thread: Back on the IVF/AR route

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Back on the IVF/AR route

    Hi all,

    Well after three weeks (or so) wallowing in my own self pity about loosing my twins, I'm back. I have not been back to work since I had the D&C - I return tomorrow to catch up on no doubt a million emails. I figure I'm going to ease myself back into it slowly.

    I had my appointment to see the fertility specialist today following the miscarriage. Hubby was more nervous than I. However news was ok. Results from the tests on the pregnancy tissue showed no genetic abnormality, so it is assumed that the twins (they were identical) were fighting each other for blood vessels etc and just couldn't compete against each other. I believe this is called twin transfer. Anyway, the fact that there was nothing sinister was good....and bad in a way. Once again, we have nothing to hang our hats on. Nothing to point a finger at and say "that's what's going wrong, so let's concentrate on fixing that".

    The upshot of the visit is to do a couple of things. As I have switched fertility clinics, any future IVF procedures with this doc will be a new route. So he wants to basically start again. Years ago I had, and was treated for (twice) endo. This doc wants to do a laporoscopy and just check things out. I'm not against this. After all, you spend a lot of money going through IVF - you want to make sure all the equipment is in good working order!

    So following a lap - which is scheduled for August 11th - I have another visit to the doc in mid September to discuss anything from the lap before getting started on IVF again. This time, we are going to try GIFT. I have not done this before, so the outcome will be interesting.

    Some of you will know, that I have been on IVF 3 times previously (all unsuccessful), but every time the eggs were fertilized outside and then put back in at 4 days. I also had the embryos biopsied. This time, they are going to put the egg and sperm back together straight after harvest. Obviously, this is not for everyone, but our problem is not about low sperm count, tubal problems, embryonic defects etc, but some unknown reason. Bloody frustrating at times!!!

    I am happy to answer questions (to the best of my knowledge, and based on my knowledge) about IVF, especially for those embarking on it. I remember how daunting it was for me when I started.

    At the doc appointment today, hubby asked straight out whether there was hope for us (3 failed IVFs; 6 additional m/cs) and the doc was overwhelmingly positive which was great for us. So I guess my message tonight for those loosing hope is, there is ALWAYS hope. There aren't any promises, but there is always HOPE.

    Smiles to everyone

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    I have to say reading your story really helped me. I am so sorry that you lost your twins and hey, I love your positive outlook.

    The reason I am posting here, is that I am back to my OB next week and since my last round of Clomid didnt work, he mentioned that I would probably have to go down the IVF route, and something about embryo selection or something, basically he said that they will check the embryos and make sure that they only implant the healthy ones. I assume that since you are experienced in IVF that you would understand this more than me.

    I have no idea of what I have to do, or go through. Its really nice to know that someone else will understand all of this. I guess I will have to wait until he explains it all to me next week.

    Here's hoping that your next OB visit goes well. Good luck with the lap.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Hi Dinky,

    I can completely understand your anxiousness. I remember when I first started going to see the specialist. At the time, there was no reason to think that we would definately have to go on IVF - I thought we would just have some in depth testing done that couldn't be done by my GP. But I do remember flirting with the idea of having to go on IVF. Nonetheless, when I found out that I would have to do IVF, I was very anxious. And that anxiety increased (and still is) every time a cycle doesn't work. I am a terrible pessamist and constantly think that I will never have kids. My hubby and our specialists have all been more positive (thanks god) and have, to a certain degree, dragged me through the bad times.

    I have done 3 IVF cycles (as mentioned before). I went into the first one thinking that because I had gotten pg on my own a couple of times previously, that once I could get a fertilised egg back inside of me and supported by all manner of drugs that everything would be smooth sailing. Alas I was worng. I went into that first round thinking I was going to come out with a baby. For some women it does happen like that, but for many many others, a few IVF cycles is needed. My advice now, is allow yourself to be realistic about the outcomes. Don't dwell on the negatives, but don't think that IVF will be the answer to all your prayers either. It's just too hard if it doesn't work.

    I think there are a number of big things to cope with:
    1. the way that IVF starts to rule your life (if you let it). You have to take certain drugs at prescribed times, you have to inject yourself (or get hubby to do it), you find yourself devouring any and all information you can get - and most of it seems IDENTICAL to your situation.

    2. the way that all of a sudden, your infertility becomes general conversation for all. Work collegues, family members and friends (all well meaning) will all start to ask questions about the treatments, how are you going, they will be fasanated by the fact that you inject yourself etc. You loose your privacy and I think that you and hubby have to draw a distinct line between what you will talk about and what you won't. After all, YOU don't go around to every female freind/relative you know and ask them about what day they will have sex to get preganant and all the ins and outs surrounding that. It's bad enough that you need medical intervention, without it becoming a three ring circus. I now just tell people who inquire the absolute minimum or nothing at all ("yeah, everything's ok"..)

    However, websites like this are enormously beneficial - perhaps something to do with the anonyminity.

    3. depending on where you live and the services you have at hand, time management can be an issue. I live 2 and a bit hours from Melbourne, and sitting in a car for almost 5 hours just to go and have a 5 minute scan can get a bit much. But you do it.

    4. finally, remembering that although IVF seems to be taking over your life and thoughts, you still have a relationship with your husband and others that needs to be nourished. I forgot about my hubby for a while and, while we did not experience any huge problems, I have been told of marital breakups because of the stress. Try to keep it real. Don't stop living your life just because you are doing IVF. It'll fit in.

    At the end of the day, the cost of IVF, the inconvenience of doing the treatments, the impact on your life somehow all gets absorbed and makes you a stronger person.

    Happy to talk about anything to do with my treatments (past and future).


  4. #4
    Registered User

    May 2004

    Hi Hayseed, I'm really, really sorry to hear about your twins. It's great your positive but it's still really ****! Good luck with everything!


  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    First, I want to thank you for being so honest and realistic with me, you have no idea how much you have helped me to appreciate what an ordeal doing IVF will be.

    I have to tell you that I never realised how hard this would all be on me. I have 2 daughters, both were twins, but I lost a twin with each PG. I had a hard time with Shannen, Tayla was a breeze. Then I lost my mother when Tayla was 18 months old, I was devastated so we put off having another until I could cope without my Mum. Big Mistake! I tried for 2-3 yrs to get PG but didnt manage it, it was then decided that I had PCOS and that my being morbidly obese was a contributing factor. I took the hard line, had lapbanding done and have managed to lose over 50 kgs. Amazing. I went back to my original OB a yr after having the band and have been TTC ever since. I have had a missed m/c (last August) and since then another 4 m/c's, there is no reason for them, I have had every test under the sun and nothing is apparently wrong, the only thing that is different between now and when I was PG with the girls is my age and the weight loss, I am much healthier now than I ever have been, weird!!!

    I really appreciate you being so honest, you have helped me confront a few things that have concerned me. I am really trying not to think that IVF will work straight away for me, its hard not to get your hopes up. But I have set myself a time frame, if I am not PG by at the latest next March, then I am giving up.

    Your advice:
    1. I am worried about IVF ruling my life, but then again just TTC has pretty much taken over my life for the past couple of years. I am not too enthused about the injections bit, very scary as I hate needles. I am really goind to try not to sit on the net and research, it gets all too confusing.

    2. This is something that concerns me. I dont like to tell people that I have been TTC, so it will pretty much remain a secret. I wont be volunteering any information to anyone. There are only a couple of people that I trust enough to tell, DH will know of course, and my friend Robyn, who does school runs for me when I am not up to it, as for the others, no one else will know. I think that when people know, that adds to the pressure of everything. I only have my Dad and I wont be telling him either, unless he asks. My in-laws will definitely not be told anything at all.

    3. I guess I am lucky, I live about 10 minutes drive from Monash, which is where all the IVF stuff is done, I think. So I guess managing the time shouldnt be too much of an issue. The only thing is if I have to do something at a time when I have to pick up the kids or something, but luckily my Dad and Robyn will be able to help me out with that one. Where do you do your IVF?

    4. This is of a huge concern to me. I have to admit that just TTC has taken over my life to an extent and I did neglect all my other stuff for a while, so I am now more conscious of this, I actually showed DH your message and he is also aware of all of this as well, it is something that we will be more careful of.

    I know nothing of the cost of IVF, thats something that I will have to discuss with my OB on Thursday. He did mention something about selecting embryos or something, not too sure what that involves but I am assuming that it is pretty involved.

    Thank you for being so honest and up front with me, it will certainly help me when I begin the long road of IVF!

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Hey Dinky (and other ladies),

    sorry for the delay in replying - mad, mad , crazy week coupled with computer problems! It is amazing how much chatting you can miss out on when you have been away from the computer for just a few days!

    Anyway, great to hear from you.

    All of my previous IVFs were done through Melbourne IVF (Freemasons), and they were lovely and great. However, it just didn't work for me with them. After three goes, you have to think that you need to get a 2nd opinion. Which we did.

    I went to see a specialist on a referral from my cousin who had done 21 rounds of IVF (with different clinics) and the only 2 times she got pregnant were with this specialist (who is, by the way, one of the expert panel on this website! for me!)

    Anyway, I have been sort of with this doc for the past few months and he was the one that eventually did my recent D&C. But we haven't done any IVF stuff with him as yet as I was unknowingly pregnant when I had my first appointment with him.

    So now I am going through Monash IVF out of either Richmond (Epworth) or Clayton (private hospital).

    I am booked in to have my laporoscopy next Wednesday. This is just to check that everything is ok - I have no reason to think that it will be anything other than ok. I have no pains, no bleeds, the endo I had years and years ago doesn't seem to be affecting me (or is it...!!!). And to top it off, like you, every test I have ever had comes back as normal. Why not this one??!!

    Hubby and I are going over to America for a business trip (going to a dairy expo and visiting dairy farms) in late Sept, so we won't be embarking on any IVF until we return. I'm thinking that we will be starting again sometime in late Oct??

    In my last IVF try, I had embryo selection done. This was to see whether I kept loosing babies because they were genetically abnormal. I had a poor fertilization rate compared to eggs taken (11) and only 2 embryos were ok to biopsy. However, the results of all came back ok. So at least we know we can make 'normal' embryos. I was going to have it done the time previous to that, but I only had 1 viable embryo and there is a risk that by taking one cell out that they can actually cause the death of the embryo, so with only 1 we didn't risk it. But by the time we got to the next round, we just needed to get more information as we had come to the end of what we could get from the tests done so far. So we risked loosing one or both. But we didn't. They were fine and we had them both implanted...but to no avail.

    But yeah, it does add to the cost of the IVF...significantly.

    So have you seen your OB yet? Best wishes with it all.

    I'd best go, I've rambled on enough!!

    Love, Hayseed :smt039

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    Thanks so much for your reply.

    I have to agree being without a computer is hell, isnt it? I have done it a couple of times but am planning on heading out today to buy a new one.

    You say it was a co-incidence with your new OB/specialist! Well, guess what, I am seeing him too! I cant pronounce his name, so I just call him Nick!, LOL!

    I have been seeing him since February this year, he has been lovely. I also didnt realise that I was PG when I first saw him, he gave me this huge plan of attack and everything, just had to wait for AF to start, which she didnt, so I then rang him to tell him I was PG, he saw me that afternoon. Unfortunately it all ended badly, so I then did a couple of Clomid cycles with him and they didnt work either, so he said that we would have to do IVF, it was pretty much my only option, as he said that they could check the quality of my eggs, since I am getting old.

    I am actually starting all the pre-IVF tests today, having all the bloods done and DH has done the SA this morning and we are having counselling today as well, I have my u/s tomorrow and then I wait until the 23rd to see Nick and see what happens next! I am doing it all through Clayton, which isnt far from me.

    I am pretty confused about it all. I have got my info package, but am confused and anxious, not sure about the needles. I was told that they would give me a nasal spray to shut down my ovaries, then I would have to do injections for about 12 days, then harvest, fertilise, wait 3 days, then they would test them, then implant only the good ones.

    I hope you dont mind, but I have a few questions. How many needles a day do you have to do? I noticed something about Lucrin (sp?) how many of that do you need? I understand that Syranel is the nasal spray, I can do that no hassle. Also, I wanted to know when do you actually start a cycle, do you have to wait for AF to arrive or do they just pick a date. By the time I see OB again, I will be on CD6, is that too late to start?

    I know that I have a lot of confidence with my OB, he is just lovely. He says that this may be the only way that we can get answers, which I desperately need. I am not getting my hopes up that it will be really easy and will work first time, I am trying to be realistic, but its hard.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. It is nice to know that I am not going through this alone and that I have someone who knows all about it to talk to.

    If I drive you nuts, just tell me!

  8. #8
    ♥ BellyBelly's Creator ♥
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    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    Just wanted to say that I am very happy to see you back. *huge hugs* All the very best baby dust BellyBelly can offer .
    Kelly xx

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  9. #9
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Hey Dinky,

    By the time you read this, you have probably gone for counselling and know all the answers to your questions!!

    But, to answer your questions, I had to have one needle a day, and they honestly don't hurt. They are sooooo tiny in width. So long as you don't hit a nerve (which has only happened to me once or twice), you wouldn't know they are even in. If your pretty anxious, I would suggest getting someone else to do them for you as it does take a bit of courage to jab yourself - but in saying that, once you've done it, you wonder what all the nervousness was about. I inject usually in the upper thighs (probably while watching telly as I have them at night - this time is the only consistent time I can do them), but I have recently been doing in my copious belly 8-[ and have never had one that hurts.

    It depends a bit on what type of IVF treatment you are on as to what drugs you may get and how you are instructed to take them. Almost always you have to start on the pill, which seems odd, but I believe it is to largely space patients out, so they don't get heaps of ladies coming in on the same day needing their eggs harvested.

    For my 3 IVF attempts, I was on 3 different drug regimes. But basically the first 2 involved starting on the pill x amount of days after my next period, then so many days later start on Synarel (1 puff 2 times a day 12hours apart). Then after another set period of time, start on the injections. I had Gonal-F and the dose got higher with each subsequent IVF. It is a bit of a trial the first time round to see how your ovaries react to the drugs - they may under perform, over perform or be ok. Mine were a little low the first time (6 eggs harvested).

    Then after a couple of scans, the doc will decide when to harvest the eggs based on the follicle size. You stop taking the Gonal-F (or whatever) and then at the exact time the nurse (who will ring you) tells you to have the trigger injection (god...can't remember the name of this one...get back to you on that) you have it. I always got hubby to give me this one in the bum as it does sting a bit (something to do with the carrier fluid).

    Then about 36 hours later, you are in hospital having your eggs harvested. At the Freemasons, I was only sedated for the harvest so for the first one I was conscious the whole time. For the second one, they knocked me out part way through cause it was a bit painful. The third time (different anaethitists every time) they knocked me out as soon as I got on the table. But at the Freemasons, they allowed my hubby into surgery every time - whether I was conscious or not. They had lovely conversations while I was out to it. As we are dairy farmers and do our own inseminations on cows, no doubt they were comparing techniques!!

    But I don't think Melb IVF let hubbys into surgery. Dunno...haven't asked!

    The last cycle though, I was doing an antagonist cycle and that involved a few more injections in order to stop the eggs releasing before they were ready to harvest. So for about 4 - 5 days, I had 2 injections per day. Slightly different drug regime as well - no Syneral.

    But believe me, the injections as really nothing to worry about.

    Just got all my documents in todays mail about my lap next week. Have to fill them out and get them back to Nick.

    Speak soon

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    You are right, I did see this one after my appts. I have had all the bloods done, DH did his sperm analysis and then we also had the counselling which was pretty cool.

    I feel like I pretty much know what the plan is, but have to wait to see Nick on the 23rd for the results and so he can work out what regime he wants me on. From what I was told yesterday, it seems like I wont be able to start until Mid-September, as I will be on CD7 when I see Nick so I will have to wait. You are right the needles dont look too bad, but I think that DH will do them anyway. I am hoping that I will be able to have them in my dead area of my tummy, which is what has happened since I had the c-section with Tayla, so I dont feel anything there, that sounds like the best spot.

    Now all I have to do is wait!!! I am not a very patient person, but hey, I will have to learn. Bit miffed about still having to do the 2WW, surely there is a way to skip that. LOL! I wish! I am feeling more confident, but trying to keep that in check now, since I am pretty much trying not to get my hopes up too much.

    Thank you so much for your help! It is so nice to know that someone else knows what all of this is like! Did you have any side efects from the meds? I was just wondering. I have been warned about the mood swings and being overly emotional. Thank god I am avoiding the in-laws, or I might really tell them what I think!

    It is all really interesting but really scary! Does that make sense?

    I will let you know how I go, better go get ready for my u/s.

  11. #11
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Hi Dinky

    I didn't have any side effects form the meds - at least I don't think I did. Perhaps you should ask my hubby

    I know what you mean about the TWW. I suppose there are just some things that they can't do any other way, and that's one of them.

    Because we are effectively new patients at Monash IVF, we have to go through the counselling again, even though we have done it all through Melb IVF. Hubby reckons we will be able to tell them stuff, rather than the other way round! :smt110

    Did they say anything to you about using the new Gonal-F injecta pen? This is new and was just bought out after my last IVF round. It is apparentley just like a diabetics injection pen. I'm not sure how to work it, but I think you just press down on the top and it delivers required dose. Much better than the syringe and needles.


  12. #12
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    Well, I'm back from the u/s, everything looks fine for IVF apparently, I had a lovely lady do it and she was so nice, makes it a lot easier, she said that she will probably be doing most of my scans, so that will be nice.

    The counselling really isnt much at all, we saw Sarah and she is so funny, but we learnt a lot.

    She did show me the Gonal-F injectapen, bloody brilliant, it has dial on the top and they tell you what to turn it to and then you just press. I hope I get to have that one, DH will still have to do it though. It looks really easy to use and so much better than syringes.

    Its really hard waiting, I just wish it was the 23rd now so that we could do away with the rest of this stuff, but hey, I am so used to waiting. I guess I will just have to be patient a while longer.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Jun 2004

    Hey Dinky,

    Hope you get some good info from Nick on the 23rd - not long to wait now. I'm seeing him on the 16th of next month to chat about treatments following my lap and projected start dates etc...