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Ovary behind the uterus
Hi. I was told during my IVF cycle that my right ovary is behind the uterus. Unfortunately I didn't have any mature eggs on the left side. The right side had mature eggs, but they were inaccessible. hence the doc had to abandon the IVF cycle. What is normally done in such a case? Do they abandon the cycle?


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Hi there,

I just had my second ER today, this time with a different clinic than the first.  My left ovary is behind my uterus. On this occasion I didn't have any mature eggs on the right side- and generally speaking my left ovary responds a lot better than my right.  

I don't know if there are differences in degrees of exactly how far an ovary is behind a uterus, but both doctors on both retrievals were able- albeit with a bit of difficulty to access and retrieve the  follicles on my left ovary.  While i have no medical training of my own - in my opinion, the location and potential difficulty in reaching your right ovary should have been something your doctor recognized and discussed with you before you continued on through your cycle.  

During my first Egg Retrieval, the clinic I went to had employed a specialist technician for its vaginal ultrasounds (she had completed special training and ultrasounds were all she did- day in and day out).  She told me on the first baseline ultrasound that she thought the one ovary might be behind my my uterus. The second time she did it, she told me it was for certain.  I've have four different doctors give me ultrasounds- but this technician was only one to notice this fact (the doctor who did my retrieval today (a rather well known one I might add) personally gave me no fewer than 5 ultrasounds, but "discovered" the anomaly only during the actual retrieve .  Beyond that, i have noticed a significant difference in the ability of doctors to count, and measure follicles and follicle growth on the ultrasound.  The technician from the first clinic told a 2d machine (as opposed to the 3D- which most clinics use) is better in general for getting an accurate measurement- but particularly so where ovaries are located 'behind the wall'.

I'd advise, if you plan to do the process again to perhaps try it with a different clinic.  I've been researching responsiveness and dominance of one ovary over another on the internet.  I haven't managed to find much (actually the right ovary tends to be dominant over the left because the vena cava vessel runs down the right side (presumably providing slightly better circulation and nutrition etc to the right ovary)), but it seems to reason,  that between normally placed ovary and one which isn't - the normally placed one may have used up more eggs/ovulated more times than the other.  Thus, if you're running low on eggs (as I am) the ovary that's behind your uterus may be yield the best chance of getting good quality eggs (as well a good numbers).  This is just a theory of course.  On my first IVF cycle I was on a high dose- and actually both ovaries responded- though I still had many more on the one behind my uterus.  On the second cycle, I did a low dose (half that of the first), and got a good response the one behind, and almost no response at all from the other.  And ovaries that are depleted tend to require higher doses of meds - it seems to me to support my theory-  but again it's just a theory.    

Either way though- as time is so of the essence when it comes to fertility- I really think you should find a doctor who's ready and able to collect any and every mature follicle you're able to grow! Or at the very least one who knows his capabilities- and can tell you before you waste   your money going through with a cycle, whether or not he's able to reach the ovary behind your uterus!  (Be really careful, there are a lot of unscrupulous doctors out there who just want your money- and aren't especially concerned about your personal needs or financial constraints.)

Wishing you the best,

JM
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