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Only 2 follicles told IVF unlikely to work!!

(39 Posts)
SweetieDoesIt Sun 05-Aug-12 20:21:30

I have recently being diagnosed with only 2 follicles per ovary and told I will be unlikely to produce any eggs during stimulation phase of short protocol IVF, and if I do it is unlikely they will be suitable for transfer.

Obviously this is all really disappointing but as I am 38 now and the waiting list is 3 year for NHS egg donor, I have nothing to lose by going ahead with my funded NHS cycle.

Should I be preparing myself for failure or do they have it wrong and I may respond better than expected?

I haven't had a AMH done as I feel it is just another number to be compared to but my FSH was 8, LH 4 at my last day 2 test.

Thanks for any advice.

Whiteshoes Mon 06-Aug-12 08:15:11

Hi Sweetie. A scan of your ovaries is an additional way of seeing what your response to stims might be. However, none of it is an exact science, and lots of women have amazing cycles following poor looking scans/bloods. I'm not sure how the number of follies could tell then that your embryos will be unsuitable for transfer. You might well have few but top quality eggs.

Anyway, I would certainly go ahead with a cycle, as some people do respond much better than expected. Chuck lots of protein and water down to give those eggs the best chance. Plus you do only need one good egg!

Are you able to self fund?

very best of luck

VictoriaBitter Mon 06-Aug-12 08:21:26

So sorry to hear this, SweetieDoesIt. Are you able to go overseas for egg donation?

JRsandCoffee Mon 06-Aug-12 11:30:14

Sorry to hear that you've been given such a bad outlook - exactly where are you in your cycle? Also do you get another NHS cycle if this one is abandoned or unsuccessful?

I'd be inclined to go ahead, it does only take one as whiteshoes so rightly says and some people do resopond much better than expected. In any event if you aren't succesful this time then the consultant will probably have a good idea of what could be done to improve things next time which can only be helpful.

I read somewhere that avocadoes are good to eat......

Finally....... at my first and second scans during stimms the nurse was pretty upbeat, she was talking maybe getting 8 eggs in total (I was nearly 38 at the time so was pretty pleased with that). On the day of egg collection the consultant doing the op came round and told me that she very much hoped for 4 but not to be too disappointed if less... They got 12 of which 10 fertilised, 7 are little embryos in a freezer and 1 is going for it's 21st week of growing as of tomorrow. When the consultant came round to see me afterwards she honestly looked very suprised. I think what I'm saying is that you can get different opinions and unexpected outcomes.

Good luck!

SweetieDoesIt Mon 06-Aug-12 15:13:11

Ladies thanks for the replies. I am feeling very down about it all at the moment, so looking for a bit of reassurance.

We are just taking things a step at a time at the moment, so will see how I get on with the stims then if there are any eggs and see how they go, if they are viable to transfer etc. We can afford to self fund if needed but that feels a bit off yet. I wouldn't give my money to the clinic we are with for our NHS cycle as they have been rubbish, feels just like a production line.

We are based in Yorkshire but I would be prepared to travel elsewhere in the country (any recommendations?) but abroad maybe a bit too far. I am not sure what egg donor waiting lists are like when self funding, only what they are on the NHS at the clinic we are with. We would only get a single NHS cycle and if we waited the 3 years for a NHS donor egg I would be over the age limit for NHS funded treatment. So we may give it a go regardless.

Whiteshoes I think you are right it only takes one good egg, I appreciate I am not a youngster but it only takes that single golden egg.

JRs well done you, sounds like you had a really positive response. I have my nurse appointment next week to teach us how to use the meds and discuss when we will be starting. I got the impression from previous visits that this would be our one and only cycle regardless of outcome or if it is abandoned due to lack of progress in the stim phase.

I will get stocked up on protein and avocados - willing to give anything a go at this stage!!

Whiteshoes Mon 06-Aug-12 20:48:27

Sweetie, I asked whether you were able to self fund because nhs clinics are not the best, and if time is of the essence, and money less so, I would make a dash to either the ARGC or lister clinics if this cycle doesn't work. The clinic you use can make a 10 or more percentage point difference, which is like being 5 years younger!

But there's no reason this won't work, despite the gloomy predictions of your charmless consultant. At least 60grams protein a day please, and a lot of people find acupuncture helpful too.

I'm 37 and soon going to start ivf for my baby no. 2, and I am trying to remember that it's a long game, and might take a few goes.

JRs - result! Amazing! And many many congratulations.

Best of luck

wifeofdoom Mon 06-Aug-12 20:59:30

Not sure to be honest... IVF is a rotten thing to go through and not sure I would if the chances were lower than the already pretty low stats! Might be worth a pre-consult at somewhere like ARGC to get an opinion on how likely it would be to work (cost about £200/£300 maybe) and then decide whether to go ahead with your NHS cycle/not go ahead at all/go ahead at a top clinic. At least then you would know whether the best consultant would advise you to go ahead and an idea of costs etc. They could also tell you whether they think that doing one cycle with a less than great clinic could ruin your chances at a great one if your egg reserve is really low. Although I'm sure one of the consultants says in the zita west book that as long as a woman has 1 egg it is worth giving it a try. Hope you are ok - this sort of news is such a blow. I have a different problem - my eggs are rubbish quality (found out this week from post ivf follow up) and it has hit hard. Trying to decide if worth putting myself through it all again. Good luck.

JRsandCoffee Mon 06-Aug-12 21:42:18

Hi There
Just rearing my ugly head again.... Couple of other things re-entered my pea like brain in the interim. If/ when you do go for it, find yourself a water bottle you can love and drink lots of water/ squash as they tell you to. I honestly think that helped keep down regging sound effects at bay. Spent a fair amount of time hunting for loos though....
Also, I did acupuncture. I'm not sure if the pins sticking out of me actually made a huge difference, I'll never know, but having a captive audience of someone who had seen a lot of ladies through IVF was very, very, useful. For 45 mins each week I had someone to dement over every symptom, fear, twinge or other worry and it was very much worth it as however much they try to be supportive our other halves just don't (usually) have a clue what we're going through! The acupuncturist trod a brilliant line between being sympathetic, knowlegable and practical in his responses!

Good luck xx

PicaK Mon 06-Aug-12 22:50:10

Are you doing the short protocol or the flare one - which is also short but good for poor responders.

You might as well go for it. There's no down reg so you miss out all that craziness. Take some time off though if you can - it gives me a horried headache on days 2-4 of drugtaking and leaves me very spaced (refuse to drive) and hormonal the rest of the time. Best of luck.

I've used Bham Women's Hospital who are NHS. They are amazing and they provide truly fabulous counselling too. In the end it's binary - it'll work or it won't - but caring receptionists, drs and the best set of nurses i've ever met makes a big difference to how you cope.

SweetieDoesIt Tue 07-Aug-12 09:41:39

Again ladies thanks for all your advice, it is such an overwhelming time I have found it very helpful.

PicaK I have been advised I will be on short protocol, not sure if this will change when I go to my nurse appointment next week. I am relieved that I will miss the down reg as I have read that it can be quite challenging.

I am quite fortunate that I can work from home if I want to so that is what I intend to do during the stim phase if I need to. But then I am not sure if to take the rest of the time off. I was thinking about from egg collection right through to outcome. I have quite a stressful job and not sure I could cope with my normal pressure plus an agonising two week wait, but then would the distraction take my mind off thing, it is such a dilemma. I have told my line manager what is happening and she has been very supportive, so it is up to me.

I have really improved my diet and fluid intake since TTC, I try to eat balanced homemade meals with loads of fresh fruit, salad & vedg, cut down on caffine & alcohol and cut out artificial sweetened products. I am the healthiest I have ever been! I have been going for weekly sessions with a fertility reflexologist, which I have found very relaxing and an excellent release. It is my hour to share all my ups and downs of TTC with someone who understands, offers advice and listens. I was thinking of also going to for acupuncture too but would it really offer anything more than my reflexologist?

We have discussed going to the Lister of ARGC as our plan B if this cycle doesn't work. We want to give this cycle a go with my own eggs and then take it from there. I agree I would give it everything when we are paying and those increased % points make those clinics very attractive prospects.

wife so sorry for your outcome. Hope you get some support and time to think things through.

foodtech Tue 07-Aug-12 15:59:21

I had 2 follicles on either side too when I had my last cycle. They managed to get 5 eggs from my right ovary though on collection. Unfortunately my left ovary decided to sleep and do nothing but there is still a good chance with 2 on either side. With stimms things can change. Unfortunately our last cycle didn't work but currently down ragging again so fingers crossed for this cycle. FT x

PicaK Wed 08-Aug-12 07:50:15

Well I wholeheartedly support taking time off - there's been studies done which show it makes no difference in outcome, but ( for me) it's made all the difference in mental and emotional stability this time round.

Not just you though - see if your partner can take time too. I cleared the diary of big events (weekend visits to friends 2 hours away etc).

That said ( after all my grIm warnings about how you might feel a zombie on the drugs) I do ping right back to normality. The day sfter egg collection I felt back to normal.

SweetieDoesIt Wed 08-Aug-12 12:11:43

Pica did you take time off after egg collection or through the stim phase too?

I just want to be aware and prepare as much as possible up front.

Teds77 Sat 11-Aug-12 07:43:05

Apologies if this is a bit garbled - sleep deprivation at the hands of my newborn twins... The product of my four follicles grin

If you have NHS funding then definitely give it a go - you can't predict how your body will respond until you try. Also, it really does just take one egg - or two in my case!

It's worth checking whether your funding can be used at other clinics - I know some people who have managed to get their NHS funding used at the Lister which I would defo recommend for someone likely to be a 'poor responder'. However, a more 'standard' cycle at a NHS clinic is still worth having. My NHS cycle in reality was very similar to my successful cycle at the Lister and it could have just been luck that meant one cycle workedand one didn't.

Good luck!

PicaK Sun 12-Aug-12 09:22:30


i'm one of the lucky ones - ivf worked for me in the past and i'm a sahm to a 3 year old DS. So it's my husband that's had to take the time off this time to care for him. I'm not sure if that makes sense to other people but I wanted to be honest.

My DH was there for me for days 2-4, I took it very easy, stayed close to home after that. Felt spaced the whole time. I know I wasn't being a good, involved mum during that time because DS's behaviour has gone downhill. DH took odd afternoons off where he could (it's a very quiet time for him workwise). Then he was off for egg collectio day (Friday) and let me rest all weekend and we had the fertilised egg put back on Monday.

I had a very wuiet day on Tues (let DS watch tv and went to cinema) and back to normal ( or so I though) on weds. I personally don't need time off in the 2ww - I just need not to be hectic (ie no visits). But we also need a distraction project (we're doing some stuff in the garden and organising the shed so talking about storage etc. Boring I know but enough to stop us dwelling on outcomes.

So done all that - but it still gets you and comes out. Sonething that i'd have been mildly bemused by normally had me lashing out verbally on Friday. Shook me up and reminded me just how paper thin the cracks are covered.

Just be kind to yourself. It's tough.

On a different tangent. I was wondering that if you did the cycle and didn't respond to the drugs do you have the option to pay for a failed cycle (when we did this it was less than 1k) and "hold over" the free cycle?

QOD007 Sun 12-Aug-12 09:34:01

Go for it and as someone else h as mentioned, eat an avocado every day, olive oil dressings on salad etc
Get a b12 level check blood test as that can make implantation difficult igpf levels are low

Mr Taranissi in Harley st is the main man, there was a big hoo has a few yrs ago about how dear he is, he carries out endless blood tests, scans, everything. Costs more than anyone else but his success rate for people over 40 is 41%

My friend has just had attempt 5 (1st with him) - 5th and final go, with 2 frozen embryos, with B12 deficiency, clotting disorder, immunology issues and poor uterine lining .... And is 7 weeks pregnant.

It only takes 1 follicle to make an egg, 1 egg to make a baby. Take your chances with the nhs then try again if need be.

All the best!

KnittingAnOlympicGold Sun 12-Aug-12 09:42:18

Hi Sweetie, just wanted to wish you all the best. I had a terrible response on my 3rd IVF cycle and was devastated to find they'd only managed to harvest one good egg sad.

I was given a 15% chance of a pg - that one good egg starts school next month smile.

Good luck x

SweetieDoesIt Sun 12-Aug-12 18:49:07

Wow ladies thank you all for sharing your positive experiences, it is just what I need at the moment.

I am thinking things will either work or they won't and really trying to treat it like any other month.

QOD I have been making a note of all the recommended clinics and Drs so I can research fully if our NHS doesn't have a successful outcome. Is avocado for B12? I have salad most days so can easily add it into my diet.

Pica I will ask at our nurse appointment on Tuesday about funding failed cycles, I will add it to all the other questions I have noted to ask. We have been through all the consent forms today ready for signing with the nurse on Tuesday.

DH and I have decided to both work from home as required throughout, with time off from egg collection through to egg return, and then work from home until outcome. My Mum lives around the corner too so will be there for support and can pop in as required.

I will update after the appointment on Tuesdays but thank you all for your comments so far.

ScarlettInSpace Mon 13-Aug-12 16:50:23

sweetie sorry I've been AWOL lately but it's helped me to back off from posting etc completely. When i had the second appt I had with the good consultant, she said (as i know you know) that bloods, follicle counts and AMH's only relate to egg quantity and not quality - the only way they can determine quality really is to take the eggs out and look at them, and the only way they can do THAT is IVF.

She said it may help to think of the first IVF cycle as a diagnostic tool rather than a be-all-and-end-all solution, so there are 2 possible outcomes: 1 is a baby yay! 2 is not a baby but is a much better understanding of what is going on in there do any future treatment can be targeted and tailored to suit YOU... So that's what I'm doing grin

Hope that helps, sorry for not being in touch for a bit, we start down reg injections on 31st August xx

SweetieDoesIt Tue 14-Aug-12 20:50:34

<waves to Scarlett>

I had my nurse appointment earlier today, we signed all the consent forms and learnt to mix the drugs and do the injections. I will start on my next AF, which is due over the Bank Holiday weekend. As we are going down the short protocol I may have to go on the pill for a couple of days and start the menopur injections (450 units) on the Thursday, apparently they start everyone on a Thursday!!

So then it is just seeing how I get on with regular scans etc. I was told to just eat a healthy balanced diet, avoid alcohol but that was pretty much it. I am now waiting for the meds to be delivered and then I have to wait for AF to arrive and I am good to go.

ScarlettInSpace Tue 14-Aug-12 21:55:17

Ah we had that appt last week. As I said in on long protocol even though my AMH was so shit as my [nice] consultant says she believes it has better chance but each to their own I guess!

You'll be about 2-3 weeks ahead of me then, as I said I start down reg injections on 31st August, then booked in for baseline scan on 17th September then hopefully start stim injections, not far off you on the dose I'm on 5 powders on Menopur [375ml] apparently 6 is the max which j think is what you'll be on?

I've been told to keep first 2 weeks of Oct free as that's when we'll [fingers crossed] be scheduling EC & ET...

I was really stupid and calculated a due date from that and it's on my late dads birthday which has given me a mild amount of blind faith in fate hmm

I have to go to the hospital pharmacy in the next 2 weeks and get a pre-pay prescription card and my first lot of meds, then have a stonking bank holiday before getting stuck in...

SweetieDoesIt Wed 15-Aug-12 18:57:06

Scarlett I have no idea why some clinics send some ladies down different protocols when they seemingly have similar situations. I think our clinic don't think we have much chance so that might be why we are going down the short route.

We weren't really given much idea of dates other than to start the injections on 30th, for 9 - 14 days. I will be scanned on day 8 to see if things are growing. So I think egg collection will be, based on my own calculations, week of 10th Sept and Fri 14th at the latest. I wasn't told to keep any time free so I think they are waiting to see if we get that far.

Yes I am on 6 powders of Menopur so it is highest dose from the outset. I am not sure if to expect any side effects but I have warned work and they were really understanding as my job isn't something you can step away from it is all or nothing really. They have told me to take time off from starting the injections right through to outcome, but I am not sure if this might be a bit too much. I might welcome the distraction, but am just waiting to see how I get on.

The medical delivery company has run me today to arrange home delivery of my meds, so they will be here next Tuesday. Then I am good to go. We have a weekend in London for the Bank Holiday weekend so I am going to make the most of that too and am hoping it will take my mind off the upcoming events!!

It is hard not to forward think due dates, and that is fate if I ever heard it. I am a big believer in fate. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

PicaK Thu 16-Aug-12 18:36:36


Wishing you luck. 6 vials of menopur takes like forever to mix up - especially the first time you do it! Expect it to be about 30 mins the first time. Don't rush.

You're on folic acid aren't you?

SweetieDoesIt Sat 18-Aug-12 09:12:51

Thanks Pica I am taking that Pregnacare conception vit, nurse said that it was ok to continue to this. I also take Q10 tablets too but not sure if to stop those, I forgot to mention them to the nurse so might give her a ring and ask.

I am sure the first set of injection will be a very nervous time. I am thinking of ordering some IVF specific relaxation CDs. There a few different ones of sale, they all seem to have different sessions for the different stages. Has anyone used them and found them helpful?

SweetieDoesIt Tue 21-Aug-12 11:41:12

My meds have just arrived and the initial excitement went as soon as I opened the box to be faced with loads of different things. I did expect there would be things I wasn't aware of as they just tell you want to use each step so not to overwhelm people. But I wasn't expecting items for every orifice, IYSWIM.

I was aware I would be getting stuff to inject and am fine with that, but then there are suppositories (paracetamol), pessaries (cyclogest) and vaginal cream (dalacin). Is this normal? Is this the best form to take these drugs?

I just have at the back of my mind that because we are NHS patients we are getting the cost price options and if we were self funded we would be getting different options. They did say it isn't a two tier service but it has felt it every step of the way so far.

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