Monday, October 24, 2011

Partial DQ Alpha Match

Last Wednesday started as a great day, the grandmas’ and I got to see the little bubble dance all around and even got a very cool video of it to show Blue when he got home.  I also got to stop the PIO shots, progesterone suppositories and start weaning the dex.  It was also the day I was supposed to be released from Dr. Sher until we went back for a sibling.

It all went well until I got the call from Dr. Sher’s nurse.  I was expecting the “congratulations you’re no longer our patient” call, but unfortunately I got the “we received your test results call.” 

As I’m sure you’ve picked up on by now if they test me for it I’ll have it…. So, as expected, they tested Blue and I for alloimmune matching and we are a partial match. 

Instead of hysterically crying, like I did when they told me I have a blood clotting disorder, I laughed.  What else can I do at this point?  I rushed to the hospital for another intralipid infusion and instead of wondering if God was telling me I should never have gotten pregnant, I thanked him because clearly with everything working against me I had some intervention from him!

My quick description of alloimmune implantation disfunction is this:  It is important for us to have differing immune systems and so our bodies have evolutionarily developed ways to create babies with complex immune systems.  One such way is for us to be less attracted to the smell of a person with a similar immune system to our own (for the record I think Blue smells great.)  Implantation of an embryo is a lot like a tissue transplant except that with a tissue transplant you want an almost identical immune system, with embryo implantation you want a completely different immune system.  If the embryo attempting to implant has similar immune components to the mother, the mother’s system will fight back by creating natural killer cells against the embryo and choking off implantation, or eventually causing an early miscarriage. 

What this means for Blue and me?

  1. Since Blue and I have a partial match it means that (statistically) 50% of our embryos will be unable to implant in my uterus. 
  2. Because we’ve made it this far in this pregnancy Dr. Sher feels confident that this embryo didn’t match and will stick around for the long haul.
  3. From now on we will only transfer 1 embryo at a time, if we were to transfer 2 embryos (and one of them matched me) my body would attack the matching embryo and inadvertently the other non-matching embryo at the same time, thus wasting a viable embryo.
  4. For this pregnancy, and in future pregnancies, I will need bi-weekly intralipid infusions until 24 weeks.
  5. Most importantly, we’re really lucky that we were able to get pregnant the first time around, especially with 2 embryos transferred.


  1. I also have a DQ Alpha partial match.

    1) isn't quite true based on my understanding - it's more that the implantation will trigger the natural killer cells to activate and try to get rid of the intruder. So it's possible, although less likely, that even a matching embryo can make it, but the body will fight hard. (I asked Dr. Sher about the chances, and the most he would say was 'non-zero', but other doctors clearly feel it's not a guarantee of a loss.)

    Glad everything continues to go well!

  2. I'm glad they picked up on this so you know how to carry on from this point forward. Congratulations to making to now more progesterone supplements...wait until you feel the difference. Love to you, Blue and the dancing bubble.

  3. So interesting! So were you already receiving the intralipid transfusions or only once you received this news regarding your match? I know several other ladies who have NKA and receive transfusions even without knowing or having a partial match. So glad your lil one survived!!!

  4. Is this a test they can not do until after transfer? It seems like they could avoid a lot of stress if they knew ahead of time that only one embryo at a time can be transfered. I'm glad your doing better!

  5. That little one in you is a miracle my friend. Plain and simple! And I am so thankful that you found your way to Dr. Sher so he could pick up on these things for you that so many others wouldn't even have looked at!

    For whatever it's worth though - I think Blue smells a little funky. Just saying. ;)

  6. Modern medicine is so amazing... must be hard to get another test result but wonderful to know that it's probably not a big problem for you b/c you've made it this far and that there's something that you can do to treat it. Thinking of you xoxo

  7. I tried commenting on my iPad, wouldn't let me. Switched to the macbook, nope. I'm at work and can finally comment (Windows)!

    This is really interesting. I've been suspecting possible autoimmune issues (increased NK cells maybe) because of my endo, but I wonder if this would be an issue we should test for too, at least bring up with our IVF RE... It's amazing how so many people get pregnant everyday with all these different things causing infertility! I'll be thinking of that little one! What a miracle! :)

  8. Hey Lindsay..I'm sorry to hear of your test results but I love that you can laugh! And I'm so glad you found Dr. Sher and he's taking good care of you.

    I thought of you often today..I looked for an email on here somewhere but I couldn't find one so I'll just post here. I got the results of my thrombo panel back today and immediately burst in to tears as well. I get it now. You just want to be normal! They haven't told me the diagnosis yet..apparently so much came back abnormal that Jennifer didn't know what to tell me until I talk with Sher on Thursday. I'll be starting Lovenox in the morning and they added another rx folic acid. I was wondering if I could pick your brain about the lovenox? I'll give you my spam email and if you decide to email back, I'll give you my real email that way. Or maybe, you can email me back through my profile? I'm not sure how this works once I publish my comment. Anyhow, thanks a bunch in advance. What would we do without the IVF community? eastmanl (at) hotmail (dot) com

  9. Wow, you guys really have a little miracle on your hands! I'm sorry things are turning out to be more tough than anticipated, but your doc is on top of things. We have a complete match, so our situation is not good :( Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping things go as smoothly as possible!