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What's IVF like?(9 Posts)
My husband and I will soon be moving on to IVF as we have unexplained infertility and have had a few rounds of IUI which failed. Please could you tell me what your experiences were step by step and with the medications. I mentioned at work a few months ago that it was something we may have to do in the future as I was asked about my numerous 'medical appointments' and thankfully they have been very supportive. My employer said that the last person who went through it had to have a few weeks off work which was fine. Why / and at what point may I need time off work? Obviously the day the eggs are collected but when else? What are the side effects like? Thank you in advance for sharing your experiences.
I had mild stimulation ivf so didn't do the "down regging" bit - we chose that route due to history of recurrent miscarriage and near fatal ectopic last year and felt that my body had been through enough. I started injections on cycle day 2 and had egg collection on cycle day 13. I had 14 eggs collected (which is a lot for mild stimulation) but had early stage OHSS so my clinic said we had to freeze any blastocysts and transfer another month. 12 fertilised but only 3 made it to freeze.
I found the whole process really quick and easy and felt absolutely zero side effects but that was because I did short protocol - it's the down reg medication which makes you feel awful and drags the process out to 6 weeks or more (compared to mine - less than 2 weeks!). Mild ivf focuses on quality not quantity and actually I got the same/more eggs than doing the long protocol so I don't know why more people don't do it.
My clinic starts scans at 730am - I had maybe 3/4 scans and blood tests prior to egg collection. The only day I took off work fully was collection day - all the other appointments I did before work. I actually don't believe in taking weeks and weeks off work - you just over think things.
I did a frozen transfer in March which sadly failed but will do a double transfer next month x
You’ll likely need more than just a day off when eggs are collected - I had a week off and just about felt normal enough to go back to work then. Everyone is different and responds differently, I found the injections a breeze, the egg collection procedure fine but due to the amount of eggs collected, I suffered afterwards.
There’s also quite a few scans to fit in, often not arranged until two days before hand ( I was scanned every other day but these weren’t booked until the previous scan, not in advance). You may also want to take the time between embryo transfer and pregnancy test off, depending on how you feel too!
I did short protocol; start of injections to egg collection was 14 days in total but if you are on the long protocol, it’s more like 6-8 weeks of injections/medication.
I would recommend a bit of a boot camp 3 months before starting for both you and husband - my first cycle showed my egg quality was poorer than expected - so I've been taking Proceive Max supplements and 200mg daily coq10 as well as doing fertility acupuncture
It depends a bit on your protocol/drugs but there's basically a period where you're injecting the drugs to stimulate egg production and scanned regularly - that's when you need the most appointments (every couple of days or so) but they're generally relatively quick. Depending on how you react, it gets a bit uncomfortable and you can get quite bloated towards the end. Egg collection is done under sedation so you'll need a good few hours off work for that. I worked from home that afternoon as felt fine but others have some pain or after effects from the sedation. Was back at work the next day. Again, I worked from home on the day of the embryo transfer with a couple of hours out in the middle of the day for the actual procedure but as you're not under sedation generally, it's a quick recovery time. I went back to work the next day.
Hi,jumping on this thread, I’ve just started the process, day 1 period and have started taking the pill, got the plan and found it all overwhelming, 2 injections a day etc... but as the nurse said just focus on 1 stage at a time.
I have one dc 6 already, ttc for 3 years with no luck for no 2, I’m 40, put off IVF as I suffered horrendous hyperemsis on dc1. But it’s now or never and I don’t want any regerts but honestly the whole thing terrifies me.
Thank you for replying so quickly, your experiences are so helpful. I didn't realise how frequently the scans need to be! Thank you for the bootcamp advice miracleon13th. I will look into what those supplements are as I just take folic acid and vitamin d. I did fertility acupuncture a while ago and after 3 months actually had a chemical pregnancy. I carried on a few months after that and nothing so I assumed it was coincidence.
Hi Zest11 i just had my embryo transfer today. From my baseline scan and starting injections up until today is just over 2 weeks, i had 2 scans in between, then egg collection. I took the day off work for it, i slept for 4 hours when i got home and wish i took the day off after, i was quite bloated for a few days and then i was fine, they had also removed a cyst.
Post embryo transfer Ive taken tomorrow off from work only, i don't think i could take the 2ww off, id go crazy but lots of people do take it off.
Everyone responds to meds, procedures differently so do what you feel is right for you x
Oh and do have a look at going back to accupuncture, i found that really helped me, it seems to be getting more popular.
Your clinic will have an info evening that I highly suggest you go to. It should help you know more about what to expect.
Supplements-wise, 'it starts with the egg' is the book mentioned the most. The author is a researcher who went through infertility and did the research on studies of what's shown to help.
Mostly, everything else has already been covered!