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Thread: Cant decide--they scared me: ICSI or forget it?

  1. #1
    BakingGirl Guest

    Default Cant decide--they scared me: ICSI or forget it?

    Hi all
    this is my first post here. I have to say I never thought I'd be here, and be in this position!
    I have just turned 41, and my partner is 42. After several months of trying, no luck--but then he'd had a negative semen count some years before, so knowing this, coupled with my age, we didn't wait too long to get onto to it right away and have things looked at. Because in the last 6 months I've been experiencing severe PMS and heavy bleeding and spotting, I had a laproscopy for suspected endo/fibroids/pcos/what have you.Nothing, all clear. Dye studies showed my tubes in fine condition. For a 41 year old pelvis, things look good. No reason for no pregnancy on my side. Meanwhile, my partner had another semen analysis, and it was not a very good result at all, giving us almost no hope of ever conceiving naturally. That, plus my age. So we went to Monash for initial visit, and I have to say it was a terrible experience. I felt like we were in a car show room and being pushed to buy an Audi. The pressure to start, and start now, was enormous. Meanwhile we were slugged consultation costs we had not been aware were coming. Yes I know we can't afford to wait--yes I know the statistics for a woman of my age, even without assisted conception. Yes I know about the increased risks of Down's, etc etc etc. But I felt like we were being given a sales pitch and coralled from one department and expert to the next before we "sign on the dotted line". We were told we had a 20% chance using ICSI. From my research, a woman of my age has much less than 20% chance. And I had all these questions about drugs and what they did, but was fobbed off and told, "the counsellor will answer that". You get counseling after you've comitted to go ahead. I want to know more before. Anyway, I walked out of there feeling overwhelmed. My partner agreed with my feelings. We'd done a fair bit of research beforehand I thought I was prepared, but not explaining things or the costs was very poor form, I felt. Anyway, I'm now undecided what to do and depressed about it. On the one hand, ART is the only way we can reasonably expect a pregnancy, and considering my age, we would have to start now. (Yes, I knew that before we even went in there, that's why we were there). But my dilemma is, should I give this a go, despite the grim statistics, both for ART and then the risks of Down's, etc, or should I save myself the disappointment and not go ahead at all? I admit I am scared of the drugs and the operations. I am worried that if I already get severe PMS symptoms, for which no cause can be found, will the hormones just make that worse? I can find no info on the net about it.I know that in the end this is my decision and noone can make it for me, but I notice most people doing ART are younger than me, and I feel alone in this. On the plus side, I am not working so am available to go to the clinic for all the shots and monitoring and whatever else they do. I know this decision is mine alone to make, so I guess I'm looking for input and perhaps other things I've not considered. I suppose I'm looking for a reason to say yes I'll try it rather than no, which feels a bit defeatist. How bad are the drugs?
    thanks for reading,
    BakingGirl


  2. #2

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    Hi Baking Girl,

    Just wanted to pop in & offer my support xxx
    This is such a heart wrenching thing, let alone negative experiences to top everything.
    Whilst it is only you that can make the decision ultimately, don't give up hope on the one bad experience.
    We have been doing this for years now, and have just been lucky enough to come across some of the most truly wonderful doctors , nurses, etc in the world!!!
    The $$$ factor is a huge factor, I know, but there are just so many clinics to choose from, and a lot of clinics using ICSI charge only a little more, and sometimes no extra on top of a cycle.
    Definately do you research on other clinics... there will be a clinic that can do what suits you guys!!!

    As far as the drugs, etc go, I can vouch, as a veteran, that they are fine.
    You have your feral days, and days where you do feel terrible, but its manageable, and to this date, the thing that I have found to be the hardest is the waiting game!!!
    If someone said to me that I had to do 5 more yrs on these drugs every month for those 5 yrs but I can promise you you will have a baby at the end of it, I would take the drugs everyday for the rest of my life!!!!!
    The drugs are really fine, and there are many women on here that will back me up with that one!!!!
    I know IVF Australia have counsellors on hand all of the time - I'm fairly sure you don't have to have committed to a cycle before being able to speak to one.
    I'm not sure, but I would imagine that that is their job... definately look into that one too!!!

    I hope all of my rambling has helped you some.... welcome here, and know that you will find truckloads of support & info from the ladies here - they are all a godsend!!!!

    Good Luck

    Holly
    xxx

  3. #3

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    I guess your post is asking us whether or not WE think YOU should have babies or not? (Well thats how Im reading it)

    If you have gone as far as to find out about IVF, then you obviously dearly are wanting a child.

    Whether you conceive naturally, or with ivf, that doesnt make you any different in the world of "motherhood".

    Many women need to resort to IVf and there is no shame in doing so...whether the women have problems, or the men, it makes no difference.

    Dont feel pressured into doing IVF if YOU really don't want to. But no, unfortunately time isn't on your side

    If you need more information from them, demand it. You will be a paying customer so you need to know everything about everything and make sure they tell you everything you need to know.

    This is no excuse, but I know how busy they are-- they seem to forget that we have feelings sometimes.

    I really hope you and your DH can agree together on what the next step is, and I pray for your conception very soon.

    Good luck xx

  4. #4
    Sammi Jane Guest

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    Hi Baking Girl,

    I was very reluctant to start IVF, I didn't want to take the drugs, I didn't want the scans & blood test...I just didn't want to do it! And then I realise that it was probably the only way I was going to get my dream - a baby. So I started it. I'm not through it yet, but so far it has been a lot better than I expected! And as I've been going through the process I've started to feel much more positive about the whole thing and am very happy that I decided to do it.

    Perhaps you should go to another clinic if you didn't like that one. I'm sure they're all different and it's important that you feel good about the people that will be looking after you.

    Good luck in your decision making. I know it's very difficult, but I'm sure you'll come to the right decision for you.

  5. #5

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    I forgot to mention that the counsellors are fantastic!

  6. #6

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    HI Baking Girl

    IVF and all it's associated with can be so daunting, whether you're coming into it new or whether you've been through the hoops a few times, too. I did my share of IVF cycles, and while I originally was reluctant to move on to that step, once I had all the tests done and found out I was unable to conceive naturally (blocked tubes) I wished I'd done something sooner. Don't be put off by the clinic you visited. Many IVFers will attest to most clinics initially treating you like you don't have a clue. How well you inform yourself to immunise yourself to that, is up to you. And BB is actually a really good place to start.

    As for your age, here on BB there are definitely those of us who are around your age, so you're not alone in that respect.

    As for whether you should try ART or not try, I guess the question is: are you willing to go through the challenge of the drugs and hormones and emotional rollercoaster for what is essentially no gaurantee that you'll have a baby at the end of it, but for the mere possibility that you may end up with what you dream off?

  7. #7

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    Hi there Baking Girl

    I think we've all had experiences just like yours! Number crunching and statistics, and there is so much to know that they dont tell you that you are forever researching yourself and asking questions! Im doing my first IVF icsi cycle and it been a real eye opener- if nothing else I have learnt SO much about ART that if I have to go through a next cycle I am now so much more educated about it!

    Im not going to say its easy because its not! I have gotten emotional and I have suffered bruising from the injections but its the only hope Ive got and Im a very determined person!

  8. #8

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    Hey BakingGirl,

    We don't have the same age factor as you guys, but I remember when DH and I began going to see fertility specialists and feeling totally overwhelmed by the whole process. At times I felt pushed to do treatments I wasn't sure about, at times I felt like they weren't taking us seriously and weren't really doing anything to help us.

    I think it is hard for a specialist to see us as individual cases who need individual care and guidance, rather than just another couple that they have to get a bun in the oven ASAP, regardless of what they have to do to get there.

    We have been given that ultimatum - ICSI or nothing. But after almost a year on other treatments, we were prepared to hear it. Had it come earlier in our struggle to conceive, I think we would have been quite unprepared for it, and it would have been quite shattering, quite overwhelming for us.

    I think also, the specialists know they have to act fast for you guys. It is hard to see the positives sometimes, but that is a good thing - you wouldn't want them to stuff you around for a while first - the clock is ticking and they understand that.

    I don't know that I can say anything to really help you, I just wanted to reply to your post and let you know that I think it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed by the whole process.
    All the best with whatever you choose to do,
    Michelle

  9. #9

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    Hi there and welcome to BB,

    I'm sorry you've had such a hard time. I was 37 when I had my first cycle and was worried about the age issue very much.

    My feeling on your post is that if you hadn't gotten such a rush through at the clinic, you wouldn't be in here asking us these questions. It sounds like you didn't feel you were properly listened to but I can tell you that not all clinics are like that and not all doctors are like that.

    I agree that moving quickly is of the essence but a person shouldn't feel rushed into a decision. IVF is scary before you start it but if you look at it from the perspective of it being the most targeted, precise treatment for your particular problem, that might help a bit. If you have a good stim cycle and get quite a few good embies (some of which can be frozen) you are already ahead. You've jumped several steps in the conception process at once and it sure beats having sex umpteen times a day around ovulation because you want to snag that one egg.

    Best of luck with your decision.

  10. #10

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    Hi Baking Girl,
    Welcome aboard - you've obviously got a lot going through your head right now, and you'll get lots of support here. I think you could safely say that this group knows all there is to know about AC.
    All i wanted to add was that me and DH got counselling and nursing appointments and we haven't started IVF yet and haven't paid for anything (except the FS appt). We are with Melbourne IVF.
    The nurse and the accounts dept assured us that we are free to withdraw at anytime with no penalty and even start and stop if we need to. The counsellors are available all the time free of charge, as is the nurse. They have always been very understanding and patient.
    You shouldn't feel pressured and scared - and although you have accepted that time is a factor for you, you should not feel in a panic to make any rushed decisions. Especially not one that is so very important.
    Good luck,
    Jo

  11. #11

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    Hi ya

    All im going to say is Do it do it do it. Have alittle faith and you just never know. As for down's I dont know what to say about that. I have my thoughts on down's children and there still gifts. But thats just me. I think if you really want kiddies (they are the best) then I say do the IVF its not that bad. Honest!!! I wish you all the luck and hope you have a bunddle of joy very soon. GOOD LUCK!!

  12. #12

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    Hey BakingGirl,

    If I can't make a decision about something in my life, I go back to an old managerial standby and do a SWOT diagram about the question. I divide a piece of paper into quarters and put the a heading in each quarter: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

    In this case it would be:

    Strengths
    - I will have a baby

    Weaknesses
    - I may go through this process and not have a baby

    Opportunities
    - I will learn all about IVF

    Threats
    - I may end up with a child with disabilities (could I cope?)

    I continue on with this and I generally find out what I think about things. It generally shows me which way I want to go, particularly when one box is completely full. Sometimes I will do the exercise, look at it and go with my instincts anyway, but it at least calms me as I feel I have looked at a problem logically.

    HTH

    Gargy
    Last edited by Caramello; March 10th, 2007 at 06:10 AM. Reason: I couldn't get the table to work...

  13. #13

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    Hi Baking Girl,
    I too am egg old 42 and my DH 49 - I don't hold age against us cause it is possible to have a healthy baby at this age alot of women do it naturally or thu ivf - yes the costs are extreme but if you can find a way to do it then just do it - i too was a bit scared but these days you have all the screening to find abnormalities. The main reason that really pushed me was I kept thinking if I don't do this I know I will regret it in years to come - I have met a lot of ladies much older than I that never did it and now regret it and I for one never want to regret anything in life cause it is just too dam short!!! Good luck with what ever you decide - and do some more research on clinics - I changed doctors (not clinics) as I did not like my first doctors bed side manner -he made me feel uncomfortable about my age whereas the new doctor says it just a little bump in the road and can't see why it won't happen. You may experience some sadness along the way like alot of us have lost babies but it has just made me more determined than ever now as I know i can fall pregnant. If you have gone to ivf I feel you do want to be a mummy - don't feel pressured by anyone - go with your heart and you will make the right decision. All the best.

  14. #14

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    I think no matter who you are heading into AC is very scary. We havnt begun as yet but had some misconceptions about I was the main concern not DH (we still dont know how badly yet) so to be hit with the IVF/ICSI is your choice if the test results come back like this, here take this video, might want to get this form signed. In some ways, it was whoa slow down! Questions like how you got private health insurance, yes, ok there is only this much waiting time. Slighly freaking me out here. We are both are thirty as well, maybe he didnt look at our ages and I needed some more wrinkle cream on that day. Although I did find our FS very nice and are happy.
    The things I worry about are:
    The ability to cope with the drugs -you are not working which will make it so much easier to get to appointments and injections etc, rather than trying to fit it in around work.
    The cost. I feel like money is always a cause of so many breakdowns in relationships. We still have many $$ committments and we could afford it just means a lot of other things are going to be put on hold- which in turn opens another thing, at this stage wernt planning on telling many people. Why havnt you got this done. If you can afford if, then do it. On a down day, I play the why do I have to pay for something otehrs can do, and how unfair it is. Im trying to be proactive about it and not get to that stage.
    The success rate I also have PCOS, so my change of miscarriage is higher anyway. That scared the hell out of me. But the chance it acheive the dream of a baby is all there.

    There are some great books out there if you are a reader, some are negative but some great positive ones too.

    I have truley been panicking about so many things but seeing the glint in my Dhs eye yesterday when friends had their kids over and their baby. It sparked something in me to really understand how much he wants this.

    Good Luck with what ever decision you deicide is best for you.

  15. #15

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    Yay Lissie...I totally agree with you.

    Good luck to you to hun

  16. #16
    2ndtimeround Guest

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    Hi bakinggirl,

    I understand exactly where you are....Me 40 Dh 46. Dh had a VAS 18 years ago so a reversal was no go. Our only option was ICSI. We are on our third #3 cycle and I found my second though, in fact I said I didn't want to do it again. I luckily fell pregnant and unluckily m/c. So here I go again number 3 and i didn't hesitate. Thing is once I started I realised everything was ok. It gets in your blood and you just keep on keeping on until the jobs done. Believe me I was confused, the money aspect was overwhelming and the odds - well lets not go there. Nobody told me enough and I didn't know what was going to happen next which freaked me out completely. All I can say is...It will be ok...you will be ok and your DH will be ok. Take a leap of faith...

    Hope this helps in some small way....

    kind regards
    Tracey

  17. #17

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    BakingGirl
    We were given the option of ICSI or no baby. Both DH & I want kids together, so we are going to go down the ICSI path. We're going through Monash in Brisbane at Wesley Monash and they are amazing. Yes they assume that if you've gone as far as seeing a FS & getting a referral to them that you are serious about starting and starting as soon as possible. But we had a great meeting with our consultant, she took us through everything, in great detail. We've rung up a few times since then to check out things. I know we'll almost have to "start again" when we do go in to get going again as it has been a year since we saw them.

    Don't give up.

  18. #18

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    I was at my clinic and a doc and secretary were talking about "her friend" who was 40. The doc said that tell your friend to come in tomorrow and get started right away. My point being, every doctor will try to explain to you that there is a sense of urgency to get started. I think someone entering all this fertility stuff in their later 30s or early 40s would have less time to be able to learn and fully understand everything that is going on. I'm sure this would feel like a lack of "control" not knowing all about this strange new world of tests, giving your own injections, and procedures. You really have to look at if you want to have a child and are prepared for the statistics. Then.... jump in with both feet knowing that you will not know everything that is going on or why. This website and the girls here will help you along every step of the way. And just think if we all can do it, you can too !!

    Heather

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