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Starting IVF/ICSI this month - anyone want to join the journey?

(1000 Posts)
Rumplestrumpet Thu 02-Oct-14 09:25:19

After over 2.5 years TTC, we're FINALLY about to start our fertility treatment this month (ICSI). My nurse and husband forbade me from chats and forums, but after following MN threads over recent years I think it would be a great help to share the experience with those going through the same thing.

Anyone else want to share the joys/terrors of belly injections, hormonal madness and a series of medical professionals poking around your nether regions?! And, of course, hopefully a BFP at the end of it all smile

nutty123 Thu 02-Oct-14 20:25:13

Hi rumple,
I'm starting my down regging drugs tomorrow. Been in tears that it's come to this after 4 years of trying.

Mostly scared what the drugs will do to my body.

I'm doing the long protocol. What about you?

Seb101 Thu 02-Oct-14 21:01:15

I'll join you smile
I'm starting icis short protocol; so straight on to injections in about 10 days!
Short protocol due to pcos and over stimulation concerns.
I honestly can't wait to get started.
I'm praying I will soon see the light at the end of this painful infertility tunnel!

nutty123 Thu 02-Oct-14 21:12:42

What is icis seb?

I have low ovarian reserve so not likely to get to egg collection sad

I am excited too. But trying to stay realistic

Seb101 Fri 03-Oct-14 08:14:25

Icsi just a type of ivf. Usually used when male has low sperm count. They actually select individual sperm and try to fertilise egg with it. My husband has low count so standard ivf probably wouldn't work.

Rumplestrumpet Fri 03-Oct-14 10:02:01

Hi there Seb and Nutty!

I didn't know about ICSI before we started this infertility joyride. As DH's swimmers don't swim very well (low motility), if they put one in the dish next to the egg he's likely to just sit there and not do much lazy bugger. So with ICSI they cut off his tail and inject him right into the egg, to make it as easy as possible for him. As I understand it there is the increased chance of fertilisation, balanced out by the risk of damaging the egg on injection - so not worth doing when the sperm is fully mobile, but a god send for those with lazy swimmers!

I'll be on a short protocol, but not quite sure when we'll be starting as my clockwork cycles have suddently gone all over the place and I'm still waiting for september's AF (currently CD 44!). It seems I'll probably start in the next couple of weeks. Like you nutty I've shed plenty of tears through the journey, but also like Seb I'm desperate to get started now! I've never been so impatient for AF to come along!

Rumplestrumpet Fri 03-Oct-14 10:35:39

Nutty - just read your other post, and wanted to add that I have ABSOLUTELY felt like that over the last few years. Despite several tests (and lack of BFP) telling us we'd need to go for IVF, I had still always hoped that it would somehow miraculously happen naturally. I've even convinced myself twice on this cycle that I might be pregnant and wouldn't have to go through it all!

So I would say allow yourself to have these nervous feelings, I think it's only natural - it is utterly crap that it has to come to this. That said, I'm just so happy at the idea that there might finally be an end in sight. And even with low ovarian reserves there's still a decent chance this could work, so don't give up hope. If we're turning ourselves into pin cushions for the next few weeks, we have to keep hopeful that it will bring us a BFP at the end of it!

Best of luck with your down regging today - not sure if that's injections or nasal spray, but either way hope it goes well.

TailFeathers Fri 03-Oct-14 19:35:42

I'll join - did the first injection of my first cycle today. I say I did it, but my partner had to because I wussed out t the sight of the needle. But delighted to say I didn't feel a thing. I was still whimpering about "this is going to be awful" when he said "actually, it's over..."

Huge relief. One down, [unspecified number] to go...

Anyway, GOOD LUCK to you ladies. We can do this.

nutty123 Fri 03-Oct-14 19:46:10

Hi all,
Rumple thank you for your kind words. They really did mean a lot to me. It is nice to hear that someone else knows exactly what I'm feeling.
But I've had my tears and from now on I shall be as positive as I can!!

Tailfeathers welcome. You will be ahead of us so you can give us all the gory details!! I'm so glad the injection didn't hurt for you. I am slightly dreading that bit.

Well I am officially on my first day of down regging. Just taken my second dose of the nasal spray. Not too bad. Let's hope this works for all of us

moomoo78 Sat 04-Oct-14 18:43:07

Hey everyone. I'm about to start too first injection on the 9th. I'm same as some of you guys upset that it has come to IVF /ICSI even after 9 years you still kinda think it'll happen and I've been the same thinking that now it's all booked to go ahead it'll happen naturally and we won't have to do it. Needless to say it didn't and I started taking microgynon yesterday. I'm on short protocol too coz of pcos and risk of hyperstimulation. Eeek looks like it's here goes everything for all of us ! ������

lildottie Sun 05-Oct-14 20:16:39

I'm a bit behind you all but would love to join. if you'll have me. we are waiting to find out when we will start icsi. appointment on Wednesday to have everything explained to us and I'm hoping they will tell me to start bcp next cycle so we would be starting treatment in November. they told us in July we would start within 6 months so hoping I'm not being unrealistic with my expectations. I guess I'll know more on Wednesday!

TailFeathers Sun 05-Oct-14 20:39:58

Really good luck, moomoo78 and lildottie! Keep us posted!

moomoo78 Sun 05-Oct-14 21:33:22

Thanks tailfeathers! Lildottie it might be quick, it certainly was for us we only had our nurse consultation a week and two days ago. Was much quicker than we anticipated really. Is anyone else finding it difficult to keep a level head? My brain is jangled already lol

moomoo78 Sun 05-Oct-14 21:36:23

Good luck everyone!!! I'm really rubbish at keeping up to speed with everyone my memory is terrible. By the time I've scrolled down the page I've forgotten who is up to where. Taikfeather I see you have already started injections. How are you feeling? Hope it all goes really well !!

Rumplestrumpet Mon 06-Oct-14 08:12:38

Morning ladies!

Great to see so many of us on the same journey. Like moomoo, it's hard to keep track of my own treatment let alone anyone elses! But I'm sure it'll be great to share it.

I'm reassured to hear from Tailfeathers that the injections weren't as painful as you expected - has that remained the case over the weekend? Are you just doing one injection a day? My DH keeps telling me I'm a total wimp when it comes to pain, and I need to prove him wrong!

I thought I understood our protocol and then my cycle got messed up and it looks like we're going to miss a stage somehow - rather than taking Oromone from day 25 to "put my ovaries to sleep" as the nurse described it (?!?!), I'm now waiting for AF to arrive and on CD2 will jump straight onto the stimms injections. Which I've been wanting to do for AGES, and am pleased we're not going to have to wait another month to start, but I'm still getting really nervous. I'm back at the accupuncturist today to try to unblock whatever is holding off AF, so I should be turning into a pin cushion by the end of the week! (actually, I'll be a pin cushion at lunchtime today in her treatment room!) moomoo - looks like I'll be starting around the same time as you, and I guess you too Seb?.

Nutty - how long do you do the nasal spray before starting injections?

Lildottie - welcome aboard - great that you can get your head around it all before you start treatment yourself. Moomoo is right, it can all happen very quickly at the end - or maybe it's not that quick, it's just that our expectations have been severely reduced, after years of getting nowhere and a series of setbacks every time you think it's just around the corner! What's bcp?

A final question (a lot for a Monday morning!) - have you been able to calculate approximately when you'll be doing the egg collection and embryo transfer? My clinic are resisting being drawn into calculations and keep telling me "it will happen when your ovaries are ready".... but that does help me book time off work!

Sending you positive, fertile vibes for the week ahead smile

lildottie Mon 06-Oct-14 08:20:08


bcp=birth control pill smile

I have to say Wednesday can't come quick enough. had our last appointment 17th July and only got date for this one (and the mass of forms!) 4 weeks ago.

I would really love to do acupuncture but I know when you give blood if you've had acupuncture you can only give if done by a specifically qualified person. so I'm scared to find one by pulling out the yellow pages as I don't feel I understand it enough. I had acupuncture with physio after a car accident years ago on NHS and found it great. how did you ladies decide where to go for yours?

Rumplestrumpet Mon 06-Oct-14 09:11:12

Aha. It's been so long since we used any birth control I'd almost forgotten that existed!

I used to see an accupuncturist in London who was recommended by several people and was truly Amazing - the initial session was around 90 mins long, and she just asked Qs for the first 30 mins to get a complete background on my physical and mental health, relationships, etc. Unfortunately she moved away, but I'm now seeing one who was initally trained as a doctor, practised for many years, and later discovered Chinese medicine and so now mostly does acupuncture and homeopathy. So I have no doubt about her qualifications. Plus most accuncturists should be registered with one of the main associations, and you can use their websites to find registered and qualified practioners:

Rumplestrumpet Mon 06-Oct-14 09:12:02

Oops! Here is the link I meant to post to the British Accupuncture Council :

TailFeathers Mon 06-Oct-14 19:29:03

I'm on the certralide protocol (I think that's its name...), and the first 3 days were (to my huge relief) fine. I usually bruise easily, but the Gonal pen hasn't left any bruises, and the little red mark disappears after a day.

I found today a little harder as there were two injections (adding the certralide), but it's not nearly as bad as I thought. The mixing of the new one is a fiddle, but I got DH to do that, and just supervised from my position lying on the bed with my favourite stuffed toy. (Yes, really.)

Used Lily Allen's Hard Out Here as a soundtrack, which felt appropriate...

Anyway, now I am having a celebratory half-glass of wine, which is AMAZING. And we have worked out that we may be almost 25% (if you're a little generous and optimistic) of the way through the needles now.

Huge good luck to you moomoo78, Rumplestrumpet, lildottie, seb101 and nutty123 - I think that's all of us (sorry if I've missed someone, it's accidental) - guess we are this month's sisterhood of the needle!

lildottie Mon 06-Oct-14 22:15:55

thanks rumples

glad to hear all going better than you thought tail and loving your choice of soundtrack. think I might start building an ivf playlist in preparation for becoming a pin cushion.

just over 36 hours until my appointment and hopefully some timescales!

nutty123 Mon 06-Oct-14 22:24:35

Hi all,

Rumple I will be sniffing the spray for 2 weeks and I have to go for a blood test and scan on the 21st. Then if everything is ok, I will start my injections!! This will be for around another 2 weeks and they have said EC will be w/c 3rd November.

Nothing really to report on the spray. I hope it's working as I haven't had any side effects yet! I was hoping for some hot flushes now that the weather has got colder!!!

Good luck for everyone's treatment. Is it me or is time dragging now??

moomoo78 Mon 06-Oct-14 23:42:39

Time does seem to be dragging now I agree hahaha. Although all being well ec isbooked for w/c 20/10 and when I looked at my calendar today I freaked a bit cause that's not far away. I don't know how I'm getting through days at work at the minute cause my head seems to be jammed firmly up my backside at the moment. Is anyone else finding it hard to concentrate on anything that isn't needle/drug/hormone/egg laying related lol. Also has anyone opted to use endoscope?

Rumplestrumpet Tue 07-Oct-14 08:03:34

Morning all,

moomoo I absolutely share your inability to concentrate at the moment. I seem to get to 4 o'clock most days wondering what on earth I've done with the day! I'm usually really serious, hard working and dedicated, but at the moment it's taking me a week to read a 20 page report... I have to really push myself this week, because I'm pretty sure it won't get any easier once the injections begin, and whether it's a BFP or a BFN, I certainly won't be more likely to concentrate after that either!! Must focus, must focus....
What's an endoscope?

nutty that sounds like a very long protocol, no wonder it feels like time is dragging! Great for you to have a clear timeline though - I keep recalculating mine, trying to guess when things will happen, and it's proving completely pointless as my cycle is all over the place. lildottie you'll have a better idea of timelines soon too smile

Thanks for reassuring us all tail. Are you having any side effects from the stimms? That's something that my DH was quite nervous about ("are you going to turn into an angry emotional monster?!"), but I understand it varies completely, and some people have almost no side effects.

Are any of you telling people in the real world that you're going through the treatment? A few of my friends and family know we're taking the IVF route, but we haven't told anyone that the timing is so imminent (generally vaguely mentioning "end of the year"). Now it's getting close, I'm tempted to tell my mum, but DH would prefer we didn't tell anyone... welcome your thoughts.

moomoo78 Tue 07-Oct-14 08:28:34

Good morning everyone

Rumple (New at this don't know how to do bold lol) I'm glad it isn't just me. I have a serious job too and normally bat through things like a machine. Endoscope is time lapse imaging so when the embryologyst is checking how things are going after fertilisation the dishes don't need to be removed from the incubation they can just play a video of the last 24 hours and I believe it takes a photo every 10 mins so they can see which embryos are splitting evenly and developing well, helping them to choose the best one to put back and reducing fluctuations in temperature whilst they are developing. I think it's quite a new thing but so far I'm told the results have been positive increasing the success rate somewhat. Whether that success translates all the way to 'live birth' (not keen on that term the way they use it) I'm not sure!

Our parents know what's going on and a few of my close friends. All under instruction to please not ask me how I am everyday lol. Of course my mum has taken no notice of this request she can't help it lol

Glad the stimms aren't causing you too much bother tail. It is reassuring. I'm blooming terrified of needles so excited for but also dreading Thursday eek

It seems a way off nutty but it will come around quickly. It seems to drag a bit then before you know it it's almost time like there has been a gap in time somewhere

Is everyone on here from the uk, just interested in how treatment varies not onlyperson to person but in different areas. I'm aware that it can be quite inconsistent sometimes especially with regards to how many cycles the nhs will fund etc. Going back to endoscope that is available where I'm being treated but at a cost as the nhs won't fund it yet because it's new, the nurse said it can take years to get things like that funded which is a shame really when the research has been done don't you think?

How is everyone else doing

Rumplestrumpet Tue 07-Oct-14 09:56:47

We haven't been offered endoscope. Sounds great but it's probably not something our clinic offers. We're from the UK but living in Paris due to DH's job, so actually having treatment through the French system. We started the process in UK before coming here so with some experience of both systems I can say I defintely prefer the French system (it costs a lot more in taxes and so is fundamentally impossible to maintain for much longer, but from a patient's perspective it's better).

So while I know all about the awful postcode lottery of NHS treatment, we're fortunate enough not have to go through that at the moment. 3 full cycles are funded on the French national health insurance because we're tax payers (it's not about citizenship as far as I can tell). And most of the medicines are included, we just have to pay a small percentage which is completely affordable. I think you have to pay for meds on the NHS, is that right?

That said, there is less emphasis on emotional support here. So, though they mentioned that there was a psychologist available if we wanted one, the emphasis is on us to arrange it. And of course it's tough doing everything in French (I can get by but often have to ask them to repeat things many times before I've understood, and still check with DH again and again that I've got it right!). But I can't complain.

(and to bold, just put an asterisk * before and after the word, as if you're using quotation marks). smile

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