It’s all about the cardio.

I got a call from my nurse yesterday, with my blood test results. All negative, except anti-cardiolipin antibodies, which was positive. I don’t know how positive yet, which matters a bit, but, positive.

I have a call with my doctor to discuss what this means on Thursday. Of course I looked it all up yesterday anyway.

Anti-cardiolipin antibodies (aCl) are a diagnostic for antiphospholipid syndrome, an auto-immune clotting disorder. It technically takes two positive tests over a three month span for diagnosis, though if you are exhibiting symptoms, one test is considered indicative. Symptoms being clots (deep vein thrombosis, stroke) or recurrent miscarriage. Oh hi.

The good news is that, though there have been only small-scale studies to date, the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, placental abruption, pre-eclampsia, and a long laundry list of other pregnancy complications this syndrome causes seem to be strongly mitigated by a regimen of baby aspirin and prednisone. One study of eleven women showed an initial pregnancy success of 15.6% (5 live births and 32 fetal losses), but after aspirin+prednisone, 100% live births (12 pregnancies).

That laundry list is pretty scary though, and I need to talk to my doctor about what the heightened risk of stroke or aneurysm means for me. If pregnant, I would be considered high risk for the entirety of the pregnancy, which sounds like not much fun (one site said “do not even THINK about a home birth, lovely as the idea might be, this is not for you”*). And I’m torn. On one hand, I’m glad there may be a way to prevent further losses, if this is indeed a factor in ours. On the other, I am pretty devastated that something as simple as an aspirin might have saved the pregnancies that went before, that it took us til now to get this information.

So I am a CF carrier, have PCOS, and an auto-immune clotting disorder. It feels like things keep stacking up against me. We are now looking for a high-quality-egg in a haystack that my body won’t attack. Layers and layers of infertility, and maybe we can circumvent them all, with IVF and with drugs, but it hurts to have them stack like this. It concerns the evolutionist in me, who quietly wonders if I should possibly bow out of this genetic rat race.

Lab book update – 11 dpo and my temperature is still high! My longest non-medicated LP was 12 days, so I am quite pleased with this, despite all the rest of it.

* not that I wanted a home birth, I’ll take proximity to medical intervention, thank you very much, but still, it’s not comfortable to have options discarded quite so strongly right at the outset.


6 thoughts on “It’s all about the cardio.

  1. Turia

    You know, I almost texted you this morning when I was on my way to the clinic because I was feeling righteously angry on your behalf that your clinic didn’t run those tests earlier or put you on baby aspirin and prednisone just in case. I realized that my clinic put me on every possible drug BEFORE I got pregnant with E. And my doctor ran the recurrent miscarriage blood tests BEFORE I got pregnant with E., because he didn’t like the fact that I kept not getting pregnant. And then, even though I tested negative for everything, he still put me on the full chemical cocktail “because there are thing we don’t understand yet and I know these won’t hurt”.

    It occurred to me that fertility clinics really shouldn’t act like OB/GYNs and only run recurrent miscarriage panels when someone is losing babies. If you’re already at the clinic, they should be souping you up with everything they can so that if, if you get pregnant, you have the best possible chance of staying that way.

    I am still very hopeful for you (says the one with PCOS, endo and a thyroid issue, who nevertheless still looks at her son and believes her genes brought some good into the world).


    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      Well, that’s infuriating. I think I even asked about aspirin at one point in IVF#1. We’ll never know if they were good babies or not, and frankly, they failed much earlier than is expected with aCl issues.. so I will try to come to peace with this.

  2. rainbowgoblin

    Aspirin is such a strange little miraculous drug, isn’t it? I had to take it until 36 weeks with Miso because Tommy was so tiny at birth. Miso was average (and importantly my blood pressure stayed just fine), so perhaps it worked. And natural selection is a statistics game, don’t even go there. You’re perfect, keep trying to spread your genes around.

    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      We should all be wandering around chewing on willow bark, I think.
      I know it’s stats, but I’m statistically less likely to have a baby, and certainly I’m not going to end up with a 19 kids and counting style reality show (thank goodness).
      I’m just discouraged, at this moment. It too shall pass.

  3. Haisla

    I’m sorry that things are stacking against you, but glad that they’ve found something that can be responded to with medicine. I’ve just had some blood tests done re: clotting issues so read this with great interest. Still keeping my fingers firmly crossed for you!xx


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