Can't decide about IVF - not even sure if it's feasible; can anyone help?

(37 Posts)
cuddlymoomoo Sat 25-May-13 21:43:09

I don't think I should post this in 'Infertility' as I feel that might be a bit insensitive.

I can't shake the yearning I have for another child despite everything telling me it's ludicrous.

I'm old.
I have health issues.
I have a balanced translocation.
I have had miscarriages.

But . . . apart from the old thing, I have had all of these factors when I've successfully had children before.

I have been wondering about IVF and that's really why I'm asking for some help. I know I'd have to go private, which is fine as I can make the money if needs be, but I have no idea what else it would involve. I know that it would involve pre-implantation screening for the BT, but would I even be considered in this country because of my age (47)?

If I did go ahead, how do I do that? Do I contact clinics myself? What is the process? How much does it cost?

I think there is still a chance I could conceive without IVF, but with the recent BT diagnosis, that is a something else to take into consideration.

I've name changed for this as I feel a bit of a fraud for even thinking of it at my age - but I also can't stop wondering whether there is any chance at all. I know I should just count my blessings, I really am very very lucky, but there's this niggle . . . sad

VixZenFenchell Sun 26-May-13 10:30:19

Ouch. That ticking clock is a crap one.

Are you currently with a partner? What do they think? Are they happy to be a parent again (in which case are you thinking ivf just because of the age and BT issues?). If not I guess you're looking at donor sperm through a clinic unless you have a friend who's willing to donate to you.

I really know very little on this but I would think in terms of age you wouldn't qualify for any sort of funded cycle in the UK so you're looking at self funding. Success rates are extremely low over 42 and they drop off exponentially every year so I'd say 47 you're looking unlikely to conceive. A clinic can test FSH levels and other indicators of ovarian age and function I think. You'd have to compare their success rates in your age group and fees to see if it's even worth considering.

You can contact clinics yourself or ask for a private referral if this is the route you choose to take. Costs vary, most of them relate to the drugs that you can sometimes get cheaper online. In general there are drugs to inject to force several follicles to ripen, then a short procedure under sedation to harvest them. They are fertilised and reinserted at an appropriate developmental stage and you wait to see if they implant.

You don't say what your other health issues are but might they impact on your ability to carry a child to term, deliver safely and then cope with the hellish first few weeks?

I know that feeling of yearning so I sympathise (DH firm in stopping at 2 and my yearning to be with him is greater than that for another so 2 we have).

There have been lots of stories about older mothers and success with ivf abroad but how much is real and how much is hype and if any of it is safe I have no idea.

Is it fair to the child to be born to a 48 year old mother? Will your health issues worsen and is your 15 yo going to be the main carer for their 63 yo mother? It's a very emotive topic, you'll be called all manner of variations on selfish for even considering it.

You say you'll make the money somehow - gently and not wanting to offend, but are you better spending the money on counselling to look into this yearning for another child, to understand it and perhaps learn to live with what you have?

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 11:18:07

Thanks Vix!

To answer your questions, yes am with (very) long term partner who would be (more than) happy to have another baby (although he is concerned about the emotional and physical sides of me having another mc as some of them have been quite tricky).

My FSH is really good - had it done last year, and I think I could conceive again naturally, just the BT issues.

I wouldn't go abroad for IV.

My health issues don't stop me carrying to term, they just make things a bit harder. I don't think my age is an issue in the sense of what other people think, as I do think I could conceive anyway. I'm just looking to increase my chances. My health issues are ones which I control very well, so although in theory, I could die younger, I don't actually have any of the side effects doctors would expect at this stage as I'm very good at dealing with it all (over-coper probably!).

I'm self-employed so, when I say I can make the money, it's just a matter of doing a bit of extra work, which isn't that onerous. I've had counselling for other things and my personal opinion is that it isn't for me at all. I think that's probably at the root of a lot of this - I'm the sort of person who just gets on with things, there's always someone worse off, I have a lovely life; so why can't I get over this? Feel an utter wimp to be honest.

Do you know of any good clinics in Scotland?

Thank you for replying!

Are you diabetic by any chance?

Look - I know you want this but the odds are MASSIVE against you and if you succeed you will in getting pregnant you will be right at the upper age of parents and I think that's a lot to take on. I'm not in your situation so maybe don't understand at all but my view is that there is a part of our life which is for parenting and a part that's for us and whilst the parenting part is wonderful at some point you need to move and on and do something else.
You now know that your age, your previous history of miscarriage and your medical history all go against a successful conception and birth. Is it really worth bashing your head against the wall of all those facts when you do have children already?

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 12:41:05

Yes, of course, I know it's all against me NorthernLurker, but there's no harm in asking for information is there? The post was actually to see if anyone could point me in the direction of clinics which are in my area, Scotland, and to find out where they could tell me what the process would involve, especially given the BT issue.

If that wasn't clear, hopefully it is now.

As I've said, I can get pregnant, but it is likely that the BT is causing the miscarriages, so pre-implantation would presumably help me there, but does my age mean I wouldn't be accepted anyway?

I really don't see the issue about it being 'a lot to take on' to be honest. We all know our own situations, our own finances, and our own health. I can't predict new things which might come into my life, but no one can. All I know is that, the dealing with another child for the next however many years isn't the issue - this post is about the process before that stage and whether it is one I want to undertake.

A midwife said to me last time, 'you don't regret trying - you regret not trying.' She said that even though it didn't work out, I'd get over it, and I'd be glad I tried because otherwise I'd always wonder 'what if . . . .?' She was right. So, I'm dealing with some more 'what if's' here.

I interepreted 'can't decide' in your title as meaning you had feelings both ways. In fertitlity terms people seem able to nearly always find a clinic who will do what they want. Doesn't mean that's the best thing to be done.

Would you consider using donor eggs? You wouldn't need the pre-implantation diagnosis then and the chances of success would be much higher.

ZenOfPetals Sun 26-May-13 13:45:52

It's just so hard when you really, totally, completely yearn and yearn for one more baby. I am nearly obsessed with longing lately. I had an MC last summer, and the only thing that got me through was thinking I would try again.

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 14:09:00

No, I wouldn't consider donor eggs NorthernLurker. I am well aware that there is always someone willing to do anything for money.

ZenOfPetals - I know that feeling well. In the middle of it, the thought that I would never try again would have been awful. I'm sorry to hear of your loss and hope that it all works out well for you soon.

ZenOfPetals Sun 26-May-13 14:19:55

Thanks, cuddly. I hope the same for you.

crazyhead Sun 26-May-13 14:27:28

The issue for you OP, is that statistically the chances are incredibly slim with your own eggs at 47. It's easy to say trying can't hurt, but putting a lot of yourself into trying against such brutal odds can in fact hurt.

Nearly all women of your age who have babies use donor eggs so that would be the route where your chances wouldn't be dramatically better. I don't quite get the thing about money?

I wish you absolutely all the best btw.

That's my fear for the OP crazyhead sad I think it is possible to regret trying sadly.

crazyhead Sun 26-May-13 14:32:37

I think so too northernlurker sad

OP I meant your chances would be much better with donor eggs, so sorry for my appalling grammar.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 26-May-13 14:34:27

My friend has just had a DS at 47 (we assume via donor eggs and ivf though have not asked her as I don't want to pry). Another friend recently had a dd at 46 , conceiving naturally after a mc. They are both very happy and both children are healthy. I don't think 47 is too old.

I say definitely go and get the info. Then make a decision as to what course is in the best interests of you, oh, any baby and your existing dc.

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 14:40:04

You really don't have to fear for me - and I don't see why you would?

Anyway, the reality is that I must have written a really appalling post. I was actually asking about the process and only have some background so that it didn't seem like drip feeding, or that I was attention seeking by getting people to ask me questions.

The whole issue of donor eggs is moot and not one I raised.

Thanks for the sad emoticons though confused . . .

So - if I wrote this again, I'd say:

does my age mean that I wouldn't be considered for IVF other than by dodgy places?

if I would, can anyone tell me what the reputable private IVF clinics are in Scotland?

can anyone give me an idea of cost for one cycle?

can anyone tell me whether you simply call them up, or whether you need a referral?

can anyone tell me whether the tests and procedures are more complicated with a BT or would they cover that anyway as usual?

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 14:41:21

WouldBeHarrietVane - thanks for that; it came through as I was trying to be a much clearer OP grin.

OP - it seems that you are absolutely set that you will conceive and carry to term and I think that crazyhead and I were expressing concern for you because the liklihood is that won't be the case. I'm sorry if the sad offended you but I won't apologise for feeling concern.
I would suggest starting a specific thread in Infertility asking for clinic recommendations from Scots and then give those clinics a ring to ask your other questions. I think the bigger cost will be the screening though - and that may not be a service that easy to come by. Could you travel to England if necessary?

I notice you didn't answer my question about diabetes. That's your perogative of course but if that is your diagnosis I would suggest some pre-conception discussions with your medical team to ensure you are as well placed as possible to continue to manage the condition in pregnancy.

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 16:41:21

Is there a pulling hair out emoticon?

Northern Lurker - you have completely derailed this with unnecessary stuff, so if anyone has the patience to trawl through, can I please ask them the questions in the post I did at 14:40 where I try to recover my originally badly worded question?

I am not 'completely set' that I will conceive and carry to term or I wouldn't be asking these things, would I?

I don't need someone who obviously completely disagrees with me even posting this to express concern, and I'm not offended, just utterly bemused that you would feel that way. I can't see why it would matter to you in the slightest.

I don't necessarily think that generalised 'Scots' are the only people I should be asking here as there may be those who have moved, those who work in clinics, those who work in reproductive health who can help.

I didn't start a thread about any conditions I have specifically, so it would derail any further to go into that, but thanks for the really obvious suggestion.

Are you particularly offended by women of 'my age' asking questions about fertility treatment?

I don't think I've derailed your thread at all. I've made a number of suggestions in fact. I don't think you are doing youself any favours by being so defensive though.
I'm not offended by women your age seeking fertility treatment. What makes you think that? hmm I just think in your situation you're opening yourself up for more heartache not less and tbh every time you post irritably it make me think that more and more. Your family and friends will raise the same issues - will you believe that they are concerned for your welfare?

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 17:00:32

Always interesting when someone goes for the 'defensive' and 'irritable' cheap shots when the other person is actually answering points calmly. Want so suggest it's my hormones? grin

I think you need to do what is best for you, as far as I know which isn't much you wont get IVF on NHS is you have a child nothing to stop you paying if you want another one, if you have the money and you want a baby just do it you have nothing to lose, as long as you go into with eyes wide open and know you may never have a baby, im 46 and sometimes I yearn for another baby I know that's never going to happen but doesn't take the need away.

I think you need to re-read your own posts OP. Nice work evading the more difficult questions though.

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 17:24:03

Isn't it odd how many of us feel this way teenagetantrums at this age? Do you think it never goes away? sad

maybe it doesn't , im holding out for grandchildren have told my kids they must have them and give them to me. in reality I wouldn't want to be in my 60's and dealing with teenagers but I do love babies and feel I would do a much better job now than I did in my 20's with a baby, maybe I will do fostering am considering it when mine have flown the nest.

ZenOfPetals Sun 26-May-13 19:59:12

I have learned a lot since joining MN, but,for me,one little disadvantage is that I keep choosing to read topics concerned with babies as they are so interesting. Most of my friends have older children. Most of my family members have older kids. I am not surrounded by babies and FB pregnancy announcements. In a way, I think my choice of reading material may be prolonging my longing. Lately, I am pretty obsessed

VixZenFenchell Sun 26-May-13 20:06:22

Sorry cuddly - probably my reply questioning whether you'd thought it through from the point of the child has opened you up to some more questioning replies and people are expressing concern for you should it not turn out as you hope.

FWIW I have a very good friend who attempted 3 self funded cycles of ivf as she was older than 40, still single and wanted a chance of a family. All sadly unsuccessful but I know she takes small comfort in the knowledge that she tried, gave it her best shot and then came to terms with it. As much as you can, anyway.

I wouldn't restrict yourself to clinics in Scotland for the basic reason that you'll have to pay so you have the entire UK at your disposal. What you need to do is email a short list of clinics and ask
1) can they offer pre implantation genetic diagnosis for the BT
2) would they accept you as a self funding client
3) what are their costs for a single cycle, broken down completely
4) would they allow you to source your own drugs online (my friend used an online pharmacy to reduce her costs)
5) what are their success rates in women of 47,48,49 years of age in terms of resulting healthy babies (not pregnancies)

From their replies you can then select which to go to.
Off the top of my head I think 2 were recommended for the older patient in terms of success rates in those age groups - both in London. However it's a while since I was looking into this. So you'll have to factor in travel and accommodation costs too.

DizzyPurple Sun 26-May-13 20:11:39

I think you sound defensive too. However, you need to look into what is Actually involved in IVF including the emotional stresses it brings. I'm 40 and dealing with secondary infertility. We have explored IVF and for us were given less than 20% odds of success with my age being a significant factor so presumably yours would be lower. We have decided for many reasons not to go down that path but I haven't given up hope that somehow conception may occur naturally for us. Not an easy business for any of us!

EuroShaggleton Sun 26-May-13 21:15:30

OP, I'm sorry you haven't got what you wanted from this thread. I'm going to try to answer the direct questions as much as I can.

A round of IVF costs from about 3k minimum up to about £15k, depending on the clinic and extras such as ICSI, immunes, etc.

The HFEA publishes success rates by clinic. I'm linking my clinic as an example. This shows in the relevant year, there were 6 cycles for women over 44 and none ended in a live birth. This compares against a national average of 1.1%:

guide.hfea.gov.uk/guide/HeadlineData.aspx?code=299&s=g&&gv=No%20data%20value&nav=2&rate=i&rate_sub=FSO

So it can happen over 44, but it's pretty rare. I don't think posters are wrong to say you need to be realistic about your chances. I think it's fair to say that a lot of IVF successes over the early 40s are with donor eggs.

The HFEA website also allows you to search by the max age of patients the clinic will accept.

You can self refer to most private clinics. Most say on the website whether or not they accept self-referrals. I have no knowledge of Scottish clinics as I'm in London.

I have no knowledge of the translocation testing.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

mimmum Sun 26-May-13 21:18:23

I don't think people can know how devastating a failed if cycle is unless they've been through it too. And sorry to be blunt but at your age the odds of success are minuscule with regular ivf add in pre genetic diagnosis and it drops further. I don't believe many reputable ethical drs will be prepared to take you on.

Natural conception would actually have much higher odds.

Ashoething Sun 26-May-13 21:21:23

Yours odds of having an ivf baby at your age without donor eggs are virtually nil-don't put yourself through it.

i don't really have any advice, but best of luck op

ellangirl Sun 26-May-13 22:40:16

GCRM in Glasgow is excellent. We did IVF twice (conceived 2nd time). It is bloody hard, and I was only 28.

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 23:15:32

Thank you Vix - that is helpful, and Euro for the information too.

The information really helps - I know that my chances are absolutely tiny, tiny, tiny and I am by no means blithely stumbling into this saying 'ooh, I'll just have a bit of IVF and get a baby.' But I also know that clinics are in the business of making money so I won't necessarily get what I want if I call them for info, so many thanks to those who have given some here.

Mimmum - that is exactly what I wondered, that natural conception may be more likely, even if still very unlikely. But the screening issue is what niggles me there.

Thanks to everyone who has sent good wishes and the best of luck to all of you who are at some stage of this journey too

cuddlymoomoo Sun 26-May-13 23:16:59

One other question, Euro - are there figures to show the numbers of live births without donor eggs, or do they not break it down that way?

EuroShaggleton Mon 27-May-13 09:46:15

I think the HFEA lists donor cycles separately, so it was my assumption that the figures above were for IVF with own eggs, but I might be wrong about that. I've had a quick google around and found these links.

This link uses figures from 2010 but the numbers are similar to the ones on the link above and it gives a success rate of 1.9% for over 44s:
www.hfea.gov.uk/ivf-success-rate.html

This gives a general success rate for using donor eggs:
www.hfea.gov.uk/80.html#4

cuddlymoomoo Mon 27-May-13 10:14:46

Thanks EuroShaggleton - my maternal granny had her last at 51, and my paternal great granny at 49, obviously long before IVF; makes you wonder what the figures were like back then, doesn't it?

EuroShaggleton Tue 28-May-13 10:17:27

I guess they are in the 1%!

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