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Vaginal Viagra - any experiences?

(25 Posts)
minni999 Thu 21-Jan-16 20:09:53

I haven't started any fertility treatment yet, but based on several scans, I have identified that reason for the infertility might be that my endometrium/uterine lining is too thin - max 6mm by ovulation and it doesn't ever get thicker than 8mm just before the period.

So before embarking on the IVF road, I would like to experiment trying to thicken my lining and I've understood vaginal Viagra could be a good solution. Now, I have spoken to a couple of fertility specialists and they are just pushing the IVF and not even slightest interested in treating the thin endometrium only. So can anyone tell me is there anywhere I can buy this staff myself? Is it same as male Viagra, just not taken orally? Or does anyone know a doctor who might prescribe it without pushing IVF at the same time?

Many thanks for you lovely ladies!

Dannygirl Fri 29-Jan-16 22:09:00

Hi there I had the same issue. I was treated at an IVF clinic with oral Viagra, I don't believe you can get vaginal Viagra in the UK. Not sure if you can buy it yourself or if it's the same as male Viagra, although I guess it is. Not sure it did much for me to be honest! Can I ask which is your clinic? I obsessed about this issue for 2/3 years and my first clinic were convinced this was my main issue. However once I changed clinics to ARGC they weren't phased about it at all. In the end they found an underlying immune issue which solved it for me despite the thin lining. Perhaps someone else will be along with more experience. Wishing you all the very best for your cycle xxx

bananafish81 Fri 29-Jan-16 23:35:29

If you check the immune FAQ on Fertility Friends, there is a Malaysian pharmacist that Serum clinic in Athens have worked with to develop a vaginal viagra cream in individual applicators, apparently women doing DE cycles at Serum are recommended to use this.

I have very thin endometrium, I've never got anywhere above 5mm on a natural cycle - have you had a doppler scan to check your uterine blood flow?

For me, my blood flow has been terrific - so all the tricks in the world for thin lining didn't do me any good in a natural cycle, as they're mostly all designed to increase blood flow to the uterus (l'arginine, vitamin e, vaginal viagra, acupuncture, baby aspirin)

My issue is sleepy oestrogen receptors in the endometrium, which in my current IVF cycle required me to take oestrogen tablets to help thicken it up - went up 3mm from 5.5mm to 8.5mm in the space of 5 days

I asked my consultant if there was anything we could do for my lining in a natural cycle so we could TTC naturally in between IVF cycles, and he said yes, we could add in oestrogen tablets but it would have to be in a monitored cycle, so as not to add it in too early and prevent ovulation

So I would get the blood flow checked, if you haven't already?

funkymonk Sun 31-Jan-16 17:20:13

I'm about to try a cycle of frozen embryo transfer using Viagra / sidenafil. I got prescribed the standard tablets that men get and was told by my consultant that I could use them vaginally if I wanted to. hmm Think I'll just use them orally this first time round though.
I'm not expecting the Viagra to make too much difference to me, but I don't have many options left. dannygirl did it help you at all in terms of thickness?
I've had 3 natural pregnancies all ending in miscarriage. After the third we had a round of IVF which got abandoned. I got 20 eggs and 4 blastocysts were frozen as my lining was too thin. It was around 4.5mm. The following frozen cycle I had quadruple amount of oestrogen meds and it got to 5.4mm and then began to shrink. The next time I had a monitored natural cycle and my lining still got to 5.4mm with out any extra oestrogen, before it then shrank again! Blood flow studies have been normal, but taking l'arginine and vitamin E have certainly improved the appearance of the uterus at ultrasound. It's lovely and trilaminar- just far too thin and unresponsive to anything so far! I'll be starting the Viagra cycle soon so will let you know if it helps me at all. I don't believe I needed IVF either if we had initially known that my lining was the problem. I've always had light, short periods but like you, the clinic weren't interested in looking into this and just referred me for IVF.

bananafish81 Sun 31-Jan-16 17:43:48

Funky good luck! Dr Sher who pioneered viagra for endometrial lining says it's only effective if taken vaginally - as it needs to get absorbed into the tissues around the uterus. Also you shouldn't get the side effects if you take it that way too. Dr sher has special pessaries made but apparently we don't have compounding pharmacies over here so it's impossible to take it the most effective way!

funkymonk Sun 31-Jan-16 18:46:31

Thanks banana! Good luck with your current cycle!

bananafish81 Sun 31-Jan-16 18:52:42

And you! There are some great thin lining threads on FertilityFriend - women with unresponsive lining who've had great success with more experimental treatments like G-CSF washes and tamoxifen tablets...hoping the viagra helps to do the trick!

PS: I sneakily tested early this morning (today is 8dp5dt) and got a BFP. So really hoping the Progynova and Cyclogest are helping to keep that lining nice and snuggly!

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 31-Jan-16 19:14:28

would Progynova help? ive used that with ivf, surprised your clinic didnt scan you before treatment to check lining and make sure its the right mm, was told needed to be at least 6mm before treatment

and then once its 6mm the drugs keep it thatlevel?

Dannygirl Sun 31-Jan-16 21:41:53

Whispered congratulations banana! Funky I am so sorry to hear or your experience. I also had many cycles cancelled due to thin lining and it was utterly heartbreaking. In total honesty I don't think the viagra made enough difference as the lining continued to be thin despite that drug plus shed loads of oestrogen. I have read the same studies as banana I think from Dr Sher who says it should be used vaginally. In the end for me the ARGC treated my underlying immunes issue and although the lining was borderline at transfer it thickened up nicely thereafter. I wish you all the very best for your cycle xxx

bananafish81 Sun 31-Jan-16 22:31:09

Blondes I think that has already been tried. Funky mentions being on quadruple progynova - treatment resistant lining is unfortunately a tricky problem.

My Dr said much like Dr sher we needed to wake up my oestrogen receptors)antennae as he called them!) so if I hadn't responded to progynova and we had to freeze all, the plan was potentially to try a month or so of pure oestrogen priming to try and get them firing. So consecutive months - Dr sher has written quite a lot on his blog about thin endometrium, it's quite enlightening

The CHR clinic are doing quite a lot of G-CSF washes for treatment resistant lining - Dr Gorgy I believe offers them, but only if you're seeing him for immunes treatment

Mine is hopefully a simpler case of atrophic lining after prolonged use of the pill, as I seem to have responded OK to the progynova (I was 5.5mm at EC on the Monday and then at my lining scan on the Fri to determine if we could go ahead with transfer on the Sat, or would have to freeze all, it had grown to 8.5mm)

But there is definite hope for other tricks

Vitamin e and l'arginine might be worth a try to help increase blood flow?

bananafish81 Sun 31-Jan-16 22:32:10

Danny so glad ARGC got to the bottom of things. Do you mind if I ask what was considered borderline again ARGC for transfer?

Different clinics have different thresholds and so just curious!

bananafish81 Sun 31-Jan-16 22:32:33

Borderline at ARGC even

bananafish81 Mon 01-Feb-16 06:36:54

Also funky ignore my ridiculous comment about vitamin e when you've already said you've tried it!!

Dannygirl Mon 01-Feb-16 14:29:46

Banana from memory it was around 7mm but this was a couple of years ago now! Definitely nowhere near 8.5 that's fab! X

bananafish81 Mon 01-Feb-16 18:10:40

Danny brilliant to know it was the magnificent 7! That's what my consultant said was his minimum - he said he had had pregnancies lower than that, but wouldn't want to transfer a good embryo into an iffy endometrium.

Thinking thick!!

Out of interest, what immune issues can lay behind thin lining? Delighted to know ARGC got to the bottom of it for you x

Dannygirl Mon 01-Feb-16 22:17:44

It's an interesting one banana as ARGC never really focused on the lining issue or overtly made a connection between the immunes issue and the lining. They treated the immunes issue (NK cells, cytokines) rather than the lining issue if you know what I mean. It grated on me at the start as I felt they were ignoring a huge issue and I was obsessed by lining thickness in all my early scans but they were unphased and said that once implantation had occurred it was no longer an issue. In the end I had to let it go and I have never got to the bottom of it all X

bananafish81 Tue 02-Feb-16 22:08:21

That's so interesting Danny.

I just wondered because there's so much about thin lining in the immune FAQ on FF that I wondered if there was a connection.

But whatever it was, I'm delighted that the result was the right one for you!

We think mine is atrophic from double dosing the pill (my epilepsy meds interfere with the metabolism of the pill so I had to double pack it) and the oestrogen receptors are just a bit sleepy, and that with a cumulative effect they are waking up. Certainly hoping they're not unresponsive completely as the Progynova seemed to do the trick

And my first beta today was good, so hopefully the lining is staying nice and plump!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 03-Feb-16 20:41:43

i meant minni99 - the progynova will help that

just been scanned and over 10mm and saw the triple layer, which last scan didnt

bananafish81 Wed 03-Feb-16 20:48:56

Amazing news! That's a fab lining grin

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 03-Feb-16 20:51:44

i know tad amazed tbh - scan lady was impressed, she remembers me, been 3 times there now

not sure if that is a compliment about my tushy grin

funkymonk Wed 10-Feb-16 11:51:35

Somehow missed all the talk on here! Thought I was set up for notifications for new posts!

Congrats on your bfp banana and your beautiful lining! Hoping all is going well!

Thanks for the advice for the fertility friend threads too. I'll pop on over for a look. I'm quite sure that my problem is due to oral contraceptives as well! I stupidly took them for 14 years, not imagining that this would be a problem. I'm thinking now that perhaps a repeat fresh cycle with use of progynova would be an idea? For the fresh cycle I didn't take any progynova at all, so it was just what my body was making itself. I assumed progynova wasn't needed as with all the stims the follicles should be spewing heaps of oestrogen out, but I do know some women that have had the oestrogen supplements added in regardless. Hmmm.

I'll be starting the Viagra next cycle. I've read too about it having to be vaginally, but I don't believe pessaries are available in this country? My consultant said I can shove the oral tablets up there, but I'm a bit confusedhmmshock about doing that! What do you think? ... Where's the CHR clinic?

danny was your ARGC cycle a successful one?

Haha blondes! Good news about your lining!

bananafish81 Wed 10-Feb-16 13:58:42

funky I’ve had that too, with threads suddenly dropping off my watch list, maddening!

I seem to have some kind of oestrogen issue as although my follicles all reached maturity, my lining just wouldn’t thicken up by itself. In my natural cycles my Clearblue dual hormone OPKs never picked up any rising levels of oestrogen - ever - and just jumped straight from low to peak. I don’t get any CM, let alone EWCM (even whilst stimming and my follicles were pumping out loads of oestrogen), my periods since coming off the pill have been ridiculously scanty, and scans in a natural cycle have shown my lining doesn’t get to above 5mm even just before ovulation. Appalling!!

My Dr said there wasn’t any point measuring my oestrogen levels as with 17 follies it would be sky high - but gave me Progynova once I’d started the Cetrotide (long protocol you can start it earlier) so we could work on my lining, and thankfully it thickened up beautifull, even after I’d started the progesterone - all being well I’ll keep taking it throughout the first trimester

Viagra pessaries aren’t available in this country - so shoving the oral tablets up there is the best going I reckon. Progynova tablets can be taken vaginally so it’s better than nothing, for sure. I don’t think a clinic in the UK can realistically get on board with the vaginal viagra cream that Serum clinic in Greece have arranged with a Malaysian supplier, because it’s not licensed and you don’t really know what you’re getting, so I’d stick with the tablets prescribed to you, even if the way to take them is a little, er, indelicate

CHR is a clinic in NYC, google CHR thin endometrium and their trials with G-CSF uterine washes should come up

Have you had the uterine blood flow checked? Mine was great and it was clear it was an oestrogen receptor problem NOT a blood flow problem…

xx

funkymonk Wed 10-Feb-16 15:21:43

That's really interesting banana. We sound the same in terms of everything apart from I do get the gradual rise on the Clearblue opks- the blank circle, flashing circle and then static. My periods are scant, never have ewcm, blood supply looks good- lining is thin but apparently looks 'gorgeous' according to nurse! Even I could see the clear triple layers on the scan.

I have read that NYC study and had asked my clinic here about it. After the Viagra attempt I'll be seeking a private opinion, likely from Prof Quenby at Midlands fertility unit. Am hoping I can access that G-CSF wash as the next step to try. Although now I'm thinking about a repeat fresh cycle with progynova. Last time I had 20 eggs collected but lining was totally shit! Progynova, patches and vagifem pessaries have done absolutely nothing on the fets, but maybe a fresh cycle worh oestrogen support would be the answer?? Aaaghh to thin lining! You must have been delighted to hear what your thickness was! Have you had your first scan now? smile xxx

bananafish81 Wed 10-Feb-16 22:14:59

Yes we do sound very similar funky! In a natural cycle between IVFs I decided to try a bit of self medicating ‘throw the kitchen sink at it’ to see what effect it had on my lining. I bought the vaginal viagra cream Serum recommend, tried aspirin, Vitamin E, L’arginine, raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture - took myself off for a scan and saw a ripe dominant follie….and a 4.6mm non-trilaminar endometrium. FFS.

I hear a lot of excellent things about Prof Quenby - thin lining is such an arse, as it seems like everyone else has no problem growing beautifully cushiony linings and I feel like a bit of an oddball.

My third beta test showed hCG levels rising nicely, so now it’s just another nailbiting 2ww till my scan, which is scheduled for 7+1 xxx

Dannygirl Wed 10-Feb-16 22:36:55

Hi funky yes it was a successful cycle, he is 2 today! I will be forever grateful to ARGC but (having obsessed about my lining for several years) I never understood what happened on the successful cycle and why the protocol improved my lining. The ARGC just treated me for an immunes/Killer cells/cytokines issue and my lining became borderline acceptable by the FET transfer date- but they" clinic never treated the lining issue as such. I wish you all the very best, I remember so well how utterly frustrating this issue is xxx

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