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Roughly how many cycles of IVF can you do in a year?

(21 Posts)
AliceScarlett Wed 28-Nov-18 20:58:25

That really, if there are no miscarriages. I'm trying to plan my life, but I can't find anything on Google... which is odd.

Dudewheresmybaby Wed 28-Nov-18 21:04:44

For me physically I could do loads as I haven't felt much in the way of physical side effects. Mentally is a whole different story - I did two last year and two this year and this last round has nearly broken me - I massively underestimated the mental and emotional strain both on me and my marriage. But, everyone is different and I think how many people can do really comes down to the individual - some women do one and decide they can't do it again and some women do many more. Wishing you all the luck in the world x

AliceScarlett Wed 28-Nov-18 21:17:55

2!? Cripes. Is there a long wait between cycles then? I thought it would be 2 months, then a one month break then a FET
I know there are no guarantees, was thinking more 3-4.

Dudewheresmybaby Wed 28-Nov-18 21:25:56

Apart from this 4th cycle (which has lasted 4 months so far for various reasons and FET has been delayed until new year as I've developed cysts for no reason) I've always done a fresh transfer as I never had any to freeze. So the first three were fresh transfers. The wait was only for mental health reasons, I just can't do anymore than two a year as the emotional and mental strain is too much and it takes me a while to recover from the failed cycles and feel strong enough to take the strain of another cycle again. There are so many variables and each cycle has been so different, I've found it nearly impossible to plan!

Dudewheresmybaby Wed 28-Nov-18 21:27:10

I should say though that everyone is different, I've known others to do more. But it all depends on the individual and how you respond each time.

TheRealMummyPig Wed 28-Nov-18 21:33:11

I did eight cycles in total (the 8th a success) but over three years. Physically, you could probably do 6 cycles a year but mentally and emotionally is a whole other story. It's tough. That would be fresh cycles though (and was for me).
If you had frozen embryos to use then I imagine you could do these cycles much more regularly and perhaps with less emotional build up and physical symptoms as no drugs each time.

doodlyfiddly Wed 28-Nov-18 21:38:29

I did 4 in one year. The first in the January (no response to medication - low ovarian reserve), 2nd in May (ICSI, 4 eggs, 2 embryos - didn't work), 3rd in August (no response to medication) and 4th in November (ICSI, 2 eggs, only 1 embryo which worked). I wouldn't recommend it, but I was running out of time and eggs! I suffered no effects from the drugs nor much emotional upheaval, which was surprising. I was very very lucky.

Waterdropsdown Wed 28-Nov-18 21:45:25

Do you know if you are short protocol or long? I was short and even then the nhs round they made me take the pill for 3 weeks at the start before the cycle.
I did one short cycle that failed I registered with private clinic and had to have some things sorted after tests I cycled again 6 months later. Had a miscarriage and then a FET 6 months after that cycle but 3/4 months after miscarriage. Clinic would have said at least one natural period after failed cycle.

Also I would go into presuming you won’t get Frosties I think it’s chances are you won’t and you would be so disappointed if you thought you’d get them and didn’t.

I honestly think 4 cycles in one year would be the max even if a couple of them are frozen. It’s tough tough going especially picking yourself up after a failure.

Lauren83 Thu 29-Nov-18 04:57:38

Max of 4 I think, I did 5 over 4 years but had a gap

physicskate Thu 29-Nov-18 05:15:07

Also I'd think that after several failed cycles you would be thinking about further tests, like a hysteroscopy, which take time and recovery.

There is no way to plan this like you're hoping.

TinyPaws Thu 29-Nov-18 08:46:43

If you end up on long protocol, well, it's called long protocol for a reason. Started this cycle 3rd October. Now in the 2WW with OTD 7th December. So, over 2 months start to finish and that's without any undue delays. If it fails the clinic will want me to have at least 1 natural cycle before trying again (possibly longer) so we'd be talking January/February start at best.

chumsnet Thu 29-Nov-18 09:09:14

The vast majority of patients suffer no physical side-effects from IVF but almost everyone - male and female - is emotionally battered by it.

If you can manage three in a year you’ll be exceptional.

Don’t forget that those 3 cycles cost £30-75k depending on what’s needed medically and that money usually has to be earned, which takes its own toll mentally and physically.

Try not to have treatment around birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and Christmas. The crushing disappointment of a failed cycle or even worse, a loss, can taint the day for years afterwards even if you’re lucky enough to have a child.

I think you have a brilliant attitude though. IVF needs to be seen as a 2 or 3 year course of gruelling medical treatment and very few people understand that. Best of luck to you.flowers

bengalcat Thu 29-Nov-18 09:11:48

Depending on how the cycle goes and how you feel physically 3 - 4 . Depends on your bank balance too and if you have frozen embryos the FET cycle is less onerous ( from a drug taking point of view ) .

Isittimeforbed Thu 29-Nov-18 09:21:22

I was always long protocol and did 3 in a year at most. One in Feb/March chemical pregnancy so had to wait for the bleed from that and then one period. Second in June BFN. My clinic recommended at wait at least one cycle after a negative to rest ovaries, although would do back-to-back if I wanted as there’s no proven medical reason not to. Third cycle in sept which was an ongoing pregnancy. Personally I don’t find IVF too bad - I think partly because I had a live birth from my first ever cycle - but it is an emotional roller coaster and can take over your life. So you need a break sometimes. Also don’t bank on frozen embryos - I’ve had 5 cycles and several babies but never anything suitable for freezing.

DameSylvieKrin Thu 29-Nov-18 09:58:16

I did 3 in 9 months with no FET as I had nothing to freeze (and nothing at all to put back the second time).
You only have to sit out one menstrual cycle after a fresh cycle to do a FET but my clinic recommended a 3 month gap between stimulations as oocytes develop over three months so if the next cycle were too close the oocytes collected would have been exposed to two lots of stimulation . The other thing my clinic said is that after four failed cycles they wouldn’t recommend more as the likelihood of success would then be so low.
You could of course do 12–13 cycles of natural IVF in a year but I don’t suppose anyone would.

DameSylvieKrin Thu 29-Nov-18 10:00:04

Oh and I was short protocol and got a bfp on the third cycle.

Botanica Thu 29-Nov-18 10:36:17

I did four fresh ivf cycles over the space of twelve months - with a three month pregnancy and miscarriage in there as well. Three gynae surgeries in there too, one between each cycle.

It was torture but I felt like time was running out and the pressure to succeed drove me on.

Don't underestimate the need for an emotional break. When cycles fail or the toll of trying to keep all the balls in the air at once can all get too much at times - work, relationships, family - plus the effects of the hormones, fear, guilt, anger, disappointment, frustration, envy of others etc...

You need to be in the right headspace to do it, hence why after all of the above, I have decided to take a six month break, despite being 40 and acutely aware of time running out.

I have a different perspective now and realise that being emotionally ready each time is equally important as being physically ready to proceed.

Botanica Thu 29-Nov-18 10:44:52

P.S. I look back on this now and think I must have been mad / obsessed to have put myself through that.

I wish someone had told me it would be too much and stopped me but unfortunately I am too determined for my own good and just stuck my head in the sand, convinced the next one would be a success.

Some really good comments on this thread.

Especially the one around timing and trying to avoid important dates clashing.

My 2ww after the fourth cycle coincided with my due date of the twins I miscarried. Words cannot explain how hard that failure hit me. I almost lost my mind as I'd built it up in my mind for the six months preceding that I'd be able to cope with the loss at that time as long as I was pregnant again.
When I found out I wasn't it was devastating.

So many things I'd do differently with the benefit of hindsight...

YetAnotherThing Thu 29-Nov-18 10:57:49

It’s definitely a head game more than physical. I regard myself as tough, but brushing yourself down and cracking on straight away is hard emotionally. Also, the constant inability to plan anything as you might be in the clinic, needing a scan, juggling work etc. I found the stress of diary planning really tough- It taught me quite a lot about my own personality and how I respond to a loss of control!

AliceScarlett Thu 29-Nov-18 11:59:18

Thank you everyone, really helpful information. I had not considered it was likely we would have nothing to freeze, so good to be aware of that. I just don't know if I can go on holiday or take part in any kind of trips away ( DH and I really into mountains, but they don't mix well with IVF). Maybe I need to accept I need to put my life on hold for a year. Can't have it all.

DameSylvieKrin Thu 29-Nov-18 14:49:12

You could also just book a holiday and accept that this might at some stage push your attempt back a month. I don’t think it would have helped me to feel that my life was on hold, and even during the treatment it was a very small part of my life.

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