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Failed IVF, First attempt, Nearly 40, There is still hope isn’t there?!

(13 Posts)
PurpleBee39 Sun 29-Dec-19 13:23:48

Hi Everyone,

I originally posted this on 23rd Dec, it was my first ever post and I have since realised this would have been a much better place to post it. Please be kind to me, I’m all new to this!
I firstly wanted to say thank you to the community as a whole because in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep and I’m panicking about what is happening to me, I have read so many messages which have kept me going. The past 2 months have been one of the hardest times of my life and this has been one place I could turn to for support.
*Background
I am 39, almost 40, I’ve never been pregnant before. I have a low egg reserve and DH has a low sperm count. Previously I was overweight and unable to meet the target weight for NHS IVF but since turning 39 and with my biological clock and the NHS cut off age fast approaching it spurred me on to lose 4 stone in the past year.
* IVF
We started IVF in October, using Synarel Nasal spray for down regulation and then Gonal F injections for stimulation. During the process I had weekly reflexology to try and act as complementary therapy to the IVF and help with stress levels. I had so many reminder alarms on my phone, it was the only way I could keep everything straight and make sure I took the right thing at the right time. And also make sure I went to the right appointment on the right day.
Next was an Ovitrelle injection prior to egg collection and then Utrogestan pessaries afterwards.
I had 5-6 egg’s developing and after egg collection / ICSI, my DH and I had 1 A grade embryo and 2 embryos which were suitable for freezing the next day.
We decided to transfer the 1 A grade embryo on 26th November.
7th December was the date for the first pregnancy test provided by the clinic. This was negative. We wanted to make sure so did a second test with Clear Blue and this was positive. We tested again the following day with another Clear Blue and this was also positive but on 8th - 11th December I had heavy bleeding and period like pain. I knew in my heart that I was having an early miscarriage. I could not see how an embryo could possibly survive this level of bleeding. I cried virtually non stop for 3 days straight.
I contacted the clinic who confirmed this was not a good sign but that the only way of knowing would be to do a scan, but they advised to test again in a week to see if it was still showing as positive.
On 16th December I tested again and this was positive. But by then we didn’t trust the tests as we are aware false positives can be a problem due to pregnancy hormones in the system.
During this whole time I was still having to use the awful Utrogestan pessaries 3 times a day. It was soul destroying, especially during the 4 days of heavy bleeding but I persevered.
The 2 weeks from the bleeding until the scan were the hardest and most stressful of this whole IVF experience. The endless waiting was almost too much to cope with.
On 20th December we went for a scan and there was no sign of pregnancy. Just as we expected, but you can’t help still holding onto the tiny glimmer of hope that just won’t go away.
Strangely by this time I had no tears left and since then I have just been feeling numb to it all.
*What’s next?
We are hoping to go for another cycle in the new year using the 2 frozen embryo’s. We hope (maybe wrongly) the process may be slightly less stressful as we will be able to skip some of the stages.
We were told when we started that due to my age we would only be entitled to 1 cycle on the NHS, but one of the nurses let slip that the consultant has requested funding before for other women who have just turned 40. We are hopeful that we might be able to have a 2nd chance on the NHS. Otherwise we would struggle to afford to pay for a cycle ourselves.

It seems like the worst possible timing for this to happen, not that there is ever a good time. Everyone else seems to be happy and cheerful. I have only told 2 close work friends about this and none of my family. I just didn’t want people to get excited and keep asking how it’s going until I had reached the 12 week point. As it turned out it was the right thing to do for me.
I have basically given up on Christmas, I don’t want to see anyone, I’ve been signed off work until the new year and I’ve said to my DH let’s just be miserable together! We had Christmas lunch but all I can think of is getting through the rest of this year and waiting for 2020. In the hope next time we will be lucky. I feel that I haven’t lost all hope and that I’m not ready to give up yet and luckily my DH feels the same.

I would really like to hear from anyone who is going through or has been through a similar situation.
Has anyone been in the same situation with reaching 40 and officially hitting the cut off for a 2nd cycle on the NHS. Were they able to get funding?
Has anyone been successful on a second attempt, aged around 40 using frozen embryo’s?

Lastly, I just wanted to say to anyone who has just experienced a failed IVF attempt, I know what you are going through. You may feel like I do at the moment like you are wading through fog. You are not alone, please do not despair and hold onto the thought that you will get through this.

Bookiewook Sun 29-Dec-19 17:29:56

I’m 36 but with various issues. I just did my first cycle and the first transfer (FET) failed. I am now 14 wks pregnant from the second transfer via FET. Was also ICSI. My doctor actually only does freeze all as she thinks the body responds better if given a rest. Fingers crossed your next transfer works for you.

PurpleBee39 Sun 29-Dec-19 18:59:54

Dear Bookiewook,
Thank you for your reply. I am so pleased your second attempt has been successful and I wish you all the very best with your pregnancy.

kell2126 Sun 29-Dec-19 19:45:23

Hi @PurpleBee39 sounds like we're in a similar situation. I am 39 (40 this coming summer) and I also had a chemical earlier this month from IVF. It was our second go and a FET. The first failed round was a fresh one in July. We are lucky in that in our area you get 3 'rounds' (three transfers and however many stim cycles it takes to get you to three transfers) as long as you start before you turn 40, so we have one more NHS-funded shot at it.

I'm really sorry for your loss and I hope you're doing OK. Frozen transfers are easier for sure, but you still have to cope with the awful progesterone pessaries! sad

If our third and final round also fails, I think we'll look at doing it privately overseas – possibly in the Czech Republic – as it's a lot cheaper than here. But still a significant amount of money to scrape together and won't be easy for us.

Good luck to you – I hope everything works out x

PurpleBee39 Sun 29-Dec-19 19:58:30

Dear kell2126,
Thank you for your message. I am very sorry to hear about your two cycles not working out and wish you all the very best for your next one.

I’m doing okay thank you, but I’m glad Christmas is over as the timing has been difficult.

The pessaries are dreadful aren’t they! I am not looking forward to that stage again!

I really hope 2020 is a good year for both of us!
Thanks again for your message x

EL8888 Sun 29-Dec-19 23:18:52

@PurpleBee39 l am in a similar situation to you. I am 39 and very nearly 40. We had IVF in November and found out at the end of November it had failed. We have some embryos in the freezer which we are probably going to try with in 2020. I am going to ask for rectal suppositories next time, probably TMI but the vaginal pessaries caused me so so much pain and discomfort. We only get 1 partial round in our area so from here on in we need to pay for it all ourselves. Not even sure if l would want to do it all again anyway, after we try with these embryos l am probably done. Good luck with it all. I know how tough it is.

PurpleBee39 Sun 29-Dec-19 23:43:21

@EL8888 - Thanks so much for your message. It’s good to hear we’re not alone but I am very sad to hear your attempt was unsuccessful.
Best of luck with the second round, fingers crossed it will be a success for you both. It is so tough and remaining positive is so difficult.
I didn’t know about the suppositories, the pessaries are just awful so I hope these work out much better for you.
Best of luck xx

PaulGalico Sun 29-Dec-19 23:52:37

I just wanted to say that we had our first round of IVF when I was 40. A frozen transfer at 42 resulted in our eldest son. I then conceived naturally at 43. So, it is possible. Frozen embryo transfer is much easier on the body. flowers

PurpleBee39 Sun 29-Dec-19 23:56:30

@PaulGalico - Thank you for your message. It really makes me feel like there is still hope.
I am so glad you have your lovely children. It must have been a difficult process but well worth it.

EL8888 Mon 30-Dec-19 00:48:02

Yeah it does sound like a frozen transfer is much less hard on the body. My clinic like a lot of others, seem to have better statistics with frozen.

@PurpleBee39 l meant to ask are you going to go for 2 separate transfers?

PurpleBee39 Mon 30-Dec-19 01:39:37

@EL8888 - I’ve heard that mentioned before about a frozen transfer being less hard on the body which will be a relief. I suppose you miss out on some of the stages and therefore the process is less of a trial.
I think we will ask if we can transfer both frozen embryos at the same time. When we had our first fresh ET recently they said we could opt for 2 but we decided to go for one because it was apparently A grade. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be. We thought it would then leave us with 2 if we needed to try again.
Feel free to keep in contact if you want to talk anything through. Very best of luck to you in the new year xx

Cornyplaster Mon 30-Dec-19 01:45:21

Which clinic are you using? Does it have a good success rate? You need to skew the odds as much as you can in your favour.
By way of hope, I had 2 rounds of IVF, both fresh cycles, and got twins and a singleton. I was 38 first time, 39 the second. It can be done!

PurpleBee39 Mon 30-Dec-19 01:54:08

@Cornyplaster - NHS referred us to the Oxford Fertility Partnership. We are waiting to hear if we have funding for a second cycle because I will be 40 next week. If we ended up having to pay for the second cycle we would definitely look at other options and success rates as a comparison.
Congratulations on your successes that’s great!

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