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Drinking and drug use during ISCI treatment

(24 Posts)
Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 13:16:21

name change

This isn't really an AIBU (although I might be!) I posted mainly for the traffic.

My DSIS is just about to start ICSI treatment but is planning on still drinking and taking recreational drugs during her treatment.

I was a bit shocked when she said this to me as I know how much she wants a baby.

How would drink/drug use effect her treatment (if at all)?

Also how would you suggest I approach this with her as I want her to have the best chance of success as possible but don't want to be patronising or come across like I'm sticking my nose in. Or do I leave her to it?

Allstoppedup Thu 14-May-15 13:27:46

I'm not 100% sure of the ramifications in relation to ISCI specifically, but considering their use can affect fertility under normal conception circumstances I would say it's fairly silly of her.

I'm sure a small amount of alcohol wouldn't be awful but I'd still be doing everything I could to maximise the possibility of success.

If she's announced it fairly proudly you are in a difficult situation as it sounds like she is aware that it could have an impact but has decided to do it 'anyway'.

I'm not sure there is much you can do.

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 13:33:06

I've seen her at rock bottom over her difficulties conceiving, I don't know how she will cope if this treatment isn't successful

mrswishywashy Thu 14-May-15 13:38:07

When I had treatment my clinic asked me at all check ups about drugs and alcohol.

I chose not to drink alcohol in the months lead up to treatment and throughout treatment and also now I'm pregant I'm not touching the stuff.

Also the only drug I took besides fertility drugs is parecetomol. There is no way of knowing how recreational drugs could effect the fertility drugs and they are not good for egg quality either.

My clinic won't treat smokers.

Is your sister just trying to be brave and make it seem she's not effected by treatment?

Hopefully she will get counselling before treatment as it sounds like she needs it.

mrswishywashy Thu 14-May-15 13:39:30

I also minimise processed sugars and stopped caffeine. It's expensive and I wanted to give everything so I didn't look back and regret not trying hard enough.

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 13:41:23

She is having counselling but nothing seems to be helping, in fact the more time that passes, the more unstable she is becoming.

I think the drink and drugs are her way of coping and they have become her crutch. I don't think she is being open to the clinic or counsellor about it either.

I'm so worried about her

MissDuke Thu 14-May-15 13:47:08

If the clinic knew, they wouldn't treat her. It would be unethical to assist a pregnancy when the mother is known to abuse alcohol and drugs. If the treatment is successful, it seems unlikely to me that she will suddenly be able to stop. Assisted conception leads to a huge amount of anxiety and stress in pregnancy, everything won't suddenly smell of roses the minute she get a BFP. She is risking the health of her unborn baby significantly, and I am afraid I am of the view that I really hope her treatment doesn't work, as the potential effects on her unborn baby are so significant. She needs treatment for her substance misuse prior to even thinking of pregnancy.

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 13:53:20

missduke I completely agree with you on most things you have said. She is of the view that everything will automatically be perfect when she gets her BFP. She has a terrible history of anxiety and relies on medication to keep this in check. Also her and her DH fight like cat and dog at the best of times but they both think a baby will make all their problems disappear. I did advise that maybe she should concentrate on sorting out any issues she feels she has before she gets pregnant but she stopped talking to me for months and I'm worried she will do the same if I mention anything this time.

sparechange Thu 14-May-15 13:53:44

When you say 'during the treatment', do you mean while she is down-regulating and injecting herself with drugs?
And how much does she drink, and what recreational drugs?

There is a HUGE difference between her having a few glasses of a wine a few nights a week for the 2 or more months that she will be injecting various hormones, and having the occasional joint if she is that way inclined, vs getting hammered every night and doing loads of coke once the embryo has been transfered.

For what it is worth, I was so terrified of needles that when I started injecting the stims, I had to have several glasses of wine first to stop myself having a total meltdown. Got pregnant first time...

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 14:01:45

She doesn't drink in the week or on her own, she is pretty health conscious during the week but it's when the weekend comes around she will go on a bender from Friday - Sunday drinking and taking coke.

I'm unsure what the process is with ISCI I'm afraid but all she has said is "loads of people carry on the same without even knowing they are pregnant and they are fine"

sparechange Thu 14-May-15 14:08:52

So the process <could> be that she spends a month or more sniffing hormones which overtake her natural cycle and then put her into menopause, before she spends anything up to 3 weeks injecting herself with hormones to stimulate egg production, before then being knocked out and having those eggs harvested.
ICSI means her DP has a sperm issue, so the eggs will be injected with sperm, hopefully 75% will fertilise, and then she will wait another 5 days for them to put an embryo back in.

Google 'long protocol ivf' if you want to know more (and it will probably be appreciated by her if you gem up on the lingo and know all the parts of the process).

Some people live like monks in this time, others carry on as normal. Some have daily acupuncture and meditation, others don't. I don't think there is any difference in the stats for success rates between those who do, and my clinic certainly said 'do what feels best for you' regarding exercise and caffeine.

Once the embryo is back, you are technically pregnant, so expected to eat, drink and behave as if you are. It is quite a strange feeling to see someone use what is essentially a medical grade pea shooting to put 'your baby' inside you. Everyone I know found it difficult enough to get up off the hospital bed for fear of it falling out, let alone wanting to go on a bender knowing you have a precious cargo on board.

But if she has a long and emotional few months of injecting herself with stims, I really can't judge her for wanting a few glasses of wine and nights out along the way, and I don't think a clinic would judge her either.

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 14:17:12

Thanks sparechange your insight has been helpful.

FlipperSkipper Thu 14-May-15 14:24:04

Sparechange has it, although I injected rather than sniffed the downregulating drugs. I carried on drinking until I started the stimulation drugs, but I only drink maybe 3 glasses of wine a week, and my clinic said that was fine. In my opinion it sounds like she's gone a bit too far the other way, but I can't judge as I've put on a stone through the course of my infertility treatment so far because I comfort eat, and being overweight is not good for fertility treatment.

Naty1 Thu 14-May-15 15:13:09

Im quite surprised she will continue to go on weekend benders and do coke.
That isnt going to be great for the egg quality. Also if she cant stop now, im not convinced she will be able to if pg.
Does the DH do drugs too as i dont expect that is helping his sperm count.
And isnt stuff like coke cut with other nasty stuff?

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 15:36:07

Yes her DH did used to do coke too but as far as I am aware he has stopped and has quit drinking altogether. He seems very worried about her as she disappears all weekend then returns home in a state and cannot function for a few days. He is on the phone to me or my brother most weekends asking for our help with her.

Her friends are a really bad influence on her but she won't have a bad word said about them, she's a grown woman though so it's up to her what she does and who she does it with, just feel like banging my head against a brick wall when it comes to her sometimes!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 14-May-15 15:51:47

Do you think she will magically stop once she gets pregnant or has a baby? Because if she's using coke around a baby then you will need to be the one to call SS, right?

sebsmummy1 Thu 14-May-15 16:02:36

I'm guessing this round of IVF is funded?

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 16:03:04

She says that she won't be happy until she has her baby. I fully believe she will stop once she knows she is pregnant but it's once the baby arrives that worries me, as she thinks everything will be perfect but I don't know how she will cope with the reality of a baby.

Theoldswitcheroo Thu 14-May-15 16:03:35

Yes it's funded.

mrswishywashy Thu 14-May-15 16:12:24

I hope the clinic work this out and won't treat her. Going through fertility treatment is incredibly stressful and relying on drugs and alcohol to get through it is not the way to go.

I don't see anyway that you can help. Could her partner take her away for the weekend to maybe break the cycle and perhaps have to good talks with each other.

And I don't believe for a moment that the stress goes once (and if) you get pregnant. I'm 14 weeks and have more anxiety now then during treatment, I'm petrified about losing the baby. If she is getting a free chance then she needs to put the effort into it because once you move onto paying for it yourself the pressure gets much higher. The past two years we've spent close to £20000 on treatment!

Notonthestairs Thu 14-May-15 16:20:02

Our clinic ran massive amounts of blood tests and I am sure that they would pick this up. Plus the sheer quantity of stuff you are putting in to your body already would kill any desire to go on a bender - I felt like crap during both rounds of ICSI.
Has she had any treatment before because if she hasn't she's going to get an awful shock once they start talking through what she'll need to do.
I gained a rather fetching beard during mine!

sebsmummy1 Thu 14-May-15 16:33:29

I didn't think it sounded right that she might be risking 5k on IVF and then arsing around with recreational drugs and binge drinking. Unfortunately people have little respect for something if it is 'free'.

Well from my POV (infertile) I think it's a pretty poor show that your sister is being offered something bloody expensive, for free, that could provide her with a tiny life she has to nurture and support, and she is acting so irresponsibly. But knowing how much infertility can fuck up your head, there is just a chance this lifestyle is as a reaction to her childlessness and if she does get pregnant it could be the start of something wonderful for her. So I will wish her lots of luck and hope she gets her BFP and new start.

Talismania Thu 14-May-15 16:48:46

She needs to get help for the drugs. I knew someone like that and the drug use didn't stop after the baby, and the child now lives with her dad and has no contact with her.

Naty1 Thu 14-May-15 18:00:17

I dont think the clinic would run tests for drugs.
I mean some do check for smoking etc. but i think they would have to specifically ask for consent to check.
Though this does make me consider that maybe drugs testing would be a good idea before ivf. (Certainly if people are refused for being overweight).
Infertility is very upsetting but maybe antidepressants etc may be helpful.
As a pp said its not exactly stressfree after bfp. Something like 1/4 will end in mc and how will she feel if that happens - maybe like its her fault even when its not.

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