Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Assisted Conception Advice

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    N.S.W
    Posts
    361

    Question Assisted Conception Advice

    I have been given a slim chance (less than 1%) of conceiving naturally and told that IVF is a better chance. So although it's not something that I plan to do until mid next year I was wondering if anyone was interested in giving me their opinions.... I would much prefer to conceive naturally as I have some issues with IVF.



    I have started seeing a herbalist who specialises in natural fertility treatments. Im amending my diet and taking a herbal formula to help balance my hormones amongst other things. The herbalist said something that really alarmed me yesterday. She stated that she is treating eight women who have breast cancer and that seven of them conceived using IVF. She said that the risks associated with IVF are similar to those reported with HRT. Has anyone heard this before ??

    I don't want to offend anyone who has decided to do IVF or who has been success with IVF however I am wanting to gather as much advice as I can to allow me to make a decision that's right for me.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melb - where my coolness isn't seen as wierdness
    Posts
    4,361

    Default

    IHi,

    I've never heard anything, or seen anything reported anywhere that would support this, and I try to keep up to date with all things IVF.

    What I will say though is that many women who have to undergo IVF often have health issues that cause them to become sub/infertile. In other words, there would naturally be a higher incidence of women with health issues, reproductive or otherwise, who would have to seek the help of IVF to fall pregnant. So among IVF patients, I would not be surprised to see a higher incidence of any disease that may cause problems with concieving. I mean, that's usually why people do IVF!

    I believe that just walking down the street on any given day, you take your life into your own hands, coz you're just as likely to be hit by a bus. You weigh the (known) risks of any venture you undertake, and make an informed decision. Would I have undergone IVF knowing it may cause cancer just to have my baby? Absolutely. But seeing how there is nothing to suggest that IVF treatment raises your chances of having cancer, it's a moot point, I think.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    N.S.W
    Posts
    361

    Default

    I'm sorry if I offended you Sushee. That was never my intention. I was seeking advice from ladies who may have been successful with improving their fertility thru natual means. I'm not opposed to IVF in any way but try to avoid taking any form of drug if at all possible. I understand that it may not be possible to avoid IVF but I need to explore all the natural options first, for me to get to a point that I'm comfortable with it......

    Again, sorry if you took offence

    Cindy

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melb - where my coolness isn't seen as wierdness
    Posts
    4,361

    Default

    Hi Cindy,

    actually I didn't take offence, but wanted to point out to you that many women who undergo IVF just don't have any other choice. It's not like women wake up and think "gee, I'd rather do IVF than try naturally" No one, including me, wanted to have to take drugs, do the injections, have the operations, spend all that money to conceive, when really, as a woman, your body should be able to do what it's supposed to. In this regard, IVF women already feel like failures because we need help to do something which should be a fundamental right of all women - to have a baby.

    And I also wanted to point out that it's highly possible that among IVF patients, you would naturally find women with more health problems. In fact, cancer treatments can cause you to become infertile, so there would be an awful lot of cancer patients trying to have a baby via IVF. So naturally if you look at IVF patients, you're going to find a high incidence of cancer survivors/sufferers, and patients with other forms of ailments. I think it's a bit alarmist of your herbalist to suggest that IVF puts you at risk of cancer, especially when nothing indicates this. I also understand that you wanted to gather information after hearing this from someone, which is why I replied to say that nothing has been found to link cancer to IVF treatment. It was actually to reassure you. I also was mindful of the fact that there are ladies in this thread undergoing IVF as we speak, and that their situations are difficult enough as it is without having to worry about something that is, as far as we know, unfounded.

    On another note, I do know that a lot of women here are trying natural fertility treatments, alone as well as in conjuction with IVF, so I'm sure someone will be able to help you. I myself went to a chiropractor, and saw an acupunturist, but I admit I wasn't game on trying herbs and stuff. I guess in my case, where I have blocked tubes, no amount of herbs were going to unblock them! Lol!

    Good luck with your journey either way, Cindy,and I hope you won't need IVF after all!
    Last edited by sushee; September 25th, 2006 at 03:20 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Bendigo, Vic
    Posts
    667

    Default

    Hi Cindy,
    My DH and I were given less than 4% chance of conceiving naturally and I made the decision at 37 that IVF was the best alternative for me (actually more like my last chance) so we started on our IVF journey a couple of years ago. Then this June we were on a break and concieved naturally.

    At the time I had also been doing accupuncture, naturopathy, kinesiology and seeing a psychologist (in other words I was hitting it with every spare ounce of energy and money that we had). So I guess you could say that natural therapy worked for us rather than IVF.

    I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing IVF. In fact I was pretty sure that given the choice I'd be happy enough to say no - that's it - if I can't conceive I can't concieve and I'll just live with it. But then I got older and my time started running out. Then one day I "knew" that I really wanted a baby and I would live to regret it if I didn't try everything available to me while I was still under 40.

    Making a decision about doing IVF is really tough. Doing IVF is really tough and not to be entered into lightly. It is really hard both physically, emotionally and mentally. I think you should give the herbs a go - if that is the step you are comfy with now. Set yourself a deadline for when you want to review the situation and try something else.

    I'm not surprised you found the statement from your herbalist a bit scarey. Like Sushee, I keep up with medical literature on IVF as well as HRT (for my mum) and I haven't seen this either. i.e.
    the risks associated with IVF are similar to those reported with HRT
    .
    But good news is that recent research has just now downplayed the HRT cancer risk. The Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), a group of more than 30 experts, recently declared that the evidence is just not there. The increased risk is something like 6-8 cases per 10,000 women in two specific types of cancer and is due to long term use. With the other types of cancer there is no evidence for increased risk. (Check out the Jean Hailes Organisation website).

    As for the women your herbalist is treating for cancer, who is to say that the IVF caused the cancer or their terrible journey with sub/infertility caused the cancer. I suspect it might be more to do with the emotional turmoil of childlessness than the drugs. A recent medical article said that infertility (which we tend to call subfertility around here) was one of the top three most stressful things in life and that there was very little understanding in the community about how stressful it is. Grace Gawler also wrote an amazing book about women that get breast cancer. She has noticed that there are amazing emotional similarities between women with breast cancer and a lot has to do with fulfillment.

    good luck with your journey. I don't envy you having to make decisions. I know it's hard. I've been very very lucky and I've got my dream. For me - faced with choice of possible breast cancer risk OR child - it's no decision - IVF wins - but for other women it might be completely different! Each to her own. And we'll all respect each other for it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    N.S.W
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Thank you Kar. I will look into accupuncture, kinesiology etc. Thanks for understanding that I need to give these 'natural' treatments a go first before I can consider IVF. I do have a little time on my side, I'm only 29. Perhaps a timeframe of say two or three years tops.

    Congrats on your pending birth. It's reassuring that miracles do happen.....

    Cindy

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Hi Cindy,

    I should start by saying that I have been in exactly the same position that you find yourself in now (and for the same reason). I have used acupuncture and herbal treatments and although I believe natural therapies have their place in fertility treatment, they will not cure your endo.

    As of yet, there is no conclusive evidence that the IVF process itself causes cancer. There is no gentle way to say this so I hope you will forgive me but your practitioner is selling a service and product so it is in her best interests to push her own agenda by giving you alarmist stories about IVF.

    I know whereof I speak as I spent time and money using natural fertility management. The dietary tips and modifications were great and I felt like a million dollars yet after a year I still had not conceived and that's because I had endo. I went to my GP and asked for a referral to an infertility specialist. After one year of seeing him, my endo was cleared up and I was pregnant after just one IVF cycle.

    Best wishes with your journey, whatever you decide to do.

    Kind regards,

    Melissa

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Cyndi... When Dr Cooper said you had only 1 per cent chance of conceiving did he mean 'prior to your op' or 'after your op'. And was that naturally. As I know with myself he said i only had a 4 percent chance of natural conception, but once he removed all of my endo, via 'iceberg' treatment, he said my chances may very well of sky rocketed to 70 per cent at the most with natural conception, after having all the endo removed! So i think that is something you need to find out.

    I have a very close friend who has been TTC for 6 years. Numerous clomid, IUI and IVF treatments. This time she did things differently. She tried accupuncture, with a combination of herbal formula that her accupuncturist/herbalist made for her.. and guess what.. she is pregnant, from her last IVF cycle.

    I too agree with the other girls. I don't really think it is a good idea for your herbalist to start saying IVF can cause cancer. Even if she didn't say it like that , i think that is what she is starting to put in your head. LTTC is an emotional rollercoaster, and we really don't need people who are out there to supposedley support us on the TTC rollercoaster putting such rot as that into our heads. As long term TTCervers and IVF seekers we analyse everything, and ponder and worry about every little action we do to our bodies.. I think in future she needs to remember to 'keep her mouth shut' ... even if that is her beleif that IVF causes cancer. She needs to leave those sort of comments to the experts.

    Love and hugs

    Leis xxx

    PS sorry for being so Black and white.. that is just me

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Melb - where my coolness isn't seen as wierdness
    Posts
    4,361

    Default

    Cindy, I don't think any one of us doesn't understand your need to try natural therapies first. Like I said, no one wants to have to undergo IVF. Similarly, no one here is saying that IVF is the only way to go. But realistically, for many women it turns out to be the way to achieve their dream of having a child. And as Leis said, it's hard enough without having to worry about unfounded claims by people working in the natural therapy industry.

    And mind you, that is the main issue we've addressed in all our posts, that your herbalist said that IVF puts you at risk of cancer, not that you want to try natural therapies to conceive.
    Last edited by sushee; September 26th, 2006 at 11:22 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •