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Infertility Series: Frozen in Time - Part 4

August 19, 2020

We all know Dr. Google can be pretty negative when all we really want is to find some reassuring news. This was all I wanted when I found out that the combination of my LEEP procedure (scraping early Cancer off my cervix) and IVF can lead to an incompetent cervix. An incompetent cervix is when your cervix basically can’t handle pregnancy and you deliver early without typical contractions. My OB informed me they would be monitoring every two weeks from weeks 16 - 24 to measure and make sure no folding occurs. What did I do the minute I got in the car? I searched for any success stories, which ended up being hard to come by. My hope is that my success story will reassure others.

Biweekly Monitoring

If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll get to see your little every two weeks with cute ultrasound pics included. It was really nice getting extra face time with our growing peanut. We also got to see his heartbeat and, after three losses, this was really reassuring. These ultrasounds measured my cervix and checked for folding. I researched a ton to see what numbers were good, which I wouldn’t recommend. I literally looked at studies and charts, trying to find out what to expect which ended up being pointless. Each appointment, the doctor advised my measurements were above 3 and there was no folding. They said the number can change based on how things are positioned so it will change, but they were looking for significant shrinking. I was fortunate in that it never shrank and never showed signs of folding. It’s closed, long, and not ready to let go just yet. The best day was when we had our 24 week appointment and the OB came in and said excitedly that my cervix passed the test.

More Common Than I Realized

What I wish I knew at 16 weeks was how many women have had to do this and ended up with perfectly healthy cervixes. After talking to some friends, I found out two were in this exact boat and ended up exactly like me. I am no mathematician but 3/3 women seem like good odds to me. What I should have realized and what I am hopping you take away is that the internet is mostly going to show the worse case scenarios. I followed a Facebook page for women who were pregnant from IVF and posted in the group hoping to get reassurance, but what I ended up getting was the dramatic experiences. Then, my Google search showed unfavorable statistics or data that I was reading incorrectly. Talking to my OB instead of self-diagnosing would have saved me a lot of worry. It is common to have this done and common for it to end up just fine.

Worse Case

What I also should have focused on was the fact that these measures are in place for a reason. By monitoring my lady parts biweekly, this would have allowed them to catch any issues that may arise, early. If my cervix were to shrink, there are medications I could have taken or a stitch that could have been placed in order to maintain the pregnancy until it was safe to deliver. None of these scenarios equates to a negative outcome. They are preventative and have their own success stories. So really, even the worse case scenario would have been ok.

My hope is that you found this post because you or someone you know had some kind of cervical procedure in addition to IVF and were told you would need monitoring done and you wanted to find a success story. Bad news travels far but good news needs to travel farther. Please know your worries are valid, but you are going to be ok and so is that perfect angel growing inside you.

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