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  1. #1
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    Question A real guide to IVF

    Hi everyone

    We want to start writing a guide to IVF - a real guide from real women who are experiencing and have experienced everything that comes with the IVF journey.

    Here's where we need your help - I know basically nothing about IVF, so would really love it if you guys could help me out.

    From the beginning - when do you start talking about IVF? What do you do before starting down this road?

    TIA x

  2. #2
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    Can anyone start us off? What made you start thinking about IVF?

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    I think it is a great idea to start a guide to IVF so people are more aware of what they are up for, the pitfalls and their choices.

    IVF is such a huge field though that I really think you need to research the subject throughly and to be honest I think you need someone to work with you that has been through long term IVF/infertility.

    It's great asking ladies for their real world experiences to get a true account, but to know what questions to ask you really have to have been through it. It's hard to know what to ask if you don't know the process, if you get what I mean.

    In reply to your questions
    When do you start talking about IVF: This is dependent upon a number of factors including age, whether it is primary or secondary infertility, GP knowledge and expeirence, FS knowledge and experience, couples willingness to engage.

    What do you do before starting down this road?
    1. Wait between 6 -12 months (depending on age) before you are even able to be referred to a FS.
    2. Chart your temperature to try and determine ovulation
    3. Basic blood test for hormones, egg reserve, thyroid function,
    4. If not pregnant within 6-12 months depending on age finally referred to FS.
    5. Full history is taken of both partners
    6. Sperm analysis
    7. Timed intercourse (where you have a blood test starting from around day 9 of your cycle and keep having them until you ovulate). This will also determine if you are ovulating and also if you have a luteal phase defect (i.e., low progesterone). Couples can have time intercourse for many months before moving on to something else.
    8. Operations/scans including laparoscopy/hysteroscopy to check for blockages, PCOS, endo.
    9. Some people try althernative methods acupuncture, chinese medicine, naturopath, diets e.g. low GI for PCOS, use of vitamins/minerals or may be advised to lose weight.
    10. If no success with timed intercourse move on to IUI
    11. If no success with IUI move on to IVF

    All this before you even start IVF!
    As for me personally, what made we think about IVF? Basically I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility, none of the above worked and I was told that it would be impossible to adopt in this country. IVF was my only way of having a baby.
    Last edited by SummerShine; 25-03-2013 at 15:26.

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  5. #4
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    Thanks! Wow, so much involved. It'd be great to have some of the emotional side in this guide too, so it's not just all about logistics and what you physically do during the process - you can do a google search to find a lot of that stuff.

    We want to able to come from the other perspective of what to expect from an emotional standpoint too. How do you feel when the question of needing fertility help comes up? Is it scary, do you try to avoid admitting that you need help? Or is the opposite for some people?

  6. #5
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    I think talking about IVF from the very beginning of TTC is always a good option. Whether you will be fertile or not I think it's important for both parties to know where the other one stands if/when it comes to going down the IVF route.

    We started seriously talking about potential fertility problems are 9 months TTC and had a referral by 12 months. Saw FS for the first time around 15 months after starting TTC. My theory on fertility investigations is and always has been that I would rather have it checked sooner rather than later and have them tell me that it's all fine rather than wait 2 or 3 years to find out it was never going to happen naturally and have wasted 2 or 3 years trying.

    What happens before IVF seriously depends on what the issue is so whilst the list above is a very comprehensive list of things that you may try if you had unexplained infertility or some other problems for DH and I we essentially didn't have to do most of those things.

    As a general guide your FS will conduct BT's to make sure you are ovulating and that your hormones are fine, will do an ultrasound to check for cysts etc. will do a semen analysis of your partner and may do a lap/sal/hyst. Our problem turned out to be male infertility, a regular count should be >6million/ml DH had less than 2000 in the whole sample and most of them were gimpy. So for us there was no trying all the other options listed above it was quite simply if you want a baby you will have to use ICSI. Hubby also then had a full bunch of genetic tests done to make sure it was nothing that could be passed on to offspring.

    And so started our IVF journey.

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  8. #6
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    I think people have very different reactions to infertility and that reaction can change the longer you are on the merry go round.

    I knew something was wrong the moment I started trying to conceive although it took about a year before anyone would listen to me. I didn't avoid admitting I needed help as I wanted to find the cause of my problem. Thinking I may never have children was the worst and so scary. When I was referred for IVF my GP asked me if I was excited. It kind of took me back, I definitely wasn't excited. This was my last option and if IVF didn't work there was nothing else. Plus I didn't really know what was involved with IVF and the unknown is always scary.

    Admitting to the medical professionals I needed help was easy. Telling anyone else was not. I didn't tell anyone for close to three years. I was embarrassed and thought I was letting DH down. I felt defective and I didn't want people to pity me. So because people didn't know what was happening they didn't understand why I began isolating myself, why I didn't want to be around baby's or go to family events. The biggest mistake I made was not being honest as to what was happening. After 4 years of ttc with no success I was a mess and we told family and it was a massive relief. Everyone was supportive of what we were going through and I really wish I had of been more open earlier.

    Sorry I probably said more than what you were asking. Infertility is a terrible thing to go through. It affects every part of your life and it's so taboo.

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    BH-community  (26-03-2013)

  10. #7
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    Default IVF info

    Someone was asking for IVF info

    I thought I would write the following but now cant find who it was

    Hi there,

    I'm a newbie here so apologies if anything written wrong abreviations

    DH and I have been TTC for 10 years. When no baby after 12 months TTC referral to hospital - 1 years wait in UK to see someone. DH tests all fine. My tests all fine. No reason not conceving small fibroid 0.5cm apparently wont be causing infertility.

    Relocate to Australia - saw doctor - referral to specialist 1-2 year wait

    Suggest try Clomid 3 months no baby - they make come back after each cycle of Clomid and wait between to see specialist usually about 3-6 month wait for clinic

    Suggest IUI with Clomid another 3 cycles including ultrasound - fibroid now 5cm - no baby wait another 3 months to see specialist

    They push us to consider IVF I say something has to be wrong after approx 5 years TTC they need to start from scratch with investigations. They start by doing laparoscopy and cant do it as the fibroid is now size of Avocado. Definately reason not concieving now but not to start with referral to surgery department - 2 week wait

    Suggest have Fibroid removed - injections to shrink give 3months then surgery and recovery

    Have Fibroid removed found to be Atypical Myoma - not Cancer, not normal - first said needed hysterectomy then said need yearly ultrasound to monitor does not come back, if does only surgery option to remove or hysterectomy. Asked whether I wanted to be around to see baby to adult or just have baby I said to adulthood surgeon agreed we could be referred back to fertillity. Explanation that due to Open Stomach surgery chance of taking baby to term is low but not impossible - will need close monitoring. Still TTC - wait 6 months to see fertility clinic

    Referred to other clinic who do IVF told 4 month wait - waited 6 months then phonecall saying doc will be away on holiday when our appointment is scheduled next apt another 3 months.

    Now have apt to see IVF specialist

    IVF was mentioned very early on. I am severely needle phobic and so dont know whether will go ahead. We dearly want a family. It is something mentioned and discussed very early on but really for use after all other methods have been exhausted. First try less invasive up to most invasive.

    My/our diagnoses is unexplained infertility.

    If you want anything else a bit more personal just ask I am happy to help just trying not to put anything to graphic on the forum.

    Hope this helps

  11. #8
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    Dh and I tried for 9mths then started thinking hmmm is something not right here because we really expected to get pregnant right away. So we went to a gp after 12mths of ttc who did bloods on me and sent dh to do a semen analysis. When the results came back showing dh had a low count and slow motility we didn't hesitate in getting a referal to a fertility specialist for an expert opinion. We waited a 6 weeks for an appointment. I had a list of questions, we wanted to know our best chance at trying to concieve. We were told our chances of concieving naturally were not impossible but our best chance of having a baby immediately was IVF icsi. We went home, dh looked up at what he could take naturally to boost his levels and we decided to wait another 9mths and if we hadn't concieved we would do IVF. Dh was on "fertility Blend" for men and after 6mths he went for another analysis to discover his count was now up but his motility was still low so we opted to do IVF. I was convinced that it would work first time for us because I was young enough and very healthy and there was nothing wrong with my body but when the fresh transfer was negative I was guttered and convinced if it hadn't worked the first time it wasn't going to. We waited 3mths as I wanted to give my body a break but my heart really wasn't in it. We then did a frozen transfer and was positive. We were overjoyed!!! We tried another frozen transfer but our remaining embryo's didn't thaw which was heart breaking. I had been on the medication for nothing! So we did another cycle and was positive first up. We had the 3 yr gap between our children as we had hoped for in the end. We then decided we would try for one more but again our embryo didn't thaw. Now here we are just about to start a third and final cycle. I will also add though that all along we have been very open about our IVF journey to both family and my employer and collegues, the support through the process has been great and made life alot easier re appointments, taking time off work etc.

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  13. #9
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    WOW. So sorry for everything you have been through. I hope your first cycle through IVF is a success. These are the times i wish making a baby was as easy as peeling a banana

  14. #10
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    No offence meant, but I don't think that you can write a 'real guide to IVF' if you haven't experienced it... Having to do IVF is absolute torture (although I did just get a BFN today on my 5th stimulated cycle, so it's possible I'm feeling a little raw...actually I feel like my world has ended, but in the midst of that, I'm sat here planning how to do it all again, all the while not being sure I can cope with another cycle)...

    right now, the thought of someone writing a 'guide to IVF' who, luckily for them, will never really know what it's like, is more than I can cope with, so I'm going to sign off before I write something I regret... I agree with Summershine, at the very least, you need a co-writer...

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