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  1. #1
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    Default PCOS and IVF success?

    Hi everyone,

    Relative newbie around here, but hoping to find some support and like-experience.

    I was diagnosed way back in my teens with lean PCOS (2003). At the time no one really explained what this meant, other than “cysts on the ovaries”, painful periods, and as the specialist so crudely put to my devastated mum “no chance of falling pregnant”.

    Fast-forward to 2018. My wife and I start our journey with MIVF. I do two rounds of IUI, one of which results in a chemical. I do a stimulation cycle, get a nasty case of OHSS, and they retrieved 33 EGGS. I was the size of a mini-bus! Only 3 make it to blast.

    We’re now onto our second frozen cycle, however it seems my hormones are all over the shop after a transfer. During my last cycle my progesterone levels just bottomed out, though we still don’t know if that contributed to the embryo choosing not to stick.

    I’ve been put on Metformin, Progynova and those dreadful pessaries for this cycle.

    Has anyone else been able to successfully conceive despite their PCOS? If so, what medication regime did you follow? Did it take many attempts before the right balance was found?

  2. #2
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    Didn't want to read and run, this may or may not be helpful advice. I was also DX with 'lean' PCOS in my late teens due to cystic ovaries. Unlike you though, I wasn't given such grim prospects. In fact I was told, "now this doesn't mean you cannot get pregnant, it just means it may take longer as your cycles aren't predictable". So please try not to be too disheartened.

    While I get very cystic ovaries, irregular periods, ovulation pain and hirsutism, I don't have high testosterone or insulin resistance, I also didn't struggle with my weight until after I had kids.

    I'm in a hetro relationship, so could do things the 'old fashioned way' and wouldn't say my PCOS has caused any major fertility issues. I've had irregular cycles, but for most of the life stages of TTC no long stretches of no periods (like I would have when younger).

    It sounds like they have been choosing medications for you based on a situation of PCOS when there is no natural ovulation (as is often the case for women with PCOS seeking IVF) but these may not work the same for your body if you naturally ovulate. So it may take a but of playing around to get the right combo.

    Best of luck with starting your family.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Stretched For This Useful Post:

    Toebeans (14-06-2019)

  4. #3
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    Hi @Toebeans, welcome to the boards. I found it a great support chatting to people in here to get me through our long journey.

    I wasn't diagnosed with PCOS until ttc back in 2010 when I came of the pill and didn't have any periods at all. When I look back the diagnosis wasn't a shock as I had suffered all the symptoms over the years. I too am pretty lean which made things difficult as everything you read is regards to loosing weight.

    Conceiving my first daughter was relatively easy when I look back on it now. We tried 3 unsuccessful cycles of chlomid before moving onto a stimulated cycle of injections. We were lucky to conceive on the second cycle.

    Fast forward two years later and we were ready to ttc no.2. Things were much more difficult. I tried 9 cycles of injections with no success before moving onto IVF. Everyone implied things should go smoothly and when they retrieved 15 eggs on my first cycle things looked great. However we had no embryos make it to blast, we transferred on day 3 with no success.

    Our journey continued in a similar way for several cycles - it was heart breaking! We eventually moved to a very proactive specialist who threw everything at our cycles. Unfortunately things continued to be difficult and we went through 7 fresh cycles in total. Our specialist was very honest and told us that unfortunately as a couple we made pretty crappy embryos.

    I did lots of research on my own and put the embryo quality down to my PCOS. The eggs were having to do so much to ovulate even with the drugs and injections. I read so much about the hard layer around PCOS ovaries and the fact they loose energy bursting through the layer that they are unable to continue developing when they meet the sperm. My progesterone was also dropping out every cycle and my dctr had me on so much support that didn't make a difference.

    My 7th cycle was my success, I had the ovarian drilling procedure done prior to this cycle and I changed the type of cycle to an antagonist (shorter cycle, not involving down regulation) cycle. We collected 27 eggs and this was the first cycle ever that I got a 5 day blast, all other cycles we transfered a 6 day blast. I also for the first time did interuterine pregnyl injection to support progesterone. I really feel like the ovarian drilling made the difference for me and I now have an 18mnth old little miracle. I have also had natural periods since her birth which is amazing for me.

    I hope you find some answers soon to improve your cycles and become pregnant, good luck x
    Last edited by Heyside; 12-06-2019 at 22:24.

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    gorgeousgeorge (12-06-2019),Toebeans (14-06-2019)

  6. #4
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    Thank you for such wonderful responses, it's nice to hear from people with similar experiences.

    Stretched - haha, yes, I think we got a specialist in a particularly dark mood that day. I didn't really question it because I was all of 15 and thought kids were the worst. I think I'm quite similar to your diagnosis in that I have very cystic ovaries but I've never really had issues with not having a period. It's just been really erratic over the years, but since I turned 30 it's been an oddly stable cycle of about 35 days. So I suppose I have that in my favour. Not sure what the meds I'm on are attempting to treat, especially the Metformin (since so far as I know I don't *yet* have any insulin resistance concerns). I guess I'll just have to trust the specialist!

    Heyside - I've never heard of ovarian drilling! What benefits to PCOS is it meant to provide? I'm very concerned about the quality of my eggs, since from the 33 retrieved in December (ridiculous, never again, ouch) barely any were mature enough to survive fertilisation. We're incredibly fortunate to have walked away with 3 robust embryos. I'm just concerned that when I do another egg retrieval in future I'll have similar outcomes - large amounts of eggs with poor prospects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toebeans View Post
    Thank you for such wonderful responses, it's nice to hear from people with similar experiences.

    Stretched - haha, yes, I think we got a specialist in a particularly dark mood that day. I didn't really question it because I was all of 15 and thought kids were the worst. I think I'm quite similar to your diagnosis in that I have very cystic ovaries but I've never really had issues with not having a period. It's just been really erratic over the years, but since I turned 30 it's been an oddly stable cycle of about 35 days. So I suppose I have that in my favour. Not sure what the meds I'm on are attempting to treat, especially the Metformin (since so far as I know I don't *yet* have any insulin resistance concerns). I guess I'll just have to trust the specialist!

    Heyside - I've never heard of ovarian drilling! What benefits to PCOS is it meant to provide? I'm very concerned about the quality of my eggs, since from the 33 retrieved in December (ridiculous, never again, ouch) barely any were mature enough to survive fertilisation. We're incredibly fortunate to have walked away with 3 robust embryos. I'm just concerned that when I do another egg retrieval in future I'll have similar outcomes - large amounts of eggs with poor prospects.
    I am in the same boat. I have pcos and produce lots of eggs but not good quality. I have done 4 cycles so far and no success yet. Will do next cycle soon. I am also thinking to do a lap before next cycle. Even with pcos I have all hormones within range. No insulin resistance but still taking metformin. Hopefully next cycle be the successful cycle for us🤞 And you get success soon 🙏

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    @Toebeans - The ovarian drilling procedure was one of my last resorts. It is an old preocedure which is supposed to shock the ovaries into working as they should. Research has shown that the procedure can break the harden shell around the ovaries making it easier for the eggs to ovulate, preserving the eggs energy which enables them to be stronger. I think the number of immature eggs you had last cycle can more than likely be put down to the protocol of the cycle - ie the drug dose etc. Unfortunately the first few cycles are a bit of a test to see how your body reacts. Hopefully next cycle they will have an idea of a better protocol for you and the correct dose you require. It sounds like you had a few dominant follicles that overtook the rest quickly leaving lots of smaller follicles behind. Definitely discuss this with your dctr they should have more of an idea this time.
    @Belive in miracles - I requested a lap after so many cycles to see if there was something going on we weren't aware of. It was my dctrs decision to do the ovarian drilling whilst they were in there, nothing else was found during the procedure. I also have no insulin resistance and am considered to have lean pcos but there are lots of studies that show the metformin can still help us.

    Good luck to you both x

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    Toebeans (15-06-2019)

  10. #7
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    [QUOTE=Heyside;8905741]@Toebeans - The ovarian drilling procedure was one of my last resorts. It is an old preocedure which is supposed to shock the ovaries into working as they should. Research has shown that the procedure can break the harden shell around the ovaries making it easier for the eggs to ovulate, preserving the eggs energy which enables them to be stronger. I think the number of immature eggs you had last cycle can more than likely be put down to the protocol of the cycle - ie the drug dose etc. Unfortunately the first few cycles are a bit of a test to see how your body reacts. Hopefully next cycle they will have an idea of a better protocol for you and the correct dose you require. It sounds like you had a few dominant follicles that overtook the rest quickly leaving lots of smaller follicles behind. Definitely discuss this with your dctr they should have more of an idea this time.
    @Belive in miracles - I requested a lap after so many cycles to see if there was something going on we weren't aware of. It was my dctrs decision to do the ovarian drilling whilst they were in there, nothing else was found during the procedure. I also have no insulin resistance and am considered to have lean pcos but there are lots of studies that show the metformin can still help us.

    Good luck to you both

    @Heyside I have two options now either do a cycle with genea as I was with Primary and I doubt that their lab and protocol was not working. Second to do a lap first as I did a lap two years ago and found mild endo which was removed but I think it might be coming back and do ovarian drilling and then do cycle with genea. Still confused as lap will be out of pocket for me as my phi doesn’t kick in yet so just trying to decide 🥺


 

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