How gruelling is IVF?

(20 Posts)
DrowsyDragon Sat 19-Oct-19 17:26:12

I struggled to conceive my DD who is nearly two. Apparently my hormones were low and we need clomid to help. This time we’ve been told that my husband’s sperm count and motility are well down and that our best chance is IVF with ICSI. I do want another baby but we just had the meeting going through all the procedures, injections, my first time ever under general, pessaries for twelve weeks. I’m 33, 34 in the spring. And I just feel conflicted. I am so lucky to have my little girl but as an only I’ve always wanted more than one. But all that medication sounds daunting and I wonder if it is selfish of me giving I’ve had one. I don’t want to waste time as it’s not massively on my side. Just looking for people’s experiences really and how how it actually feels rather than the medical disclaimers.

OP’s posts: |
LillyLeaf Sat 19-Oct-19 17:39:17

Physically I've been fine, drugs and injections are fine but the waiting and emotional side is the hardest. Plus it doesn't always work out so you need to have realistic expectations.

Kirmcd Sat 19-Oct-19 17:41:20

I didn’t actually find it that bad. I couldn’t take the pill for the first part so had to take bruserilin for 3 weeks. Last week had sleeplessness but other than that ok. When I started taking both injections things got back to normal. Last 2 weeks a pain with hospital visits but egg retrieval ok, although did feel knocked out for the rest of the day. Embryos transfer fine, although a bit uncomfortable as you need a full bladder. I would say go for it! You’re 10 years younger than me so I’m sure it would have a much better chance of success. I am waiting for pregnancy test on Friday and not too hopeful. This part after transfer has definitely been the hardest. You are very lucky to have one, but it does sound like you would love another. Go for it!

StylishMummy Sat 19-Oct-19 17:42:00

You sound apathetic to another and TBH, everything I've ever heard about IVF is that it's one of the most difficult thing a marriage can go through.

Could you try Clomid again and just see what happens?

DrowsyDragon Sat 19-Oct-19 18:52:56

My DH is dreading the idea of a miscarriage. We had one before our little girl. I’m trying not to think too much about the emotional side in advance. I’ve been focusing on trying to be positive and thinking about hopefully having another baby. Thank you to both Kirmcd & LillyLeaf. I used to be a real medical wuss, hated needles, hated blood tests etc before the first round of fertility stuff so I think having 15 minutes of all the medical details and worst case scenarios put the wind up me a bit. Good luck to you both and fingers crossed.

Stylish mummy, I do really want another child. I see newborns and my whole chest aches. It’s just I found the three years before I had my little girl quite hard and I’m trying to balance wanting a second child and her needs. I could be completely selfish before and would have don IVF without a thought but I don’t want my desire to have another baby leave her with a possibly depressed and obsessed mum.

We’ve already tried five rounds of clomid this time hence the IVF recommendation. The Clinic suggested we try in January with IVF and I wanted to take this time to hear about other women’s experiences and make sure I am very clear on what I am doing and also probably when to stop if it doesn’t work. I’m conscious I am so so lucky to have my little girl and to be able to weigh options and I am so sorry for people for whom that isn’t the case. Perhaps that’s the bit that sounds like apathy to you.

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smemorata Sat 19-Oct-19 18:57:10

What Lillyleaf said!

Ilikesweetpeas Sat 19-Oct-19 19:01:41

It is stressful because you have so much pinned on it. I had 2 (failed) cycles since my DD (result of 3rd ivf) I had to stop and try to accept only having her because I was struggling so much with the hormonal ups and downs, and the disappointment when it failed. (As well as the financial side!) Good luck with whatever you decide

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Sat 19-Oct-19 19:15:22

I do short protocol mild ivf so actually only on injections for about 10 days instead of medications for 6 weeks

I'd look into something like that if you are really concerned about coping with the whole process

Definitely as others have said that it's not so much the medication part but the waiting and the stress of results which is the worst bit - waiting to start, waiting to see what follicles there are, waiting to see what's fertilised.....what grade they are.....what makes it to day 5.....Waiting to transfer and waiting to see if it works.....

Ginger1982 Sat 19-Oct-19 19:23:16

I had ICSI for DS that was successful the first time round. I found the injections hard to get used to but ultimately found it ok and I was working full time. The hardest bit was trying to fit scans etc around work.

In subsequent had a FET from the original cycle which failed. I then had a fresh 'freeze all' round earlier this year. I found it much harder this time around physically and emotionally. I was a SAHM so easier to get to appointments and things but found myself very short tempered with DH and DS. I also had a much poorer response to treatment this time around. I was 36 as opposed to 33.

In the end, my one embryo didn't survive thawing. The disappointment was crushing. We're currently debating whether to have another full round next year or just leave it. I honestly don't know how I'd get on.

I'm an only child, DH is one of three and I had always pictured having two kids. But my life as an only was pretty good and I know my DS's will be good too if he is an only

Only you can make the decision thanks

Maggie272 Sun 20-Oct-19 10:12:49

It was hard for me - the drugs, the losses. But I got through it, and had some time off work. All 7 seasons of the Gilmore Girls are on Netflix, so just hunker down xxx

NeelaBlue Sun 20-Oct-19 10:27:43

Hi DrowseyDragon,
I have a son from an IVF cycle in 2017, and have just started another cycle (long protocol).

I had all the same worries as you (right up until I paid for the treatment), but in the end I decided to go for it (as i’m 42 yrs old).
My estimated date for EC is Friday (25th Oct).

So far (for me) it has been fine physically. And emotionally, I haven’t really had the chance to stop and think about it too much, my son’s been unwell (high temp etc), so he has been very clingy, and with trying to juggle work and clinic appointments, the last few weeks have flown by.

However, that being said, I’m not sure how I’ll feel after ET, and during the TWW, (and if I’m unsuccessful). But I’m willing to go through it for a 25% chance of success. (That 25% is based on my result on the calculator).

Anyway, good luck and all the best for whatever you decide, it’s not an easy decision. flowers

Whattheother2catsprefer Sun 20-Oct-19 10:36:00

Absolutely no need to have a General - I had all three of my cycles under sedation, as you already have a child I assume you will be funding the IVF and it's cheaper than a General too. I didn't find the drugs etc difficult but some women do but stress of the whole process was tough. We were brought closer together by it and maintained an "us against the world" attitude but again plenty of couples find it pushes them apart rather than pulling them together. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

firsttimeivfmum Sun 20-Oct-19 12:06:31

I have just recently done two rounds of ivf. Both were quite different. The first was pretty plain sailing. I didn't mind injecting myself. You have to be more prepared to focus all your attention on being healthy and de-stress for a period beforehand. My second round was tough. I was in a lot of discomfort and nearly had my transfer cancelled due to OHSS. Emotionally ivf is a rollercoaster. I am quite a tough cookie but I have to say it has tested me beyond what I thought were my limits. I am a teacher and have had to go part time to get some balance. We are fortunate enough that although we received no funding from our NHS trust financially we could afford it. I cannot imagine how much more difficult it is to have to worry about paying for it all. It was our saviour as we had been trying for 6 years unsuccessfully.

With all that said. We are so fortunate to be 8weeks pregnant right now. I have the process of ivf to thank for that. It is an absolute miracle. Would I do it again? Without a doubt. Is is hard? Unbelievably.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Only you know how much you want another. Your situation is different from anyone else's.

mouse1234567 Sun 20-Oct-19 12:49:53

I think perhaps if IVF is successful first time for you its doesn’t cause such a burden and stressful-I think it’s repeated cycleafter cycle it becomes so much worse. For me the drugs aren’t too bad -but there are side effects, mentally it’s hard having life on hold all the time and feeling like you are failing and wondering when it will end. It’s a lot of waiting. Good luck whatever you decide. It’s so personal. And of course you never know if you are going to be one of the lucky ones that conceived on the first round.

hoping2018 Sun 20-Oct-19 15:53:27

It is gruelling and exhausting. I had two fresh rounds where I was very overstimulated but then all our fertilised embryos died off quickly and no one could say why. We were very lucky to have DS at the end of it.

It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but completely worth it and I’m planning to do it all again very soon as I know if we’re lucky enough for success a second time it will be worth it again.

RyvitaBrevis Tue 22-Oct-19 00:04:53

After the heartbreak of years of infertility, 2 operations, and feeling we needed to face up to a future with no biological children, IVF has been the least difficult part of it. My usual life with endometriosis is more uncomfortable, tiring and painful than anything I went through in IVF.

We went into IVF thinking it would not work, expecting it to be the hardest thing we'd ever done, and were pleasantly surprised. It really depends on how strong your relationship is, and your attitude. You have to let go of the fear (of miscarriage, of childlessness or it not work, of disappointment, etc) and take things one day at a time, and be thankful for the other good things.

Chillichutney1 Tue 22-Oct-19 08:45:25

I did the short protocol and also did a FET years later for no3. The fresh cycle was successful and we didn’t find that stressful at all. The two week wait was stressful and the fear of it failing

I had a frozen transfer 2 years later after which I had a miscarriage and that was very stressful and upsetting.

For us the cost of and funding ivf was the stressful factor, and waiting for the outcome, how many embryos made it to blast etc - the physical procedures otherwise were fine and no more stressful than other fertility investigations

DrowsyDragon Wed 23-Oct-19 21:52:17

I’m sorry to all of you who commented as I slightly abandoned this thread. Thank you all so much. I really wanted to hear women’s experiences rather than just listen to my doctor’s account - I totally trust his medical knowledge but he’s never experienced it. Thank you all so much. I’m pretty determined to go ahead, as we do really want another child and if that doesn’t happen I think I’ll have more peace. I wish you all the best and thank you again.

OP’s posts: |
firsttimeivfmum Sat 02-Nov-19 18:09:50

@DrowsyDragon good luck! More than happy to answer any questions you have along the way. The community on Instagram is absolutely fabulous too with many tips and support for your journey x

DrowsyDragon Mon 04-Nov-19 20:42:51

@firsttimeivfmum thanks so much for that! I’ll bear it in mind. Xx

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