When I was a teenager, LEI was a brand of jeans. Today, I found out what it means as an IVF patient,
Luteal phase endometrial injury. Big ominous sounding name, right?
Actually, it’s a rather new technique that is gaining some support in the Reproductive Endocrinology circles. My doctor referred to it as a little science and a little voodoo. They don’t seem to be too sure why it works.
Briefly, there have been two recent studies that showed a significant (about 3 fold increase) in patients getting pregnant through IVF if they have had an LEI prior to the cycle. Apparently, the technique was “discovered” sort of by accident, when they realized that women who had an endometrial biopsy prior to an IVF cycle had an increased likelihood of having the embryo implant and create a pregnancy. More details about the study can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00837733
So, in the interest of never feeling like I left a rock unturned, I set out to my RE (reproductive endocrinologist – i.e. fertility doctor) for my LEI this morning. The doctor comes in the room and goes over the procedure with me, then says, “you know this hurts, right?” I said, yes, they did tell me it would be painful, but when I asked how painful it would be, I was a bit shocked to hear the doctor say “probably about an 8 on a scale of 10”. Yikes. I was really happy I took 4 Advil before that appointment. He was right, it hurt like heck, but just for a few moments, so if it works, it was worth it. And if it doesn’t, I’ll never wonder if that would have been the thing that made the difference.
I have to say, I left there with more hope for success in this cycle than I have had in awhile. It was a good to have that back.