new dilemma

Ok internets, I’ve been thrown a curve ball and I’d like your thoughts.

It seems, from my blood work, that I am neither rubella (German measles) nor vericocella (chicken pox) immune.  I find this highly odd, as I have definitely had the MMR vaccine (and possibly a booster too), and I definitely had chicken pox when I was young.

My clinic recommends that I get immunized prior to attempting to conceive.  Measles is a 4 week wait, chicken pox is a two-dose vaccine, with 4 weeks between each.  So two months in total.

I have to conceive before June to take advantage of extended mat leave from my funding.

My instinct is to sign the waiver form, continue with the letrozole, and then, if those three cycles fail, get vaccinated in the interim while we decide about IVF/switch clinics/etc.

I am flabbergasted by this.  I am a furious scientist and citizen when interacting with anti-vax people.  I can’t believe that (a) I’m running around non-immune, and (b) I’m considering staying that way knowingly, and (c) the anti-vax idiocy means I actually need to worry about German measles (there was a case on my school campus two weeks ago, as a chilling underline to that).

I am also really upset about this because the problem I have with fertility treatments is it seems like a rapidly shifting slippery slope of escalating treatments, and timelines, and urgency, and this is a prime example.  Should I delay two months on the chance I will pick up either of these infections while pregnant?  Should I push forward, because time is ticking and, while there is never a good time to have a baby in an academic career, this is pretty close to optimal?  Your two cents, please (unless they are that vaccines are bad, in which case, I am sorry, but we will never be friends and you probably should unfollow me).

One thought on “new dilemma

  1. Turia

    Ugh. What a huge pain. And also- your OB/Gyn really needs his head examined- that is one of the most basic blood tests you should do if you say the words “I’m thinking about getting pregnant”.

    FWIW, I think you are already thinking that your three rounds of IUIs are not going to work. So you don’t think it’s a big deal that you do them without getting the vaccines, because you’re not expecting them to work anyway. (Kind of like the way I think about our frozen embryo.)

    But you don’t know that. You’ve never done any IUIs. You’ve never taken this drug before. One of those cycles COULD work. And then you need to think about how you would feel walking around with a pregnancy you had to fight for, knowing that you are not protected, and knowing you live in an area with enough wing nuts that this could actually be a real issue.

    It is such a hard decision, because I understand the need for the extended mat leave. I really really do. But I think the possibility of having to live an entire pregnancy in fear of what could happen (and knowing you could have eliminated that fear entirely) could be worse.

    Ok, here is what I think. I think you should get the rubella booster RIGHT NOW, and wait four weeks. Rubella is really really serious. Chicken Pox, not so much, and I doubt very much you would get it since you’ve already had it. I would do the rubella, wait the four weeks (could you start your cycle before the four weeks were up if the four weeks were over by the time you would actually conceive?), and then do the three IUIs, of which hopefully two would get done before your cut off in June. IF they all fail, then do the chicken pox, wait two months, and look into IVF. Even if you did all three IUIs right now, you probably wouldn’t get to IVF before June anyway, so it’s a non-factor.


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