Dr. Kwak-Kim follow up!

I am so shocked and amazed by Dr. Kwak-Kim’s findings! I’m extremely encouraged and positive about treatment though. She found a lot of stuff wrong with me, but it’s all fixable!!! And it makes so much sense that I’ve been able to get pregnant, but have had failed implantation so many times. She has faith (and so do we) that we will overcome these issues and finally be successful. It’s so hard to believe after all this time, that we will actually achieve our dream! It’s surreal! I almost don’t want to get my hopes up and believe it.

Sorry this is very long!!

We already found out at my initial appointment that I have poor blood flow to my uterus, which we can treat with blood thinning injections (Lovenox). Plus, I’m doing a lot of natural/alternative treatments to hopefully remedy that. I will return at some point to re-check (their u/s machines are more high-tech than anything we have around here).

She found THREE blood clotting disorders that we previously missed! The first one is Factor XIII. I have an increased amount of blood clotting. This would be treated with the above mentioned Lovenox every day of my cycle (which I’m already on). I would need to increase to 2 injections daily after a positive beta.

The next one (you may have heard of this one) is MTHFR. This also causes increased clotting, but it affects other things. It blocks the absorption of Folic Acid and B vitamins, which are essential for a growing baby. It also affects egg quality, since it affects all cell growth. For this, I’ll take a special prescription for Folic Acid and B vitamins that my body will absorb properly. I also must take a baby aspirin (which I already do). The other issue with MTHFR is that is raises the level of Homocysteine in the blood, which is dangerous and can cause cardiac issues. She said my levels are pretty high, so we definitely want to bring that down for my overall health.

The 3rd disorder is an increased level of PAI-1. Having too much of that causes increased clotting, failed implantation, and may cause Gestational Diabetes or even Type II Diabetes. Along with this, she found that my testosterone is a little on the high side, and some of my other labs indicate an atypical form of PCOS. She will treat this with Metformin. I also need to exercise, reduce my daily carbohydrates, and lower my BMI. She said my egg quality will improve as well with this treatment. Obviously, my fertility will get better with this treatment, but we are also concerned about my overall health.

In addition to the blood clotting disorders, she found a positive ANA and positive APA. These are markers for autoimmune problems. However, I tested negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. It still shows that I have lot of inflammation in my body though. She found that my Natural Killer Cells were not that high, like Dr. Sher had said. She did find that my inflammatory T Cells are very high. We need to calm the inflammatory response with IV-IG. This is an IV medication used to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. It would be done early in my cycle, as well as into pregnancy. I have to take steroids daily, too.

The last thing she found was that I’m deficient in IGG and IGA. These are linked to an increased chance of infections – viral and bacterial. It means my immune system is weak. To replenish this, I would need IV-IG. The good thing about that is that it would be considered medically necessary – not just for fertility, but for my health. She said I could probably find a regular Immunologist in the area to treat me.

One thing that I’m really amazed and confused by is that my AMH went UP! I know I still have Diminished Ovarian Reserve, but my AMH went from 0.3 to 1.85!! That is a huge difference! It’s supposed to get worse, not better. That combined with the fact that my FSH has been much better, too makes me wonder. I guess the healthy changes I’ve made have helped??!! Maybe I won’t enter menopause as soon as they guesstimated?? I’m not sure, but I feel great about that!!

So, it’s a lot of information and I’m not thrilled about having more problems….but the fact that all these things have come to light and we can fix them is amazing! Plus, I had no idea that so many of these things would affect my HEALTH…not just my fertility.

Dr. Kwak-Kim said she recently put a lady on a similar protocol. A lady that had been through IVF and many early losses like me. She got pregnant naturally – no fertility drugs or treatments (except these meds I mentioned). She’s now 6 weeks pregnant and doing great! She thinks we have a chance to be successful without any IVF or even IUI!!! I’ll be starting my new medications today! I’m not sure when I can do the IV treatment though. I’m so excited to make some changes! πŸ˜€


38 thoughts on “Dr. Kwak-Kim follow up!

  1. Your fertility IS your health – if you (or any of us) were perfectly healthy, you would be wonderfully fertile. πŸ™‚ Glad to hear you have these fixable plans – I am jealous for all this thorough testing! Have you thought about giving up wheat? It can be very inflammatory, and can also inhibit vitamin absorption if you don’t process it well. GL! I think it is going to work soon for you!

  2. Hey Lisa,

    I just wanted to let you know I saw a really pretty rainbow with a gorgeous sunset when I was reading this, and it filled me with so much hope for you!!!

    Random, I know. But I thought I’d let you know!!!

  3. Fantastic news girlie, though I’m sorry for the myriad of meds you need to be on! I was also on mega doses of Folic Acid for MTHFR, and to be honest I think it made a difference in my overall health and I am thinking of going back on it even though I’m not pregnant. Turns out that my dad, at least, for sure has problems with Folic Acid and B vitamin absorption, and that it is hereditary.

    One thing to be warned about, and to ask your doc about…Metformin can supposedly interfere with Folic Acid/B vitamin absorption.

  4. Lisa i feel so out of the loop -for this i am sorry, but i am so excited about the new findings (sounds weird but i feel these were the ‘issue’) and so glad you are full of ope again! I was on metformin for well over 1 yr and up to about 9 wks preggo – by the end i was at 2000 mg a day- WORK YOUR WAY UP Gently that is my advise (nto sure if you have taken it before) It is a tad harsh on your system, but after a while its fine (unless you miss 1 or more doses i found) I am so thinking of you and cant wait for your positive news “:D

  5. Hi from ICLW. How exciting that you got some answers. While it may not all be good news, at least you have a treatment plan! I hope it works for you!

  6. I’m almost 29 weeks pregnant with a Dr Kwak baby:) we conceived our fist very easily over 5 years ago and the 2nd it took us 18 months, that is when i found dr Kwak. I too have a lot of similar problems as you. I went in there knowing i had an autoimmune disease, called hashimotos, and i am hypo thyroid. I’e been off and on gluten since last june when i found out i had hashimotoI was off gluten , like 100% for a good few months when we finally got prego… on our own. I saw dr kwak for my first consult 3 weeks before i got prego, she ran all the test, u/s and we were due back to go over protocol, i was pregnant by the time we went back. I truly believe the gluten free diet did it for me. but i also truly believe dr kwak’s protocol is what sustained the pregnancy. I belong to the yahoo reproductive immunology group, you may be interested in joining, most of the woman on there are in the same boat as you and me, have had failed ivf’s etc and are now pregnant due to dr kwak’s protocol. Dr kwak has people fly in from all around the country and world to see her. If you are out of state you just need to see her for your first consult and then the reamainder of the pregnancy you can have labs drawn in your home state. the first trimester i was in her office once a week with u/s’s and lab work, the 2nd trimester the visits aren’t as frequent, i believe every other week and then towards the end of the 2nd it gets spred out to every 3rd week. I will start seeing her more frequent;y now. Are you in IL as well? i am lucky to be local? if you are in IL and looking for an ob that works and understand dr kwak i can give you their info, they are privy to MTHFR which a lot of practices ARE NOT. I wish you the best of luck. YOu are going to love dr kwak and what she can do for you. Look into joining the yahoo grp i mentioned , you will learn SO much and feel at home with your immune problems.

    • Wow, that is amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing your story πŸ™‚ I really appreciate it! We live in Ohio, but we have a doctor here in our city that will work with Dr. Kwak-Kim, thankfully πŸ™‚

  7. Inam so glad that you found hope. I also have a lot of issues to deal with. I would love to communicate with you to get some feedback. It will mean the world to me. I also suffer from extemely low Amh an high fsh and getting to know what u did would be fantastic.

    I look forward to hear from you.


    • Wow, it sounds like we definitely have some similar issues! I will email you. Good luck to you! I’m happy to meet someone who shares similar issues, but I wish we didn’t have to deal with any of this 😦 Hugs!

    • Hi Kimberly, yes you can contact her by that number provided. They will have you fill out paperwork and schedule your appointment, if you are interested. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  8. Hello! I was just diagnosed with mthfr after two years of infertility and one miscarriage. …I was just wondering if you could help me with any advice. Did the treatment work? Were you able to get preg naturally? If so …how long did it take? I also have low amh… 0.8. I am only 28. Do u think treating mthfr help3d your amh? Thanks in advance! Please email me if you can!

    • The treatment definitely worked. πŸ™‚ After about 6 months on my new treatment, I successfully conceived. I’m 31 weeks pregnant now. Nothing helped my low AMH, but mine was a lot lower than yours, and I still conceived. The doctor I worked with said AMH is not as big of a deal as some doctors make it out to be. We did use fertility drugs with timed intercourse though. Good luck!!

  9. Lisa,
    I was looking for gender reveal ideas for my sister-in-law and stumbled upon your blog. I began blogging earlier this year for the same reasons (I think). I also have learned about the Immunology side of fertility and I’m waiting for my test results to come back. I’m working with Karen Pace in Cali and she has identified many things “wrong” with me too!!!! I was SO happy to see that you’re due soon. I want to thank you for writing your story and your timeline….I think I’m going to have to copy what you did!!!!! But after reading the R/U post, I feel a new sense of hope for myself. Karen identified a bunch of things wrong but like you said, all treatable!!!!!! I’m so excited!!! So THANK YOU for sharing your story and I wish you the BEST OF LUCK with your bundle of joy!!!! ~amy

    • That’s wonderful! And what a sweet message. I appreciate that! πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you! I bet you’ll have your little miracle soon too.

  10. Hi. This is my first time. Im 44 yrs old. Able to conceived naturally but led to 2 miscarriages. Someone suggested for me to look for a reproductive immunologist and found Dr. Kwak Kim here. I am thinking to see her but can someone recommend me an OB GYN in the northside that willingly open to work with Dr. Kwak recommendations. I lived near Swedish hosp and I was thinking if somebody knows an OB in Northshore thats open to work with Dr. Kwak. Thank you so much for all your help.

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