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IVF to bank embryos for possible 3rd child - am I mad??

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catlike1979 · 16/07/2018 21:39

Please could anyone who has been down the IVF route give me some advice or tell me that I'm crazy?!

I'm 38, DS is 2.5, conceived via IUI after 1 year trying, unexplained infertility. Started trying again naturally in January and amazingly fell pregnant first time, sadly miscarried at 9 weeks. Been trying naturally since (only 3 full cycles), no success.

I've had some baseline tests done - antral follicle count 13, FSH 6, AMH 8. Because my AMH was lower than I had hoped (albeit I know that 8 is still okay and I'm very grateful it's not on the floor yet), I've suddenly had this freak out that my fertility is coming to the end and I've left it late. The doctor said that everything looks ok and to maybe try naturally a few more months before considering IVF.

My freak-out is this - I can't get the feeling out of my head that if I want a third child, I've left it too late. I know right now my tests are generally fine but in 2 years time, at my age things will likely have worsened considerably as well as reduced egg quality etc. We never really planned to have 3 children, it was only an outside "maybe" and not really considered too much. I've always thought I couldn't decide on 3 until I'd had 2.

Am I mad to think about NOT trying naturally this month (I'm on CD 10 so need to make decision asap!), and start IVF next month so that I can hopefully "bank" some embryos and thus give myself the chance of a third child? (obviously I would also need to use embryos to try to conceive now) I know nothing is guaranteed and I could end up with no eggs retrieved or no fertilised embryos, but I just can't help wondering whether I should at least give myself the chance of that "safety net"? Could I do back to back medicated cycles to try and harvest a good number of eggs?? DH thinks I'm mad and wants to try naturally this month and he is probably 100% right. But all I can think is if we were lucky enough to fall pregnant this month (highly unlikely given our history) then I wouldn't be able to bank any embryos and if I wanted a third baby I'd be trying at 40/41 and probably stressing about it, needing to get pregnant very soon after my second was born, instead of just enjoying my second child. I didn't start trying this time around until DS was 2 as I just couldn't imagine it any sooner.

Am I oversimplifying the IVF process and how difficult it is to go through a cycle? I'm used to the injections etc from IUI but I know IVF is a whole different ball game. If anyone has any comments from experience please please share, thanks so much x

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Persipan · 16/07/2018 23:09

I mean, I think the thing I'd say is, people often overestimate how many embryos they're likely to end up with from a cycle of IVF. The public perception tends to be of having loads left to freeze, when the reality often doesn't turn out like that. (I have literally never had any embryos to freeze, even with a donor egg cycle, let alone my own.) So, I think before you go down this road you should have a serious conversation with your clinic (assuming you haven't already done so) about how many embryos they realistically think you might achieve (bearing in mind a first cycle is generally somewhat diagnostic, so they won't know for sure, but they'll have a sense). Have a chat with them, too, about the likely drop off between follicles, eggs retrieved, mature eggs, how many fertilise, how many make it past day 3, how many embryos are of freezable quality by day 5/6... With that sort of information in mind, I think you'd be in a better place to make a decision.

Good luck, whatever you go for!

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