Unsure about IVF

(23 Posts)
Vicsleighbob Thu 09-May-19 14:11:59

Hi, this is my first post on this board. I understand this is a very sensitive topic and don't wish to upset anyone on here, I'm just looking for some advice from people who are a lot more knowledgeable than me.

I'm 37 next month and have children with my exh. The youngest is 8yrs. I didn't struggle to conceive in my 20's and had relatively straightforward pregnancies.

My DH and I are desperate for a child together. He's 43 and also has children from a previous relationship.

We have been ttc for the past year following removal of my implant. I have had 2 early mc (around 5 weeks) in the past 6 months. We went for private fertility testing a few of months ago, between the mc's, and I was told I have a very low ovarian reserve. My DH is fine and had excellent test results. The fertility doctor advised I only have a 5% chance of conceiving naturally because of my age and test results and said that IVF would be our best shot. Even so, he only gave me a 10-15% chance of conceiving even with IVF. He also said I'd probably need 2 rounds to gather enough eggs as I only have 8 follicles.

At this stage, I'm unsure whether to carry on trying naturally or whether we need to go down the IVF route. We have some savings that we could use but I am aware of the massive impact IVF could have on our family. That said, we both want a baby so much we'd be willing to try anything. The doctor advised that basically I'm running out of time and if we want IVF we need to do it straight away before I get any older. It almost felt like a sales pitch which has really made me question things.

I'm really unsure where to go from here and wondered if anyone had any advice please? This is all completely new to me and very scary.

If we do go down the IVF route, can anyone recommend a clinic around West Yorkshire? We had initial tests in Manchester but it's such a long way I think we would struggle to get there regularly.

If you've made it to the end of my post, thank you for reading.

OP’s posts: |
itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Thu 09-May-19 16:27:31

Hi OP what was you AMH level of they tested that as an indicator of egg reserve?
There are a few clinics who specialise in low AMH - Create is one of them - not sure if they have a clinic near you?
I agree that time is critical and if you can afford it I would give it a go? X

Vicsleighbob Thu 09-May-19 17:04:41

Hi, my AMH was 4.3 pmol/l so quite low.

OP’s posts: |
physicskate Thu 09-May-19 18:59:34

But surely the fact that you've conceived twice in 6 months means you might not need to go for ivf??

If I were in your shoes, I'd give it another 6 months and then look at ivf. What amh often means is how you will respond to the drugs - as in you may not get many eggs. But there are a huge number of women who have better odds of a natural conception if the 'only' issue is low amh.

He may have been trying to push you into ivf because of the huge amount of money he's hoping to bilk you for!

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Thu 09-May-19 19:04:32

You have to be 100% sure going into ivf as it's emotionally physically and hormonally demanding not to mention the financial side of it

4 is low but since you've had a good record of conceiving so far if you're not set on ivf yet give it another 6 months - maybe sign up to an ivf clinic in the meantime and get the initial consultation and scans out of the way that way you'll be ready to start ivf as soon as you've made the final decision x

Vicsleighbob Thu 09-May-19 19:55:17

Thank you for replying.

I had scans when I had my bloods done and they were normal. Since having my implant out my AF's have been really short and light so I'm worried there's something else going on which might mean IVF wouldn't work either. I've just had hormonal and thyroid bloods done with my GP and I'm waiting for the results. If they're ok then I think I might be out of options. I seem to be able to conceive but not stay pg, in which case IVF wouldn't work any way.

OP’s posts: |
Summersunshine2 Thu 09-May-19 20:39:02

Hi OP I'm sorry you are in this situation. It's heartbreaking isn't it.
I don't want to give you advise as it's a very personal thing but can share my story with you.
I have a ds with ex when I was in late 20's.
New oh and I tried for years (late 30's) but nothing happened. Had all the tests - it's mostly unexplained infertility.
Tried clomid for months. Scans showed I released one/two eggs each month as expected. But still no baby.
Went for IVF. Read loads about it.
It IS like a sales pitch. Hated this side of it. Our clinic gave you your money back if you didn't get to the egg collection stage. You had to pay for the drugs either way.
We did all the tests and consultations, I injected myself everyday then went for the scans. At this stage it was clear I only had one egg that would be big enough and they would have to bring the egg collection date forward as it had matured quickly.
We were really worried about this. One egg didn't play the odds well. An egg that had matured quicker than it should have - this didn't sit well with me personally at all.
It was an awful decision but we didn't go ahead and we got our money back. We figured we had as much chance (and more likely a healthy pregnancy) if we just tried naturally. I was worried about trying again and the effects of all the drugs and if the same thing happened again. They wouldn't give you your money back second time.
Never got pg naturally and think I may be too old now.
We used the money to take my son on the holiday of a lifetime. I say my son but oh is a great 'step dad'. I did type our son at first grin

RyvitaBrevis Thu 09-May-19 23:35:55

Your AMH is not far off mine (4.8) and no one has said my chances are so low. Either your fertility doctor is pessimistic or mine is not being totally straight with me . . . sad

Persipan Fri 10-May-19 06:30:03

Can I just gently pick you up on the 'in which case IVF wouldn't work anyway' thing? If you do have a thyroid issue, or if your hormones are such that e.g. you have a thinner endometrium or low progesterone or whatever, those things are entirely treatable and could be handled relatively easily during IVF. So, don't panic about that part.

That said, at the moment, you are conceiving (albeit sadly miscarrying early on). So, I would question what IVF would bring to the party. IVF might yield more information about what's going on for you, possibly. I suppose if you wanted to, you'd have the option of PGS testing your embryos and thereby potentially avoiding future miscarriages but that's a) fiendishly expensive and b) you need to produce a decent number of embryos for it to be worthwhile.

At 37, a reasonable proportion of your eggs should be chromosomally normal, and therefore able to develop into a healthy pregnancy. In the next few years, that percentage will shift fairly quickly, though. Eventually, you will reach a tipping point where using your own eggs becomes so unlikely to yield success that you might want to consider whether donor eggs might be for you.

Personally, in your shoes, I would probably keep trying naturally for a little longer, and save frantically in the meantime so as to have more of a cushion against the expenses of IVF if it seemed necessarily in a few months. (But, for context, I'm single - so trying naturally was never really an option for me. So, factor that into what weight to give my opinion!)

Good luck, whatever you decide.

Teddybear45 Fri 10-May-19 11:00:03

IVF itself probably can’t help with recurrent miscarriages but the testing that occurs alongside it often can. For example I am on a steroid / heparin / immune protocol as my clinic identified an inherited clotting disorder and high antibodies / white blood cells.

So yes while IVF itself might not help or work with your AMH don’t rule it out because all of the other things that happen alongside it could work for you. Your clinic might even offer to provide you the tests and assist a natural conception with injectable hormones rather than IVF, for example.

updownleftrightstart Fri 10-May-19 14:12:58

@RyvitaBrevis My AMH was 4.7 and I was told there was a >75% chance of it working. My consultant was indeed very optimistic but despite only 7 follicles and 6 mature eggs I ended up with 6 top quality blastocysts, and the one that got implanted is now a wonderful almost-2 year old so she was right!

I was told that age is much more important than AMH.

But OP I would also say that we too were advised if we wanted ivf we needed to do it then and had no time to waste. I was 35 and I'm glad we went ahead with it straight away. Also it wasn't just the ivf itself that I think helped me. It was all the other things like progesterone supplements and blood thinners to covered pretty much every possible thing that could be causing the infertility.

Vicsleighbob Fri 10-May-19 14:14:55

Thank you all for the replies, it's really helpful to see some other, more knowledgeable perspectives on IVF.

I'm back at my GP's on 20th May for all my blood work results. I'm hoping we can make some sort of plan going forwards. We did originally say we would give it until the start of next year to keep trying naturally, then maybe consider IVF. That seems so long away now though, especially as it's been a year already. Plus I would be almost 38 by then.

I understand how hard IVF can be and we have the added issues of being self employed, plus we already have children to think about.

It's not going to be easy, whatever we decide, but I appreciate your help. Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
updownleftrightstart Fri 10-May-19 15:17:12

Don't let how hard ivf is put you off because it might not be difficult for you. I was fully expecting it to be absolutely awful, and expected to be a hormonal wreck and it to be an emotional rollercoaster. I'm sure my experience isn't really common but I found every single aspect of it super easy. I put it off for years because I was scared of how hard it would be and when it came to it, it wasn't hard at all

Mothermason Fri 10-May-19 19:46:42

I think I’d go for a try at the IVF. It’s expensive I know but it’s only money. Another child with your husband is invaluable. You would always look back and wonder. If it didn’t work, you could consider adoption (I know, also sensitive subject) x

RyvitaBrevis Sat 11-May-19 11:46:16

@updownleftrightstart Thank you, that's very encouraging!!

hoping2018 Sun 12-May-19 22:07:21

I got told my ivf has a 5-10% chance of success. Typing this next to my 14 week old!

I read your text as you’d regret it if you didn’t try. Time isn’t on your side but conceiving maturely isn’t our either / if I were you I’d hear up for ivf which takes a few months but keep trying in the meantime. Might be worth asking why they think ivf will help when you e had miscarriages... best of luck

Vicsleighbob Tue 14-May-19 19:58:55

Thank you for your replies.

I am swaying more towards trying natural ivf. Does anyone have any experience of this please? I'm just very conscious at 37 and having low AMH, it may not work, but I really don't want to use a donor egg as that's just not for me personally. Absolutely no offence to anyone that has done this. It's just a very personal thing for me.

OP’s posts: |
updownleftrightstart Tue 14-May-19 20:26:57

I don't sorry. I did medicated and it was definitely the right choice for me, but why are you leaning more towards natural?

BettySwoll0cks Tue 14-May-19 22:44:21

Hi OP, just stumbled across your post as I was searching for answers to the same question. I was at the IVF clinic "info evening" tonight which has put my head in a spin. I can also conceive naturally (already have a gorgeous DS) but now keep miscarrying, so I'm also trying to work out how/if IVF would help us. The clinic, of course, were very positive that it's the right course of action especially as I'm 39 gasp

I wanted to recommend the book "It Starts With The Egg" by Rebecca Fett. It's a consolidation of a lot of serious medical research into improving egg quality and quantity (there's a chapter dedicated to preparing for IVF as well as one for PCOS and another for recurrent miscarriage) through supplementation and lifestyle changes (avoiding certain chemicals and plastics etc). Really interesting book - just thought I'd signpost that one in case you haven't seen it and want to work on maximising your ovarian reserve. Good luck.

Vicsleighbob Wed 15-May-19 13:29:27

I just like the idea that natural ivf focuses on egg quality rather than quantity. I can have multiple rounds without waiting in between and won't need lots of drugs. I plan to book a consultation in the next few weeks just to get some info.

OP’s posts: |
WorriedButterfly Sat 18-May-19 13:15:33

Hi @Vicsleighbob - you could talk to your doc about a supplement called DHEA, I have an AMH of 4 and all the way through everyone has told me not to be disheartened- it is egg quality that counts. DHEA is proven to help with egg quality and reduce mc. I'm not sure ivf is what you need as others have said, due to your pregnancies. It takes 6wks to get into your system, the side effects for it were no way as bad as they sound, just greasy hair and face! Good luck!

ckc45d10 Mon 20-May-19 18:26:28

Another one you may want to ask your doctor about is CoQ10 for fertility support.
One thing to note is that DHEA is a hormone, and can affect hormone levels, so you may want to check in with your doctor.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 21-May-19 08:21:58

I was told to take dhea for Think 3mths Before ivf and egg quality improved

Started ivf at 40. 5th cycle worked at almost 43

Dd is now 2

I agree ivf is mentally emotionally physically and in our case financially £27k draining but I’m so glad we continued

Loans credit cards etc

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