Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mycoplasma Redux - The need for proper research/study guidelines

So a little update on the mycoplasma bacteria diagnosis and its relevance to my mulitple miscarriages. I have taken my antibiotics now and gone for my follow up appointment, and if I hear nothing back, that is good news and means that we have eliminated this 'issue' or potential issue as it relates to pregnancy and miscarriage.

But here's the thing.  Going into my follow up appointment, I fully expected that I wouldn't hear my doctor tell me that THIS was the ONE problem and that we had a 100% chance of a healthy baby in attempt #4, but what he did tell me, in hindsight, is really starting to piss me off, frankly.  No, I'm not directing this anger at the doctor, but at the actual studies he cited when he spoke to me about this bacteria and its links to miscarriage and infertility.

Basically, he said that while it is good that we found this, took steps to eliminate it, and struck yet one more item off the list of 'remotely possible reasons' to explain my miscarriages, he said, not for the first time, that he doesn't hold a lot of confidence in the studies that link mycoplasma to miscarriage.  He said that the studies he has seen took a group of 30 women who had had multiple miscarriages and who had this bacteria, treated the bacteria, and then reported that 70% of the 30 went on to have a healthy baby.  Cool, eh?  No, not really, because where was the control group of 30?  Apparently there wasn't one.  And according to my doctor, if you had done a control group and NOT treated them with antibiotics, he was willing to bet that the control group results would have had almost the same success percentage. 

So here's my question.  Who the HELL is conducting these experiements?  I took science in HIGH SCHOOL and know that any time to you want to test a hypothesis and conduct an experiment, you need a control group to make it a valid result.  Right?  Jeez.


As I expected, while we treated something that MIGHT have been influencing our outcome, it certainly isn't something to invest savings betting on.

But I need to keep in mind the odds that I WOULD put money on, and that is the 60% chance, based on my history, that the 4th attempt will be the successful attempt.  Who wouldn't bet money with a 60% chance? 

So, without further adieu....we're officially back on the baby-making bandwagon.  Let the fun times begin!


  1. Oh Pam, isn't it enough to make you want to tear your hair out? I'm still a little tiny bit bitter that we went through 2 unsuccessful IUIs and an IVF and THEN they did the surgery on Mark's bits that they could have done initially, and under the coverage of OHIP. Sometimes I wonder if the system makes any sense at all, and if the doctors haven't completely forgotten they're dealing with people. People at their most vulnerable, no less.

    Anyway, all that to say I am wishing you guys the very best and can't wait to see you succeed in beginning the family you so deserve.

  2. Brutal. Your history is nuts compared to mine, but then, it's all bad, isn't it? Yes, even just FINDING this bacteria makes me laugh, since it could have been discovered after miscarriage one, right? So why not test for it?

    But anyway!

    Onward and upward. We're once again hopeful, but with the caveat that we're not in control of the outcome, and that's something it took me a while to figure out. I now am focusing on the things I can control, and not stressing (in as much as that is possible) about what I cannot.

    Thanks Dani!