IVF (Invitro Fertilization)
Q. I'm 33 years old and we have been trying to have a baby for at least a year. After five months, tests were done and it turns out that we are allergic to each other. They call it “hostile.” Is there anything I can take so that I can become pregnant? We have been to the doctor to do the insemination.
A. It sounds like a case of hostile cervical mucous. The term seems absurdly ridiculous, doesn't it? The image of a cartoon-like drop of mucous armed with 6-shooters pops into my head!
Hostile cervical mucous produces antibodies that kill sperm, giving you practically no chance to get pregnant via the conventional method. Sometimes these antibodies are produced as a result of an allergy (which would be your case), or cervical mucous can change due to the use of fertility drugs, such as Clomid. In either case, I think the best way to become pregnant with this condition would be for the sperm to avoid the mucous all together, via insemination like your doctor suggested. Otherwise, the sperm are just fighting a losing battle. The percentage of sperm that actually get through the cervical mucous, make it into the uterus and up through the fallopian tubes to the egg is probably very, very small.
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Q. I had In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I'm now eight weeks and one day pregnant and the sonogram says the fetus looks six weeks. My OB/GYN can't find a heartbeat yet, but he said sometimes you can't see it right away. Could the baby live through IVF and be healthy? I'm so worried. My HCG is doubling but low. On day 12 after implanting the eggs, my HCG level was 48, but it has been doubling ever since.
-Anonymous, West Virginia
A. I wouldn't worry about the sonogram results (sometimes they can be way off) or hearing the baby's heartbeat yet.
Although I have heard there can be a slight increase in risk for an IVF-conceived baby developing certain defects (such as congenital heart problems), there seem to be no concrete studies to confirm this.
Try not to worry. As long as things keep progressing as they are, I think you have a very good chance to have a perfectly healthy baby.