Anyone who has been in the fertility trenches knows the feeling of uncertainty too well. It’s a lonely, hopeless place to be. It took us 12 IVF attempts to finally succeed and we are forever grateful that we found our way to St. Petersburg and the OLGA clinic to finally make our dream come true.
After having been through 9 IVFs in Norway, we found ourselves really lost and in need for a new direction. Our fertility journey started for real in 2018 after we had tried to conceive for a long time. In January 2018 we started with IVF-treatment supported by the Norwegian government, but had no success after our three attempts were finished.
We then proceeded to a private clinic and had a total of 6 egg retrievals there. Here we felt that the treatment was more individually adapted and we felt closer to our goal. We did the ERA-test, had laparoscopy and Marit even got pregnant. Unfortunately this ended in an early miscarriage.
After all of these attempts, with no result and no real reason why it wasn’t working, we needed to stop and consider our next steps. We needed change and a different approach. We heard about the OLGA-clinic through a friend who is a former patient. We did research, saw the lectures and learned about the money-back-guarantee. All of this convinced us to try the clinic, because they proved to be so invested that they would walk the journey with us and even share the risk of either success or failure with us. For the first time we really felt that we had the same goal, doctors as patients.
After our first trip to St. Petersburg in 2021, we have not looked back. We had a successful egg retrieval in April, a hysteroscopy in June and a successful transfer in August 2021. We were over the moon, — we actually got pregnant on the very first attempt! Unfortunately we miscarried in week 13 due to an infection, a sepsis, that Marit got out of nowhere. We were assured by the doctors this was simply down to bad luck as the embryo had had an optimal beginning. After this we were devastated and the clinic even provided us with a session with a psychologist.
Our second egg retrieval didn’t lead to pregnancy, but all along the way we felt that the team were learning new things about our case and using every moment to optimize our chances.
After our third egg retrieval, we had obtained one excellent blastocyst (AA). This was sent for PGT-A screening and the biopsy came back normal. In January 2023 Marit had the transfer of the blastocyst and now our daughter is finally here. Little Freya came to the world in September and made us the family we have longed for, for so long.
It’s hard to put into words just how grateful we are to the OLGA-team for taking us in and treating us with the utmost respect, professionalism and humble care in a time of both covid and conflict. All the medical expertise aside, we felt that we came home and to the final place of true hope and help. We have been looked after since day 1 and we really feel that we have sincerely been cheered on by all the team.
We would like to give a special thank you to our treating doctor Dr. Anna Ivanova, our very own nurse Alexandra Artamonova, our coordinator Alexandra Litvinova, our obstetrician-gynecologist through pregnancy Dr. Olga Romanova, the embryologists in the lab and everybody else we met on our way. You all met us with so much care, respect and understanding — and it means so much more than you might think to be seen on a human level in such a hopeless situation. You really did carry us through to the end. And now she is here. She is brilliant. Freya is hope — and we cannot wait to tell our daughter about this journey.
Dr. Alena explains the medical process that helped Marit and Paul to get their sweet baby girl using their own eggs and own sperm after 11 unsuccessful IVF attempts:
“We have been in contact with Marit and Paul since 2020 during the Pandemic. In 2021 after having already 9 unsuccessful IVF attempts in Norway Marit and Paul started treatment at OLGA Fertility Clinic St. Petersburg
After studying her medical papers, I saw that there were potential ways to optimize the next IVF treatment and that not all the methods and treatments had been applied yet to achieve successful pregnancy. I saw the way to getting a baby using own eggs and own sperm.
Marit had more than one reason why she had no baby yet, and I suggested that we should focus on solving one important task before we move on to another, one step at a time.
First task was to create competent blastocysts, check them with PGTA for 23 chromosome pairs. The chance of live birth per transfer of such blastocyst is 50% - one out of two transfers results in a baby.
In May 2021 we created two chromosomally normal blastocysts.
The next task was to prepare the uterus in the best possible way so that the VIP embryo is transferred into the most welcoming environment.
We performed a hysteroscopy and found and removed an endometrial polyp, performed in-depth testing of endometrium and a complex treatment afterwards.
Another task was to make sure we were going to transfer the embryo in the uterus in the right timing. So, we repeated the ERA-test after the endometrium treatment in a hormonal cycle completely mimicking the future embryo transfer cycle.
Then we made the first embryo transfer with the chromosomally normal blastocyst and achieved a clinical pregnancy that lasted up to 12 weeks. Sadly, Marit got a severe respiratory infection at week 12 and lost her pregnancy. It was a tragedy for all of us, but we learned from there that we could get that far and we tried to focus on the future.
The next frozen embryo transfer took place in March 2022, but, unfortunately, resulted in a negative pregnancy test.
It took two egg retrievals to find the next chromosomally normal blastocyst, but we made it! At the same time we revealed the laboratory signs of a chronic viral infection activation. In our experience this condition may reduce the chances for a successful pregnancy through dysregulation of the immune system and potentially direct pathological action of the viruses to the embryo. Another factor that was found- a significant imbalance of microflora in the uterus.
So, we focused on correction of uterus microflora and on treatment against viral infection while preparing Marit to the embryo transfer and that tactic has worked — the embryo transferred in January 2023 became a lovely little girl Freya born in September 2023!
I believe several milestones played the crucial role in Marit’s treatment process:
- Usage of only chromosomally normal embryos( by PGT-A) embryos at the blastocyst stage;
- Removal of the endometrium polyp in the hysteroscopy;
- In-depth laboratory testing for immunology, virology, bacteriology;
- Complex anti-inflammatory, immune, anti-bacterial and antiviral treatment prior to embryo transfer;
- Planning the embryo transfer within the optimal timing discovered by ERA-test.
- Individualized supportive measures after the embryo transfer to keep the pregnancy and help it to continue up to week 12 and further.”
Dear Friends, we are here for you and open to answer your questions in our InstaLive 11 October at 19:00 CEST at @dr.olga.zaytseff!
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