Cynthia’s fertility journey began eight years ago. “I started when I was 35 years old. I was single, but I had a home and an established career, so I decided it was time to start a family,” she remembers. At the time, the thought that it would be a journey to overcome infertility never crossed her mind.
She wanted to explore all of her options, so she looked at adoption and fertility treatments. “It was all new to me, but I decided to proceed with a sperm donor,” Cynthia explained. Although her testing looked good, she had several failed cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI).
After taking a break to get her Master’s degree, Cynthia was inspired to try fertility treatments again after seeing a study at our Austin fertility center. “Sadly, I didn’t qualify because of my blood work. That’s when Dr. Propst suggested egg donation,” she says.
Cynthia wanted to have a biological child, so she was reluctant to move forward with her doctor’s suggestion. She ultimately decided to try using her own eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and she ended up with two embryos, but the transfer did not take.
According to Cynthia, “I was so upset and I thought I was done with the process. All of that changed when I saw a notice in the mail that one of my fertility drugs had been recalled for not being potent enough. That reset the clock in my mind and I started thinking about trying again.”
After waking up in pain one night, Cynthia discovered that she had an ovarian cyst. Although it resolved on its own, she was still in pain. That’s when she returned to our Austin fertility center to visit Anthony Propst MD.
“He diagnosed me with endometriosis, which he treated with surgery. While I was recovering, I met a woman in my infertility support group who used donor eggs to conceive. I decided to pursue that option after talking to her,” Cynthia explains.
From the frozen donor eggs she received, she got two embryos. Dr. Propst transferred one, but Cynthia miscarried at six weeks. Before the next transfer, her doctor performed two rounds of endometrial receptivity testing (ERA).
Her most-recent embryo transfer was in July, but it was not successful. According to Cynthia, “It was upsetting, but now I’m in waiting mode. I’m thinking about trying again with embryo adoption.”
Cynthia has a strong spirit and a desire to be a mother, so her journey to overcome infertility isn’t over. As she prepares for the next step, she’s also trying to help other hopeful parents.
“I went to Advocacy Day last year because it is a way for me to help others, even if my story doesn’t end up having a happy ending. Throughout this journey, I’ve learned from others and I want to return the favor. I don’t want anyone else to suffer like I did,” Cynthia says.
When asked for her advice, she recommends asking a lot of questions and being your own advocate. According to Cynthia, “You don’t know what to expect when you start, so you just assume it’ll work for you. It’s important to be educated about the process. You also need to fight for yourself and find someone who will fight for you when you can’t do it.”
Her final piece of advice is to partner with our Austin fertility center. “I love that Dr. Propst was supportive and never sugarcoated anything. He helped me make informed decisions. Everyone should develop this type of relationship with their doctor. I’m also thankful for the nurses and the office staff. TFC is really good about explaining the finances and contacting your insurance company. People don’t talk about this side of treatment, but you need to know up front so that you can make plans,” Cynthia explains.