“Persistence is blind continuation – you don’t want to continue down the wrong path.”
Gynii Me: People on their fertility journey are often bombarded with messages about “persistence” - What advice would you give people for whom blind persistence doesn’t seem to be working?
Amy: This is the difference between persistence and resilience. Persistence is blind continuation – you don’t want to continue down the wrong path. I always tell people three rounds of anything at any clinic is enough. The first round may be diagnostic, and the second round is a chance to get it right. If it doesn’t work by the third round, it may be time to try a new doctor, a new clinic or a new protocol.
In my book I spoke to a venture capitalist who compares it with investing in stocks – you have money in stocks and after a certain point of losing money, you have to see it as “sunk cost”.
You have to get out even if you’re going to lose money; although you’ve spent X amount of dollars and Y amount of time at a clinic, you shouldn’t stay there for 15 cycles just because you already spent so much there. You have to be clear about between persistent versus resilient.
Resilience is taking stock, seeing where you’re at – will you fail because you decided to continue trying with your own eggs? Or are you resilient because you saw things weren’t working, and you decided to change your method to reach your ultimate goal, i.e. to have a baby.
Where you start isn’t always where you end – I never planned to use donor eggs but after the miscarriages, and at almost 44, I just wanted to be pregnant. Some people look at their lives, bank account and relationship.
I met a woman who had 6 rounds of IVF with her own eggs who said that by the last one round she was resigned to having no children; just a life of travelling with her husband. Luckily that sixth round of IVF worked. But it shows that you have to see where things are, and to realise there’s no shame in stopping, if that’s what’s best for your life.