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Have RA and need IVF in London - please advise!

(11 Posts)
ouch27 Thu 12-Apr-07 13:48:05

I'm new to this but really could do with some help. I'm 39 years old and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last week. The specialist has said that I need to do what I can to conceive quickly so he can begin a course of aggressive treatment for the RA. He's prescribed strong anti inflammatories for now.
We're been trying to get pregnant for 2 and a half years and had routine bloods and sperm analysis done 6 months ago. Everything was 'normal' and we made a decision to just keep trying and wait for nature to take it's course. BTW we have a 3.5 year old who was conceived when we weren't trying.
I'm thinking we should just go for IVF asap but am really not sure where to start. My GP has referred me to a consultant at Chelsea Westminster and that appt is in a few weeks time.
Any advice/comments from you guys out there would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance

PinkElephant Thu 12-Apr-07 15:48:15

Hi ouch27 - I used to work in Rheumatology so I can empathise with your RA, it must be very painful and debilitating? I would definately get on with seeing a fertility specialist so that it gives you all the chances for getting pg ASAP. I'm sure the Rheum team are chomping on the bit to get you on some medications to slow your RA down but the meds are strong immunosuppressants and you really don't want to be TTC whilst taking them. Lots of luck to you.

ouch27 Thu 12-Apr-07 16:37:15

Thank you! The rheumatologist said that my diagnosis was made very early on which is positive. I'm waiting for a MRI appt to check for joint damage. The good thing is that I'm now not concentrating on the fact that I have RA as I'm focused on trying for another baby. Makes the diagnosis a little easier to deal with as I was very down when I first found out.

ouch27 Fri 13-Apr-07 18:23:57

Anyone out there?

PinkElephant Fri 13-Apr-07 18:38:16

Hi there,
Don't be too down about your RA, the medications have really good success rates in stabilising the condition and preventing any further joint damage. There's a lot happening in rheumatology at the moment and lots of new therapies coming your don't give up... just be glad they spotted it when they did. When's your appoint with the fertility specialist?

gillydaffodil Fri 13-Apr-07 18:39:36

Message withdrawn

ouch27 Fri 13-Apr-07 19:43:44

Thank you both for replying. A girlfriend just told me there's a link between RA and infertility and suggested I go to the ARPG?? clinic in London as they're the only ones currently doing 'high risk' IVF. I think that's the clinc that was featured in the Panorama expose recently. I must say, I'm feeling a little stunned right now as a) I didn't know there was that link and b) should I cancel my appt at chelsea and try for one at this other clinic? My appt is in 2 weeks time...I feel like I need to make a decision asap but am feeling despondent right now.

PinkElephant Fri 13-Apr-07 20:20:43

Ouch if you have an appoint in 2wks I'd hang onto this. They could always refer you on but it's best your in the system and being seen by someone

Annie12 Tue 02-Oct-07 11:24:34

Ouch27 - Just read the thread and I know we are now in October but I would like to tell you my daughter's story. She is 31 and underwent 2 unsuccessful IVF attempts but then had acupuncture and the third attempt from a frozen embryo was successful. DD had had high prolactin levels if that is familiar and ovarian cysts. After her baby son was born (3 or 4 weeks to be exact) she started having shoulder aches which escalated to joint pain almost everywhere and she could not get out of bed/pick baby up etc. etc. She was in terrible pain. She ended up on Diclofenac and an appointment with the rheumatologist where she was given the possible diagnosis of RA and a steroid injection. 5 days after the injection she showed no signs of improvement so she went back to the Chinese Acupuncturist who started treatment. All I can say is the difference is amazing. DD is being treated for hormonal imbalance. She does tend to get worse at that time of the month which points to the steroid NOT having worked. Trouble is the NHS just treats the symptoms and NOT the cause. There could be other things that contribute - food intolerance, stress etc. All need to be looked at. DD is giving the complementary therapy a bit longer before embarking on the NHS drugs. Will keep you posted if you want. Annie

suss Tue 02-Oct-07 22:01:41

Ouch I am at the C&W ACU, I don't have RA but I do know they are a really nice team. Demetrios is the consultant I normally see and is really open to your thoughts about IVF etc. I have DB 2.8 months after a long slog of 10 attempts of IVF. I had acupuncture when I conceived DB and Demetrios says there are studies that show that acupucture is helpful with implantation. I have heard that pregnancy is a strange thing and your symptoms of RA could disappear during your pregnancy only to come back after the birth. Go talk to the C&W they are paid on the NHS they have nothing to gain if you have treatment or not, unlike private clinics and you can make your decision after you have seen them. Good Luck - Maybe I shall see you there (fourth attempt for no. 2!).

jollyjane Wed 03-Oct-07 16:55:13

I have had RA since I was 20 years old now 33 I have been on most of the drugs avaliable.
I scaled it down to low dose steroids whilst trying to conceive and was lucky, pregnant with dd within 2 months. Two years later concieved ds within 2 months again. I am now on stronger drugs so would need to stop pratically everything for six months before even trying for another so it looks likely we'll stop at 2.
No-one has ever said that RA is related to pregnancy to me. Other than most people apparently go into some remission when pregnant, not true with me unfornately!

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