The Doctors: Coping With Infertility + How PCOS Inhibits Fertility

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The Doctors: Couples Struggling With Infertility

Dr. Travis Stork explained that for couples struggling with infertility, it can take a toll not only on their finances and their relationship, but also sometimes their sanity.

Alexis, a 32-year-old woman, shared with The Doctors that she and her husband Gabe have been trying to get pregnant ever since their honeymoon and two years later, still no baby. Lindsley, a 45-year-old woman, explained that she was 41 when she married Jonathan, and they’ve been trying to have a baby since they got married.

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The Doctors: Coping With Infertility + How PCOS Inhibits Fertility

The Doctors spoke to three couples who are struggling with infertility. (Lightspring / Shutterstock.com)

Alexis shared that she’s suffered two miscarriages and undergone other treatments in attempt to get pregnant including insemination and IVF.

Lindsley said they decided to try an egg donor because she was not producing a lot of eggs. She said they did three transfers and the first one didn’t take, the second one was a chemical pregnancy, and the third one was a miscarriage.

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The Drs TV: Struggle To Have A Baby

Alexis said she feels as if everyone is pregnant except for her, and it literally sabotaged her marriage last year. Jonathon, Lindsley’s husband, said that he felt like no matter what he said or did, he was going to be wrong. Gabe, Alexis’ husband, said the infertility caused a lot of tension.

Lindsley shared that when people say pregnancy is the most natural thing in the world, she wants to “punch them in the face.” She said it’s not natural for a lot of people. Alexis said she hates the phrase “unexplained infertility” because a lot of doctors told her that’s what she has and she sees it as them saying “you have a problem but we don’t know what it is, so sorry.”

Lindsley said when you experience infertility, you’re “hopped up on meds” and they’re “manipulating your body.” Alexis said she was told the reason she can’t get pregnant was because her eggs are like those of a 45-year-old woman. She was told there was a small chance she’ll ever be able to have her own kids. She said hearing that, she felt like the world came caving in.

Lindsley held on to a line of baby clothes, hoping that one day she’ll have a baby to put the clothes on.

The two couples joined The Doctors in the audience, as well as another couple who has been struggling with infertility, Sunsarae and her husband Eric.

The Doctors: How PCOS Inhibits Fertility

Sunsarae explained that there’s no family history of infertility at all and she’s been diagnosed with PCOS, which is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, but they’ve never tried IVF. Sunsarae said that she and her husband are dedicated to the process and don’t want to give up trying to have a baby. 

Dr. John Jain, a reproductive endocrinologist, explained that PCOS is where there is too much of the male hormone in the ovary and that inhibits ovulation. If you don’t ovulate, it’s incredibly difficult to get pregnant. The good news is that PCOS is one of the most treatable forms of infertility.

Dr. Rachael Ross said it’s important to know that when it comes to infertility, one third of the time it’s women, one third of the time it’s men, and the other third, it’s unknown what the cause of infertility is. Dr. Ross said Dr. Jain probably also works with gay male couples who are looking for a surrogate, so he deals with all kinds of infertility issues.

Dr. Ross wanted to know what percentage of women struggling with a fertility issue, still end up pregnant. Dr. Jain said over two thirds do but it’s about getting early education in the process and asking the right questions. He said it’s such a difficult area that patients often get lost and demoralized.

The Drs TV: Coping With Infertility

Dr. Stork said he wanted to talk about the journey for those trying to get pregnant. He said the issue can often times wreak havoc on the relationship and also damage the potential to get pregnant.

Dr. Jain said it’s about building a family, which is at the core of our existence. Lindsley said she talks to her friend who’s going through the same thing, and she was told the woman learned more from her in a half hour than she did from seven doctor visits. She said you have to talk to people about your experience.

Alexis said she found a support community online and said it was comforting to know she wasn’t alone. Eric said it’s hell knowing that there’s nothing he can do for his wife.

Dr. Stork explained that throughout the season, they were going to follow all three couples through their journey in hopes of having a baby.

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