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TTC Super Ovulation part 2

(1000 Posts)
suemays Thu 17-May-12 17:45:12

hey ladies,

There are a few of us who are ttc after mc's, however there will be ladies out there who are also ttc for the first time or second or third without success. If anyone is on, considering or had success on a super ovulation programme then do join us. How long did it take ? Did you try IUI with it.. ? Did you have PCOS?

Kicking this off and hoping some of you will join....

part 1 here:

Havingkittens Sat 16-Jun-12 21:50:52

No not yet. I'm having it on Monday (CD12). Let's hope I can stay awake long enough to SWI!

buzzybee123 Sat 16-Jun-12 21:56:41

good luck for Monday, just lay back and think of England wink

brownstag Sun 17-Jun-12 10:49:31

Hallo everyone again; I've been off the treatment for a bit but have just restarted.
Mr S has got me on hydroxychloroquine but taken me off the steroids (horrendous insomnia); he doesn't know how this will work out on its own however. I took letrozole this cycle and was pleased with the lining (7mm) and improved cervical mucous. However, I still only produced one follicle, 15.5mm at day 10, so will increase to 7.5 next month, assuming I'm not pregnant. A friend of mine has just conceived on the same treatment with Mr S, her first superovulation cycle, so I'm feeling hopeful. She has very high natural killer cell levels, so is on the the whole shebang of immunosuppressive treatment.
Also, for anyone with luteal phase length problems, I have been taking coenzyme q10 recently, and since then my luteal phase has been 14 days instead of 11. I read it's meant to help delay the menopause as well as improve fertility in men. Also, I seem to remember above someone mentioning DHEA. I also wanted to use that but Mr S said no, it can cause bladder cancer.

CareBear1 Sun 17-Jun-12 15:48:08

Hi all, how are you all getting on? Ari how was the test?

Mine was BFN again on friday. I have to admit I feel like rubbish from the steroids, and my gut instinct is this isn't going to work for us, and that I should stop and go and get the full testing like Duggs did at Mr Gorgy. DH thinks I'm giving up a bit quickly, as its only been 2 cycles.

Do you think the SO and pred is a 'if its going to work it will quite quickly' kind of thing, or is there really any benefit to keeping going? I know Mr S says to give it 6 months, but i suppose i thought that if it was going to 'fix' whatever is wrong then it would have just done that. I've had lots of confirmations that I ovulate fine, we know we can make great embryo's in the lab. I can't help thinking there must be something we don't know about yet. Does taking pred over several months have any kind of cumulative effect on NK cells does anyone know?

How do you all find the effects of the steroids?

brownstag Sun 17-Jun-12 16:47:19

Carebear, when I took the steroids 3 years ago while pregnant with my son, I had mainly awful indigestion and black facial hair as my side effects (plucking every morning!). But I only took them from a positive test. When I started them this time round, while TTC, I had bad insomnia and stopped them after one cycle. I'm now on the hydroxychloroquine instead. There's no way I could have taken the steroids month after month.
A friend of mine has just got pregnant on the steroids under Mr S. She's been on them for several months (including one miscarriage on them a few months ago) but this was the first cycle on superovulation. I'm really hopeful it's going to work out for her this time.

Arianrhod Mon 18-Jun-12 10:22:50

Hi all -

kittens That's rubbish to hear that gonal-f is wiping you out. I didn't know it had that kind of effect, let's hope it wears off quickly. Good luck for your scan today!

care Well mine was a firm BFN at 12 dpo yesterday, followed immediately by spotting and full AF this morning. That makes me a day early for my usual cycle but I understand Letrozole can make your cycle a little shorter sometimes, so I'm not worried, and at least I seem to have returned to my pre-steroid proper AFs, so I'm happy about that. And it means I can get tested for hidden-C and the other infections, so I've posted off my sample today and will wait to see what that comes back with.

I'm am happier not taking steroids and my body feels better. I'm putting my faith in Dr Wing's chinese mushroom/herb approach to controlling NKCs as I've read several good testiments to their efficacy, although should I get a good BFP I'll be taking the 40mg steroids then.

I've read in quite a few places that Superov does typically take 4 to 6 cycles to work, if it's going to, so I'll stick with it for the 6 cycles (that was my second).

brownstag Welcome back smile I'm really surprised to hear that Mr S thinks DHEA causes bladder cancer, as everything I've read (I'm on DHEA) says the complete opposite! There are several medical articles around t'internet, but one for example says this:


Epidemiologic studies indicate that the risk of developing a wide variety of cancers is directly related to serum levels of DHEA. In laboratory animal studies, DHEA has prevented the occurrence of many types of chemically-induced tumors including colon cancer (Schulz 1992), lung cancer (Pashko 1984), skin cancer (Pashko 1985), and breast cancer (Schwartz 1981). In addition, many cancers are associated with low blood levels of DHEA. Examples include gastric cancer (Gordon 1993), prostate cancer (Stahl 1992), bladder cancer (Gordon 1992), and breast cancer (Bulbrook 1971).

In one such study of 5,000 women, it was found that those who developed breast cancer had subnormal secretion of DHEA metabolites as long as nine years prior to development of the cancer. This meant they had low blood DHEA levels.
The link to this particular full article is at if anyone is interested.

A lot of IVF consultants are prescribing DHEA, especially for older women, increasingly in the UK as well as in the US. My acupuncturist told me when I saw her 2 weeks ago that most of the IVF ladies she treats have now been put on DHEA by their various clinics, so although I know there are still some medical uncertainties around DHEA it does seem that there isn't the concern that Mr S has. But also remember this isn't his area of expertise also, so maybe he's not as knowledgable about this particular treatment as some other consultants may be? I wouldn't say it's definitely safe to be on long-term - I'm not planning to take it longer than 6 months myself - but I know women who have taken it for up to a year with no ill effects.

Anyway, I'm not saying anyone should or shouldn't take it - merely that I'm surprised by Mr S's take on it. shrug

/waves to everyone, hope you're all doing ok!

Havingkittens Mon 18-Jun-12 12:41:06

I'm pleased to report that the Gonal F seems to only have the effect within the first 24 hrs of taking it. So, I've been on it every other day - hence, completely knackered all week. Last dose was on Friday and was worried that I would be completely flagging at Lovebox yesterday but was absolutely fine, luckily.

I'm a bit worried about my scan today as I'd been advised in the past SO Cycle to go, I think between CD13-15 and today is CD12. I'd booked it in for today as I was supposed to be working the next 3 days but I've had to cancel work for the next 2 days due to it being 10-12 hour days on a cross channel ferry and I am very susceptible to seasickness! So now I'm worried that today will be inconclusive and I'll have to pay for a later scan, or that I will just take the trigger shot at an estimated ovulation day and not know whether the eggs are going to mature or not. Last time I had a scan too early the follicles were 12mm and Mr S said that at that size they could go either way. It's only when they get past 12mm that he can tell if they will actually mature rather than disintegrate. I did an OPK just now and there was no line. Scan is meant to be at 5pm. Hmmmm.

There are so many things that surprise me with Mr S! I am always surprised on the SO programme that he only recommends SWI on the actual day of ovulation and places no importance on doing so in the "run up". Whereas with normal TTC it's recommended to start about 5 days before OV. Also, he shows no concern whatsoever, even after my repeated questioning, about a 10 day luteal phase and the TTC threads are all jammed with people trying to lengthen theirs to over 11 days as anything under is apparently a concern.

It's all pretty baffling to be honest!

ari, are you still seeing Mr S too? What does he think about you taking the chinese herbs? Have you told him about having the other tests?

brownstag, like you, I'm concerned about being on steroids month after month. I've been taking them, albeit with the odd month or two break here and there, since last April. I feel like that's a really long time to be speculatively taking something that's really not that good for you in the long term!

carebear it seems the general consensus that SO works between cycle 4-6 and then if it's not worked after 6 it's unlikely to.

I'm quite nervous this time as they will also be discussing my test results with me (which don't look great to me).

Sorry for the BFNs. This just feels like such an up hill struggle doesn't it? Quite a slippery hill, at that!

Arianrhod Mon 18-Jun-12 13:21:49

kittens Well thank goodness for the short-lived side effects! I would just say on the follie scan, I'm suppoesd to go between CD11 and 13 but because of the bank holiday I had to go CD10 this last time and it was fine. Hopefully yours will be too, with the super-extra power of gonal-f! Interesting your comment on when Mr S recommends SWI - to me, he told me sex the day before ovulation was due and the day of ov itself. eg. trigger shot Sunday night, SWI Monday and Tuesday as he says it the Ovitrelle causes ovulation 36 hours after the shot. I was quite surprised at his exactness with the 36 hours but as it turns out it was almost spot on for me - a little over 36 hours the first cycle and I think 38 hours this time.

I haven't told Mr S about Dr Wing's NKC protocol any more than I've told him I'm on DHEA, as I know he will pooh-pooh it. I'm definitely still seeing Mr S, I do think he's excellent but I just feel he doesn't necessarily cover all angles. I haven't told him I'm being tested for hidden-C etc but I will tell him once the results come through if they find anything.

Good luck kittens not only for the scan but your results discussion. Please don't be put off with the results - remember sue's FSH dropped dramatically after being off the steroids and I am myself about to get my FSH retested now I've been off the steroids 3 cycles (you can do this from home).

Havingkittens Mon 18-Jun-12 13:30:17

Yes, very thankful that the side effects were fairly short lived. This regime is really not helping my career, amongst other things! Being self employed and relying on the fact that I have to "hustle" for my work, spending a week feeling like I'm going to fall asleep, followed by the pred side effects which include complete inability to think straight, string a sentence together or concentrate, feeling dizzy and spaced out etc are not in the least bit conducive to making new contacts confused. The few days that I'm not taking drugs that compromise my day to day performance I am having withdrawal symptoms from the steroids. So fed up with it all!

buzzybee123 Mon 18-Jun-12 17:58:37

kittens did you say you took the Gonal F every other day, Is that because of the Tamoxifen, It says on my pack days 2-7 ?? hope the scan went well

Havingkittens Mon 18-Jun-12 20:03:02

Yes, every other day. But you're right, it was because of the Tamoxifen. Mr S was going to put me on daily Gonal F and no Tamoxifen next cycle based on my blood test results but was pleasantly surprised when he did my scan and saw two good follicles so we're good to go this month. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

brownstag Mon 18-Jun-12 20:22:10

Ari, I completely agree about the DHEA. I had researched it pretty thoroughly before I asked Mr S, and everything seemed to suggest it was safe and effective. Plus recommended to be taken alongside other fertility treatment. I did wonder (cynically) whether it was because it was freely available over the internet and he couldn't make money out of it. Though he did say he had actually prescribed it 4 or 5 times and not had any results. Do you have any side effects with it? I'm generally on the greasy/spotty side so worried about that.

What are the extra tests people are talking about done by Dr Gorgy? Where is he/she? Before I had my son I had 5 miscarriages, but it's been a year and a half now without conceiving at all (or at least just one possible chemical). I feel sure something else is going on that's not just my age (and the endometriosis, NK cells, one ovary working, etc!).

Also, re. luteal phases; I was given Clomid on the NHS - dreadful stuff in the short term - but I did subsequently have two cycles with 14-day luteal phases. Still didn't conceive though.

Read some research the other day about eggs being created from stem cells; anything that buys some time has got to be good!

buzzybee123 Mon 18-Jun-12 20:42:21

kittens good news and fingers crossed

Arianrhod Tue 19-Jun-12 10:32:36

Excellent news kittens, firmly crossing everything available to be crossed for you! Did Mr S say to SWI the day before ov was due this time??

brown The only side effects I have had is yes an increase in skin oil, extra sweating (not pleasant since I don't tend to sweat much at all usually) and a little extra hair coming out when I brush my hair. But I just changed my face wash and moisturiser to one for oily skin and tbh it mostly settled down after the first month of taking it. Seems to increase in the second half of my cycle, after ov, but I presume that's because progesterone naturally rises then, so I guess the combination of the two cause extra oiliness. I would say after it settled down it's not a big deal. As for the extra sweating, I just changed to a stronger deodorant, and that sorted that out. Hair loss is minimal, just fractionally more than I usually have anyway, and not in any way noticeable. So for me, I'd say it's been ok. Can't say if it's done anything follie-wise as I'm only in my third month of taking it, and received wisdom says it takes 4 months before it has any noticeable effect on your follies (which makes sense, if you think of the lifecycle of follicles).

That stem cell research looks fantastic, what a shame it's too early along to be any help to us ladies here. But what a great possibility for ladies in the future!

Havingkittens Tue 19-Jun-12 14:04:23

ari, he recommended the day before and the day of. I asked Louise why they only recommended those days and not "getting a run up" and she said it was just to put less pressure on couples to SWI every day but she recommended to try today as well if we wanted as sperm can live for 3 days (I'd always thought up to 5, but there you go).

He also agreed to start me on Hydroxy next cycle. He was concerned that with Hydroxy you weren't supposed to try for 6 weeks so we'll see what he says about that next month. Unless I end up staying on the pred until the hydroxy kicks in?

CareBear1 Tue 19-Jun-12 14:10:36

Ari I have decided to also do the Athens tests this month, thanks so much for the info on this. I've got my sample pot at the ready. How much are you sending?! Just in a jiffy bag?!

Think I will also continue with SO. These drugs are turning me into a crazy person, I keep changing my mind. Poor DH!

Arianrhod Tue 19-Jun-12 15:42:47

kittens well remember that free was only on the hydroxy for 2 weeks before getting her BFP and she's been fine, so perhaps it's not an issue?

care Yes I just used a small jiffy bag, wrapped the vial in bubble wrap and a bit more bubble wrap just either side in the bag. Cost me just under £8 to send International Recorded from the post office, and they don't ask you to state what's in the packet which is just as well! I just followed what others have said and sent I think just about a teaspoon, maybe less, and about 10ml saline (I bought a little bottle of the drops you use for children's noses!!, checked ingredients first). Not a pleasant thing to do, but easy enough.

Poor DHs, but remember it's you that have to go through all the tests/medication etc, so poor you too - and understandable if you change your mind, these things are a pain to have to deal with!

kittens What did Mr S say about your test results, not too bad then? You didn't get the "I recommend IVF with donor eggs" speech then ... ?

Havingkittens Tue 19-Jun-12 16:10:13

Well, he went through my results before I got scanned. He said that IVF clinics will reject most people with an FSH of 16+ and that a lot of clinics will reject those with 12+ (I'm 12.3). He said that there was as much/little chance of success with SO as with IVF at that level so we decided to continue with the SO until the standard 6 cycles. He did say that my oestrogen levels were fine so that brought the odds up a reasonable amount. I don't think he was expecting much response to the treatment I'd been on, based on those results. He seemed very pleasantly surprised by my 2 ripe follies! So, he didn't mention donor eggs just yet. Maybe he's waiting to see if I get lucky on the SO still, on a cross one bridge at a time basis.

brownstag Tue 19-Jun-12 21:20:22

What is the Athens test??

Having kittens, 2 follicles is great! I only had one with FSH of 7.4, and I was very disappointed that I'd spent all that money and took those drugs to achieve what my body could usually do by itself. So perhaps sometimes these figures are academic.

I didn't realise the hydroxy takes so long to kick in. Looks like I shouldn't get too hopeful this cycle after taking it for 6 days! But I'm finding no side effects at all, which is a lot better than the steroids. Has anyone else had side effects from it?

ari The hair loss for me, however slight, would be a problem as I don't have much to start with, and have less than ever since having my son. So that will go on a back burner for a bit I think. Do you feel as great as they say you should, or is it counteracted by all the other stuff you're taking?

Could I ask how old all you ladies are? I'm 41.

Havingkittens Tue 19-Jun-12 22:02:54

brownstag, this is my 4th cycle. I've had either one or no eggs the last 3 cycles. It's taken Gonal F and Tamoxifen to get me this far! I'm 42 by the way.

buzzybee123 Tue 19-Jun-12 22:12:03

brownstag i'm 39 and trying for my first

CareBear1 Wed 20-Jun-12 00:18:58

I'm 34 and trying for my first (for 4.5 yrs so far) though my AMH was 8 recently so think my ovaries are on the older side. Brownstag for the Athens test info see Ari's posts on the Pred thread.

brownstag Wed 20-Jun-12 07:41:22

Thanks everyone. Could someone direct me to the latest Pred thread please. Mumsnet always seems to crash for me when I search for terms and a few days ago I found what I thought was the latest pred thread and posted on it only to realise it was from months ago. I don't think I've quite worked out how this all works. confused

Havingkittens Wed 20-Jun-12 09:21:21

Add it to your "Threads I'm Watching" list. If you put it on the "Threads I'm On" list it will fall off if you don't post for a few days. If you loose it again just go to the Conception board and it's usually on the first page.

Arianrhod Wed 20-Jun-12 09:34:37

kittens Well that sounds positive then .. and 2 follies is excellent, I understand Mr S doesn't like to see more than 2 or 3 anyway. Did amuse me how surprised he was that I responded well to the Letrozole, does make you wonder at how much chance he really thinks we all have! But I do feel he's a genuine sort of guy, even while he's adding to his holiday fund smile

brownstag I don't know that there's much extra in the way of hair loss, to be honest - I don't get the "feel great" buzz that apparently some women can get, but neither do I feel any worse smile And no, no side effects whatsoever from the hydroxy. I had the blood tests you're supposed to have after 6 months on the hydroxy and all was absolutely fine, so I know it's not doing anything it shouldn't to me!
If you can't find the Athens info ping me, I'll send it all to you. And to answer your question, I'm 44 and trying (for 2 years now) for my second, but first (DD) was with a different partner. And I'm still not sure if I'm not just pursuing an impossible dream ... but for now, I keep pursuing.

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