Hi Everyone, I'm a 45 year-old woman who has been trying to conceive for over 4 years. My husband and I got married late in life (I was 41, he was 39) and by a stroke of really back luck, found out shortly before we got engaged that we were both carriers of the beta Thalassemia gene. We started planning for IVF using PGD immediately after we got married.
After over a year of exhausting our chances of getting pregnant with my own eggs (one failed cycle; one cycle with two 5 day blast embryos both affected with Thalassemia), we decided to move forward with a donor. Our first donor cycle didn't work, but the second did. I got pregnant in early 2014. However, I lost the baby at 14 weeks. He was diagnosed with Robertsonian Translocation Down's. Mind you our donor was only 26 years old, so this came as a complete shock to us AND our RE. The donor and my husband were both immediately tested to see if either were carriers of a genetic mutation. Both came back negative. Which makes the odds of something like this happening by chance almost inconceivable. Less than .5%. Couple that with a less than 1% chance of couples being a carrier of the same gene (in our case Thalassemia) -- we fall in an incredibly unique category.
After the pregnancy loss, I tried a third cycle with the same donor and got a BFN. It's been a year since that cycle and I'm ready to try one final time. We have moved on to a new donor, and after many months of anxiety and confusion, feel emotionally strong again.
The new donor seems to have a clean bill of health, which is great. That said, I have a couple of concerns which I'm hoping those of you with experience doing donor cycles and the dreadful selection process can help me with:
1) The donor 32 years old. I know the cut off at most clinics is 34, but I'm still concerned about her age.
2) This will be her fourth cycle. She's done three back to back since 2013. Should I be concerned about the quality and quantity of her eggs given the number of times she's done this and her age? The clinic won't disclose how many eggs she's produced in previous cycles but say "she's produced a lot".
3) She has a history of reproductive cancers on her mother's side. Her grandmother had breast cancer in her 50's. Survived but eventually died from uterine cancer in her 70s. She has not been tested for the BRAC1 or BRAC2. It's an expensive and time consuming test. But, is it worth having her do it? Even if it means losing her as a donor? She's in the 1-2 program and the other couple is ready to move forward.
Thanks for any advice you can offer.