After our first cycle of IVF was cancelled, I asked Dr Abrupt whether my poor response could be down to diminished ovarian reserve. He replied that, at that stage, he could not be sure. All we could do was to try again with a different protocol and an increased dose of stimulants, and to hope for a better response next time round. After our second cycle yielded only three mature eggs, I again raised the possibility of diminished ovarian reserve, this time with Dr Approachable. Was it time for me to give up, I asked. Just last month, Dr Approachable suggested that my antral follicle count was such that he did consider it worthwhile me pursuing further treatment.
This morning I received a copy of a letter sent by Dr Abrupt to my GP (general practitioner), informing her that he had performed a hysteroscopy to remove my polyp last week. He also took the opportunity to fill her in on my most recent cycle of IVF, and to tell her that he considers my poor response to stimulation to be a reflection of 'reduced ovarian reserve, reduced ovarian function and reduced fertility potential of the eggs within the ovaries.'
This isn't entirely unexpected news, and yet it still came as a shock to see it written down in such bald terms. It is, moreover, entirely unacceptable that Dr Abrupt saw fit to communicate this to my GP, yet apparently did not think it worth his while to explain it directly to me, his patient. It also raises the question of whether or not we should go ahead with another cycle, as recommended by Dr Approachable, or whether it is in fact time for us to begin looking into other options, such as egg donation.
But, however angry I may be at the manner in which it was communicated to me, the facts of the matter remain. My ovaries are on their last legs. My eggs are past their use-by date. I have in all likelihood left it too late to have a baby.