The Doctors: Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley
The Doctors shared that they followed Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley from The Real Hosuewives of Orange County as they embarked on a new journey in their lives. They have known each other for 15 years and a year ago they got engaged. Gretchen said she knew she always wanted to be a mom, and it was important to her, but Slade had actually gotten a vasectomy.
Slade said he knew of a lot of vasectomy reversals, but it’s a long recovery process. Gretchen said she’s 36 years old, and her chances of getting pregnant were slimmer than that of a younger woman, so they knew that in-vitro would be a much quicker way to make things happen for them.
The Drs TV: Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley In-Vitro
Gretchen underwent egg retrieval surgery while Slade underwent his testes surgery on the same day. Gretchen said the egg-retrieval day is “D-Day” for them because it’s either going to happen for them or it’s not.
Dr. Aaron Spitz, the urologist, explained that for Slade he was doing an extraction directly from the testicle. He said that even though Slade had a vasectomy, his testicles have continued to produce reproductive material. Dr. Spitz sent a sample of tissue to be examined, and they saw that the sample was good. During Gretchen’s procedure, her doctor, Dr. Brian Acacio, explained that they were hoping to get 15 or so eggs. After the procedure was over, he shared that they got 19 eggs and later today they’re going to take Slade’s sample and fertilize the eggs.
The Doctors: Gretchen Rossi & Slade Smiley Failed IVF
The Doctors then welcomed Gretchen, Slade, Dr. Spitz and Dr. Acacio to their show. Dr. Ashton also joined the show via Polycom for the discussion.
Gretchen and Slade shared that they were both very excited that day and found out the next day that 14 out of the 19 eggs fertilized properly, so they were thrilled again. But then on day three, they were told five of them were “almost perfect” before hearing on day five that none of the eggs were progressing the way they should. They ended up losing all the embryos.
The Drs TV: Can One Missed Dose Of Medication Affect IVF Results?
Dr. Acacio said that for someone of Gretchen’s age, the success rate is typically very high if they’re doing everything correctly and the quality of the embryos are there.
Gretchen shared that the drugs involved with in vitro are very expensive, so when the doctors told her she may or may not need a certain drug, she and Slade made the decision to wait and order the drug once they knew they needed it, because it was a $600 syringe.
She said they didn’t want to order something that they may not use, but then forgot that was their plan and unfortunately the day they went in to test, the doctor told her to continue with her meds. She went home to continue the drugs only to realize they didn’t order the second round of it, so they did miss one of the medications by an 8-10 hour period. She said she used an emergency pack the next morning, but it was taken 10 hours later than it should have been.
Dr. Acacio said that the 10-hour window there unfortunately can make a big difference. He said it’s known that the stimulation protocols really need to be adhered to and if you miss out on the stimulation you’re going to lose momentum, which could cause the eggs to not be as functional as they could have been.
The Doctors: Considering IVF Treatment?
Gretchen acknowledged that there are a lot of other factors that could have contributed to the IVF failure. Dr. Ashton said it’s human nature to always want to find an explanation or to even blame something. She said often times we take modern medicine for granted and then said “36 is the new 26.” She said in vitro is still a medical marvel and a medical miracle, so she thinks they had an unfortunate cycle, and maybe the missed dose contributed in some way, but they won’t know until they go forward. She encouraged them to move forward and understand that “it’s critically important to stay to the hour” with the shots and stay positive. She said Gretchen and Slade will become parents.
Dr. Spitz joked that “Slade has the real cojones of Orange County” and then explained that everything was healthy and the good news is that they have several samples ready for their next try or even another child after that. Slade only had to undergo that procedure one time, which he was thankful to hear.
Dr. Stork thanked Gretchen and Slade for showing the physical and emotional toll of in vitro fertilization. Gretchen said they decided to wait a beat, but they were going to try again. She said they’re just like everyone else, and they want to get back into the right state of mind before they try again. Slade said they’re excited about what’s to come in the field of IVF.