How many cycles is your limit?

(15 Posts)
Zippybear Wed 15-Jun-16 18:26:23

I am half way through my second IVF and am realising I need to put a limit on this. I have read so many stories of people finally succeeding on their 6th or 9th cycle that its become very hard to consider stopping before a minimum of four. And then theres the whole donor side of things..
Did you/do you have a set number in mind? Did you stick to it?
Just wondering what the general consensus is, if there is one!

DesolateWaist Wed 15-Jun-16 18:32:56

We were in the very luck position to get three fully funded.
We always said that three was our limit and we stuck to it.
In our first consultation we were told it could be like gambling and it was very wise to stick to a limit.

I liked that we did as it meant we could walk away and know how the future was going to be. No more not making plans because you might be pregnant next month or year.

Good luck.

Zippybear Wed 15-Jun-16 18:55:23

thanks desolate, yes knowing how the future will be is very attractive thought after a few years of ttc. Did it work for you in the end?

MehMehM3h Thu 16-Jun-16 10:15:22

Hi Zippbear, we had a plan of 3 in total (only one NHS funded), that one failed earlier this year and the consultant was the harbinger of doom quite frankly - our changes of IVF/ICSI working is around 15-20% and that we should think carefully about moving forward etc. He pretty much said our best option is donor sperm.

So in theory, we're still thinking about three cycles but I think a third one will be dependent on what happens with the second cycle. We have just started this week (on long protocol), if it fails (probably will) and is because of the same issue as the first (poor sperm quality was the problem - we only got one embryo) then we would revisit whether to do it again.

MehMehM3h Thu 16-Jun-16 10:19:22

Hi Zippybear (nice name!) we agreed on three cycles (one on NHS and two private), the first one failed earlier this year and the consultant was very negative about it (I can understand why, still sucks though). We only got one embryo and poor sperm quality was the issue (we have MFI). Consultant is not convinced anything Mr Meh does will improve the sperm quality and thinks we will always have this issue - he pinned our chances of IVF/ICSI working at 15-20% and told us that our best bet is to use donor sperm.

We agreed that we will do one more paid cycle (just started that now, on long protocol) and if that doesn't work - for the same reason, we will revisit the idea of doing a third cycle.

Zippybear Thu 16-Jun-16 12:04:06

Hi MehMehM3h sorry your first cycle failed and good luck for the second. We have a number of issues but our consultant thinks that sperm issues are whats stopping us too (high dna fragmentation). My DH is not at all keen on DS, I'm not sure what I think to be honest.
Cycle wise 3 is a nice number and a hell of a lot less stressful than 4. I think I have spent too much time on fertility friends where so many have done 5+ cycles, I just dont think I could cope with carrying on for years and years.
What is your sperm issue? My DH has had a long course of antibiotics, and Vit E and C which improved his sample quite overall (but DNA frag was still a bit too high)

MehMehM3h Thu 16-Jun-16 12:44:49

Ooh Mumsnet posted it twice...weird!

Thanks zippy good luck to you too.

We have high dna fragmentation on our side too, as well as low motility/morphology etc. Mr Meh had testicular cancer many years ago, doctors didn't freeze any sperm - dismissed Mr Meh when he asked about it too, removed one testicle and then sent him off for radiotherapy.

General consensus is that the radiotherapy has fucked his sperm. I think this is why our consultant believes nothing will work (eg reducing alcohol/taking vits etc.).

I don't really know how Mr Meh feels about DS tbh, initially he was OK with it (I was surprised), told me if that was the only way I'd get to carry a child then he would be OK with it. I had a small meltdown a couple of weeks after the appt and said I couldn't have a stranger's baby and he agreed with me. So I think he'd do it if I wanted him to, I just don't know if I could do it.

Pinkheels Thu 16-Jun-16 13:17:39

Our limit was always 3, we've had 2 fresh cycles and one FET- all failed. One of the consultants at our fertility clinic gave us a lot of hope for the second go, the other, who I've always thought was rude and insensitive, was pretty blunt at our last review meeting which was surprisingly refreshing. He said there was a 60% change that all of the cycles should have resulted in a successful pregnancy and so the issue is undoubtedly either egg quality (which according to him I can do nothing about) or immune issues (which he doesn't really believe in). So it's onto immune testing, and then potentially another fresh round with PGD testing and anything and everything else.
I always said we would be able to draw the line under things when we'd got to three cycles but I don't think that will be the case. Not that can we afford another fresh cycle anytime soon but our friends are now on baby number 2 or even 3 in some cases which is becoming unbearable. It's one of those things where your head tells you one thing and your heart another...

Theonlywayis Thu 16-Jun-16 15:45:13

We always said we would stop at 4 rounds (not including 1 FET) but we didn't feel ready to give up. 5th fresh round we went to a different clinic and tried absolutely everything - immune testing showed up an issue and it worked 1St time with them. So what I think I'm saying is if you have a limit make sure you have investigated everything you can. Good luck.

Zippybear Thu 16-Jun-16 17:21:51

Meh wow so sorry they wouldnt freeze your husbands sperm, that is truely shocking. I kind of feel the same about DS, I think I would feel more comfortable with DE which is a bit weird! I think I would have to push my DH down the DS route and I wouldnt feel comfortable with that either. Whilst its great that these options are available sometimes it all feels a bit too much. Fingers crossed for both our current cycles.
Pinkheels Thats what I worry about, when I get to my limit (which is 3 or 4 at the minute) that I wont be able to stop. We are very lucky in that the vast majority of our friends are childless so we dont feel the pressure that way, in fact its more like we are the weird ivf freaks who are throwing all our money away, won't drink and can't plan weekends in advance! I can imagine if all our friends had kids it would be so so much harder. Life can be very unfair
Theonlywayis Congrats on getting there in the end. My clinic has done extensive investigations thankfully and I am on empirical immunes, although part of me worries that maybe we should be trying without!

SesameSparkle Fri 17-Jun-16 23:20:01

I'm one of those people who went for multiple cycles of ivf with nothing to show for it. I suspect there's many many more people like me then there are the amazing success stories you oft hear about on forums. I originally set out to have 3 goes. But try no. 3 was my best cycle, despite bfn, which made me go again. Cycle no. 4 was quite frankly a disaster and I was ready to throw in the towel when I got a bfp. Unfortunately it was then an mc. But because I got pg I felt I had to keep gambling. But my odds were unfortunately just as shit as ever. So I lost. I think it's a really good idea to agree a no. of tries and stick to it. And also to keep in perspective that no matter what you do and how much you want it, every cycle in itself is much more likely to fail than succeed.

Zippybear Sat 18-Jun-16 07:50:17

Hi sesame, sorry to hear about your miscarriage. It must be so hard to stop once that has happened, I can understand why you carried on, sorry if didn't work again. Thanks for sharing, it's stories like yours I really want to hear as you don't read them often (but as you say there must be many more like yours out there). I'd love to know if there are stats for % of people who go on to succeed after 3 failed cycles. It can't be a high number surely. Were you doing natural cycle? I think I remember your name from some posts before. I am natural cycle and so far have managed to transfer a good quality embryo on two cycles, but chance of failing as you say is still much much higher than chance of success. Much as I'd love a child I don't think I can cope with IVF for much longer, and it scares me a little that even if we were to have success we could go straight from IVF hell into a difficult pregnancy and then a non sleeping newborn. Emotionally we need a break and to be able to have a life for a bit. I read pnd can be higher for women who had IVF. And there are lots of studies showing childless couples are ultimately happier and have better marriages. I'm beginning to think we should just accept our lot in life and appreciate what we have.

bananafish81 Sat 18-Jun-16 12:15:11

We've been talking about this and four transfers is our limit

We've done three fresh cycles, but the first we didn't make it to transfer, the second we did transfer and I got pregnant, and the third was a banking cycle for PGS - where the plan is to transfer a single euploid (chromosomally normal) embryo

The tissue testing showed our baby was chromosomally normal, so we were in the 25% of people who miscarry healthy babies that isn't 'just bad luck'

We have 6 euploid embryos on ice, but mentally I've set a limit of 3 more transfers

If we have 3 more miscarriages (or failed cycles) of genetically perfect embryos, then I think we'd be able to confidently say that I can't carry, and the only option would be surrogacy

Although the guidance isn't based on PGS tested embryos, 4 in total felt like it was giving transfers a fair shot. NICE guidance says it takes an average of 3 cycles to get a live birth. NHS won't do any investigations for miscarriage until after you've had 3 consecutive losses (we're private so were able to do all this after 'just' one). I asked my Dr and he said he wouldn't recommend more than 4

So although we've done 3 cycles, that's one transfer. And with 6 euploid embryos frozen, 3 more transfers feels reasonable as a maximum limit. Although knowing my body couldn't keep one healthy baby alive was devastating, so maybe after 2 more losses we may just decide we don't have the strength to carry on.

bananafish81 Sat 18-Jun-16 12:46:29

*Sorry, realised what I wrote didn't make much sense - second cycle I got pregnant but miscarried. Third cycle was a banking cycle where all embryos are frozen for PGS testing, and you do a transfer in a subsequent FET

Zippybear Sun 19-Jun-16 08:37:49

Thanks bananafish, that certainly sounds reasonable especially as you have been able to test the embryos and know they are normal. I don't think that will be an option for us, as doing natural cycle. It's good you can have a definite plan in place, it helps mentally for sure!

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