Will IVF help me?

(21 Posts)
eurozammo Fri 12-Jul-13 15:05:55

I'm going to take a look at that book - thanks for the recommendation ceara.

A full conventional cycle with downregging will take you some time to get over and for your body to get back to normal, as you will be thrown into a temporary menopause and then given stimming drugs to make you produce around a year's worth of eggs in one go. Most clinics will only let you do a cycle around once every three months. I'm doing natural or mild cycles, with no or low levels of drugs and these are much less hard on the body, so you can do them back to back if you want (although we have chosen to take a break each time because although it's not physcially tough, each cycle takes its mental toll). We did one in January (ending in a mc in March), then June and we'll do a third in August. Maternal age is pretty much the biggest indicator of success, so once we decided to go for IVF we decided that we should do the three cycles we wanted to do as soon as possible.

I find it easy to work around my cycles (although I am not as focussed on my job as I should be - IVF is very distracting!). My first cycle involved 4 scans in the run up to egg collection and one blood test (mostly done on the way in to work). I had the day off for EC and a long lunch hour for transfer. For the second cycle I had 4 scans and 3 blood tests before EC. EC fell on a weekend and I worked from home on ET day.

ceara Thu 11-Jul-13 22:27:05

kat I am also medical and needle phobic (history of fainting) and like resipsa I found the imagination much worse than the reality and it was easier physically than I had feared. That said I had mild IVF (short protocol), with very little blood testing, which made it more manageable. But then I find blood tests a lot harder phobia wise than jabs into flab.

I also felt the urge to try again when our first cycle failed and was glad to be able to move forward quickly, so that is something to bear in mind.

Have you come across a book called "Overcoming medical phobias" by Watling and Antony? It's got an interesting section on the causes of the phobia and some good tips and tricks, for averting faints as well as managing the anxiety.

HoopHopes Thu 11-Jul-13 22:08:48

You could look at the Lister and I used Dr Nduwke who is now at London at Zita West. He used to be medical director of a large fertility clinic and set up under his own under ZW brand. His specialist area is immune issues but does not mean he is not good generally!! He has longish waiting lists due to being so highly thought of. He does a lot himself which I like, bigger clinics often you have different dr for every stage which I found tough. Many clinics do free open evenings so worth looking around. Cost at ARGC is very high and daily visits etc would put me off unless I could have a month off work etc. or worked nearby which I do not sadly!!

resipsa Thu 11-Jul-13 16:18:33

Kat there are lots of posters on here who know a lot about blood results so do post when you get them.

TBH, I wouldn't go where you're limited (cost wise) to 1 cycle (or even 1 per year). My experience and that of others is that after one failed cycle, there is a v strong urge to try again soon.

As for the IVF itself, like you I hate anything medical (esp needles) but found the treatment itself much easier (physically) than I expected. For me, in hindsight, it was largely fear of the unknown. I wouldn't say to anyone that it is so off-putting that you can bear it only once. It is a mental challenge though.

katatonic Thu 11-Jul-13 13:38:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eurozammo Thu 11-Jul-13 13:04:35

Hi resipsa. I'm doing ok, thanks. I'm looking forward to going on holiday and then trying again later in the summer. I hope you are ok too.

resipsa Wed 10-Jul-13 23:51:43

Hi euro. Hope you are doing OK.

eurozammo Wed 10-Jul-13 23:36:48

I am 37 and unexplained. We were trying for more than 2 years without a sniff of a bfp before going for ivf. We've done 2 rounds in the past 6 months and the first round resulted in a bfp but I miscarried; the second round resulted in a chemical pregnancy. I was very sceptical about ivf as no one can say why it could help when there was no diagnosed problem, but clearly something happens when the scientists bring sperm and egg together in the lab that hadn't been happening when we were trying the old fashioned way.

Choice of clinic is a very personal thing. Personally I felt the Argc wasn't for me- the amount of monitoring and the extra tests they run seem excessive to me and would have made it difficult for me to work through my cycles. Also I don't like hospitals very much so I would have found the many visits very stressful. But their results are above average. Cost is also a consideration. I can do three cycles at my current clinic for the price of one at Argc. The latter's results are higher but not three times higher so on balance I decided that a less 'full on' clinic was right for me. As I said, you have to find a clinic that's right for you and it's a very personal decision.

resipsa Wed 10-Jul-13 23:15:59

Kat got those % stats from the clinic. I'm a natural cynic and a lawyer so if someone is trying to sell me something, I am usually circumspect about their figures but as the other posters affirm, IVF does produce results. Good luck with whatever you do.

HoopHopes Wed 10-Jul-13 21:02:15

ARGC is an excellent clinic, not one of the cheapest and often treats women who have had failed treatments elsewhere. It is very intensive treatment with lots of extra tests and scans compared to many clinics. This suits a lot of people but does not suit everyone. It depends on finances, what would suit you, travel etc. a place ai would love to go to but not realistic for us!!

ceara Wed 10-Jul-13 20:27:31

I think that's great advice solars. Also, it's an emotional time as well as clinical process and so there's a lot to be said for looking at several clinics and weighing up which one you feel most comfortable with and which consultant and team gives you the feeling of greatest safety and confidence. (OK, OK I know I said I'm a numbers woman but I admit my gut as well as my logic got consulted on the decision.)

Solars Wed 10-Jul-13 19:36:13

Ooo I'm not suggesting the op has immune issues but it is something else to consider, albeit a disputed issue by many other fertility specialists but I wouldn't go to ARGC if you didn't personally think there is a link between immunes and fertility as ARGC will recommend testing for it. However I do know a few ladies who cycled with me and their immunes came back clear. You're right ceara there are plenty of other clinics out there that are lighter on the wallet and get results too.

katatonic it may be a good idea, if money is no object, to have initial consultations with a couple of clinics and get an idea of what they would suggest.

ceara Wed 10-Jul-13 18:53:02

I meant to say too, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I wouldn't necessarily leap to the conclusion you have immune issues, unless tests have shown a problem. The ARGC do get good results but you may not need the big guns and IVF can be easier on the body and on the wallet at other clinics.

ceara Wed 10-Jul-13 18:49:18

We are unexplained too and I'm about the same age as you. Tried for just over 2 years with not a sniff of a BFP before trying IVF. I looked into the numbers and there are some good research papers out there as to when your prospects of a natural BFP during the next 12 months fall below the prospects of becoming pregnant through fertility treatment. It's around the 2 year point, so that's when we started treatment (I'm a numbers person too).

My first cycle ended in a very early loss before 5 weeks but I am currently 12 weeks pregnant with a frostie from that cycle. Frustratingly we still have no idea as to why it wasn't happening without help or whether I would have got pregnant the normal way in the end but I'm certainly proof that IVF can help the unexplained among us. And it wasn't as bad physically to go through as I'd feared before taking the plunge.

Solars Wed 10-Jul-13 18:26:49

Hi, I'm 40, never had a bfp for almst 4 years and we have just completed our first (successful) icsi at ARGC. We were to some degree unexplained but I did have an endometrioma which I only found out about on our (failed) nhs cycle just prior to going to ARGC and all over my notes they had written endometriosis even though I had no other symptoms. DH was normal. One of the issues ARGC do look at is immunes which can effect implantation and cause infertility. There's a book by Dr Beers, which if you wanted to find out more about immunes issues is worth a read.

We only just squeezed onto the NHS cycle as I turned 40 during the ivf cycle so you need to make sure with your pct whether you would be still eligible for your ivf, does the clock start again after an mmc?

The reason we went straight to ARGC was my age and their success rates and so far, fingers crossed, it's worked for us.

katatonic Wed 10-Jul-13 16:47:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

resipsa Wed 10-Jul-13 15:50:11

If you're a numbers woman, I was told the chance of natural conception was about 2% month to month whereas the IVF success rate was 18%. Low still, yes, but difference made it worth a shot.

resipsa Wed 10-Jul-13 15:47:54

Don't know if this will help you or not...I had DC1 naturally at age 40 after 12 months of TTC. Been trying for DC2 since Sept 11. Got P in Jan 12 but MMC diagnosed in March 12. Nothing since for no obvious reason save age so went for IVF at Care in April/May. It was unsuccessful BUT I feel that I tried the last resort. I'm older than you and it might just be too late for me but I knew that I'd be happier in years to come knowing that I did what I could.

katatonic Wed 10-Jul-13 15:15:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chuckeyegg Wed 10-Jul-13 14:27:11

Hello I got pregnant with ICSI at the ARGC and I was 39. I had high FSH levels which is not a good sign. Do you get a free cycle with your NHS? I would consider it.

katatonic Wed 10-Jul-13 07:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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