questions, question, questions??? any advise

Discussion in 'Trying to Conceive' started by hayley, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. hayley

    hayley Well-Known Member

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    HI

    I don't know much about IVF treatment. I've got a pregnancy book and it explains a bit about the different types of help around. I have a few questions that i'd like help on.. if you've had IVF i'd really appreciate a chat.

    My first question is, how long should a couple have been trying before they see their doc for some advice and help on IVF? I wouldn't want to make an appointment to be turned away because we haven't been trying quite long enough. Also does your age make a difference to the time the doc will ask you to wait? I'm 30 and my husband is 48. We've been trying for 6 months.

    My 2nd question is, do you have to pay for IVF? I have no idea if treatment is free on the NHS.

    My 3rd question is, what kind of tests will the doc ask us to do before he decides we do need help. I feel like i'd be walking into the lions den. Haven't a clue what the doc would ask or do! I'm guessing he'd need a samle from my husband to measure his sperm count. But what would he need from me. Would I need a scan to see if i'm ovulation? Can they tell from a scan? I'm totally clueless.

    I'm not planning on making an appointment this week or even within the next month but i'd love to know a little bit more. I'd probably feel a little more confident if I knew a bit about IVF first. I'd love to hear how you got on if you had IVF treatment and what the doc asked of you.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sparkols

    Sparkols Active Member

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    Hi!

    I've not had IVF yet but may well be heading down that route in the near future. You need to have several tests & be referred by an expert to be able to commence treatment from what I understand. If I tell you about my situation, maybe that might answer some of your questions?...

    (I also found out loads of info. about IVF & IUI & egg donation etc. etc. by just doing 'google' searches on the internet - there's a TON of info. out there to wade through!)

    Basically, I'm 34 (35 this year) & hubby & I started trying to conceive in Jan. 2004 - I came off the pill after being on it since the age of 19! We've always been pretty healthy so had no reason to think we wouldn't just conceive naturally within a few months. After 10 mths of trying, my periods were still incredibly erratic & it was almost impossible to pin-point when or even if I was ovulating etc. so I went to my GP.

    Her initial response was that doctors tend not to even do anything until you've been trying unsuccessfully for at least a year, but seeing as I was getting very anxious about it, I was almost 34 at the time & my periods were such a nightmare, she eventually agreed to refer me to a gynaecologist.

    We were lucky enough to have private healthcare which covered investigative infertility treatment so we managed to get to see someone within about a month - apparently, if you wait on the NHS, depending on your area, it can sometimes take several months unfortunately.

    The gynae. did a blood test on me which showed that certain hormones were indicating that I wasn't ovulating properly & that my eggs weren't of the best quality or amount. She wanted to check hubby too so he had to have a sperm sample analysed, which luckily came back very positive. This all took a few weeks.

    The next stage was to check that all my 'bits' were looking free from infection/damage & generally looking like they were healthy & able to work properly, so I was booked in for a 'laparoscopy & dye' minor operation in Jan. of this year. This basically involved me being put under a general anaesthetic while they made 2 small incisions - 1 in my bikini line & 1 in my belly button, which allowed them to take a good look at everything & flush some blue dye through my fallopian tubes to make sure they weren't blocked etc.

    Not particularly pleasant but not that bad either - was told to take a week off work to recover - had minor period type pains & a fair amount of soreness/tightness in tummy & around stitches, but not dreadful. Would probably have gone back to work then, but unfortunately, the dissolvable stitches refused to dissolve & got a bit infected so I had to have them taken out & be given some antibiotic cream, so I ended up having another week off work as driving was very uncomfortable & my job involved a lot of travelling at the time.

    That all came back clear, luckily, so the gynae then prescribed a 6 mth course of the fertility drug 'clomid' which is supposed to regulate your periods & make you ovulate properly etc. so that you are physically able to conceive.

    Apparently, after a bit of trial & error with doseage amounts, if blood tests show that it isn't working within a few months then it's unlikely to. If it IS working, then you basically sit back (or lie back!) & wait for 6 mths or so - you have to pin-point your fertile period & go for it! Each month, you have a blood test to check that your body ovulated etc.

    Then, after 6 mths of that, the gynae told us that she'd refer us for IVF immediately as we couldn't afford to waste any more time, with my increasing age (nice!) & amount/quality of eggs etc.

    So, at the moment, I'm in month 3 of the drugs & hubby & I are at it like rabbits this week as I SHOULD hopefully be fertile as we speak!! The blood tests have shown that it APPEARS to be working in that my hormone levels seem to be of a high enough degree to indicate that I CAN conceive - it's just a case of wether or not I actually do!

    So, in answer to your questions, (after a long ramble from me - sorry!) you should expect to have a fair few blood tests, partner needs to be prepared for a sperm test & you might need a minor investigative procedure. Our gynae told us that most IVF clinics will want to do the investigative procedure if you haven't already had it before you start any treatment, so that they're 100% sure your system is physically fine, otherwise it's a waste of time implanting any embryos etc.

    As far as the actual IVF is concerned, I'm pretty sure it involves you taking a course of drugs to prepare your body, having a minor procedure where they remove your eggs, fertilise them in the lab with partner's sperm sample, then implant up to 2 that have developed properly back into you a few days later. Then, it's a case of waiting 2 weeks or so until they do either a blood or urine test to see if you're pregnant. Apparently, each IVF cycle takes approx. 6 weeks from beginning to end.

    Hope this helps!! Sorry it's been so long!!

    Good luck to us both eh?!
    Kath.
     
  3. hayley

    hayley Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kath

    Thank you for your reply it was very interesting to read. I've heard of clomid before. I hope it works for you, you seem to have been through quite alot already.

    I finished taking the pill in september and stupidly thought i'd be pregnant by christmas, then christmas came and went without me getting a positive result. I have been lucky enough that my periods settled into a cycle of 28 days imediately after stopping the pill. I have been checking that i am ovulating by using kits. It seems I'm ovulating, although the first few months after taking the pill i couldn't detect ovulation. Hopefully the pill is out of my system all together now. I spoke to a doctor regarding my husbands age. With men the age doesn't seem to effect him producing healthy sperm.

    At the moment my only option is to keep trying and stay relaxed about the whole trying situation.... which is easier said than done. I don't find myself getting upset when I get my period, i find that i can't take my mind off the subject, which is driving me crazy. I think this is probably the cause for me not getting pregnant... Once my period comes I'm constantly counting the days until i can start testing for ovulation, then i worry if we've made love on the correct days and if we should have done it more often, then i'm counting the days till i can do a pregnancy test.. I wishing the months away!

    Thank you for your advise and for sharing your experiences with me. Hopefully all will be fine and we'll concieve shortly. And also you.
     
  4. Viper

    Viper Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hayley,

    hows the IVF route going? My hubby and I have been ttc for over 2 years. We went to our doctor (together) after 1 year of ttc, which apparantly is about the right time. Hubby had to give two sperm samples over a three month period to check quality. I had blood tests to check that I was ovulating. Then I was referred to the hospital and had minor investigations which involved the insertion of dye into 'my bits' and then xrays taken to see the result. This wasn't particularly pleasant but now too bad. (Only took that day off work).

    Hubby and I then had to go to our local fertility centre, only to be told that we had 'unexplained infertility'. This was a nightmare because this means that we are now on the NHS waiting list for IVF. We were told the list is between 18 months and two years in lenght. Luckily we don't have to pay for the first two treatments we receive as we both have no children at present, but apparantly this varies from region to region so it depends on where you live.

    I feel very forgotten about now cause its turned into a waiting game hoping for BFP in the meantime. I'm 37 this year and we've only been waiting a year on the list so I'll be 38 by the time we get to have our first 'go' at IVF. I can't help thinking that the clock is ticking. I just hope I get my turn eventually to be a mum.

    Good Luck and Baby Dust to you x
     
  5. Lindsay

    Lindsay Well-Known Member

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    Hello ladies

    My DH and I have been ttc since July and I am beginning to think that I am not going to be lucky enough to conceive naturally. I have spoken to my DH about this and he has told me that if I don't get PG after our holiday in August then we will both visit the doctor for advice, so it was really interesting reading your bulletins. I feel that I know a little about what to expect now.

    I would love to know how you are getting on, in the mean time am sending you lots and lots of baby dust.

    Xxx
     
  6. Davinia

    Davinia Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,
    My DH & I have been ttc for 3 yrs, we have been together for 10 yrs now, married for 3. We decided to do things the so called "right way of doing things" meet, fall in love, move in together and get married (although not sure if that bit is the right way round!!) then start having kids. After 1 yr of ttc & no success we went to see our GP who did all the investigations on me, blood tests scan etc, when they came back ok I was then referred to my local gynae who then sent me for a hystersalpingogram (where dye is inserted and x-ray is used to see if your tubes are blocked) my right tube is partially blocked but the dye went through so ok not a problem. Anyway drs suggested after nearly 18months of ttc we should try the drug clomid, after 6 months - no luck and I was having side effects of flashing lights in my eyes so I discontinued use.
    In the mean time DH did 3 sperm tests, results just below average, but drs said not a major problem give it a while and see how we get on. I'm 26 and Hubby 32 so we thought well we are both still quite young leave it a few more months... stress building up we decided to go back to our GP DH was then referred to a specialist and he was then asked to do another sample.... this time much much lower... :cry:
    After 3 yrs of ttc with no success and beleive me we have tried everything, we were all for giving up hope of ever having our own child naturally.....
    Hubbys consultant has reccommended ICSI as our way to go, our Gp informed us that funding on the nhs had just become available in our area we are entitled to 1 free go so we are now waiting to hear from our fertility centre...... depending on the waiting list (we may even decide to go private)... I just could not bear the thought of having to wait many months or years on a waiting list, however I feel we are now 1 step closer. :)
    Good luck to all you guys out there, don't give up keep trying and if you are not sure go and see your Gp TOGETHER.
    Lots of babydust to you all.xx*******************
     

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