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So...tell me about ivf.

(15 Posts)
chundercatsarego Thu 25-Dec-14 23:42:42

Not there yet but DH got some very poor results from his initial SA. We have an appointment on the 30th to discuss next steps and are expecting to have the year repeated and then be referred. Think most likely end result is ivf with icsi. Could be willing but that is my feeling at the mo from the reading I've done. Would love to hear from others who have gone through similar.

makemineapinot Thu 25-Dec-14 23:52:36

just over 13 years ago I went through Icsi. It was emotional and took over my life - as well as being expensive. My wee Icsi baby will be 13 soon so all I can say is that it is well worth it. Good luck x

Guin1 Fri 26-Dec-14 08:24:13

We have a 2yo DS from IVF with icsi, who is an absolute delight, and a DD (also IVF and icsi) due in Feb. We were very fortunate that the process worked very well for us - 2 babies from 3 attempts. It is stressful and does take over your life, but I found that ttc naturally and failing month after month was also very stressful and something that I would be constantly thinking about. Obviously we would say that the whole thing has been well and truly worth it.

You do have to be emotionally prepared for the possibility that it might not work, and that no-one will be able to tell you why this is. And for the possibility that you may end up spending a lot of money for no result. I don't know if people in this situation would say it was worth it, although for many couples it is important to know that they have tried everything before accepting that they are unable to have their own biological children.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

jerryfudd Fri 26-Dec-14 08:40:18

We were extremely lucky and Ivf worked first time for us (twins) but had it not I would have gone through whole thing again funds permitting.
The hardest part for me was not the injections but the constant waiting to find out if each part has worked - have you grown enough follicles? Are they a good size? How many eggs retrieved? Are they good quality? How many fertilised? Have they stuck around? Etc. It was emotional but given the result we got worth it

chundercatsarego Fri 26-Dec-14 11:23:41

Thanks for the replies. How long did it take you to get referred and how long from referral to procedure? Can anyone explain the basic mechanics of it? I know they'll retrieve sperm and egg, sperm will be injected into egg, fertilised egg will be inserted into womb but not much more than that. I can imagine the hormones playing havoc with my emotions and am worried about that....it's already been a bit of a rollercoaster finding out.

Did anyone consider just not doing it? I would be more than happy to adopt but DH is desperate for one of his own.

Guin1 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:21:39

I am in Australia, so I expect the timeframe for referrals etc is different here. Exact procedure will depend on your circumstances. In general it will involve 2 weeks of hormone treatment to stimulate your ovaries to produce more eggs than just the usual one. These treatments are usually injections you do yourself at home, but they are easy and painless. Then on egg collection day, you go to the clinic and the eggs are retrieved via a long needle/tube that goes through the vaginal wall into your ovaries. For me, that procedure was done under light general anaesthetic, but I understand in the UK it is often done with local anaesthetic. Either way, it is pretty painless - I was back at work the following day. Your partner provides a sperm sample on the same day.

Then, like you say, sperm are injected into eggs and hopefully some will fertilise and start to grow. Your clinic will keep you informed by phone on progress over the next few days. Clinics have their own ways of deciding at what stage the embryo should be transferred into the womb, and how many to transfer. My clinic preferred to transfer 5-6 day old embryos (called blastocysts) and would only transfer one for any given cycle. UK clinics often seem to transfer 3 day old embryos and are more open to transferring two at once. Either way, the transfer is pretty straightforward - cervix opened and long tube inserted through vagina into womb. No more unpleasant than a cervical smear. Again, I was back at work next day.

Then it's just a 2 week wait to see how it goes. That is probably the hardest part! You may be given more hormones following egg collection and embryo transfer, but that depends on whether or not your clinic has decided to 'stop' your natural cycle. For me, the hormone injections done before egg collection had no obvious side effects. The hormones afterwards gave me nausea. Emotions were up and down, but hard to say if that was the effects of the hormones or just from the stress/excitement/nervousness about the whole thing.

We never got to the stage of considering 'just not doing it' because we were lucky enough to be successful first time. My age meant that we really didn't want to keep trying for natural conception and may have made adoption difficult, although that wasn't an option we really considered.

chundercatsarego Fri 26-Dec-14 20:19:39

Thanks for the info guin. It's interesting to hear other's experiences. Feeling pretty raw about it all at the mo and this time of year is really hard. You get the inevitable questions about when you're going to have kids, and this time last year we were cheerfully replying 'soon, we hope'....this year there are fewer conversations but more questioning looks. And my SIL has just announced her third pregnancy. Literally 20 mins ago. Please for her of course, but it stings sad

jerryfudd Fri 26-Dec-14 20:47:53

If you're getting nhs funding the wait will depend on where you are. Where I am we were entitled to only one free go so wait times weren't too bad. Think it was about 6 months from referral to first appointment and then treatment started a few months from first appointment (I think - it was a few years ago now). Obviously in places where you get more goes the wait times are longer

strawberry1202 Sat 27-Dec-14 18:29:38

For us (Nhs in london) it was almost exactly a year from the first appt with the consultant to the treatment. Once we actually started ivf things happened very quickly, in fact we put the cycle back a month to go on holiday, but the 3 month waits between the initial appointments were awful. In terms of what icsi actually involves I think you've got all the different stages, but as others have said it's the emotional rollercoaster at each stage that takes the toll, and you can't underestimate that- are enough eggs growing? How many have they collected? How many have fertilised? Are they developing? And , if at any stage the answer to any of these questions is disappointing, chances are no one will be able to tell you why. We were incredibly lucky that it worked first time forus, and I'm sure that clouds my memory of it, but I do remember getting to the 2ww and thinking I'm not sure I'd be able to do this again if it doesn't work. I don't have much advice other than look after yourself and be tough with your clinic- make them answer your questions as much as possible and make them give you the best possible care. Good luck.

BatteryPoweredHen Sat 27-Dec-14 20:35:33

Hi chunder - sorry to hear about your DH's SA results. We had the same diagnosis and it is such a blow.

Fortunately though, this is one of the easiest diagnoses to treat. We had IVF with ICSI and are now nearly 8 weeks pg after a successful first cycle.

I think people's experiences of IVF differ pretty wildly, and are inevitably coloured by their personal circumstances. Someone who had a lovely speedy service from a private clinic, and for whom it worked first time will see the process very differently from someone who has been messed about by the NHS for 18 months and isn't pg even after several treatments.

I found the whole process very painless and easy and was really pleasantly surprised at how much it brought DH and me closer together as a couple. I was also very grateful that I was, to a large extent, able to call the shots about my treatment and could choose to have both egg collection and embryo transfer under general anaesthetic.

I can't comment on NHS timeframes, but I was astonished how quickly thing moved at our private clinic - literally 6 weeks from IVF first being suggested as a possibility and getting my BFP.

Good luck - Once you are over the psychological hurdle of having IVF, the process itself is relatively straightforward.

chundercatsarego Sat 27-Dec-14 23:35:32

Wow, that is amazing hen congrats on the bfp grin are you in the UK? We would be able to go private of we wanted to I think but it would be nice to get it free on the NHS first, in case it doesn't work and we then have to pay for further cycles. Did you get your diagnosis/all original tests done by NHS? I've have a day 21 test and it all came back normal. concerned about possibility of blocked tubes so not sure if that should all be checked before embarking on the ivf journey.... it is tempting to just go steaming in and pay for it all privately ourselves, but if its not successful and we need further attempts I'm not sure if we might regret not getting our NHS cycle first.

chundercatsarego Sat 27-Dec-14 23:37:40

Congrats on your pregnancy too strawberry its heartening to hear of the successes other have had.

Do you mind me asking if you had unused frozen embryos for future transfer? We wanted four but not sure how feasible that will be now- hopefully we'll at least get to one!

strawberry1202 Sun 28-Dec-14 05:28:19

Sure, we have one frozen embryo of pretty good quality, but haven't really given much thought yet to whether and when we would use it. We were told at the time that frozen embryos often don't survive the defrosting process, so we are not counting on it meaning a second success. We had 8 eggs collected and only 2 fertilised, which for me was the hardest bit of the process: I went from drained but happy that something had finally happened and we had 8 eggs on one evening, to getting a phone call the following morning saying only 2 had fertilized, with no guarantee either would progress, and no explanation as to why. i had assumed that most would fertilize , guaranteeing us a chance at a frozen round, and was told that actually it's only in a minority of cases that there are any embryos viable for freezing (not sure if that was just our clinic).
V sorry if this comes across as negative, I don't mean it too, but I did find it harder than I expected. Ultimately the outcome was of course no less than a dream come true, and knowing that I'd do it all again in a second, but of course you don't know that when you're going through it. Very best of luck.

HowsTheSerenity Sun 28-Dec-14 06:54:35

I think it is good to hear some negative stories along with the positives.
The IVF process is exactly what the others said.

I have unexplained infertility. DH has super sperm. I have no endo, PCOS or tube issues.
We tried three rounds of clomid with no success. We had one found of IVF with six follicles to start and two eggs harvested. None fertilised. We even did last minute ICSI.
It was a complete waste of time, energy and thousands of dollars (I'm in Australia and we have to pay for our IVF).
Failure rates for fertilisation with no egg orbs perm issues with ICSI is 2-3%
We are trying again in February hopefully.

Best of luck with your cycle..

chundercatsarego Sun 28-Dec-14 08:51:59

Good luck with everything serenity. It's really tough.

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