “look-see”. I’m hoping that you’ll get the green light for the next round soon!

  3. Hi, my name is Paige. I’ve been going through IVF for the last year and half in LA. I have failed three transfers and have been having problems with my lining. I am trying to find a doctor that can do the Beta 3 Integrin and also the Endometrial Receptivity Array Test and have had no luck finding a doctor in MN, including the Mayo Clinic.

    I was wondering if you would please provide the name of the clinic and doctor you saw to do the tests?
    Your help would be much appreciated.

    Let us know how your laparoscopy test went for the endometriosis? And hoping you got good news!!!

    I plan to ask my doctor about your choices you made w treatment.

    Thanks so much!

    I plan to do my fourth FET in November.

    • We went to Dr. Charles Miller who has clinics in both Naperville and Schaumburg, IL. He was very open to trying the new Beta 3 integrin biopsy tests! I also really liked him – I felt like he really tried to help. We didn’t end up doing the laparoscopy because my insurance wouldn’t cover it (since it was exploratory for infertility) and we felt it was just something to try, given that I had no other indications of endometriosis. Sorry not to have any further news on that. I had 2 of the endometrial biopsies (and recently a 3rd for unrelated reasons) – it’s a super uncomfortable though brief test and yes, it’ll give you information….how or if that information helps….who knows – which is why alot of doctors aren’t doing it or won’t do it. Dr. Miller might be able to help you though. In the end he was telling us that our most likely chance of a pregnancy would be through a surrogate, which just wasn’t where we were or are at – so we’ve moved on to adoption, we’re almost done with our home study and we’re very excited. Please let me know if you wanna talk further – sorry for the delayed response….we recently moved and it’s put me off my game. Also, I need to update this blog! Drop an email if you want: agingbabymaker@gmail.com Good luck!!!

  4. I was recently told I am also negative for the Beta 3 Integrin. We also found out my receptivity was a day off. I was wondering if you have any update since you last posted. I am trying to figure out how to move forward.

    • Gretchen – sorry for the delay. We weighed all our options and given that we’d been trying for a long time and felt we’d given it our all, we moved on to adoption. Our doctor told us their was more testing he could do but there was alot of unknown, and very little chance of a pregnancy outcome. He said that likely our best bet was to go the surrogate route for a biological child but that was kind of outside the financial parameters of what we could handle. For us adoption has been the right decision and we are almost through with our home study. We are excited and happy. That’s just us though – have you considered a second opinion from another doctor? Has your current doctor given any options to pursue getting a positive beta 3?

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