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  1. #1
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    Default 4th round IVF 2ww November 2018 - anyone else? (42 yo & low responder)

    Hi guys,

    I've just had my first FET today after 4 rounds of IVF trying to conceive our second child. I'm 42 and classed as a poor responder. We conceived my (nearly) 4 year old boy using IVF in 2014. We were incredibly (I realise moreso now!) fortunate to get BFP on our first round.

    It's been a pretty brutal journey. The start was not good at all with zero eggs on a long protocol approach. We then got one that wasn't able to be retrieved on a short protocol. Third cycle my FS changed approach and used Elonva instead of Gonal F which seemed to work better for me. She also switched me to Cetrotide for ovulation suppression (instead of Orgalutran) and added Human Growth Hormone into the mix. Both of these involved mixing powders with liquids and using proper syringes which I found pretty stressful. HGH is also very expensive. It was costing $300 per day just for those (no cash back on these!). We got a grade A hatching blastocyst from that cycle but I got a BFN and was pretty devastated. The last cycle FS used same approach but with the addition of Luveris to help with my lutenizing hormone (or something? ha ha). We got two embryos which weren't PGD testable but one was freezable. BFN from the fresh transfer. FET today of the higher quality embryo.

    My husband leaves for Europe tomorrow for two weeks so he will be away when either AF arrives or I get my BFP test back. Not ideal. I have a great support network of friends and family on this journey as I've been quite open about it but no one understands quite like those going through it so I thought I'd check in here as well.

    Next steps if this one doesn't take are to either do one more stim round (this will be a stretch on our emotional and financial resources and I don't think we'd consider any more than one more) and/or consider donor eggs. I have a donor lined up (a friend who offered) who is 30 years old and very much seriously on board. Problem is my husband isn't keen on that idea at the moment. So that's tricky.

    I'd love to connect with anyone else going through IVF at the moment, especially 'poor responders' who understand the agony of going through so much for so few eggs/embryos.

    My history in detail (if you'd like to know any more specifics because you're going through similar things, let me know and I can fill in more detail)....

    1st round (2014) - Gonal F 250, Orgalutran, Ovidrel trigger - 3 eggs, 1 x fresh embryo transfer (Grade 2/3? day 5 blastocyst) - BFP (now almost 4yo)
    2nd round (2018) - Synarel to down-reg (long protocol) - 300 Gonal F, Orgalutran, Ovidrel trigger - cancelled, 0 eggs
    3rd round (2018) - 300 Gonal F, Orgalutran, Ovidrel trigger - 1 egg, wasn't able to be retrieved
    4th round (2018) - Elonva, 300 Gonal F, Cetrotide, 300 HGH (Saizen), Testogel, Ovidrel and Synarel trigger - 3 eggs, 1 embryo, day 5 Grade A hatching blastocyst transfer - BFN
    5th round (2018) - Elonva, 300 Gonal F, Cetrotide, 300 HGH (Saizen), Testogel, Luveris, Ovidrel and Synarel trigger - 2 eggs, 2 embryos - both Grade 2, neither PGD quality. One freezable. 1 x fresh transfer - BFN
    6th round (2018) - FET (today!)

  2. #2
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    Hi Kainos

    Just wanted to say hi as I can totally relate to the journey. It’s like the never ending story.

    IVF#1 (2016)- 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. 7 eggs, 3 blasts. (Early m/c).

    IVF#2 (2017) - 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. (Cancelled due to LH rise/threatened ovulation)

    IVF#3 (2017) - 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. 6 eggs, 1 blast (BFN)

    Natural FET (2017) - BFN

    IVF#4 - long down 300 Gonal, Synarel, Ovidrel. 4 eggs, 1 blast frozen (PGD normal)

    Natural FET (2017) - cancelled crazy hormones

    ** Immune testing - NK cells, MTHFR - Added immune protocol for all transfers - prednisone, Clexane ***

    Natural FET (2017) - PGD tested - chemical

    Natural FET (2017) - BFN

    IVF #5 (2018) - 450 Menopur, Orgalutran, Ovidrel.
    2 eggs, 0 to transfer

    IVF #6 (2018) - Testogel priming, 300 Gonal, Orgalutran - Cancelled

    ** More immune testing - high ANAs, autoimmune markers, T cell imbalance. Immune protocol changed to Dex, Clexane, Baby Aspirin, Intralipids.**

    IVF #7 (2018) - 600 Gonal/Menopur (alternating days), Cetrotide, Saizen, Pregnyl trigger. 4 eggs, 1x 3dt (BFN)

    ** Laparoscopy to remove stage IV endometriosis**

    IUI (2018) - BFN

    IVF #8 (2018) - estrogen priming - OCP (3wks), Synarel(1wk), progynova, estradot patches, 1/2 dose cetrotide, 600iu Gonal (dropping to 225 then 150), Saizen, 75iu Menopur (last 5 days), Pregnyl + Ovidrel trigger. 3 eggs, 1 x 3dt (BFN)

    So 13 cycles all up and I’m exhausted! This last cycle was particularly cruel because for once I had awesome scan results showing 10 perfectly sized follies. But alas only 3 eggs collected still. I got my BFN on Monday.

    I had already decided that’s it for my own eggs. I’m now looking at donor egg / donor embryo options and hope to try that early next year. It’s a strange feeling because I expected to be shattered but to be honest I actually feel hopeful. It just feels like maybe now I have a chance of it working. It’s a lot to organise and take in though.

    Best of luck. I really hope this cycle is the one for you xx

    R

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risa78 View Post
    Hi Kainos

    Just wanted to say hi as I can totally relate to the journey. It’s like the never ending story.

    IVF#1 (2016)- 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. 7 eggs, 3 blasts. (Early m/c).

    IVF#2 (2017) - 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. (Cancelled due to LH rise/threatened ovulation)

    IVF#3 (2017) - 300 Gonal, Orgalutran and Ovidrel. 6 eggs, 1 blast (BFN)

    Natural FET (2017) - BFN

    IVF#4 - long down 300 Gonal, Synarel, Ovidrel. 4 eggs, 1 blast frozen (PGD normal)

    Natural FET (2017) - cancelled crazy hormones

    ** Immune testing - NK cells, MTHFR - Added immune protocol for all transfers - prednisone, Clexane ***

    Natural FET (2017) - PGD tested - chemical

    Natural FET (2017) - BFN

    IVF #5 (2018) - 450 Menopur, Orgalutran, Ovidrel.
    2 eggs, 0 to transfer

    IVF #6 (2018) - Testogel priming, 300 Gonal, Orgalutran - Cancelled

    ** More immune testing - high ANAs, autoimmune markers, T cell imbalance. Immune protocol changed to Dex, Clexane, Baby Aspirin, Intralipids.**

    IVF #7 (2018) - 600 Gonal/Menopur (alternating days), Cetrotide, Saizen, Pregnyl trigger. 4 eggs, 1x 3dt (BFN)

    ** Laparoscopy to remove stage IV endometriosis**

    IUI (2018) - BFN

    IVF #8 (2018) - estrogen priming - OCP (3wks), Synarel(1wk), progynova, estradot patches, 1/2 dose cetrotide, 600iu Gonal (dropping to 225 then 150), Saizen, 75iu Menopur (last 5 days), Pregnyl + Ovidrel trigger. 3 eggs, 1 x 3dt (BFN)

    So 13 cycles all up and I’m exhausted! This last cycle was particularly cruel because for once I had awesome scan results showing 10 perfectly sized follies. But alas only 3 eggs collected still. I got my BFN on Monday.

    I had already decided that’s it for my own eggs. I’m now looking at donor egg / donor embryo options and hope to try that early next year. It’s a strange feeling because I expected to be shattered but to be honest I actually feel hopeful. It just feels like maybe now I have a chance of it working. It’s a lot to organise and take in though.

    Best of luck. I really hope this cycle is the one for you xx

    R
    @Risa78
    thanks so much for your response! It's so good to connect with people who understand the journey.

    And wow, what a journey you've been on! You end up becoming a bit of an expert on the process which is not something you really want! It's so hard to know what's actually going on sometimes too. Because my FS changed up a lot of things after my 2nd round, I don't know if the Elonva, the Saizen or the Cetrotide, the testogel, made the difference? And until we get a BFP I won't know if any of it has really helped in the way we need anyway.

    It is such a brutal journey emotionally. And with all those injections it gets really hard physically too.

    I feel like I understand what you mean about the donor thing. My husband sees it as a 'riskier' and more fraught scenario but I'm starting to see it was a way simpler option because the chances of success are so much higher and for me (I'm 42) the chances of genetic abnormalities are so much lower. After going through so much, you start to just want some fruit for your efforts. You have been through more cycles than I have and my emotional and physical resources are running really thin so I can imagine why you've made this call.

    I was pretty reluctant about the donor idea originally but the longer I've sat with it the more open I feel. I feel a bit fatalistic about it, like if that's the path we were to end up on, then that's the child I was always meant to have.

    Do you have a donor lined up or a plan on how to recruit one? Where is your partner (if there is one, don't want to assume) at with the donor idea. Mine is not very open at the moment which makes things really complicated. Obviously I'm hoping this FET sticks but I feel like I need a plan B to keep me sane during this 2ww. It's just so much pressure. Even with all the injecting and procedures etc. I still find this part the hardest as it's just so tough psychologically.

    Thanks again for responding. x
    Last edited by Kainos; 16-11-2018 at 11:06.

  4. #4
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    @Risa78 also very tough for you to have had some good a quality embies in there that resulted in BFN. Those close calls with success are very hard to take when the eggs and embies are so few.

  5. #5
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    Thanks @Kainos

    So true we do become a bit of an expert. Gosh I wish I wasn’t though

    In100% agree. It’s so hard to know what worked and what didn’t. I think about that a lot. I ummed and ahhed over whether to throw all the extras at it or try to add things one by one... so you could see what worked/didn’t. But then that might take a lot of cycles! I ended up opting for the kitchen sink approach and just tried everything. Not that it worked though!

    I am single so i only had to get myself around the concept of using donor eggs. I struggled with that a little at first (not because I care about a genetic link to me but because that means my child would be double donor and not know their genetics on either side). I probably would have moved on earlier if it wasn’t for the double donor. But I think I can honestly say now I tried my best with my eggs. I also needed to stop while I still had money left to even do a donor egg cycle! I’m looking at a few overseas clinics trying to find the best option so still a few months away I guess.

    There’s a great analogy I’ve read on the donor threads here. Let’s say you want to make a birthday cake but have run out of eggs. You pop next door to borrow some eggs from your neighbour and bake a yummy cake. Is it your cake? Yep! You mixed it, baked it in your oven, decorated it etc. It’s definitely your cake that you made with love for your family.

    It’s a big decision so I can understand why it may not sit naturally with your DP at first. I think when you are ready for that step you’ll know and hopefully DP will get more used to the idea in time.

    I always found a plan B helped a lot in the TWW. It really is emotional torture! So thinking of you and I hope you have a busy weekend full of distractions ahead of you. Fx this is your golden egg making itself comfy xx

    R

  6. #6
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    @Risa78 I didn't get a notification that you'd replied (I'm still very new to using these forums) so apologies for the delay.

    I really admire women who do IVF single. I have a relative who did this and has twins and is so happy with her decision. I also have single friends in their mid forties who would have made amazing Mums and would love to have had children and I'm sad they didn't go for the option you have.

    It's great you feel OK about the genetic link issue. I do hear you regarding the double donor/no genetic link issue for the child but I guess it's one step better than adoption isn't it, because you carry that child and they would never had had a chance at life if it wasn't for you so there isn't that sense of loss or uncertainty or rejection in the mix. The fact you are thinking that aspect through so much suggests you'd handle it really well in communication with your kid/s so I'm sure you're making the right decision for you.

    Which clinic are you cycling through? I've been with Genea and I know they have links with a clinic in Thailand that provides donor eggs. I think it's more affordable than some of the American options. I does get pricey when you are paying for eggs. I am exceptionally grateful to have a friend who has offered.

    This 2WW is absolutely killing me! I keep weighing up whether to do a urine pregnancy test (I am at day 25 of my cycle today and because it was an FET I could, but I'm nervous about getting a false negative that might really throw me. I just hate the fact I could get my period at any time and not be emotionally prepared or in a good scenario to process emotionally. *deep breaths*. One moment at a time!

    The plan B is I think to take a couple of cycles over Christmas on DHEA (have you used this?) and then perhaps try another stim cycle with my eggs in January. If that failed I think I'd be very open to donor eggs if hubby is. It's hard to imagine going through all this with no baby at the end.

    Thanks again for your response x PS I like that analogy!

  7. #7
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    Thanks, I was at IVF Australia and also travelled to Brisbane for a couple of cycles too. Now looking at California Conceptions.

    Single women are a bit restricted on the countries that will treat us. So no Thailand for me. You are lucky to have a known egg donor you can turn to if needed. Much easier!

    The 2WW is always a killer. Sounds like not long to go. Hang in there! I was umming and ahhing over whether to test last cycle when AF came and solved the dilemma. I always test the night before or morning of my blood test though so I am prepared for the call at work. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    A break over xmas is a good plan. I did use DHEA and it got me more follicles. Jury is out on if it helped quality or not as those two last cycles were such different protocols anyway with so many meds thrown in. But I definitely got more follicles on all my scans for 2-3 cycles.

    Best of luck. I’m hoping for positive news in the next few days for you

    R

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    @Risa7 I think I had a look at California Conceptions online. My donor is in America so we were talking about doing a cycle there at one point but she is now thinking she is likely to come here for a holiday anyway so we would do it here.

    It's a shame they make it harder for single women!

    Yes, I was thinking I might do a test on the morning, I can see how that might help. Although to be honest my cycles are generally shortish so if I make it all the way to the IVF blood test I will be feeling pretty positive by then!

    How long were you on DHEA? I know 3 months is the recommendation. I don't want to necessarily wait that long though, so it would just be the two months over Christmas. Interesting to hear that it impacted your follicle numbers, that's encouraging.

    Hope to share some good news soon! Thanks so much for your positive thoughts

  9. #9
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    My FS said not to wait longer, so I was on DHEA for about 2 months before one cycle and 4-5 months all up before the last one (I kept taking it through stims and 2WW).

    It does seem to work better the longer you are on it but my FS said time also wasn’t on my side so not to delay cycles.

    R

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risa78 View Post
    My FS said not to wait longer, so I was on DHEA for about 2 months before one cycle and 4-5 months all up before the last one (I kept taking it through stims and 2WW).

    It does seem to work better the longer you are on it but my FS said time also wasn’t on my side so not to delay cycles.

    R
    I wish I'd thought of starting on DHEA sooner during stims and 2WW, makes me wish I had pushed my FS a bit more and just done it. She doesn't see evidence in research for it working but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence around that it does.

    I broke my resolve today and POAS. BFN I'm 7dpt 5dt and I know most people get positives at this point if they're pregnant but it's also possible to be pregnant and not get a positive just yet so I'm in a weird limbo place now of grieving but not fully there because AF hasn't come and BT isn't until Monday. God this is such a marathon/rollercoaster!


 

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