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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.

JethroTull Wed 27-Nov-13 05:58:47

Shellster to give you some hope - I had my first round of IVF in dec/jan. I have ridiculously low AMH. Got 4 eggs. Only 2 fertilised. Only 1 got to day 3. He's here now. Grunts so loud he keeps me awake! My mantra throughout the process was It Only Takes One. The very best of luck.

suzylee73 Wed 27-Nov-13 08:59:06

I don't start my IVF until Jan/Feb but it's great following your journeys and learning new things. Thanks for sharing and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for us all x

Shellster52 Wed 27-Nov-13 11:05:13

Thanks for your words of understanding Eggsi. You are right - it only takes one. I have had 5 eggs fertilised in total in my previous to IVF's and obviously none were good quality as I am not pregnant. So I just don't know if 'one' is going to be different this cycle or if they are all going to be bad quality again. I wish I could just knock myself out until next Friday when I will find out about my embryo quality so I don't have to go through another week and a half of anxiousness!

This thread might turn you off starting IVF in December as you watch me turn into an emotional wreck over the course of the next week!

Shellster52 Thu 28-Nov-13 09:21:47

suzylee, glad you are able to learn from our journeys before you embark on your own. You are welcome here anytime smile

JethroTull, thanks so so much for sharing. Your story sounds very similar to mine with your low AMH and hence, low egg retrieval count. Guess I am just feeling negative because after two failed IVF's it is all I know. I am just expecting these embryo's to all be bad quality just like last time. I like your positive affirmation mantra.

I must stop doing such negative self talk and start my own positive mantra
"I have tried new things this round that have been proven to produce better quality embryo's - there is hope!"

So you are still lurking around these infertility forums - are you trying IVF for number two? Give a hug to your grunting bub from me smile

Olive324 Fri 29-Nov-13 17:50:44

Hi all,
I have just been for my day 10 scan today. They found 6 follicles on one side and 3 on the other. I was told this was good. They need to get bigger yet so they have doubled the dose of menopur and I have another scan on a monday. Think things went well. Anyone else had their scan today?

Shellster52 Sat 30-Nov-13 03:18:35

Glad to hear you feel things are going well for you Olive. Were your follicles all around the same size so that they will contain a mature egg at about the same time? What dose of the Menopur are you taking now?

I had a repeat scan yesterday and it looks like I will probably get 5 eggs. 6 if I am super lucky. I have my egg retrieval booked for Wednesday, 4th. I am just so anxious to get to next Friday to find out about the embryo quality as that is where things go wrong for me in my past IVF's.

I wish I could drink some wine to see me through til next Friday!

tinhtang Sat 30-Nov-13 06:34:08

Hi all, I'm so glad to find this blog. My husband and I are in the process of getting IVF starts. Im 28 and I had everything check out normal. My husband is 32 and has low sperm count and slow mobility as well.... I'd like to know how do you decide how many embryos to put in ? I really want to have 2 to increase my chances but my doc and husband are pretty against it since I'm too small to carry twin if we get lucky with our IVf ( I'm 5 feet and 90 lbs). I'm so desperate to be a mom but at the same time I dont want to put my babies at risk if I have twin. Please advise

Shellster52 Sat 30-Nov-13 07:02:30

Hello tinhtang. I am no expert and definitely don't want to make a decision for you that is going to affect the rest of your life, but you sound desperate for and opinion and I know sometimes it is nice to get an objective perspective. So here is my two cents worth.

You are young so you are probably going to do well with IVF and make some good quality embryo's. So I think you have a high chance of things going well in the IVF process. Having two will increase your chances in that one cycle, but you will have the same chance over two cycles if you put one in during your IVF cycle and then the second one back in on a subsequent cycle if the IVF cycle doesn't pan out.

I am in Australia so I am not sure how your funding works where you are. Do you get funding for subsequent frozen embryo transfers after your initial IVF because I guess the NHS funding would be a factor you would have to consider too. Not sure how your system works?

Olive324 Sat 30-Nov-13 07:27:40

Hi shellster, the follicles ranged from 6 to 9 mm. The nurse said this was normal but they still need to grow. It's possible I might have my egg collection on Wednesday 4 th too but it could also be on the Friday. I am now on 4 bottles/ doses of menopur per day. I know I'm a novice at all this, but she considered my 9 follicles to be normal so I wouldn't be disheartened by your 5/6 eggs. As everyone else says, one good one could be enough.
Tintang , I am almost 36 and because of my 'youth' ( the consultant actually wrote this and it made me laugh) they recommend only having one embryo transferred. It seems there is less risk by transferring just one. Two is just for okder women who maybe don't have time on their side. I've gone with this this time. My first cycle is on the nhs but I'm having the other eggs frozen so if we do need to go through this again it will be easier as we won't need to do the whole egg collection phase again. Is it the same for you?
Best of luck everyone. Scan update on Monday.

Eggsiseggs Sat 30-Nov-13 07:41:08

Olive that's great news - as far as I understand it anyway!

And Shellster I think it is really hard to strike the balance been positivity to get you through, and realism to help you cope. I swing like a wrecking ball from one to the other!

Eggsiseggs Sat 30-Nov-13 07:44:19

And TinhTang, my clinic will only implant one embryo at a time unless you are over 40. Their approach is to do everything possible to increase the chance of one healthy baby at the end. Am not sure what I would do given the choice.

Shellster52 Sat 30-Nov-13 08:08:32

I couldn't have worded that better myself Eggsi. Just didn't realise that was what I was doing to myself until you clarified for me so succinctly. I am on that same swinging pendulum.

That sounds like great news Olive with your follicles all being within 3mm size difference. Hopefully that means there will be more eggs mature at roughly the same time. Can I ask, do they check your estrogen blood levels regularly too? Just curious because things seem to be done differently where you are.

And your clinic advice seems to make sense that a two embryo transfer is for the older ladies who don't have time on their side. Tinhtag, I am 36 and jealous of your youthful age of 28 so I time is on your side and it seems like it will definitely happen for you - although I understand your desire to be a mum yesterday!

Olive324 Sat 30-Nov-13 08:56:22

Hi shellster, no, I have not had any blood tests done since the initial tests so I have no idea about my estrogen levels. Because I am still sniffing the cycle repressing drugs I assume this is why. 2 days before egg collection I have to inject some other drugs .... Oh I don't know. I am lost! I am sure they know what they are doing :-)

moggle Sat 30-Nov-13 11:52:21

Hi, we are also just starting down this road, have had various blood retests and scans and having our first consultant appt on Wednesday. Our story is fairly simple, 2 years TTC, not a whiff of a bfp. Previous tests indicate DH's SA is fine, my FSH is at the high end of normal, AMH slightly low, but seem to be ovulating every month so they aren't particularly worried about that. Tubes clean as a whistle.

Something I am wondering about is balancing being optimistic with not getting your hopes up. Since we made the decision to have a private cycle and got our referral, I have for the first time in about 18 months allowed myself to feel positive and excited about TTC - like it was at the very start! I'm letting myself think about babies again. I know I need to think positive for the cycle but on the other hand I know there's a less than 50% chance it'll work (and could be much lower, but still, it's probably a lot higher than the chance we have every month doing it the natural way!). Any tips on how to balance this? Is it just going to be similar to starting TTC - you think it'll happen relatively quickly and feel excited, even if you are telling yourself, it could take ages. And only after many months of it does your brain adjust to thinking differently... it seems you can't force it.

SarahFx Sat 30-Nov-13 18:39:11

Hi everyone, we start our first cycle of IVF for secondary infertility at the end of January. It's nice to hear what others are going through because it can feel like you're the only one going through this.

I told two of my friends this week that we are going to be having ivf. One of them got preg first month and advised me to put my legs up in the air lol. She doesn't seem to understand that it isn't that simple for me. They were quite supportive though. I don't think it's easy for others to comprehend how much of a big deal this is to be going through it though.

No one else knows except my mam, boss and H obviously. I just felt the need to unburden myself a bit.

Have you all told your friends and family or are you keeping it secret?

Best if luck to those going through the process now, I have my fingers crossed for you.

eurochick Sat 30-Nov-13 20:34:04

Hi Shellster.

We've "chatted" on here before. I don't venture over here much because I don't like the Infertility label and so I post more over in Conception and on the Egg Buddies IVF thread over there. But I spotted this thread and wanted to wish you luck. We are cycle buddies for this round. I'm on Day 6 of this cycle and egg collection should be Thursday/Friday next week.

This is my first properly stimulated cycle (I've done 2 natural and one natural modified). I got a BFP on my first cycle where they collected one mature egg and one immature one, so it really does only take one!

tin having seen my bestie go through a difficult twin pregnancy (from single embryo transfer - it split to form identical twins) I have made a firm decision to only put one back on my cycles. It was risky for both her and both the babies. My NHS clinic had loads of posters from this campaign up - the website might be worth a look.

Sarah I've told everyone apart from work people (no point in not getting the good stuff for something that may never happen). I talk about it quite openly - I find it helps to normalise it, rather than consider it my "shameful" little secret. It helps me, anyway.

Shellster52 Mon 02-Dec-13 02:29:46

Moggle, I think Eggsi summed it up perfectly when she mentioned that we swing from positivity to get us through and realism to help us cope in case things go bad. This is my 3rd IVF cycle so you would think I would have an answer for you on what I have found the most helpful emotionally, but nope. The days I am positive, I tell myself to start being negative in preparation for failure. The days I am negative, I tell myself that I should be positive because the negativity is stressful and will make my cycle fail!

I find it incredibly helpful to vent here with people who get what we are going through. As Sarah mentioned, she told a couple of friends but they don't seem to understand. To answer your question Sarah, I do tell people that we are undergoing IVF and having trouble conceiving. But I don't tell them the specifics of when cycles are starting and finishing. I find that it puts pressure on myself because I then think they are waiting to find out how my cycle goes and I worry I am going to break down in tears if they ask me and I have to reply with a BFN!

Thank you so much Eurochick for coming over here especially to wish me luck. Of course, I wish the same for you. You are so right (and you are living proof) that it really only does take one. With my past two IVF's I have had 0, so I am really feeling very negative to be able to get just one good embryo. Four more days and I will know for sure.

Last time my estrogen levels dropped the day before egg retrieval which I have read reduces the quality of eggs and drops my chance of IVF conception by > 50%. I had a blood test thismorning and another tomorrow morning (Tue) before my egg retrieval on Wed. I am hoping like crazy my estrogen continues to rise this time or I am going to feel like it is game over even before I go to egg retrieval.

tinhtang Mon 02-Dec-13 04:44:51

Shellster52: thanks for your input. I think it costs extra $1000 to freeze the embryo and the IVF for thaw embryo is $4000. We are going to freeze embryo this time just in case or for second baby smile
eurochick & Eggsiseggs: Thanks ! your stories makes me feel much better having 1 embryo transfer

Baby dust to all of us !!!!

moggle Mon 02-Dec-13 11:13:08

Thanks shellster. I guess it's just a question of going with the flow and trying to do what seems right at the time. I am having acupuncture, not sure if it's making a difference but it's nice to have someone else to talk to about it all.

So far, my parents know we are planning ivf; my younger brother knows we've been trying a couple of years and I will tell him about ivf when I get some time alone with him (he's just married and TTC according to the vitamins in their kitchen when I was dog sitting the other day!). A few of our friends know, mostly because they are having similar struggles. Oddly I decided to tell 2 new friends at my new job despite not sharing our struggles with any of my very good friends in my old job where I'd been for 8yrs! They took it very matter of factly which I hoped for. No awkward sympathy or silences, I was really glad I'd told them although rather surprised at myself! I need to tell my boss as our draconian sick leave policy has exemptions for fertility treatment.

Having said all that I am not planning on telling any of three people exact dates as I don't want their weight of expectation. But I really think I will need to have someone apart from DH to unload on when we're going through the cycle, so I am trying to decide who that'll be.

Those of you who've done a cycle before, did you have someone in real life to talk to while you were actually doing it?

eurochick Mon 02-Dec-13 15:49:05

shellster I'm probably heading for FET on Thursday. How about you?tin a frozen cycle should be a lot cheaper than that. The typical cost here is about £750, against £3500+for a full IVF cycle.

Olive324 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:26:39

Scan today. Follicles STILL not big enough. Now I am on Tripple dose of menopur. Another scan on Wednesday. Shellster, what is FET?

Olive324 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:27:42

Sorry, I read shellster and it was meant to be euro chick.

eurochick Tue 03-Dec-13 14:17:05

FET = frozen embryo transfer.

And I meant to say I am heading for egg collection on Thursday, not FET!

Olive324 Wed 04-Dec-13 12:47:53

I had another scan today . It was quite disappointing . I had 2 follicles on one side and 4 on the other but only 2 were 17 mm or more. Feeling quite disheartened. I'm scheduled for retrieval on Friday as they don't want the quality of those bigger ones to diminish. Despite being on 6 vials of menopur a day , I don't seem to have responded too well. Still hoping that it's quality over quantity! Got to keep positive. I know some of you ( shellster I think) are having retrieval today. Hope it all goes / went well. Let us know how you get on. Positive thought to everyone.

elvista Wed 04-Dec-13 19:58:20

Hi everyone. Hope you're all doing well. Sorry I haven't been around. Best of luck for those with egg collection today. On my phone so it's hard to name check. My egg collection is tomorrow. Really nervous about it-not because of what they might find but nervous of the procedure. After last nights trigger shot today was a drug free day. Very strange after all the meds of the last few weeks.

Someone up thread was talking about telling people. I've talked to very few about our infertility-a few good friends, some newer friends and my mother (which is a whole new thread!), so about 8 in total. Have only told my mother & 4 friends about our IVF. I thought it would be good for support but on the whole it hasn't been great. sad My best support have come from a fairly new friend who 'gets it' & my friend in the US.
Moggle I know what you mean about needing to off load to someone other than your OH. I'll be using the 2 above and their support has been invaluable.

Olive good luck for Friday. Shellster hope all went well today.

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