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Assisted Conceptions (and all the bits in-between) Volume 11

(1001 Posts)
vallinnapod Mon 03-Dec-12 20:30:15

I really hope I haven't missed someone else starting this!

chocoloco1 Tue 11-Dec-12 13:18:39

Hi ladies and thank you all for the welcome.
vanilla sorry you're having to wait. Don't really know how that must feel but had to take norethisterone 3x while waiting to get started with this cycle as I wasn't responding to DR and that was bad enough
pocket hope you are still scare free
mini can't wait to hear about your scan
badger how long do you have left?
sunny great news that you're making progress with ARGC

AFM - feeling a bit lonely here on 2ww bench and driving myself mad with symptom spotting and still a week left until OTD! Any tips on how to survive?

Pocket1 Tue 11-Dec-12 18:57:37

Quiet on here at the minute isn't it?

Mo my love. Hope you're doing okay xxx

Italian if you're out there, hello. We do miss you xxx

Vanilla poor you. It's tough waiting isn't it. Hopefully all the Christmassy-ness will be a bit of a distraction for you. What a way to kick off the new year though!

Mini what a milestone indeed. Hope your scan does well tomorrow. I've got mine next week. Well twice actually as had booked private scan for Friday (in anticipation of Nhs wait and we are desperate to be able to tell people over Christmas) and then the Nhs one came through for weds. So weve decided to do both - greedy but so what!

Waves to Badger and Not-so-Mini-Badger not long till you finish work methinks... When are you due?

Sunny great news that you've started already. Again, what a way to start the new year! You know you're in safe hands at argc so get into the passenger seat and let someone else drive the roller for a bit!

Choco symptom spotting is all part of this madness.... But don't let it worry you as many of us had no symptoms at all and got BFPs. Most traditional symptoms such as nausea kick in around 6 weeks anyway. My suggestion for distraction is daytime movies - there are plenty of Christmas ones on at the mo. Try channel 5 about 3pm! Hope the rest of your 2ww passes quickly for you.

AFM we had repeat scan last night and all okay. LO measuring 11+2 (even though we are only 10+3!!). I'm scared ive got a biggun here as I'm only a size 8 and 5'2"!! But whatever, just want everything to be okay.

Hello to all you other ladies.


vallinnapod Tue 11-Dec-12 20:57:09

I feel a bit blush at my moan. It really is quite trivial. I think I had psyched myself up for FET before Christmas. Plus the embryos would have gone back exactly the same time as DS. I sort of saw it as fate.

Plus don't really know how much I can get away with in terms of lots of booze fun with IVF it was when I started sniffing, which gave me 4 weeks until stimming and then a further 3 weeks of stimming so my body had 7 boring virtuous weeks.

Pocket - DS always measured a week ahead - and I didn't start showing until gone 6 months! I was bump ready by then. I just looked a bit bloated up until then!

Good luck tomorrow Mini! I know you will hate me for saying this but your 12 weeks have flown by for me grin I rejoined the thread just soon after your BFP.

BadgerFace Wed 12-Dec-12 08:10:37

Ah vallinna don't feel blush a moan is what we're here!! It's hard when there's a disappointment. The FET gods obviously didn't want you to have to deal with two birthdays at exactly the same time forever more!

Choco I felt a bit funny for about a day and that's pretty much been the extent of my symptoms the whole way through give or take 5am wakings. I am sure it just means you are one of the lucky ones who will sail through pregnancy! But biscuit biscuit poking in public was a big part of my 2ww...

Pocket Lovely to hear about your scan. I wouldn't worry too much about size at this point. Mini-Badger was measuring 99th percentile for head and stomach circumferences at the 20 week scan (i.e. the most painful bits!) but by 32 weeks had evened out a bit and now just has v long legs... To answer sunny - only 5.5 weeks until she makes her appearance... Good to hear you've started with ARGC, I hope it goes smoothly.

Waves to all!

MiniH Thu 13-Dec-12 10:26:41

Just a little update from me to say 12w scan went well. We have low risk of downs and other trisomies and anatomy seen looks fine. They also think it's a boy (although to early to know for sure). Thats what we thought as well though as we've been saying 'he' for a few weeks now. Very happy and starting to feel a little bit real now.

Choco, 2ww is hard but others are right about lack of symptoms. I had teeny bit of implantation bleed (I think) and my cat started sleeping on my for first time ever - not convinced that is scientific proof of anything though!!

Pocket, glad your scan went well. Ive found the measurements to be a bit off a few times as it is hard for them to get a clear shot sometimes. Even if mini-pocket is a bit ahead they are just averages they use.

Hi to everyone else reading Xx

Pocket1 Thu 13-Dec-12 18:34:18

Oh Mini that's really good news. So you're official and can start telling people. What a nice Christmassy suprise x smile

Luckystarfour Fri 14-Dec-12 18:56:13

Pocket has been encouraging me to join you ladies for some time now. I met pocket who introduced me to HSFC so I am forever in her debt as this 4th cycle has been a damned sight more relaxing than my previous midlands clinic cycles.

I think I should be well suited to the thread as I have enough ICSI baggage to share some learning lessons along the way.

I'm on the 9day wait now - thanks to our amazing clinic who test by blood and lessen our pain!! Test next Wednesday - 2 embies on board - this round has ticked soooooo many boxes:

We have male factor - poor morphology ranging from 0-2% good sperm depending on the time! Some mild mild immune factors for me, NK killer and I believe history of low progesterone following transfer!

This cycle we have had - Immune drugs - predisolone, asprin, gestone, pessaries and clexane.

My hubby had TESA (surgical sperm recovery) only to find out on d day all the sperm didn't survive the freeze and was 100% poor morphology!

We have had IMSI - powerful magnifine glass look at the sperm for the fresh sample prior to fertilisation - all sperm came back with poor grading for vacuoles - which implies damage!!

We have narrowly skipped past - CGH genetic testing as the 5 embryos remaining on day 7 were not good enough to test freeze - saved 2.6k though!!!

And to top the journey and we really have to be different - we had a sequential fresh transfer 1 on day 3 (which we have never had before) and one on day 5.

So we have ticked every possible box known to the IVF world I'm sure of it! So here's hoping for a Christmas miracle!!!

Failing that we will fly to Oz on Christmas Day! (Need to rob a bank - but come what may we will be going if this dosent work!!!)

Happy to keep others company on the x week wait and would welcome tons of baby dust from all you lovely ladies. Xxx

Pocket1 Fri 14-Dec-12 20:52:21

Welcome Lucky. Our moto on this thread is....

Dont stop believing

vallinnapod Fri 14-Dec-12 22:20:59

How exciting Mini!! I can't believe they can now have a pretty good stab at gender at 12 weeks! So exciting! And a nice relief in terms of overall his (grin) overall health.

Hi Lucky - are the assisted conception queen grin everything crossed for Weds for you!

goldengirl71 Fri 14-Dec-12 23:22:55

Hi everybody, hope you are all well. I've been reading but keeping quiet (despite desperately needing to just talk sometimes) as I don't really feel I can contribute until I start IUI in the New Year. Just finished my third round of Clomid and feeling terribly desperate and defeatist all of a sudden. Two Clomid cycles have passed where two eggs were seen on the scan each time - and still no pregnancy. I am becoming despairing. I am sorry to bring my woes to this thread.

Congratulations on your scan, Mini, what a fabulous relief.

Lucky, you sound like an über-warrior - but then again I feel that about every woman on here. It is unbelievable how deep everyone has had to dig to get to where they are on this thread (which is why I feel stupid for moaning at my lack of success. I had a mmc at my 11 week scan in March (while I was still 40) and haven't had a BFP since. We have an appointment in January to see about one round of IUI, which is all we can afford). I would like to ask you, Lucky what your opinion is of a 3% sperm morphology. This is what my DP has and, although the consultant tried to assure me this was 'fine' (motility was great, sperm count 16 million - not so great in my book) I don't believe him. Could this 3% morphology be stopping me from getting pregnant? Any advice/opinions would be much appreciated.

goldengirl71 Fri 14-Dec-12 23:24:44

After all that blathering, Lucky, I forgot to wish you all the best for Wednesday blush

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 08:03:20

Thanks ladies - I completely agree - we all seem to have to battle so hard to achieve what happens so naturally for so many women! Life is unfair isn't it!! I agree with your moto and I genuinely believe you gain tenacity and spirit to battle this s**t!!!

Golden girl - so sorry to hear about your mmc, that must have been so gut wrenching. It's completely my fear - that if its this difficult to actually get pregnant - how the hell does it feel to then try and stay preganant. The road never ends does it!

In terms of morphology - my hubby's has only ever varied between 3% good to 100% no good. His sperm count and motility has always been great. It's a question we have gone over again and again - what's the cause, will it ever change, why him?

At Hsfc we have seen a male specialist through referral - and he is of the belief it is a preprogrammed over heating factor - this is not genetic as all my hubby's genetic testing has come back completely fine - but this is just part of his individual make up.

When he went for the TESA op, the consultant said he could actually 'see' the damage even at this stage when the sperm were so young - they had tapered heads, bent necks etc. therefore he believed that collecting the sperm from tubulas nearest the vascule entry had the least chance of being damaged! In fact the test on the day of TESA did show normal sperm and also the freeze thaw test on the day showed they recovered ok too! But on the day of egg collection - after 1 month in the freezer we thawed nothing!! We were gutted!!! Not only because it cost us 3.5k!! Ouch!!

I would say something that has been most useful though is IMSI this hugely powerful microscope - they hand select each sperm for fertilisation of each egg - on this day my hubby's fresh sample still wasn't the best it had been - and each sperm showed levels 3-4 of vascoules these tiny little bubbles in the sperm which indicate damage 1 is great sperm 4 is worst. So this has obviously made us very cautious about a) could they achieve pregnancy b) whether we have a higher risk of abnormalities in the embryo. As I say the journey never stops does it!

We said recently that we wishes wed had IMSI in the early days when my hubby just had his sperm test as this has taught us most about the sperm and possible damage!

Last cycle we genetically tested our embryos and we had only 2 out of 10 genetically normal - one of those arrested on The day of transfer (day 5) so we had only one very early blastocyst to put back then. But we achieved a positive result but only for two days!

What I would say golden girl is my husband has tried all sorts of supplements and our third cycle was def. the best in terms of his sperm and he used these

Natural Health Practice Fertility Support for Men Capsules - Tub of 90

Look on amazon! We used zita west - vitamen and vitamen boost this time and he was no where near as high. So I would stick to the others!

The other thing I should mention is we always achieve about 90% fertilisation of around 10 embryos and we always have nice looking results right the way through to day 6/7 so we know his sperm an fertilise and also develop blastocysts - but the damage seems to array the embryo at a certain point! Oh but this gets more complicated - maybe our embryos could have survived but i have always spotted and therefore have felt my progesterone levels are far too low! This has happened only yesterday - without the spotting thank god! But regular progesterone testing this cycle is finally being taken care of by our new clinic - and I so believe this is crucial!!!

I'm not sure im answering your question here, but I don't want to form an opinion on your circumstances just give you info we've found out so perhaps you can ask further questions.

Our consultants ( in two different clinics) have said that with this morphology, ICSI could only ever be the option. We would perhaps have gone for the blind TESA on the day of egg collection kneeling what we know now - as this would have meant we collected young sperm without the need to freeze.

Of course there is always the case that even with these results - you still read couples suddenly fall pregnant natrually at some point - and there is a part of me that also thinks nature has its way of filtering out the abnormal sperm because as you've said - if count is high there is 3% of them that are normal. I know its my luck ill have twins and then fall pregnant early naturally - end up with a house full! Haha!

It's just the waiting seems so daunting to go the natural route dosent it!

Shout if you want to ask anything else - happy to try and draw further info out the ivf brain!!

Thanks everyone for your welcome - I promise my posts will be shorter in future!! Xx

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 09:19:42

Thank you, Lucky, for such a detailed reply. My DP is taking 200mg Coenzyme QT (recommended by one kind lady on here) daily and he also takes a zinc supplement. We cannot afford the kind of treatment and tests you have had but I am hoping IUI will filter out at least some top dollar sperm although I won't hold my breath

Much luck for Wednesday and thanks once again for your reply thanks

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 09:20:29

*I meant Coenzyme Q10!!

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 10:09:24

Keep the faith goldengirl, there is truth In the fact hat it only takes one!!!!! :-)

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 11:59:10

Do you think lots and lots of sex is required with a 3% morphology? We can only manage two well-timed sex sessions at ovulation due to DP's erectile dysfunction issues sad We always manage to DTD the day of ovulation and the day before. I so wish we could rodger like rabbits sad

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 13:09:18

I used the clear blue ovulation machine which was really accurate.
I personally understand it to be important to catch just before the actual ovulation also - so hence the machine gives you a really good window because the sperm may not be moving as fast and so hence once ovulating its not reached in time.

I think it's better to have dec every other day even over the ovulation window as sperm lives for up to three days or something similar so if there is an egg released the sperm will be alive still to fertilise!

They also advise to ejaculate every three to five days to keep the sperm healthy and new so if possible (and to take the pressure off) perhaps he keeps to this schedule personally, so to speak! You can't be a wonder women and leaving the guy to his own schedule can help take the pressure off :-)

I actually think when we used the ovulation sticks by the time it read a smiley face, we were aiming too late with my hubby's sperm!!

Make sense???!!!!!!

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 19:05:07

Yes, Lucky, that makes perfect sense, thank you. I already have this knowledge, of course, but I am starting to seriously lose the faith and when that happens you start to doubt the essentials of what you have been doing to create a baby. When I fell pregnant in January (later mmc) we had sex on the day of ov, two days before and four days before. I remember at the time (before I found out I was pregnant) gnashing my teeth with regret that we hadn't 'managed' to DTD the day before ovulation. I am now so disbelieving of this whole dream that I can no longer bear to 'waste' sperm being deposited four days beforehand sad

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 21:09:26

Lucky, can you explain the point of a Clearblue fertility monitor if one knows the day one will ovulate? Surely one can simply have sex in the preceeding days without forking out £70 on a machine? Or am I missing something.

Hoophopes Sat 15-Dec-12 21:46:40

I also used the CBFM golden - which helped reduced the stress of ttc our first child for so many years. To give you hope, ICSI failed for us, I was diagnosed with multiple immune issues, dh has lowish number of sperm and poor morphology and antibody issues and reduced motility and yet after 7yrs of trying to conceive we managed a natural pregnancy. The CBFM took the stress out, for me, of knowing when to DTD as after many years I couldn't cope with missing the key dates and I never knew when I would ovulate without it - that for me was why it worked. It is not just the cost of the machine, you have to spend about £10 a month on the sticks for it - for me it worked, in that it took the guess work and stress out of it and gave me some control back. I then gave it away to someone who I know is struggling ttc (frustratingly as would quite like it back now!!) .

goldengirl71 Sat 15-Dec-12 21:55:15

Thanks, Hoophopes, I've just ordered one from Amazon! (£63 - gulp). Will it include a couple of sticks for starters, do you think, or should I go back on and order a box? So expensive.

And, congratulations on your natural pregnancy! When did that happen for you? May I ask how old you are (I am 41 so really don't have seven years of trying left!)?

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 22:02:55

Completely understand where you're coming from goldengirl, the whole thing is exhausting. As Hoophopes says - it took the stress out of the 'planning' for me as my cycles vary in length. It sounds like you're pretty in tune with when you ovulate. So keep the faith and don't doubt yourself. I genuinely believe that despite poor morphology, my hubby and I could get pregnant natrually one day as you hear stories so often.
Don't stop believing :-)

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 22:10:14

Just seen your bought ken goldengirl.

Here's a tip - the first time you use the machine it will get you to start using the sticks from about day 8 ish - so I basically tested exactly when it asked for the first month - then after that I'd put in on everyday but only start using the sticks nearer towards day 10 so or when you know it's still early for you to get a higher surge.

Also it gives you an x hour window to test this therefore means setting up the machine at the beginning I that window. So hence don't set it at 10pm at night for the first time or that's when it would ask ou to test between 10pm and 1am.

You want to aim for the morning ao first wee of the day - but it tells you all this and it really is quite simple to use.

I also didn't test alot past ovulation each month - just a few days -

I would buy another box of sticks. I think amazon offered the best price. I definitely got through less of them one I grasped the machine.

Hoophopes - do you have any more tips.

I'm sure you could sell the machine at some point too :-)

Luckystarfour Sat 15-Dec-12 22:10:35

* bought one!!

Hoophopes Sat 15-Dec-12 22:35:57

golden think you need to buy sticks. the first month it uses lots to find out about you, but after that I found one box lasted me 2 months (so in fact £7 a month if £14 a box, Amazon seems cheapest from a quick search.) For me it was worth every penny for reducing stress, knowing I was doing everything I could - also i learnt not every month was the same and that was the biggest surprise to me!!
tips: - like lucky I never used the sticks (apart from first month when I did everything it said to give it all the data it needed) after it told me I ovulated. After a few months I didn't use them too early in the cycle either!
- I got a diary/calendar and recorded all my data (how long each cycle was, how many high days before ovulation, what day of cycle I ovulated). My dh then turned it into a spreadsheet (as only he could!). It made me realise I varied an awful lot!
- take multi vits and dh too (as you are doing). I also took a daily aspirin, 75mg dose that dissolved (so often called baby aspirin, as a small amount). Wish I had done this earlier, as the gynae I saw years before suggested it (I ignored it!) but the month I conceived was 2 months after a stroke (and 3 months after failed ICSI) and they discovered I had blood clotting factors (which the ICSI consultant also discovered when we had reproductive immunology tests) when I had taken a daily aspirin for 2 months. It helped prevent miscarriage and helped conception due to my issues!! So the fact we had timed DTD helped as it could have only been on one occasion I conceived!!!
- The monitor tells you to use the machine within a timeframe which you need to stick to. You can vary it a certain amount of time either side of the time you set it with (and you can change the time you set it each month if need be) - I set it for 8am so could test before work and also have a lie in at weekends. I also found it transported anywhere I needed to take it in a handbag in the end!!

I had my ds (our first child) this year, he is 9mths old now. I am 37, started ttc 7/8 years before that and used the CBFM for over 30 cycles!! One cycle of ICSI failed. Had already had the tests (Level 1 and Level 2 immune tests privately) to see if there were any other issues and were hoping to be allowed a 2nd cycle (privately as only one NHS cycle free here) soon when we conceived. The consultant then prescibed me lots of drugs to support my pregnancy due to the issues picked up on the tests.

Oh - if you have a very good Gp, they may, just may do some of the level 1 immune tests for you. Often hospitals will only do them if you have 3 miscarriages (I argues that I couldn't conceive!) - they are basic blood clotting tests, thyroid test and so on. I learnt I had a genetic condition - Factor V Leiden (blood clotting ) that meant I needed to inject clexane every day in pregnancy. Many people now get that prescribed I learnt after birth as hospitals are very risk aware of clotting problems after birth. The NHS paid for my medication for issues they considered needed treating, some we had to pay privately for as they didnt' see them as necessary (but we did) - who knows how it would have gone without the immune drugs, but we are thankful for everything. Have a happy and healthy little boy. Totally after we had given up hope and we didn't even have a good ICSI cycle, with only 4 fertilised eggs, not of a good standard and none to freeze.

sorry for essay!!

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