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About to start ICSI and feeling hugely stressed, any advice?

(122 Posts)
leanandgreen Thu 01-Dec-16 15:40:50

I am about to start my ICSI journey for male factor, next week. It's all become so real now.

I am going through a stressful time at the moment with work etc. I'm worried about it failing due to stress.

Any advice would be so welcome. Do I cut my work hours down whilst I'm going through treatment or is it better to carry on as normal?

If you have anything that you can share that perhaps helped/is helping you go through similar, please share.

welshweasel Thu 01-Dec-16 15:47:40

There's no evidence that stress has any impact on outcome so try to stop stressing about that at least!! I carried on working throughout, although swapped into night shifts for some of it so that I could go for scans during the day. I took two days off following egg collection and was honest with work about the reason why. The most useful piece of advice I was given was to look at it as a three cycle journey. I expected my first cycle to fail. Even the clinic told us to look at it as a trial run, to get drug doses etc sorted. Physically I found it easy. Mentally it was tough but doable. We were really lucky in that it worked first time but I'd do it again without hesitation. Good luck!

W8woman Thu 01-Dec-16 16:04:41

IVF and ICSI for male factor infertility has the best chance of success, statistics show, so you are winning already.

Mentally and financially prepare yourself for multiple rounds of treatment so each one is a step closer on your journey to a bring home baby, not a last chance.

Decide on your limit of rounds and stick to it, so the cruelty of the IVF "hope" doesn't take over your life.

Have enough treatment - many women give up after two or three rounds, whereas stats indicate a woman aged 40 has a 15% chance of pregnancy per treatment round, so needs to prepare for 7 rounds of treatment. (Worked in four for us at 42).

Have an 'afterplan' for a life without children, in case things don't go ypur way on the baby front. Ours was for DH to give up work and for us to do a luxury round-the-world trip and then build a house by the sea. A friend's was to adopt, another friend's was to have donor embryo treatment. There are always options that will fill your life with meaning and joy.

Good luck flowers.

hopeful31yrs Thu 01-Dec-16 16:28:13

We went through our first cycle of ICSI for male factor this Feb/march and I'm sitting cuddling my newborn son as I type. Carried on as normal with my very demanding stressful healthcare job as I went through treatment. No one knew in work and had egg collection on my day off. As it was anticipated that I'd have transfer on a certain date I took that week off in advance which meant I could put my feet up after and relax.

Previously had IUI for my DD and that took a fair few cycles. What helped this time was spending the prior 2 months exercising (not rigorously) and eating well - I felt extremely fit going into the treatment.

leanandgreen Thu 01-Dec-16 17:19:13

Thank you Welsh, stress is what I've been concerned about the most. Congratulations! That's amazing that it worked first time. What did you do on the day of/immediately after transfer?

W8 thanks for that advice. I am being quite realistic about it, I think. I just need to make sure I am doing everything that I can to help it succeed, that's what I stress about the most.

Hopeful, thank you so much for sharing and HUGE congratulations! You give me hope.
The week that you took off for transfer, did you mainly just relax? What about immediately after transfer. My doctor says that I should carry on as normal which I have already made my mind up I won't be doing. I don't think that I could mentally cope with work following ET.
Also, I have one friend who has been through a few rounds of IVF and the one that succeeded she apparently lay in bed for six hours after it. She swears this is partly why it succeeded. I have also heard other advice that says go out for a walk. I'm not there yet but just kind of planning my schedule.

welshweasel Thu 01-Dec-16 17:50:33

I literally nipped out for ET, told my boss I was going to the bank. Went straight back to work after and continued as normal. There's really no medical need to rest afterwards and I know that I'm better keeping busy in these situations. I was also mindful of the fact that if we ended up doing multiple rounds I'd be glad of the annual leave and if I got pregnant I'd want it in case I felt rubbish in early pregnancy. Each to their own though, some people like to take the time off. I just knew I'd be sat at home obsessing over symptoms!

ncayley115 Mon 05-Dec-16 11:36:15

After our second IVF I stayed laying down for 20 mins. we went and had an afternoon by the pool, went out for dinner and flew home from Spain the next day. We have a 22 month old son now! What you do afterwards doesn't affect the success as the embryo doesn't implant that quickly.

RafflesMaidenSister Fri 09-Dec-16 19:27:32

I have embryo transfer tomorrow morning. Work has exploded since we started ICSI treatment and I've just got on with it - I haven't felt unable to work. First cycle, so can't tell you whether or not I feel like it's had an impact. I love my job, it's very important to me and I wouldn't have wanted this to affect it, though. No thinking about it is probably helpful?! It's what I'm trying to do now. Good luck.

leanandgreen Fri 09-Dec-16 19:59:05

Welsh that's good to know. Thank you for sharing, I still haven't made my mind up yet.

Ncayley that sounds perfect. Congratulations!

Oh wow Raffles! How exciting!! Sending you lots and lots of luck! I was thinking that too- I work from home so I probably won't be able to relax anyway knowing that my emails and the phones are just a few doors away. However, mentally I think that if it failed I would end up blaming work. Still undecided aghhh!!
Please let us know how everything goes. I am so curious, what with it being the first time.

drinkyourmilk Fri 09-Dec-16 22:50:15

Throughout treatment I just carried on as normal. Like another poster said I felt physically good about myself after loosing weight and getting fit ready for treatment (though I'm still quite overweight! ). I took the week off work following EC as we didn't know if we'd have a 3 or 5 day transfer. ET was a Saturday and I was back at work as normal on the Monday. I felt far less stressed than I had expected as the consult had warned me to expect at least 3 cycles before getting a positive test. I was incredibly lucky and am now 24 weeks pregnant after just one fresh cycle. Agree with others who say it doesn't matter what you do directly after transfer.
Best of luck!

RafflesMaidenSister Sat 17-Dec-16 09:43:47

Well, since you asked, I am back to clinic for test on Monday morning, but I'm sure my period is coming sad. I just it would get here and dash all hope because I'm hating living with even the tiny bit of hope that I know is going to be dashed but can't quite get rid of it.

Sure you will be fine and very good luck. xxx

leanandgreen Sat 17-Dec-16 10:20:33

Aw no Raffles! Why do you think that? I think that it's probably normal to be worried that your going to get a Bfn but you literally will not know until Monday.

What an emotional rollacoaster this journey is! Don't loose faith yet, without knowing for sure.

Sending you a virtual hug!! Xx

RafflesMaidenSister Sat 17-Dec-16 13:25:45

Just feels like it does a day or two before my period so pretty sure it's on the way! I know most people have to try for ages and I'm just being childish. I thought I'd schooled myself to be realistic but evidently not!

leanandgreen Sat 17-Dec-16 13:51:40

Raffles you not out yet and don't convince yourself that you are. You are not being childish at all. Relax!

Many many women go on to get their bfp after experiencing symptoms that mimic their period. I don't want to give you false hope but you really don't know yet. Every woman's symptoms are different before their bfp.

Really wishing you all the luck for Monday. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you. X

RafflesMaidenSister Sat 17-Dec-16 14:37:35

Thanks landg - I've struggled with 2ww far far more than I imagined possible. Blame it on the (self administered) hormones wink.

leanandgreen Sat 17-Dec-16 17:15:20

Aaah I cannot wait for that 🙈 ! I have been feeling so so sick and headahy today - must be the tablets and or nose spray. Really had a moment of 'should I really be doing this,' which is a terrible thing to think because really we are luck to be able to do this.

RafflesMaidenSister Sat 17-Dec-16 18:04:43

I had that feeling too - it was about the time I ran out of non bruised bits of stomach to stick needles in. And then felt awful both because I'm lucky to be able to have icsi but also because so many people have to inject every day for things like diabetes and I struggled with a scant fortnight! If I've learnt nothing else I've learned when the time comes I need to just drop dead because I'd be awful at major medical intervention.

leanandgreen Sun 18-Dec-16 09:47:59

Haha that made me laugh! It's our journey though isn't it, we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.
How are you feeling this morning?

santassausages Sun 18-Dec-16 10:08:27

Just to put my tiny comment in, even if you do have period like symptoms, or even a bleed before your pregnancy test, it could be implantation. That happened to me, on our third, and final, go at ICSI. I knew, just knew, that it had all failed - and I got a +ve. DC is now 10!

This is all so, so hard. Nobody can understand how difficult it is unless they've been through it. I am sending all the hopes and hugs for the baby you all want.

Wonderflonium Sun 18-Dec-16 10:10:45

My first go on ICSI was successful and it was the most ridiculously stressful time at work.

I am the shop steward and had to accompany a handful of my colleagues to termination interviews that no one (except me), had any warning about and then I had to sit down with bad faith negotiators in management who would just try to make things personal and try to stare me out, rather than make proper arguments. This was all going on right through fertility treatment to 10th week of gestation.

Meanwhile, those who knew I was having IVF were all "remember to stay calm, don't stress, you don't want to hurt your chances, the baby feels what you feel" which I heard as "if you experience the emotions that are appropriate for this situation, you will kill your unborn child" which just made me cry most of the time.

The ET was very upsetting because of complications from a congenital pain condition that I have. I walked home from the clinic in floods of tears. I was completely wracked with guilt that feeling traumatised from what had just happened would ruin the transfer. I kept thinking about all the women in forums who lay down for half an hour after the transfer, with comedy videos and glasses of wine, while I was walking and sobbing on my own.

I'm due in a few weeks.

Unless we're talking war zone/famine level stress, don't give it a second's thought. In fact, I read somewhere some stress is supposed to be good for the growing embryo because it provides a more stimulating environment. Wish I could find that link, it was in a medical journal and everything!

Can't recommend Headspace meditations more highly. While I do not believe that moderate stress is harmful to the foetus, it sure does make the mother feel uncomfortable so it's nice to have a proper release.

RafflesMaidenSister Sun 18-Dec-16 10:38:10

I've cheered up this morning - largely due to lovely replies on here. Also managed to keep reminding myself of all the things I can enjoy if it's not worked - Christmas drinks, start of the one day event season in March,having a properly good crack at improving my fitness. Work is horrific at the moment and I've not had enough sleep. Good night last night has put the world back on it's axis. So glad to hear it can work at stressful times.Thank you for all your support - not many people know and it's been great to be able to come on here. Xxx

leanandgreen Mon 19-Dec-16 13:53:00

Raffles, have been thinking of you today and keeping everything crossed! Pleased to hear about the PMA yesterday, that's very inspiring for when it's my turn.

Thank you Santa for your kind words!

Wonder thank you so much for sharing your story, that has really put everything into perspective for me. I feel comforted by your story but I am very sorry that you had to go through all of that stress. Huge Huge congratulations to you though. How exciting!! And I totally agree with the headspace recommendation.

RafflesMaidenSister Mon 19-Dec-16 21:55:40

Just wanted to let you all know it was a BFP! Can't believe it. Keeping everything crossed that it goes well. But wanted to say thank you so much for your support. Longest weekend of my life.

Hope you're doing ok leanandgreen. Let us all know on here how you're getting on. Xxx

Wonderflonium Mon 19-Dec-16 22:21:31


leanandgreen Mon 19-Dec-16 22:37:16

YAY!!! Omg I am so happy for you!! I was starting to get worried for a moment.

I really really wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!!

I'll keep you updated - probably going to need your advice tbh!! Xx

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