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Assisted Conception and the bits inbetween

(1000 Posts)
soosy Thu 26-Jun-08 11:33:03

Welcome to the new thread I only hope I can link it to the old one

soosy Thu 26-Jun-08 11:39:41

Well I made it to our new home, everyone needing some help having their little ones is welcome.

OAP I was like you last cycle, still haven't made follow up appointment as I have given up with my clinic. Haven't made one with the Lister either as DS has damaged his face this week and I have been house hunting like mad. once I have somewhere to live I can concentrate better on the old conception thing!

sootykalucy Thu 26-Jun-08 11:43:16

GG you are doing well with two on the NHS, I've got this too, but a lot of people have only one and I heard on the news this week that some primary trusts are offering NONE!

nomoremagnolia Thu 26-Jun-08 12:51:31

Thank you for the new thread soosy
GG ask all the questions you want - I did and these lovely ladies answered them all as well! It is daunting when you start, but I just took it a step at a time.

soosy Thu 26-Jun-08 20:32:35

GG I only had one cycle as well, so well done you!

Nomore lovely to see you how are you doing?

nomoremagnolia Thu 26-Jun-08 21:00:49

Hi soosy I'm ok, to be honest I've been really busy with loads of other things, which is probably for the best. Spoke to clinic about a meeting with them, but they said that everything they could control went absolutely textbook, so there wasn't much to discuss. They'll do exactly the same again next time and we'll have to hope for a better outcome.

Onlyaphase Fri 27-Jun-08 12:42:30

Nomore snap, I've just talked to my clinic and they said the same thing. Everything went fine, they wouldn't change the protocol if I went ahead again. The consultant and I did talk a bit about it being a numbers game, and it was a question of running out of cash/eggs/the will to live first. Anyway, I need my new docs to do more blood tests next month, and we will start downregging in September again. I'm glad I have this booked in now, makes me feel more positive. NoMore, are you thinking of trying again?

GG my PCT offered one cycle only, and then if you had paid for IVF privately then you couldn't have your NHS turn. Horrible way of doing it I thought - if the waiting list was long, you couldn't have a go privately first and still stay on the list.

soosy Fri 27-Jun-08 21:17:54

It's pretty much what they say to me too. You have to think of it this way, every time you do a cycle it is like having one month of ttc and loads of people don't get pg the first month of trying. So it is a numbers game.

Nomore are you able to do another cycle? Can I be so rude as to ask how old you are? (You don't have to answer).

OAP, my you are going for it, your tenacity reminds me of me! I could never work out if I was brave or just stupid to keep on going with IVF. Any how we only have two more cycles left of donor sperm and then we have to stop. In a way that is good too or I could be tempted to try until I was in my mid fifities!

Mega House hunt tomorrow, hoping we'll find something!

Have a good weekend all

Love S x

nomoremagnolia Fri 27-Jun-08 21:52:35

We only got one go on the NHS so we're saving now for another go (probably at the end of the year) I'm 30 - so young in IVF terms really
Saw my Gp today (she's bloody pg!) and asked her about whether I could go back on Clomid for a few months as the problem we seem to have is my lack of ov. She was more than willing to find out for me so we might have a chance of trying 'naturally' before the next IVF round. Nothing to lose now as we're not being funded for the next IVF so I thought I'd ask

NappyValley Fri 27-Jun-08 22:43:30

Hi all found the new thread!
OK I am going to start with the obvious newbie still in denial about assisted conception... what is downregging????

HFEA site was a big help re clincs so thanks for that. Our nearest is only a mile away, called Wessex Fertility and is totally private. However when I asked about having a look round before making a decision, they told me there have no spaces until sept! TBH I am not waiting that long to get the ball rolling.

DH has final test on monday to see if his troops have improved, which was so funny as it meant last night he was the one having to ask me to "co-operate"grin

nomoremag sorry it did not work for you last time. Glad they let you have a go though. You have to be over 36 to qualify down here.

Another big question I have is - do all the IVF drugs etc make you really sick?

Finally, I describe IUI as getting the good stuff and shoving it up there with a turkey baster. BUT I really don't understand the first steps of IVF (other than the obvious - harvest eggs, put in dish with sperm, hope for best and put them back). Could someone explain the other steps involved.
The voices of experience often make much more sense than those of a consultant to me!grin

Onlyaphase Sat 28-Jun-08 11:31:50

Hi Nappyvalley happy to have a go at explaining the ins and outs of IVF if you think it will help...and also, thinking about clinics, it might be worth looking at the results of your nearby clinics - if the Wessex one is booked up, it might be a good sign! The better the clinic the longer the waiting lists IMO - the best private one near to me in the north has a 2 month waiting list to see a consultant privately for the initial consultation.

To my mind, IVF works along the following lines (and different clinis follow different protocols so you may not get this) ...

Downregging - by injections/sniffing drugs/taking the pill - this phase is designed with the aim in mind of making sure you have the greatest number of mature eggs possible at egg collection time. To give you the best shot at this it helps to make sure your ovaries don't have any growing follicles to start with, as this could give you some mature and some immature eggs rather than all mature ones. So you need to take drugs to "downregulate" your ovaries and make sure there are no follicles starting to develop. This phase lasts around 2-5 weeks, depending on your clinic and you. IMO it also helps the smaller clinics, as if all the IVF patients that week are started off at the same time (impossible to synchonise this without downregging) then they can schedule the surgeon for one day's surgery doing egg collections, rather than having to do a couple every day.

After downregging you will have a baseline scan to check your ovaries don't have any cysts or large follicles (interfers with the stimulating drugs) and to check your womb lining is thin (the stimulating drugs make this thicker, so best to start with a thin lining)

The day after baseline scan, you will start taking the stimulating drugs to get your follicles, hopefully containing eggs, to grow. Clinics vary as to how often they see you during this phase of the treatment - could be scans and blood tests every 2 days, or only once or twice. One the follicles are getting big (over 20mm) they will go for egg collection. Then, as you say, put eggs and sperm together overnight to see how they get on, wait 2 or 5 days, pop the best embryos back and wait. During this wait you will go quietly mad, don't worry, it happens to everyone and that is what we are here for.

Your clinic will explain this far better, and also give you a handy schedule telling you which drugs to take when, as the timing of them is really important.

I enjoy lulling my consultant into a false sense of security, as they usually talk down to you about the science bit... I let them do this, then ask a really technical question (I have a degree in cell and molecular biology). Got to get your kicks where you can!

As for the drugs making you sick, it depends on the individual. Chances are you will be fine. I found the buserelin given to me for downregging for my first cycle put me in The Worst Mood Ever...but I was v busy at work, it was Christmas and I had 8 relatives coming to stay too. But since then I've used other drugs to downreg, and the stimulating drugs tend to cheer me up. Weight gain is a possibility - not a certainty though - and you might find you are less active than normal toward egg collection and during the waiting period afterwards until you test.

Anything else, just ask us. And don't forget this is just my take on it, others may have a better explanation.

Onlyaphase Sat 28-Jun-08 11:36:37

NomoreM great news if you can go back on Clomid, I've had friends with great results on there. As you say, nice to be able to try anyway, whilst waiting and saving for IVF.

Soosy I can completely understand why you persevere with IVF - once you have the funding side dealt with, the emotional side is the most difficult to deal with, and as you have dealt with that successfully, there is no harm in keeping on trying. I hope you found lots of perfect houses today, with sellers desperate to get rid of their houses for bargainacious prices

Right, back to weeding a very overgrown border - its that or paint the kitchen ceiling.

NappyValley Sat 28-Jun-08 14:10:07

Thanks onlyaphase that does make it a lot clearer.

I guess we would like to go to Woking, as that is where our current consultant is based, however if we are making 8+ trips to the clinic over a matter of weeks, it might be that bit too far (as the M3 is so dodgy). Our other choice is Salisbury which is really new apparently, but I thought it only took NHS. I will have to call and find out.

I was really stressed before taking Clomid for the first time, but actually it has been fine (except more painful periods and ovulation - but can't complain about that, as my progesterone FINALLY made it over the magic 30 (just) and my luteal phase finally made it to 12 days. This is our last month of Clomid, so fingers crossed we won't need to see a clinic but I am afraid I don't hold out much hope. sad

Still not ready to give up the fight just yet!

sootykalucy Sat 28-Jun-08 15:42:48

Thanks for the analysis OAP - might send it to the rellys. Now I know you are a scientist I am going to grill you girl ! Actually I have one question. I had only two eggs and got two embryo's - now obviously that could just be luck - but would that suggest that maybe my egg quality is okay, but my ability to develop them to maturity might be the problem? I was going to ask my Dr but he made a joke about it being because they were such professionals, and then we went down another tangent and I never got an answer. Any theories?

I am hopefully going to start downregging again when my period arrives (tomorrow probably) as long as they can fit me in ( I have to check on Monday). This means I'll be on an IVF cycle again by August. I am hoping to get two more in this year and then take a break and reassess . . .

Good luck with the the househunting Soosy, I read somewhere that there are 6 properties for every buyer at the moment, so you are on the right side of the equation.

Hey nomore good luck with the Clomid . . . I was very happy to get off it. But it is cheap . . . and IVF is not. We are saving now for our third cycle now in case we need it . . hmm

soosy Sat 28-Jun-08 21:46:11

Ok Sooty My turn to explain! Every month your ovary(ies) will mature one or maybe two eggs from some immature eggs. With IVF they mature all the immature eggs so that there are more eggs to fertilise. There is a thought that your body makes the best choice and goes for the egg(s) most likely to fertilise (survival of the fittest). So if you could only produce two eggs but you are producing good eggs then the chances of embryos could be better than somebody who produces more. Does that make sense. I produce loads of eggs but still I can't get pg so the number of eggs is not always a sign of fertility.

Nappyvalley hello, I should go to the nearest clinic that you feel happy with. Some actually do tours. I am very impressed that you are ok with clomid, personally I found it worse than doing IVF, I couldn't bear the night sweats and feeling just revolting, I suppose that is what the menopause is like!

Nomore, good luck with the clomid. I have heard there are other drugs to help ovulation, or you could take FSH with out IVF, maybe you could discuss this with your GP.

OAP, thank you for your words of wisdom. We have found a rental, has been on the market a while so am going to make an offer, as it is the top end of our budget. Saw a house I really really like, DH not so keen, thinks it's too rural (a mile away from the Tube, and nearest village.) It is in hamlet. Brillant for DH commute as tube v close, and DB's new school three miles away. it is twice the size of out present house and he says, its too old (but he doesn't want a new house), too small, hmm and to rural hmmhmm. what is a girl to do!

S x

Onlyaphase Sun 29-Jun-08 19:24:29

Soosy - its so difficult when you find a house and DH isn't so keen....hope it works out anyway. I think women tend to go for houses they like the feel of, men can be more logical about it. Can you remind us why you are moving? I have forgotten blush

Sooty - Soosy is spot on with her explanation. All the docs can do to increase the numbers of eggs produced is to up your dose of stimulating hormone or maybe see if a different brand works. But this won't necessarily produce better quality eggs, and the whole point is to get two decent quality embryos to put back - any more can be frozen but it isn't the best thing.

Anyway, have a good week everyone

nomoremagnolia Sun 29-Jun-08 21:30:13

sooty I can tell you lots of eggs doesn't mean lots of embies or good ones either. I had 14 eggs 10 fertilised and only 2 were worth using - 5 and 7 cells. I really thought we'd get embies to freeze but clinic said it's normal for quite a lot to not make it past 3-4 cells.

NappyValley Sun 29-Jun-08 21:52:29

soosy - I thought it was the downregging drugs that give night sweats/menopause symptoms? Which I am not overly keen on, but needs must. My SIL went thru it in Dec/Jan (no luck though) and I was picking her brains too!

I have been really lucky with the Clomid, but I think that is because I am not taking it to try and stimulate my ovaries to produce eggs, but stimulate them to produce progesterone, PERSONALLY I wanted to try taking progesterone supplements, but clomid seems to do the trick.

I know some people who have had 12 day migraines from the drug!

nomoremagnolia Sun 29-Jun-08 22:13:35

The downregging made me headache-y and emotional - just like the Clomid did actually!

sootykalucy Mon 30-Jun-08 09:41:01

Thanks for the analysis guys - its hard when you see the DR's because you know they only have limited time . . . so many questions get half answered, even though they are doing their best.

Still waiting to hear back from the clinic if I can start downregging today . . . fingers crossed.

nomore have you thought about what Soosy said with using FSH drugs rather than Clomid ? I took low does of these for IUI and there were no side effects at all. They give you it in a little pen and you inject tiny amounts - just like IVF - but a much milder dose. Because the dosage is low they are much cheaper. . . .I'm not sure if you would be allowed to take them without scans though . . . I say this because I was on Clomid for 7 months and it just got worse and worse. What started out as a few headaches developed into mandatory tears and suicidal feelings. Also there is the risk that your cervical mucus just goes away - as mine did. How long were you on it before?

soosy Pity your DH doesn't like the house. . . . keep trying though. As a renter I move every few years or so (and change countries/states etc) but I always find that you argue about all the differences etc, and that process brings you to know what you need/want, and then when you see it you just know. I reckon this is why "Kirstie & Phil' usually find houses for their TV clients - because they articulate the requirements over and over again . . . or is that just in the voice over?

Happy monday morning everyone . . . another week . . . another . . . .

nomoremagnolia Mon 30-Jun-08 09:53:58

Morning I wasn't too bad on the clomid, just a headache and over emotional (like I am pre-af anyway) I was only on 50mg and had 6 months worth a year ago, so risks are low I would think. Don't mind looking at fsh injections but am hoping that I will get clomid on nhs!

soosy Mon 30-Jun-08 14:13:42

Hi everyone. I personally thought clomid worse than downregging, buserelin made me feel flat and v down. Good luck with the clomid, I know that some doctors don't like to use it for long periods as it does ultimately stop ovulation. If you took clomid all the time you would stop ovulating, but used in short bursts of five days it actually makes your body step up FSH production and hence increase egg numbers, or make ovulation more likely.

OAP, hope you are well.

Nappy valley, everyone reacts differently to these drugs. I don't really get PMS and my mother's menopause was really mild, so maybe I don't have so many side effects to downregging. But tbh I would rather not do it, IVF without downregging for me is far less stress and injections and the whole thing doesn't seem to drag on.

Sooty I didn't know that about CM.

About the House, have persuaded DH to have another look on Friday. I seems the ceilings are a problem (low ceilings, old house) and he is worried that the 28foot kitchen might not be big enough. So we will see what he thinks on Friday.

Love
S x

GorgonsGin Mon 30-Jun-08 14:21:56

thanks onlyaphase for answering and to nappvalley for asking the questions - I had no idea what downregging was either smile. I still haven't quite got into the terminology and it will be a while yet before we get to the top of the waiting list and things start happening for us, but I'll lurk here, if that's ok, reading everything and post sometimes so you know I am still alive!

GorgonsGin Mon 30-Jun-08 14:24:10

p.s. I am learning a LOT from you ladies - thank you. Not all of which I had hoped to learn in my life, but that's the rollercoaster of assisted conception for you!

Onlyaphase Mon 30-Jun-08 19:50:28

GGin - your last comment did make me laugh! You are very right, none of us wanted to know any of the information we have learned.

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