Can anyone help me think through whether to do IVF?

(46 Posts)
MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sat 22-Mar-14 17:58:57

I'm 43, and my blood test results indicate good ovarian reserves. DP's SA gives a good score for mobility and amount, and 15% MAR. I don't know precise numbers for any other tests.

The consultant tells me that the only thing that will boost our chance of conceiving is IVF, but he tells me that at my age one cycle gives a success rate of 10%.

I don't know what to do, I think we've just been hoping it will happen. We can afford IVF (only due to me inheriting some money, we're not wealthy, so we can't look at it as something we can keep doing), but I think of IVF as being hugely stressful and doomed to failure.

Anyone else been in this position? I think part of me is scared to start IVF as I'm raising my hopes when it's so unlikely to work.

kelhen Sat 22-Mar-14 18:06:54

We all take a chance and raise our hopes when we undergo IVF, but a successful outcome is so obviously worth it. I think it would be best to examine how you would feel in a few years if you didn't try now. My advice is at least try...

BadgerFace Sat 22-Mar-14 20:32:20

A 10% chance is still a 10% chance - if you are one of 10 in a room, it would happened to one of you, so why not you? The mantra on the assisted conception thread I was on at the time was Don't Stop Believing.

One of the main reasons we tried IVF was because of what kelhen says about how you would feel in a few years if you hadn't tried. I wanted to know I'd tried everything, although to be honest I just assumed it wouldn't work. I wasn't willing (at that point, could well have changed my mind) to try IVF more than once but I needed to know I'd tried. I was one of the lucky ones and DD is now coming up for 15 months!

We were fortunate and had NHS funding for one cycle but I understand that some clinics are much better for certain types of infertility and I think that ARGC are supposed to have amazing results for those over 40. One of my friends has just been through it with a low percentage chance, husband (late 40s') had nearly no sperm, she'd (early 40's) just finished cancer treatment. They thought there was no chance and currently have one embryo (of three implanted) hanging on in there and I guess are now about 8 weeks along. A long way to go but she might just be that one person in 10 in the room.

TheFabulousIdiot Sat 22-Mar-14 20:47:49

It is stressful, though to be fair when I had it just before my 40th birthday I found it easier than I thought it would be.

I was successful and threw everything at it including acupuncture and a complete diet overhaul.

Because I was so fortunate to have it work first time my experience is obviously a positive one.

With IVF they choose the best sperm, the best follicles, the best embryo and then then it is down to chance. IMO the rates are so low for our age group because the stats must include those who had badly graded embryos, fragmentation etc.

BeetleBeetle Sat 22-Mar-14 20:49:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

roastednut Sat 22-Mar-14 20:50:38

I understand where you are coming from on this. I'm over 40 and have had one cycle, it worked but mmc at 10 weeks. I'm about to embark on second go, nearly 2 years later as, like you said, we just thought it might happen eventually.
We have to pay for this go but like the others have said I'm thinking of it purely on a 'don't want to look back and regret not trying it again' scenario. Not really expecting it to work.
What I would add is that I was incredibly apprehensive about ivf before I started first time round, but I can honestly say it was as traumatic or 'gruelling' as gets described. Yes it was emotionally exhausting especially having a positive and then problems, but the injections and process itself weren't that bad at all (and I'm a wimp) smile

roastednut Sat 22-Mar-14 20:52:25

Typo above it should say it wasn't as traumatic!

suzylee73 Sat 22-Mar-14 20:55:42

I'm 40 and I have just had IVF and failed. I had a perfect day 5 embryo transferred but it just didn't stick. I'm wondering if maybe it was due to poor quality because of my age?
If I do it again in will look into age and egg quality and maybe use an egg donor. You should do some research first but go for it smile

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sat 22-Mar-14 21:55:26

Thanks for your thoughts.

DP is much less keen on IVF than me, which of course is affecting my ability to see things clearly. I want a second child more consistently than he does, he is a 'never look back' type of person and would have no problems if we let nature take its course and no pregnancy happened.

I fear that if we do IVF and it doesn't work it will feel totally final, and that scares me.

Do you know why ARGC have good results with older women?

Sorry to hear about those of you who've had disappointments. flowers

BadgerFace Sun 23-Mar-14 08:18:16

I think that ARGC have very good results because they monitor you so closely. What my friend went through with them was WAY more intensive than the NHS cycle I had. Over the important 2 weeks of the cycle she was having blood tests every morning at 7am and then scans later that day in some cases. Once they analysed the blood they would then ring her with a particular cocktail of drugs to take that day. So it's a very personalised cycle. Whereas on my cycle I had a couple of scans over the whole thing and drugs were decided at the outset.

I would say her cycle was more stressful and tiring. I didn't find mine too bad and I live very near my NHS hospital, so I could walk to appointments in half an hour (and didn't have many appointments!). She lived a long way from ARGC (and stayed with us in the end for about a week as we are nearer).

Sotiredicouldcry Sun 23-Mar-14 08:27:33

Due to blocked tubes and a previous ectopic pg Rwsultinf in having tube removed I underwent 6 fresh Ivf cycles and 1 frozen. First attempt failed and 2nd I had yet another ectopic pregnancy which resulted in 2nd tube being removed. I always asked DH when would we stop? My 6th fresh resulted in pg, but no sooner was I up on cloud 9 I started spotting. A week of bed rest didn't work and week before Xmas I had a miscarriage. THAT is when I decided I had had enough. Enough heartache, enough turmoil and enough money lost. I regret doing it but hubby says I would have regretted not trying more. We adopted a 2 yr old boy when I was 42 but wish if missed out the Ivf and fine for adoption sooner as I might have
Managed 2 as now I am too old. Go with what your heart tells you and not what anyone else. Good luck on our journey!!!! X

corduroyslacks Sun 23-Mar-14 08:31:16

Why IVF? Have you been trying for a long time? Have they recommended other treatment? I ended up having fertility treatment after trying for 3 years (both children) and I had IVF rammed down my throat by my doctors. One of my friends told me not to do it until it was the only thing left. I followed this advice and despite the doctors telling me I was wasting their and my time, I conceived both my children via IUI on the 1st try and then the 5th try.

Sotiredicouldcry Sun 23-Mar-14 08:31:59

Love to hear of a good outcome!! Used to be so jealous but think I'm kinda over that now. X

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sun 23-Mar-14 09:28:40

Morning.

I have one DD (sorry, should have said that!), she is 3.9, and took 9 months to conceive following a missed miscarriage. That pregnancy took 2 months to conceive. Prior to conceiving my daughter I had a hysterosalpingogram (sp?) and no problems were found.

We've been trying for about 14 months, although not in as full-on a way as we tried for DD, having shedloads of sex is harder when you have one, isn't it?

The consultant thinks that IVF is the best option because of my partner's MAR score, he says the washing of the sperm for other methods (is that what IUI is, the thing that's pronounced Icksi?) wouldn't improve the MAR so it would make sense to do IVF. He did point out that there's nothing really to stop me getting pregnant naturally, but as I'm an old bird there's a limit to how long we can leave it and hope.

Sotired, blimey, your story is more than I could ever manage, I really do take my hat off to you for your perseverance, and I'm really pleased you got your LO in the end, no matter how he arrived.

naty1 Sun 23-Mar-14 15:58:49

I think you need to bear in mind with the stats its more likely to take more than 1 go so you need to be prepared emotionally and financially for that. But until you give it a try you wont know where you fall on the scale you might get loads of eggs or few.
What is your follicle count like?

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sun 23-Mar-14 16:59:50

Is follicle count judged by a scan? I haven't had one.

TheFabulousIdiot Sun 23-Mar-14 18:46:31

IUI is when they just put the sperm into you after spinning and after you take a course of drugs (injections) but is different to IVF becaus IVF involves taking your eggs out to mix with the sperm in a petri dish.

ICSI is When they select just one sperm and inject it into the egg, unlike IVF where they put a load of sperm in and it still has to swim (albeit not somfar).

They scan your follicles during the injection phase of IVF.

eurochick Sun 23-Mar-14 19:07:02

A follicle count is usually done around day 3 or 4 of your cycle, to see how many antral follicles there are on there ovaries (as this should give a guide as to how well you will react to IVF drugs).

On your original question, I would look at it (as others have suggested) from the point of view of how much you are likely to regret it if you don't do it. I hated the idea of IVF but put myself through it for this reason.

Clinic success rates (available on the HFEA site) vary considerably, as do cycle prices. We did 4 natural/mild cycles at Create for close to what I know others have paid for one cycle at ARGC. ARGC's success rates are better, but the heavy monitoring regime was not for me (I hate hospitals and drugs, so went somewhere they use a fairly light touch).

Good luck with whatever you decide.

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sun 23-Mar-14 19:15:49

Thanks for that explanation.

It must have been IUI that he thought wouldn't improve our chances, because whilst the sperm swim ok and there are enough of them, the washing doesn't improve the MAR.

I need to do more learning it would seem, I thought with IVF the sperm was injected into the egg, which was then injected back in. blush

The reason I'm a bit vague about this was that my appointment was with my consultant who was treating me for birth damage for 2.5 years after DD's birth (another reason we didn't try to conceive at the time most second timers go for it). Once he told me there wasn't anything the NHS could do for me it seemed a bit wrong to take up ages asking my options for private treatment.

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Sun 23-Mar-14 19:24:37

Just been looking on the ARGC website, and it would seem that ICSI could be relevant to us because of DP's antibody binding. It's described as being an extension of IVF, does that mean you try normal IVF first?

TheFabulousIdiot Sun 23-Mar-14 20:04:22

I think extension would just mean he extra step of choosing one sperm. You should be able to go straight to ICSI if going private.

I am not sure where it was but a friend of mine went private and compared to my experience it sounded very strange, intensive and expensive. Lots of drugs, scans, monitoring all through the pregnancy. It pushed the cost up and seemed a lot more invasive and time consuming than my experience.

When I got pregnant after IVF I just had a couple of extra scans and some pessaries to use for a few weeks and then it was considered a normal pregnancy.

BadgerFace Mon 24-Mar-14 08:08:31

ICSI is a step further on in the process from IVF in terms of what they do but the process up to the point where the egg and sperm meet each other are exactly the same so you do the same drugs, have your egg collection and then as someone said upthread with IVF they basically put the egg and sperm together in a dish and the sperm still penetrate the egg themselves "naturally" whereas in ICSI sperm is injected by the embryologist into the egg, so a stage further on if that makes sense?

They can decide on the day what to do. With us we were told ICSI was our best shot due to my DH's initial sperm results but by the day of egg collection (3 months after the initial consultation) his results had improved so much they went for traditional IVF instead.

anroga Mon 24-Mar-14 10:26:36

I haven't been on here for a while, thought I would have a look again and found your thread I am feeling a bit like you about IVF....

We have been ttc for three years, had all the tests and we have unexplained infertility, been on Clomid but it didn't work. Now our only two options are to keep on trying naturally but I am 37 and my fianc� is 43 and ivf but as my fianc� has two kids already we have to pay for ivf so I have put my house up for sale that I did rent to try and raise the money.

I am worried too that we will try and it will fail, if my house does sell (which it hasn't so far after three months of being on the market) we would still not have the money to keep paying for IVF. We probably would only be able to afford one go and that would be it.

Like you every month I am in hope that it has happened naturally and then hugely dissapointed.

Saying all this I am going to give IVF a go, we get married in August and then after that if we can raise the money we will go and see out specialist to book a date. I have got to give it one try at least and I think you should too as otherwise you would always be thinking what if...I agree the outlook of it failing is scary but at least you will have tried everything you can to have a baby.

If it doesn't work we would consider adoption.

Anyway its nice to join this group again, I have been particularly down about it all the last few weeks (mainly because friends, friends of friends, family are all getting pregnant at the drop of a hat at the moment!) but joining this again is helping already smile xxxxxxxx

MuffTheMagicDragonButter Mon 24-Mar-14 14:26:40

Welcome to the saga anroga.

Been looking at success statistics, and the ARGC is out in front, but unfortunately we live MILES away. The Glasgow clinic has a satellite clinic where I live, anyone know anyone who's tried it?

For you people who did one cycle, would you have done more had it not been successful? I'm wary of getting into a 'best of three' type scenario and it gaining a momentum where I feel I have to keep trying.

colafrosties Mon 24-Mar-14 14:55:53

Has the possibility of donor eggs been suggested OP? I was 45 when we had IVF but used donor eggs (at a clinic abroad) as the success rates were generally more like 30% per cycle.

As to your "best of three" scenario question - I was also very wary of that and of the possibility of spending thousands and thousands because we'd started down that route. We were lucky first time, but I'm not really sure how I would have felt or what I would have done if we hadn't been. In my "head" we were going to give it 3 goes, and I'm pretty sure because of my age we would have stopped there. I can see how if you start it younger then you would feel torn between carrying on and calling it a day.

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