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Fertility Treatment Questions


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I'm wondering if anyone has has undergone fertility treatments - IUI, IVF - and what your experience was as far as worsening symptoms. I'm also wondering if you continued meds such as florinef and midodrine during and after the process. I'm getting mixed messages from docs.

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I have done IVF (unsuccessfully), but it was probably in a different order than your situation. I have had undiagnosed POTS for over 20 years. I also have fertility issues. I did one IVF cycle about a year ago and my body did OK with it, but it was not successful.

I did a second IVF cycle last October. A few things happened at this time. I finally discovered that my constant fatigue was due to POTS. Also, during the IVF cycle I had some hyperstimulation (due to the fact that I produced over 50 eggs!!) The doctor did not want to do a fresh embryo transfer, so we froze the two embryos (a very low number given my high number of eggs).

In November I was going to do a frozen embryo transfer (FET). I was taking norethindrone to prep for the transfer. I felt terrible on the norethindrone--severe fatigue--much worse than my normal. I was also vomiting occasionally. But I figured it was just side effects from the norethindrone that would go away when I stopped taking it. I took it for a month and when I stopped I was supposed to get my period within 3 days and then we would move on to the next step in preparing for the FET. However, I did not get my period for over a month and I continued to feel horrible during this whole time. I could not figure out what was going on and we cancelled the FET because there was no way I could tolerate being pregnant in such a weak physical state.

In December I did a tilt table test. It was terrible, but very enlightening for me. Going through that test made me understand that all my symptoms from the last month or so were due to a flare up of my POTS.

I am doing a bit better now, but 5 months later my POTS is still much worse than pre-IVF. I will never know for sure what caused my POTS to flare up, but I think it is from taking the norethindrone. In hindsight I should have stopped taking it when I was having all the side effects. But I had no idea that my POTS could flare up the way it did.

So here's where we are now...we still have a few frozen embryos. We'll see how my health is over the coming months. (As a side note, I think there is a good chance that some of my fertility issues are due to my POTS.) If I get back to a point where I am feeling relatively good, we may transfer the embryos. But I am honestly scared to think of that right now. I can't imagine feeling better and then possibly risking my health again with more IVF business. At the same time it is very difficult to let go of the idea of having our own biological baby.

But the exciting news is that we are going through training to be foster parents! (with the eventual goal of adopting) It will be at least 4 months before we are certified to be foster parents and we will see where my health is then. I would love to foster an infant or a toddler. But I can barely take care of myself right now, let alone an infant. If I am still feeling bad come summer maybe we would be better off working with an older child to whom I can give emotional support, but who doesn't need constant physical care from me.

Feel free to ask any questions about the IVF process. It was a crazy roller coaster ride and it felt surreal the whole time we were going through it.


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