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Anyone just started/about to start IVF? Join me for support.

(122 Posts)
Shellster52 Wed 20-Nov-13 03:05:08

Tomorrow will be day one of my cycle and I will start IVF for the third time.

I know there are already IVF threads, but there are so many people and it moves so fast. So I thought I would start one for women who just started IVF or are just about to start, so there is a smaller group and messages do not get overlooked. Hopefully this will help us feel supported and remain sane (and hopefully a bit calmer to help our odds?!)

About me: TTC just over two long years. Found out hubby has 100% abnormal sperm morphology. Move on to IVF. First IVF I discovered I am a poor responder and only had two mature follicles and one egg retrieved (they forgot the other!!!!). Embryo disintegrated before day two transfer. IVF 2 I did the estrogen priming protocol after reading it was good for poor responders, along with higher dose of injections. Got 5 eggs, 4 were mature and injected with sperm, 3 fertilised but one was abnormal. The reamining two embryos were at two cell stage on day two, but they like to see them at four cell stage by day two. Both transferred at day two. I read many stories of women having success with day two embryos still at two cell stage but BFN for me.

Have since been taking Aspirin in the hope that I get more eggs this round. Have also been taking DHEA in the hope that the embryo quality is improved, but with hubbys sperm issue and junk food habits, I wonder if he is largely responsible for poor embryo quality.

Olive324 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:01:41

Hi, good to find someone at the same stage as me! ( I think you are anyway. ) This is my first cycle of IVF so everything is a bit scary. Been sniffing super cur for two weeks and did my first injection of something or other today so I believe I am day one too? I had quite a restless night because I was dreading having to inject myself ( despite having practiced on a lemon). It really wasn't bad at all.
We've been TTC for two year but I'm about to turn 36 so I think it's all happened quite quickly. I'm one of the ' there's no reason why you can't get pregnant group... You're just not' so I'm hoping that this might work first time. Well, you can hope can't you!

Hope your IVF cycle works this time and it would be great to share as I am really quite bewildered by all this at the moment. Not looking forward to egg retrieval in a few weeks but it is all for a good cause :-)

Shellster52 Thu 21-Nov-13 03:38:35

Hey Olive.

I have never done the sniffing thing. I took estrogen tablets from day 20 last cycle and just did my first injections today too. I am doing two types of medications so I do two injections everyday. Yeah, the first injection is a bit scary but they actually don't hurt at all. The emotional turmoil is the killer.

If it's any reassurance, the egg retrieval was absolutely fine for me. No pain afterwards whatsoever. However as I said - it's all the emotional stuff. After my fist IVF when they told me they only collected one egg, I couldn't wait to get out of the hospital to have a cry!

We seem similar as I just turned 36 a few months ago too. Although my AMH levels are much lower than for someone my age so my ovaries don't agree with my age!

Have you ever had your AMH tested or had any ultrasounds to count your follicles to give you an indication of how IVF will go or did they just give you a standard amount of medication based on your age? When is your next appointment to find out how things are going? Are you getting this IVF funded under NHS?

Must be frustrating to not have a reason why it isn't happening naturally. Whatever the cause - hopefully this IVF is the answer for both of us!

Olive324 Thu 21-Nov-13 07:08:25

Hi shellster
I find it amazing that depending which consultant you see the processes seem to be so different. I know what you mean about the emotions. At the moment I'm quite positive as I feel we are doing something different instead of the same old thing which isn't working. Not sure how I will feel a few days before Christmas when we find out if it worked or not. Could be a good Christmas..... Or a depressing one.
I don't know what my AMH levels are and I assume they gave me the regular medication. I have had a few blood tests and the dye scan thing and I had the first scan to see if my cycle had shut down on Tuesday. The clinic seems really good so far. As this is our first cycle it is fully funded and they are going to freeze the extra eggs so that if we need to do it again I don't need to go through egg collection again. They are also doing the thing where they force the sperm into the egg at the same time. I have been really surprised how fast things have been set up.
Anyway, just done my second injection. Do they give you headache? Don't know if this is from the drugs or not.
Anyway, have a good Day keep positive!

elvista Fri 22-Nov-13 10:45:31

Hi. Very glad to have found this. I am on day 3 of injections and have been sniffing for 3 weeks. It's our first round of IVF. It's been ok until the nurse started about my weight- I am at their upper end so had a melt down when I left the clinic. Haven't had many side effects but have been drinking lots of water and eat a low carb/low sugar diet. Saying that I am paranoid that few side effects mean that drugs aren't working.

Know what you mean about the results coming before Christmas. At times I find myself questioning the wisdom of doing this now. ;-) But it's important to stay positive. Best of luck!

Shellster52 Fri 22-Nov-13 12:20:15

It felt nice to hear you say you are glad to have found this. So happy to have set this up if it is helpful to you (and me!). I am on day two of injections so the three of us are all at the same place give or take a day or two. I am 3 kilograms above what I should be for my BMI healthy weight. But I have been eating very healthy most of the time. Hopefully you feel better after the nurses insensitive comment. It makes sense for the clinic to mention to you three months ago to give you some motivation to lose weight as you prepare for IVF. What is the point mentioning that now that you are already going ahead with IVF?
You sound like you are eating healthy so your body (eggs) are getting all the nutrition from your blood stream to be healthy! In the lead up to IVF, did you ever had your AMH tested or had any ultrasounds to count your follicles to give you an indication of how IVF will go? I am a poor responder so I just wonder if we are in the same boat

What do you mean by the scan to see if your cycle had shut down. How many days after your period arrived was that? Did they count your antral (baby follicles?). I have never got any headache from the drugs.

I had my day 3 scan today. I usually only have 6-7 antral follicles, meaning that I don't get many eggs. Today, I had 14! I was so excited. But I have to come back down to earth and tell myself not to get too excited in case this doesn't work out so I don't fall too hard. Most people have at least 14 follicles and there is still only a 15-20% chance. But it is a good start.

Olive324 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:45:41


The sniffing drugs shut down your cycle and make you go into a menopausal state. The scan shows if this has happened and that the lining is thin. The next day you start the injections which grow the follicles. This is day one. That is as I understand it anyway.

Elvista, nice to meet you. Glad we can all keep each other company on here. Looks like you are at the exact same point as I am!

Olive324 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:46:59

By the way, congratulations shellster! I don't get a 3 day scan. Mine is on day 10. How can things be so different??

Shellster52 Fri 22-Nov-13 23:20:08

I guess there are many different IVF protocols. I have chosen the one that I think suits considering my poor response to my previous IVF's. So when was your last period Olive? Do you start the sniffing thing at a certain stage of your cycle?

I didn't get a day one scan so I suppose my day 3 scan is similar to your day one scan. So your next update will be a day 10 scan which will be 26th Nov. Look forward to hearing how it is all going. Mine will be the day after yours.

Olive324 Fri 22-Nov-13 23:38:12

I started the sniffing drugs on day 21 of my cycle. Period started on day 28 I think. I started injecting on Wednesday so my scan is on the 29th . I think they see if the follicles have developed at that point.

elvista Sat 23-Nov-13 07:41:01

Shellster- thanks for your comments. I am feeling better about it all today. Sat down with a friend and came up with a super healthy eating plan. It is likely that my response won't be great as only one of my ovaries works although my AMH levels are not too low relatively speaking, so I see that as a positive. Congratulations on scan results. Fingers crossed for the next stage!

Olive-i think the IVF protocol we're doing is v similar to yours. I started injecting on Wed and have a scan on Tuesday.

Erilou-drink loads of water for the headaches. It really does help.

How is everyone getting on with the injections? I thought it would be really difficult and it isn't too bad. It's the timing that's a pita. I don't feel confident enough to do them on the move because of finding somewhere private enough and what to do with the needle after. So all evening activities are based around injection time.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Olive324 Sat 23-Nov-13 08:00:42

Glad you are feeling more positive elvista. I feel even getting to the stage of IVF is a great thing and ups our chances no end.
I've found the injections ok. As I said previously, I was dreading them but the injecting bit is fine. It's getting all the liquid from one bottle to another and drawing it up into the shringe which I find tricky. My husband had been helping me with that but I did it all myself for the first time today ( applause please!! ) because he was still asleep. I have to do mine in a morning so have been setting my alarm super early. I think this is excellent training if I were ever to become a drug addict. I am now sniffing drugs 4 times a day and self injecting. :-)
Enjoy the weekend ( alcohol free of course :-(

Eggsiseggs Sat 23-Nov-13 13:15:09

Hi all, can I join in?
Am just waiting for my next p (due start of Dec) to start injecting (short cycle).
For some reason, no down regging for me (why would this be?)
Excited, nervous, but mostly wondering how the hell I am going to fit this in around Christmas and my job!

Good luck, all.

Olive324 Sat 23-Nov-13 19:11:40

Hi eggiseggs. Glad you can join. Is this your first IVF? It is mine. Do you start injecting at the start of your period? I don't know why you don't need the pre injection drugs but everyone on here seems to be doing something slightly different. There doesnt appear to be just one type of IVF.
The injections are not bad so don't worry. Let's hope we all have something to celebrate this Christmas.

Shellster52 Sun 24-Nov-13 02:14:40

Hi Eggsi. I think I have seen your name on other threads. Either way - welcome here! Is this your first IVF or are have you had a few previous attempts (like me). Some people seem very positive at the start of IVF as it is trying something new and there is hope that this is the new solution. I am kinda in a different place after two previous failures. So just wondering where you are at. Have you been given any sort of diagnosis as to what is going wrong?

So I guess that answers your question Elvista when you ask how everyone is getting on with their injections - I am an old pro at it now - It's the BFP factor that I would like to be a new experience! You sound like you have a very good friend to help get you through this if she is happy to sit and listen to your concerns and come up with a healthy eating plan with you. Glad your AMH is okay considering your one ovary works. Mine was a shockingly low 2.5 when I got tested at 34 - and now I am 36! So I guess we are kinda in the same boat in that I will probably get the same amount of eggs as your one ovary with my two ovaries! Is this why you are going through IVF - or I guess you must have other issues because your one ovary still works well and would not stop you conceiving naturally? How long have you been trying to conceive?

Sorry for so many questions. Just so nice to be able to chat with others going through this.

Eggsiseggs Sun 24-Nov-13 09:48:43

Hi folks,
Yes, I have tried (and failed!) to keep posting here before. Bit of denial, I think - turns out I have an issue clicking on 'infertility'! Am sure we all know what it feels like to make great friends on a regular ttc thread, then realise from other boards that they are now on their second baby (happily).

Also, I was waiting to start treatment and was in a bit of limbo, so felt a bit of a fraud with people who were in the middle of it all. So I did the very mature thing and ignored it all! grin

This is my first round of IVF. I have PCOS so have messed around with metformin, clomid, and every holistic approach to it all! Been ttc for close to 5 years.

I am excited about starting treatment because it feels like staring the beast in the face with a war cry finally. I really didn't want to do it, as to us it is really the 'end game' so I always held it as the final solution, iyswim? And now the final solution has arrived I have, of course, had to acknowledge that it mightn't work. Sorry! I don't mean to be negative, but I can't usually go into something without having a solution for the worst case scenario.

Yes, folks, I am the ideal candidate for IVF: the control freak grin

Anyway, now that it is finally happening, I feel miles better and much more like myself? Charging at it crying 'ARGHHH! C'mon!!!' rather than wringing my hands and hiding tears and all that bollocks we've all been through as well, I am sure.

Apologies for the long and self-indulgent post there. It helps to write it down.

My understanding is that on day 1 of period, i go for a scan and start injecting stims. Am expecting to feel calmer and more same when this actually starts.

I have a feeling the more experienced thread members are thinking 'uh oh, this girl's in for a shock!'

Thanks for the welcome. Am here for the long haul this time xx

Eggsiseggs Sun 24-Nov-13 09:51:33

Oh, btw: am 34. Never cared about my age until IVF, and suddenly it is all important!

Shellster52 Sun 24-Nov-13 23:17:31

I know the feeling of the terrible 'I' word - infertility Eggsi. When I spoke to a friend about hubbys just diagnosed sperm issue and she used the word 'infertility' I went to bed feeling awful being put into that label. That was 11 months and two IVF's ago. For some reason, I now fully embrace it and feel like attacking it back head on.

I don't think you are being negative at all. I haven't mentioned it here because I know others are doing IVF for the first time and I remember feeling very positive towards my first IVF as though this was something new and at last a solution. And boy did I come crashing down when it failed. So now I like to have a plan B in my mind as a back up just in case plan A fails so I don't need to have myself committed!

I have to say if I was to be given an 'infertility' diagnosis, I wish it was PCOS. Not meaning to say you have it easy - I have very low AMH (and hence produce very few eggs through IVF). Those with PCOS have ample supply from not having ovulated naturally so I hope for you that means you have a higher success rate and don't have to worry about a back up plan after this IVF!

Olive, can I ask a question - just trying to understand how the sniffing thing works. So you say you have started the injections to grow your follicles, but you are still sniffing 4 times a day which is to shut down your ovaries?

Olive324 Mon 25-Nov-13 07:01:59

Hi, yes. I am still sniffing. As I understand it , my cycle has shut down but the drugs are making my follicles grow. On Friday I have a scan to see if they are ready, then I inject some other drugs to mature them and then a few days later have egg retrieval. Will find out more on Friday. Go to go to work now. Will be back later.

Eggsiseggs Mon 25-Nov-13 20:40:58

It is true - PCOS isn't a bad starting place, all told. We'll see!

And always with the Plan B: always! Over the past 5 years have almost sickened myself doing 'things people with babies can't do! See how LUCKY I am, really!' grin

I don't know much about the sniffing. All sounds illegal, doesn't it? Sniffing, injecting...

Hope you all had a lovely Monday.

Eggsiseggs Mon 25-Nov-13 20:43:13

And Olive - def hope we have something to celebrate (although will be NY for me now, I think!).

Just Christmas with the in laws to get through first. You nah see me on AIBU...

Shellster52 Tue 26-Nov-13 03:00:45

Don't quite understand that concept Eggsi - to be taking one drug to shut down your ovaries and another to make them grow. Obviously your clinic must know better than I do. As long as it works for you! Waiting to hear how you scan goes.

I have a scan very early tomorrow morning. I had 14 antral follicles at the start of this cycle which might not be many to the average lady but that was an amazing effort on behalf of my ovaries compared to other months. At last, the supplements are working! So I am very nervous about tomorrows scan and hope they are all growing. After two previous failed IVF's, I feel like I am holding my breath before each step thinking, okay is this the step where it is going to fail this time.

Has anyone else taken any other herbs or supplements in the lead up to and during IVF treatment? Or are there any other things anyone is doing this cycle that is supposed to up the chances? I would try anything - I would roll in cow manure if they told me it would work! Please just not another BFN.

Olive324 Tue 26-Nov-13 18:22:46

Hi shellster
I am continuing to take B complex( I usually spot so this is supposed to help with this) I mentioned it to the consultant and he was fine with me continuing with this. I am also taking bee pollen tablets. A friend of mine who has successfully had twins via IVF used it and reccomended it. It is supposed to improve the quality of your eggs in some way. I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it ago.

Shellster52 Tue 26-Nov-13 22:39:08

Thanks for the tip Olive. I am taking a pre natal which includes vitamin B and I am actually already taking royal jelly/bee pollen tablets as well! I hope they work for me as well as your friend who had twins!

I just had my scan this morning. I started the cycle with 7 baby follicles on my right ovary and 8 on my left. Today, I had 6 follicles growing nicely on my right ovary. But I only had 3 follicles growing on my left ovary, one of which was only tiny and doesn't count. I just don't understand why 5 of the follicles on my left ovary would fail to respond.

I am bitterly disappointed because I know that the success of IVF correlates very strongly with the number of eggs. Now this IVF seems to be following the path of my last failed IVF. I can only hope that the few eggs I do produce manage to make better quality embryo's this time but I am feeling very anxious about things now.

Waiting to hear how everyone elses scan goes!

Eggsiseggs Wed 27-Nov-13 05:40:20

Bee pollen, eh? Another thing to try, I guess! Can't hurt!

Oh Shellster, I can actually feel your anxiety! It's so difficult. Hopefully the follicles which are growing will be good quality and then: it only takes one.

Everything crossed for you.

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