I have another BRAND NEW Story of Hope for you! In this video, I talk through a case and share how we got to the root of my patient’s fertility struggles and overcame them.
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Oh, it is everyone. It's snow day here. I call it a fake snow day because there's not a lot of snow, but school got canceled. My hair's going a little cray-cray. I have the child downstairs watching some Harry Potter, but I can't guarantee that he won't come in at some point, so bear with me if he does. He's used to Mama being on screens and going live, so he's pretty great about that.
But anyway, hi. I'm Aimee Raupp of aimeeraupp.com. I get to come to you guys live every single week and share inspiration, hope, advice, research to help you live your best, your healthiest, and for most of you, your most fertile life, to help you rectify your fertility, to help you rejuvenate, accentuate, amplify your fertility so you can get and stay pregnant. I am the author of several books. I have two bestselling books in this space of fertility. My most recent book is called The Egg Quality Diet. I also wrote, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant, several years ago. Yeah, and I love doing this. I love to get to come to you and inspire and offer advice and support and guidance.
I've been in clinical practice for just about 20 years. I've literally, no joke, helped thousands of babies be born. I've helped women all over the world. I now have a whole team of acupuncturists in my clinics, my various clinics, and also fertility coaches, so we can assist you anywhere in the world. Yeah, I have a whole program geared at optimizing your fertility, and then I have one large program and I have a couple small ones. I'm always tweaking and learning more.
A book I'm currently diving into right now, which I'll give some props to a fellow research scientist who is knee deep in the research, all about reversing, changing your age, and that chronology, so the number of years old you are, has nothing, nothing to do with biology. I talk about that a lot and use the science in my latest book, The Egg Quality Diet, because most doctors will tell you age and egg quality are directly related and as you get older, there's nothing you can do to improve the quality of your eggs, but the science doesn't support that. In fact, if you follow something like the protocol lined up in my Egg Quality Diet, you just go to aimeeraupp.com/books to learn more about all my books, most women I'm working with are taking years off of their biological or genetic age in just months.
We're doing a story of hope today. I'm going to break down a case for you of a woman who got older, she started with me at 40 and is now naturally pregnant at 42, and very pregnant, eight months pregnant at 42, after multiple failed fertility treatments, multiple failed IVFs, no genetically normals, was told she needed donor eggs, had low AMH, high FSH. Through the work we did together, which was a lot of diet, lifestyle, mindset, that's the crux of my work, she got naturally pregnant, two years older in the process, two and a half years actually older in the process, from when she was told she had terrible numbers, high FSH, low AMH, and needed donor eggs and was never going to do it on her own.
I like to go through the case. You're going to see me looking at my screen and that's me reading all my notes. This woman came to me August of 2020. At the time, she was 41 years old. She did a five-pack of coaching sessions with me directly. I have coaches that you can coach with that I meet with every week and we go over cases. They have been working with me for a very long time, they know the ins and outs of everything I recommend. When we open up spots, right now I'm full and on a wait list, then there are opportunities to work directly with me, but you can only do five coaching sessions with me. I don't do one offs or two offs or anything like that.
She comes to me, 41, high FSH, low AMH. She had six IUS in 2019, she had one IVF in 2019. Then by the time I meet her, she's already had three IVFs in 2020. She said, “I feel healthy, however, this fertility journey has torn me apart.” I know you guys can totally relate to that. She was, she was just crushed and so anxious and just spinning out. She was spinning out.
She had gotten diagnosed with Hashimoto's earlier in 2020, and then she was on alpha-lipoic acid. She read It Starts With the Egg and she'd also discovered me, so she was reading my books. I hadn't yet written Egg Quality diet, but I put her on the Egg Quality diet, we'll get to that. Alpha-lipoic acid and acetylcysteine, DHEA. She was doing the 75 milligrams a day, which was probably taxing the out of her ovaries. She was on a prenatal vitamin from her doctor that had folic acid and not methyl folate. She was on vitamin D, E, C, ubiquinol, Omega-3 fish oil. But she was on pretty, what I would say, crappy supplements. They had a lot of fillers, a lot of ingredients that she was needing to avoid, especially her fish oil and her vitamin D both had soy and she had Hashimoto's. When you have Hashimoto's, you need to treat soy like an allergy otherwise it'll continue you to trigger autoimmunity in your body.
Even though she was doing the things that she'd been told to do and read in certain books, she needed fine tuning because the things she was doing that she thought were supportive were actually not super supportive. I had her switch to fish oil. I switched the brand, increased the dose. I added in liver pills. Her vitamin D was a 19. 19 on US standards is ridiculously low. I want to see it closer to a 70. Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is a hormone. If your vitamin D is low, it's going to impact your entire hormone production in your entire body, so think thyroid hormone, think all of your fertility hormones. She was only taking 2,000 IUs a day from her doctor, her fertility doctor told her to do that. I increased that. I decreased the DHEA, I put in methyl B vitamins instead of the folic acid. She was on these fertility tees that she bought online, none of them were actually really right for her body type, which can also be the case. You really should work with an herbalist and get specific herbs for you, so I changed that.
Then her history here. Over the years, she had some polyps. Her OBGYN told her don't worry, she would be fine until she was 43 years old to start trying to conceive, which I didn't agree with that. But then when she started trying to conceive at 39 and wasn't getting pregnant and she moved to a fertility specialist, started with IUIs. Her lining was always fine, she always had about eight follicles, so antral follicle count was great considering her FSH was so high and her AMH was so low. Sperm was always excellent.
Then she got pushed to IVF because the IUIs weren't working, her AMH was super low. Then she got a call from her doctor that was really alarming and basically told her that her FSH was menopausal and that he was checking it with her FSHs, but now it just went as high. I think it was very high, it was like in the eighties. She's in menopause, “You're going to need donor eggs, there's no way you're going to do it.” He takes back the IVF recommendation.
She changes doctors. FSH normalized a little bit, it was still in the twenties. She moves onto IVF. The first one, four retrieved, two fertilized. Two were able to be tested, both were genetically abnormal. Mind you, I don't know her at all during this time, this is just a summary of what she's done before she comes to me. Then the next one, she got five retrieved, one fertilized. It was a mosaic. Then did another cycle. Four follicles, only two were retrieved and none of them grew out to testing. In July she got seven eggs, it was a much higher dose of meds, two fertilized, did a fresh transfer of both of them and didn't get pregnant. She was extremely emotional. I'm seeing her right after this last failed IVF. That was five IUIs and then, one, two, four IVFs, no success.
Her one doctor said he would give her one more try and that's it and then she has to move to donor. She said, “I'm spiraling out of control. I'm reading a lot. I'm trying to dig into the emotional piece, up and downs.” I said, “Has anybody done an endometrial biopsy on you?” No one's even looked for infections or endometriosis. Her period was getting lighter, it was only two days of flow, and her ovulation, she would see some cervical mucus and then some months more than others basically.
She started doing some dietary shifts earlier that year, where she added in more eggs and vegetables, but she was still eating gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, processed foods, nonorganic caffeine, nonorganic alcohol, drinking out of plastic jars. She does not have regular bowel movements, two to three days of constipation a week. Her sleep is terrible. She was doing acupuncture. She's not on Chinese herbs. She also had, let's see, ovarian cysts, fertility challenges, dry eyes, dry skin, dry scalp, cold hands and feet.
My first call, it was hard to get a lot out of her because she was just so anxious and panicked. It was almost like she wanted me to tell her that I thought there was no hope, like, “Do you really think, should I just go do the donor?” Almost like she wanted permission or just for me to confirm that all hope was lost. I couldn't do that because I was like, “I don't buy it. You're getting some eggs out.” They used really high dose stims, I didn't think that was appropriate. She wasn't doing any of the things that I would recommend, even her supplements were trying to hit the mark but they were wrong. We tweaked things and I really pushed the diet piece.
The next call she did with me was in a couple weeks. She had just had a consult with Dr. Sami David and with New Hope Fertility, someone put her on an estrogen patch. She really felt like Dr. David was a great new doctor for her. He was going to look at the immunological stuff. He told her AMH was not a big deal, which is an IVF doctor saying that, guys. Well, he's not really IVF doctor, he's a fertility doctor, he doesn't do IVF, he sends them out. He says, “Don't do anything right now. Let's just take a month off.” Then she also met with someone else at New Hope. They talked about mini IVF, which is where I would've started. If she had to go back to IVF, because of her numbers and that she wasn't getting good quality on high doses, better off to go to lower dose. Quality over quantity is really what we want.
It was a very emotional conversation. She said, “I stress about everything.” I asked her the question, “Do you feel safe in your body?” and she lost it and she admitted to me that she hated her body, she doubted her body. She was really, really angry at her body. She was really angry at that doctor that she had when she was growing up and told her she'd be safe until she was 43 to try and that she was misled. There was a lot of anger, a lot of disgust with her own body and failure, which I know you guys can relate. Yeah.
I then talked with her again. She had just gone to an appointment. They saw six follicles, they saw a cyst and they said it's not a good month for IVF. She told me about her period, it was weird. I again recommended an endometrial biopsy before we did anything else. I recommended castor oil packs, I put her on Chinese herbs. I, again, changed her supplements. She said, “I tend to stress a bit when I start taking new things. I want to go over everything, make sure I'm taking the right dosages. My urine is yellow. Da, da, da, da.”
I said DHA 25 milligrams, yes. Methyl-Guard Plus, one a day, yes. Dr. Ron liver pill, two a day, yes. Vitamin D, I increased D to 5,000. Vitamin E, I told her I didn't think she necessarily needed it if she was following the diet, but she didn't want to drop it so I said 200 IUs is fine. Ubiquinol, 600. I also thought that was too high, but that's what she wanted to stay on, I supported her on it. I think 400 is plenty. R-lipoic acid, 200, fine. Acetylcysteine, 600, fine. Then the omega-3s, I increased that to three grams a day. We changed the prenatal because it had folic acid. Then we talked about when to take the vitamins when to take the pills. She was just so scattered and she was like, “What do I do to be calm?”
Then I talked to her again in January. This is now our third session. Loves Dr. David, still working with him. I do think he's a very good doctor in New York City. He's very, I don't want to say casual, he looks under the rocks that he needs to look under and he's very supportive. He's also just very hopeful, which for some girls isn't enough, I suppose. He does do some of the immunological stuff, not as deep as other doctors. If there were multiple miscarriages, I might not say he's the right doctor, but I do like his approach. He was such a good fit for her because he just was very confident and she needed that. She needed someone who believed in her like I did and she needed a fertility doctor who actually believed in her. I think what we were doing was creating a really safe space for her because she was so scared and she felt really unsafe in her body.
He looks post coital, she was trying naturally. The next month she gets pregnant naturally. In February, she gets pregnant naturally but she miscarries. I hadn't talked to her. She was super anxious, she was anxious about getting any sonograms done or any blood work once she found out she was pregnant. Her progesterone was super low when she got pregnant and so I guess it was anticipatory that is going to miscarry, but she said, “This is technically my first pregnancy ever.”
Mind you, at this point, she's been on my protocol August, September, October, November, December, January, six months, and maybe she really was full in for I'd say five or four of those months. She was listening to my stories of hope, she was getting more hope. I had her in my groups. She wasn't active in my groups. There's a private group that they get to belong to when they coach with me and she was listening a lot and she was learning a lot and she started to get even more confident. She was getting regular acupuncture and she was reading my books and of all the things.
Her vitamin D was now only a 23 and I was like, “It's still not high enough, you're still not absorbing. We've got to get that back up.” They found some sperm question things. So we had more things to do. She said, “It's bone chilling to think of going back to IVF,” she was just so traumatized by the process, which again, I think a lot of you guys can relate to.
Then we talk again, right, this is when she is pregnant. She did intralipids and I also had recommended getting on baby aspirin. She was doing those things, and I already told you, she had miscarried, which is really sad. April, we talk again, end of April. She did a D&C earlier that month and her beta was still a little high. We talked about things to bring back her cycle. She wants more answers, are we ever going to get them? I really encouraged her to get genetic testing done on the tissue so we could know more. It was a seven week loss.
She, again, was back on my herbs and now she's even more committed, now she's like, “Listen, I have never gotten pregnant, ever. I've done all these fertility treatments.” At that point, she's done 10, between five IUIs, five IVFs, never once got pregnant and now all of a sudden she gets pregnant naturally. She's like, “Whatever you're telling me to do, girl, and what the other doctor, I'm doing it.” Now she's even more committed.
I urge the diet, the fish oil again. We go through her food diary, she's doing pretty good. She's still not 100% gluten-free, which with her, because of the Hashimoto's, I was encouraging the gluten-free, not everyone has to go gluten free, but if there is autoimmunity and now there's a loss, I'm going to encourage it. She's also not eating enough. She was eating peanut butter and I was like, “Please switch to another nut butter because peanuts aren't really nuts. They're beans and they have a lot of molds, so don't eat peanut butter.” She's adding a bone broth. She's really, really ready.
We talk again in June. Let's see, she had, “What are your thoughts on the COVID vaccine?” and I said, “This is a personal decision. You do what you got to do.” She was in a high-risk job, so she had to do what she had to do. I'm not going to comment on that. Then she wanted to change over her bath and beauty products, so I'd given her recommendations there, hair dye. Her TSH was really low, so we were rechecking that, it was getting better. Her vitamin D went up to a 42.9. Mind you, she's now eating better, not taking supplements that she can't absorb. Her digestion, oh, she's pooping every day, amazing.
She had done a Letrozole cycle, this was in June, and she had a cyst, but she didn't get pregnant. She is just really even more committed. She finds out from the previous loss that the baby was normal, that she miscarried, which, for many, is devastating news, but for a girl who's done multiple IVFs and never got a genetically normal, it was very, very validating to her, to me, to her doctor. What we're doing is working, she had a genetically normal baby in there. It's also concerning, because why did she miscarry? There was some kind of immune reaction. Now we've got to up the game a little bit, like I said, with the diet stuff, because we know she has autoimmunity, she has Hashimoto's. We talked about the next time she's pregnant, and Dr. David could prescribe this, but baby aspirin, anybody can take once you are in the luteal phase and could be pregnant, once you are pregnant. She was also put on a low dose of a steroid.
I talked about her omega-3s to the six ratio, she really has to get the omega-3s up. I recommended a book, it's called Is My Body Baby Friendly? It's a great book to read. Should we do additional testing? Now she's doing the endometrial biopsy, she hadn't done that yet. She said, “Is my mind my biggest block? I said, “Let's talk it through, do another call on the emotional front.” We did, we had two very deep emotional calls in August, early August. On August 4th, she finds out she's pregnant. She did intralipids right away, which is another autoimmune type approach, she's doing the baby aspirin, she was doing the prednisone at 20 milligrams. Her beta was over 6,000. Yeah.
It was exactly one year later from when she started working with me. Sorry guys, I just have to go to my emails for a second. One year later, and then she had that one pregnancy in the middle, and then she finds out she's pregnant August of 2021. We chatted on the phone about some basic questions with the new pregnancy. August 12th, “Finished with blood work, numbers look good. Could use a talk to you, I'm very nervous for the sonogram. Not sure when, probably midweek. I'm also going to purchase more calls with you. Can I talk to you?”
Let's see. We talked again in late August and then she said, “I'm really struggling with drinking water. It makes me feel so nauseous and yucky. I want to stay hydrated, hoping you have some suggestions. Also, I've been craving cheese,” and she was feeling really constipated. I said yes to how she could improve her water, I said to the cheese I would be really careful with it because of her Hashimoto's and her history of the loss. November 4th, “Halfway through week 18, woo-hoo. Hope all's well, I miss you.” She had some questions, she was craving ice cream, what can she do. Again, I told her non-dairy stuff, healthy salad dressing. She's struggling with constipation, I gave her some recommendations there. She's really trying to stay on the diet as much as she can, so a high protein diet.
Protein, veggie, fat, that is the Egg Quality diet, and we recommend 40 per percent fat, 30-ish percent protein, 20-ish percent. Then she's switching her bath and beauty products, December 10th. She sent me a beautiful message in the new year, just thanking me for the help and support, and that she came and believe that one year later after starting working with me. I really encouraged her to get second opinions and find the right doctor for her because I didn't feel like the clinic she was at was very supportive, they were super negative. What a transformation, she said, “There's just so much to celebrate this year and I just want to let you know that I'm so deeply grateful for you and the work you do.” Yeah, and so here we are. Now, she is I think about 33 weeks pregnant and going to have a healthy baby very soon.
No dairy at all for this case because she has Hashimoto's. When there's Hashimoto's, there is something called cross-reactivity and you will react to dairy, gluten and soy, similarly to you react to thyroid protein. It'll trigger an autoimmune response. With her history and all the things that were going on, did not think it was smart. She worked very hard to get to that pregnancy and so I did not want her to reintroduce. In the third trimester, I will have you reintroduce foods that they have eliminated so that the baby doesn't have an allergy or an intolerance, but until we get there, I don't. Especially, what we did to get pregnant, I stick with it through definitely that first and ideally that second trimester.
There you have it, naturally pregnant at the age of 42, after 10 failed fertility treatments, genetically abnormal embryos, high FSH, low AMH, and she did it. She did it, she did it, she did it. For Hashimoto's it's all in my book, my books have all the recommended lab tests in the back. You need a complete thyroid panel. What was her AMH? She couldn't even say it out loud, that's how much anxiety it brought her, but I think it was something like a 0.01. It was very, very low. Her FSH, we actually came up with a plan that when she would go on for blood work, the doctors were not allowed. She would say, “Please don't call me and tell me my numbers, because it triggers me so much.” There was so much trauma.
There was a lot of work that we did around the trauma. We broke some of her one-hour coaching sessions up into 30-minute phone calls. She actually even had a hard time being on Zoom with me, being face to face. She just had a lot of, I would say, shame. It makes me so sad to say that because she's such a beautiful woman, inside and out, I mean that, but she couldn't even look me in eye sometimes when she would talk about things, so she felt safer on the phone. That's not normally how I work, but I did that with her because I wanted to create a safe environment for her.
But we came up with a plan, when she went in for blood work, “Don't tell me my FSH. Don't tell me my image.” Only thing we ever asked about was she felt fine checking thyroid and vitamin D, that's it so she could get those numbers and relay them to me. But I said to her, and Dr. David said to her too, “We don't give a shit about your FSH and your AMH. We don't, you can do this.” We just stopped paying attention to it, which actually was massively therapeutic for her. I highly recommend that to many of you. It can be such a game changer when you just let yourself be free of letting these numbers dictate your life. Also, she knew what she needed and knew how to ask for it. There was so much fear and devastation and trauma, and so it was just finding the right team that didn't trigger her. Yeah, here she is.
I hope that's an inspiring story for all of you. If you guys want to know more about the work she did, head to my website. My books are on there, how to work with me or my team is on there. I do also have, if you guys want, a nice free meditation for all of you. Let me just remember the link right now, I'm forgetting the link. If you guys want a nice meditation from me, aimeeraupp.com/freemeditation. Yeah, I'm going to go and get my child out from the television so that I can have some fun with him. Those of you who are in my Fertility Reboot, I will see you guys at 2:00 in that private community for your second coaching call.
Okay, “Meaning that it really brings you down when you think in terms of numbers only,” yeah, a hundred percent, your lab work should not define you. Okay, love you guys. Have a beautiful day.
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