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  1. #1
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    Default How many stimulated cycles would you do?

    Hi everyone,

    I've been lurking on this thread for a while after trying to conceive our second child. We've had three full stimulated cycles plus one FET, all negative. Our son was born after a first try at IVF/ICSI a couple of years ago (didn't know how lucky we were).

    Now that we are at the pointy end of ivf success, which diminishes significantly after three stimulated cycles, I'm having to think about where we go from here.

    Just wondering from the women here who mostly do stimulated cycles (not FET) due to dodgy eggs +/- sperm, how far would you go? How many stims would you do? I find them infinitely more taxing than the frozen cycle I did, you can't do back to back cycles, heaps more drugs, the egg pickup and the five day embryo wait, it's much more expensive etc etc.

    Any experiences/thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Our limit was essentially until we ran out of sperm.

    It turned out to be 8 stims, 0 FETs. (1 attempt with DH. 4 with related donor. 3 with anon-donor.)
    Our FS advised that our results indicated that after 3 goes with anon-donor sperm we shouldn't bother trying any more with my eggs.

    Luckily DS and DD implanted on our last try with my eggs. If that cycle hadn't worked we were going to try arranging only one stim with my brother and DH's sister (if they both agreed).
    Then after that we were going to consider waiting for a donor embryo.
    We were not going to do a full stim with two unrelated donors.

    I did find a problem with knowing how many cycles we were going to do. We knew once we'd run out of related-donor sperm that the 8th stim was going to be my last before that door closed and we had no guarantee that another door would open. With that knowledge the 7th cycle (second-to-last) was actually the most stressful time I've experienced in my life.

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    Hopeful40  (30-11-2012)

  4. #3
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    Hi
    I had endo and LOR...took 8 full stims for ds, never got a single frozen embie...when we started for number 2, my dh and also myself put a limit of 3 cycles on it.....it's hard to say if I could have stopped as we got dd on the second cycle...and thank god as I was over it....I was only getting three eggs per stim by then so we got very lucky....I guess it depends on finances too...also cos it took us so long to get ds I think that burnt us out more......but if my fs had of said there was little chance after three stims maybe I would have to listen....I do find that it's very hard for those who get pg on the first ivf and go back for number two and it takes a long time.....the drive for a sibling is very strong tho....good luck.

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    Hopeful40  (30-11-2012)

  6. #4
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    Hi Hopeful
    As JFB mentioned (Hi ) the drive for a child can be very strong and only you will know how long you can keep trying for. For me, I am just a stubborn determined bugger who refused to give up!!...we did IVF for 7 years, had 13 stimulated cycles of which 10 made it to EPU, had a few FETs in the early days and a number of cancelled cycles, suffered 5 miscarriages before undergoing specialist immune treatment on cycle #19 which gave us our DD.

    I am a poor responder with low AMH and only ever got 1 or 2 embryos to transfer each time so unfortunately lots of stim cycles. I think the reason i kept perservering for so long was the fact i was falling pregnant nearly every time over the last 3 years, as heartbreaking as the m/c's were and to find the strength to keep going I still had hope and felt i had other issues to investigate. I finally found a Dr who i believe finally got us 'over the line'.

    In saying that, it was actually our final few cycles as we felt we could do no more medically (tried every protocol & drug available in all possible combinations!!) and running out of $$ so were seriously looking down the adoption path in the UK. I think if you have the mental/emotional strength, the dollars and the right support around you then if you can muster "just one last go"....you just never ever know!!


    Now DD is here all the years of heartache melts away when I hold her safe in my arms and if i was 7 years younger and had to travel the same journey again for a 2nd child I would do it again in a heartbeat!!


    There is definitely hope for those who have to endure many IVF cycles. Wishing you all the best of luck.

    YY
    Last edited by YinYang; 30-11-2012 at 07:27.

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    Hopeful40  (30-11-2012)

  8. #5
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    Default How many stimulated cycles would you do?

    We are currently thinking about doing a cycle for baby no. 2. I am saying this now and I will probably have no will power but I have set a limit of 1 try. We did 3 stim cycles to have our little girl. My thoughts now are if it doesn't work on the first stim next year then we are meant to have the one. But that is just for me I can completely understand you wanting to do more cycles. We also have an underlying genetic condition to deal with which would also hinder me doing any more. Argh these are such hard decisions to make.

  9. #6
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    We have always said that we would do 4 stim cycles. Based on the fact that my clinics stats are that 93% of couples who fall pregnant through them do so within 4 stim cycles.

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    Hopeful40  (30-11-2012)

  11. #7
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    Wow, I feel like a bit of a lightweight compared to the journey some of you have had!

    Felicita - The drive to have a genetic link between you and your child must have been pretty strong. I wonder if it was difficult for your husband, using donor sperm. Sometimes it seems men feel the most need for their kids to have their DNA.

    jfblady72- I wonder if you'd kept trying for a second child, if your cycles fell the other way around - ie if you succeeded on the second attempt for your first child, would you have stuck it out for another eight to have a second....Personally, I think it does help psychologically to cope, knowing that you have a child. Although some women seem to find that the urge to have another is just as strong as the first.

    YinYang - I wish there was an icon here for "I am not worthy" (making bowing motion). What an amazing trooper you must be. What a lucky girl your daughter is to have a mum like you! I guess you must have been on the "kitchen sink" protocol at times and I'm wondering whether to go down this route as well (DHEA, saizen etc etc). Did you make blasties most of the time? Did the failed cycles get easier or worse to cope with? I'm now starting to expect them, but that's probably self protection.

    Lara- That must put a lot of pressure on you and that cycle! I guess time will tell and other instincts might kick in to persevere. Hopefully you won't even have to worry about going down that road and everything will work out.

    Grebecci - My clinic gives an estimate of 90% success within three stims, which is why my third failed stim makes me a little edgy. Lucky your journey didn't take you down that road. Congrats!


    Well, will consider next step from here - more fancy drugs, new FS opinion maybe. Getting a little irritable about it all and revisiting a bit of envy at women who fall pregnant naturally. Doesn't every woman and her dog seem to be falling pregnant at the very time you're trying? Maybe i just notice it more. Must gorge on sushi, camembert and champagne, to make self feel better.

    take care
    Last edited by Hopeful40; 30-11-2012 at 20:01.

  12. #8
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    Hopeful, if someone had told me at the start of ttc that i would have to go through all i did you get DD i would have laughed "yeah right! as if i could cope with all that!!" But everyone just has to deal with the cards they are dealt, taking one hurdle at a time...some peoples journeys are just much longer and harder than others, and have to jump a marathon of hurdles!!

    I would certainly not wish my journey on anyone (and there is actually more to my story but i wont go into it here) and i wouldnt 'want' to go through it again, but i guess what i meant was that now my precious miracle is with me she is absolutely worth everything that i went through. No matter what we have to do to get there....it really is worth it all. And you will be surprised by the strength deep inside to keep trying...thank goodness for maternal desire!!

    I think i took just about every drug available by the end....DHEA (had been on it for about 3 years), saizen growth hormone, luveris, progesterone pessaries, clexane, dexamethasone and Intralipid infusions (to treat NK cells), i certainly rattled. I actually never once made it to Day 5 transfer, only Day 3 or 2, as only got low egg numbers. Towards to end i honestly started to feel it was never going to happen, and suffering so many losses it was certainly hard to keep going. This last cycle was almost just like a process to get through to say we had tried everything before moving on to adoption. After doing so many stimulated cycles i knew what to expect, how my body reacts physically & emotionally etc so in that respect i guess it got easier to handle, i learnt to just go through the motions.

    My DD was a lone Day 2 embryo and i went into transfer almost convinced there was no hope, my FS certainly didn't make me feel confident! I did a HPT a few days before blood test and it was negative so i drowned my sorrows in a few too many brevvies that night. The next day i had a niggling feeling to try another HPT (different brand) and to my shock it came up positive. My first thought was "Sh!t i just had all those drinks!!" then my next thought was "Sh!t...here we go again"! It is a sad result of all the losses but i never truly 'enjoyed' my pregnancy, always worrying and expecting the worst. Even now i still think something is going to happen and take my precious bub away , but am hoping that feeling will ease with time.

    I too used to look at pregnant women in envy, they seem to be everywhere when you are ttc! Your feelings are absolutely normal, i'm sure every women here would admit to it if they were honest! But now i look at pregnant women differently, i now think "i wonder what she went through to get her baby?" and maybe other women look at me & my bub with envy now?...but they dont know my story. Most people tend to encounter some struggles at some stage in their life and if we really knew what "the others" were going through I think we would still pick our own life! Whats that saying "if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back”. Don’t waste your energy with negative thoughts on other people’s lives!


    Hang on to the dream

    YY
    Last edited by YinYang; 03-12-2012 at 08:14.


 

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