IVF questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MTME, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone and their partner have gone through the IVF process?
    I've had a couple of friends but everyone has different experiences.
    SO I was wondering what is the very first thing the doctor does on your first visit of starting the provess.
    We've already met my doctor so we've bee through medical history determined IVF is going to be the only. So what's next?

    Was it difficult to go through? Physically and emotionally?

    I've heard that sometimes you have to go in for something at the last second, drop of the hat?

    What was your end result? DId you try again? When did you decide enough is enough?

    Approximately what was the cost of everything? Together and broken down?

    I would greatly appreciate anyone's advice and if you aren't comfortable I totally understand, PM me if you wish.

    Anything would be helpful, please and thank you!
     
  2. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I haven't gone through this and to the best of my knowledge I don't know anyone that has, but I will offer this observation: Your friends probably have vastly different experiences because they are vastly different people. Not everyone reacts to medical things the same way so IVF may be a horrible experience for one person and a completely different experience for you. I think probably the best way to go into this would be to find out what to expect from your doctor (which it kinda sounds like you've already done). Wish I could be more help, but that's all I could think of.
     
  3. moreprimeland

    moreprimeland Optimus told me to do it! Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've worked with a couple of women who've been thru the process... from my discussions with them, I'd say it was emotionally and physically draining and very hard on them and their relationships..and life in general.
    One had a baby after about 2 yrs of trying and one did not in about the same time frame and they couldn't afford to continue...insurance doesn't pay for everything involved.

    You might try the Ladies Group for this...might be an easier place to discuss all the in's and out's of this type of procedure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  4. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    I have donated my eggs to a fertility challenged couple and am about to donate to them again. I can tell you about my experience with the testing, monitoring and drugs. I can't help with issues surrounding actually struggling with fertility.

    Yes, sometimes you have to go in at the drop of a hat, or with a few hours or a days notice. It's just part of the process as a woman's cycle is a delicate thing and manipulating a woman's cycle can be difficult as women all respond differently to drugs, and each have a unique cycle. Follicle stimulation, ovulation and conception can only occur at very specific times in a woman's cycle as a response to very carefully balanced hormones. Drugs need to be given at very specific times and egg retrieval needs to happen at a very specific time (we are talking to a specific HOUR in the case of IVF). When you are ready to begin your stimulated cycle you will be given a sheet with each day of your cycle marked and instructions for each day.....day 1 will be the day of your first period - if you period begins before 12pm....if you get your period after 12pm then that day will count as day zero with the next day being day 1. When you have your drugs and are ready to go, you will need to ring your clinic the first day of your period and "book on". The clinic will ring you back (or email you) with a time and day to begin your medication. The FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) will need to be taken within a 3-4 hour window in the evening - I took mine at 9pm.

    You will need to go in approx day 6-8 for a follicle check where they perform a vaginal ultrasound - the date with the dildo cam is not fun, but get used to it because by the time the process is over you and Mr Dildo Cam will be practically married. They also take blood to measure estrogen levels and this helps them determine if your body is responding to the medication and how well it's responding. They check follicle growth and decide whether you need to increase your FSH, decrease it (they call it 'coasting') if you are over-responding or cancel the cycle completely (severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome is not good and cancelling the cycle is necessary to avoid severe injury). You go in again at day 12 to check to see if enough follicles are mature and if you are ready for egg retrieval.

    Women respond differently, so the day you have your retrieval cannot be scheduled in advance because they simply don't know when your eggs will be mature enough. When they are mature enough they need to schedule the retrieval FAST because eggs can 'over ripen' and become useless. You will have only a very narrow window given and will need to be VERY flexible during the cycle. Don't make any committments, organise flexible childcare for your son and be prepared to drop everything when you get the call from the clinic. Timing is very, very crucial.

    The drugs I was on was puregon (Australian brand name and could be different name in the US). It is basically artificial FSH (made, believe it or not from female horse urine) and is what tells your ovaries to produce eggs. I did 12 days of daily injections with the puregon, at a dose of 200iu (but daily doses can range from 100iu to 350iu). It is easy, it comes in a pen that you fill with a cartridge and you dial the correct dose, and actual injection is fairly painless. I started this drug on day 2 of my cycle. About 6 days later I added another injection of orgalutran daily- this one is your more typical syringe and yes, this one hurts :( . This drug suppresses your natural cycle so you don't ovulate the eggs prior to retrieval. At day 12 of cycle I had a vaginal ultrasound to count the number of mature follicles and then was given an exact time to stop the puregon and when to inject a 3rd drug, ovidrel (another pen, but this one is pre-filled so you don't have to mess around with cartridges and dialling the dosage...just insert and press and it's done) which is a trigger shot and releases the eggs while also giving them a boost to get some smaller ones to maturity. EXACTLY 36 hrs after ovidrel you must go in for egg retrieval.

    Egg retrieval is minor surgery, you go in, get prepped and then they knock you out. They put 2 tiny incisions inside your vagina on either side of your cervix and use a needle which vacuums out all the follicular fluid...and the eggs. The whole process of actual retrieval takes about 20 minutes but they expect you to go in a couple hours before you are sheduled so they can prep you, do your obs etc. They write how many eggs they retrieved on your hand so when you wake up the first thing you see is a number.

    It can be daunting. The process can be very, very invasive and you will lose your dignity many times over. Before I even got to the actual stimulated cycle stage I had to have so many different tests, scans and counselling sessions - but my situation is different as I was a donor, and had additional hoops to jump through (mandatory counselling, etc). You will also have to do an injection class with a nurse where they will show you how to administer the medication properly, how to clean the syringe/pen with the alcohol swab and how to prime before you inject. You can do it in your stomach or thigh, but stomach is much better and far less painful. You will practice on a fake stomach. You will probably be given a DVD also which will go through the process of administering the medication. Your nurse will go over and over the instructions several times because exact timing and administration is so important.

    On my phone right now but when I get home I will explain more about emotional issues, side effects and some information on costs. I have some pics of my junkie kit, too with all my needles and my drug schedule which I will post.
     
  5. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Don't you have cancer?

    A couple of friends of mine are going through IVF RIGHT NOW. They're having trouble concieving so they're entitled to free IVF through our NHS. I think its going swimmingly at the moment, she's taking a short drugs regieme to get ready, he's building up the little soldiers.

    I have to ask them if they're any further along actually.
     
  6. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    These are the meds I took. The blue pen thing is what I used to inject the Puregon, and the actual meds are in the yellow boxes. The ziploc bag with the green is the Ovidrel pen....it's very similar to the puregon pen, only white and green and already filled - you just have to attach the needle. The syringes at the front are the Orgalutran injects. I will warn you that they can hurt like a bitch.....frozen peas are good to numb the area prior to injecting. Or, if you get the neat insulated bag like I got...it comes with an ice pack (so you can take your meds with you if you go out as they need to be kept cold) and the ice pack worked well for numbness. You also get a lot of alcohol swabs for sterilising your skin and the needles before you attach them to the pen.

    [​IMG]

    Edited to add: I am actually just about to donate my second batch of eggs....going into the clinic Monday actually to get my birth control pills (they are different ones to the ones I normally take and they are used to suppress my natural cycle and help with synching my cycle up with my recipient's...so we are at the same place in our cycles for egg retrieval from me and embryo transfer into her). I will also sign new consent forms and get my baseline blood testing done. I may or may not be picking up my medications, I am not sure yet if they need me to do ALL the initial health checks and testing and counselling again or not....I sure hope not...

    Costs: Our government pays for our healthcare and (rightly so) infertility is considered to be a healthcare issue so is also paid for. I did read somewhere that a cycle of IVF costs the government about 8k, with patients paying a 'gap' fee of no more than $1, 500 per cycle (depending on if they attend an expensive clinic who charges more than the government has legislated...some clinics don't charge more and therefor no gap is necessary).

    I am pretty sure that the 8k just covers the actual stim cycle, retrieval and transfer. It doesn't cover all the monitoring (scans, blood tests etc) nor the cryo-storage of the excess embryos.

    EDITED again: Physically, the process isn't too bad. The needles can hurt and you can get bruising on your stomach. You may experience a bit of pain in your lower abdo as your ovaries are working harder than they ever have in their life. You shouldn't feel too much discomfort though, and feeling intense is not a good sign and it means you should speak to the clinic ASAP. You can feel very, very bloated.

    Emotionally, well the hormones will do a number on you. I was an emotional wreck the entire time I was on the Puregon. I cried all the time, experienced some depression and anxiety and also felt very short tempered and irritable. You are flooding your body with a very high dose of hormones, and it would be unusual for that not to effect your emotions. I cannot tell you how it feels to be going through IVF for myself, as I was a donor and not trying to get pregnant myself. I will say that as I donor I experience my own anxiety and stress. I felt a lot of pressure to 'perform' as it were. My recipients are beautiful people, both of them struggling with infertility issues (she has poor egg quality due to chemotherapy and he has very 'so-so' sperm that has a high level of morphological damage possibly due to his work environment). I imagine that you would feel also very pressured, since your body will be the one producing the eggs that the clinic will be working with - sperm numbers in the millions (unless there is an issue with low numbers) but the number of eggs a woman can get via a stimulated cycle is very much lower - some women still can't get any eggs...some will get one or two, even on very high doses of FSH. I got 22 eggs......11 fertilised and out of that 11 only 5 went on to be viable embies ready for transfer - unfortunately they believe the male recipients sperm was just too damaged and no pregnancy resulted....they are extracting sperm directly from him under anaesthetic and examining each sperm and picking the strongest and best ones to inject straight into the eggs this next cycle (fingers crossed it works or else they will be looking for a sperm donor too). It can be daunting to see these figures and know that the more GOOD eggs you get...the higher your chances are. However, know that it really is about quality and not quantity. I have a friend who got one egg, that developed into one embryo and is now a beautiful 5 year old girl. They limited the FSH dose on purpose though as they have religious beliefs that prevent them from ever destroying embryos OR donating them and she was 43 and only wanted 1 more baby - it was important to them to limit the number of eggs produced, but the point is that low numbers of eggs can have a successful result and higher numbers of eggs can still end ultimately in disappointment. It really just does take one healthy embryo to work. Don't put pressure on yourself. It is very hard...and I experienced that intense anxiety and feeling of letting everyone down if it didn't work. I think I was more anxious than if I was doing IVF for myself......Trust the clinic and your doctor and make sure you are informed about all the options available to you. They have various techniques for increasing the chances, although some of these are expensive (ICSI is where they take a single sperm and inject it straight into the egg and takes out a lot of the chance involved in just mixing the sperm with the eggs in a petri dish and hoping for the best).
     
  7. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    yes and this was discussed a but in a thread that didn't really end well. But I am going through a round of IVF to try to get pregnant prior to having the hystorectomy.

    Jazz Hunter wow thank you so much for all your detailed info, it helps out a lot!
    Even though it sounds like a lot, with everything I've been through in the past year, it's really nothing..for me, I'm not saying that for anyone else
     
  8. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yah, I remember, good luck with the IVF, hope it all works out!
     
  9. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    thanks!!
     
  10. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    Looks like Jazzhunter's got the actual facts of it in a row for you, so I'll simply say good luck and I hope that it works for you.

    [​IMG]

    I raise one to your health and success.
     
  11. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gordon I'll have soda in mine lol
     
  12. LamboTwinLove

    LamboTwinLove Lambo Assassin

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    I've never been through it and do not know anyone who has. I just wanted to say that it appears this is one of those things you need to go in to with positivity and be as stress free as possible.

    I know that will hard given your situation, but I suggest making days designed to make you happy and bubbly while you go though this as well as your cancer.

    I recently quit smoking and to distract myself I've taken me days to do things like chop off 15 inches of my hair so now my hair is short and I can actually do a lot more with it in terms of styling. So that makes me smile a lot.

    So do things that will make you smile and relax you. Get a manicure and a pedicure. Take a whole day to watch a marathon of your fave show or fave fave series of movies.

    I really believe if you have yourself in a good place mentally where you can smile and just take it a day at a time that it will be easier for you to not sit there and constantly kill yourself with worry over it it's working or not.
     
  13. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    Me and my wife went through the ivf proccess to have our little guy. Since the problem was on my end and not hers, I would say experiences will vary.

    It's been 4 years since we went through it, but to be honest, it made us closer. If you and your husband are close, it can only make you closer. I would see this very hard to go through by yourself. However, after your cancer this should be cake.

    For us, the main stress was due to the fact that we couldn't get pregnant and that other people would so easily get pregnant. You've already gone through this, so this will be nothing new for you.

    In terms of the proccess you have to get use to the shots on a daily basis. My wife was taking about 3-5 a day depending on the cycle she was in. I recall the shots in the belly, and I always did the ones in the butt as those are hard to self administer. She was very paranoid about everything, so she always made me double and triple check to make sure the dosage was just right. In addition, get yourself a cooler. You will need it, she use to have one for shots she needed that needed the medicine to stay cool and she was away from home.

    The other thing was the constant bloodwork they did. Depending where you are in the cycle, they will take your blood about 4x a week. So that is almost every other day. This is to monitor your levels in case they need to tweak the medication. The one scary thing is the activation shot. The shot is like $1000 even on insurance. It has to be given at an exact dosage and at an exact time in the day. So you go nowhere that day and watch the clock like a hawk. It has to be in a 15 minute window, and if you miss it, you put the whole process in jeopardy. Wife was stressing that for a while, but the shot was cake.

    The egg retrieval is actually really easy. They put you under and then they take out the eggs. My wife told me that it was nothing. She said the dye test was 1000x worse.

    She had 17 eggs taken out at the time, and we had 4 eggs that were really good eggs that they took. So we used 2 and froze 2. We had to wait I think a week or so, I forget now, to get the results.

    Unfortunately it didn't work the first time around. I recall my wife getting the call, and her being extremely sad and depressed and feeling helpless. She didn't think this was going to work at all and that we weren't meant to have any children at all. She was extremely negative about it at first, but we worked our way through it and at least we had the other two eggs.

    So we started a modified process for the second go around. Everything was the same expect with much less medicine since no retrieval was needed this time around. Also the length of medicine usage was 1 month if I recall properly. So it was definately less that went through her system. Then we went back in and they implanted the two eggs again.

    I recall they told us, we will check on this day to see if it worked. So that day I took off from work and we went to breakfast and went shopping, which took her ind offnof things. Mid day we got a call and she made me pick up. It was good news. When I told my wife, she started crying and kept asking me if I was lying to her. She was literally balling in this home store we were in. So we wnt to lunch to celebrate.

    Once you pregnant on ivf they still keep you on medication for the first trimester. So she was doing some shots then as well. There was also more blood work as well, but it was much less. They were just testing the numbers to make sure they doubled. But it was like 1x week if that. Everything after that first semester was normal visits with her gyno. I recall my wife saying that she would miss our ivf doctor as he was part of our family now. She used to joke around that it took a threesome to get her pregnant, her, me and Dr. Ziggler.

    Soon there after we had our little guy.

    All said and done, it was an emotional event in our life, but since we did it together it brought us closer together. I believe all said and done, with insurance, it cost us close to $10,000. That is including the birth. I think for just the two cycles and the freezing of the embryos it was $6500. So if no freezing occurs I believe it is like $5200. This is in the US, so not sure where you are and how much it is.

    Hope this helps you.

    On a side note, I know you are set on doing this, but I know the medication makes cancer worse and excellerates cancer growth and so on. So you should have that conversation with your docs. I know that to be the case for breast cancer, but do not know how it is for overian cancer. So you definately want to check on that. I know it can also make cysts on the overies bigger which can hinder pregnancy, so you should discuss that as well.

    Keep in mind, any doctor that doesn't take your condition into account is a bad doctor. I know you want a baby worse then anything, but find a responsible doctor that can work with and around your condition and that really cares about you, and not your money. If not you can go through the whole emotional endeavor and come out with nothing to show for it. An ivf doctor should be very caring and sensitive, and part of the family. So make sure to do your homework and find a good doctor.

    Also, talk openly about ivf. I know we did. You would be surprised how many people have infidelity problems. Realistically my wife use to feel alone, but now we feel like we know more people that needed help then did not. It could be because we were close to 30 whe we did this, but a lot of people need assistance.

    So good luck to you. Here's hoping for the best.
     
  14. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

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    AL great story with a happy ending. I must admit the scene in the Home store made my eyes tear up :) 


    but one question..

    Are you serious? His name was Ziggler??? LMAO That's such a porn name, the Doc definately got in the right profession. lol
     
  15. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Holy crud, Alucard, $10000 dollars?! :jawdropper: 

    Whoa, I had no idea IVF was that expensive.
     
  16. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think JazzHunter should get a gold star or something.

    I've had two pairs of friends try. One has a healthy 3 year old, the other tried for 2 1/2 years, and are now looking room adopt. Good luck!
     
  17. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    Wow just wow thank you so much for sharing this with me.
    In the last paragraph I think you mean infertility problems not infedelity problems lol.
    I am so glad your story has a happy ending.
    The doctors are taking my condition into considertaion. It's why we are doing this now because either after we have a baby or this doesn't work I am having a hystorectomy.
    We have to wait until my ovary (singular I only got one) has no cysts on it and the pregnancy would actually make the endometriosis clear up considerably. They never told me anything about it making cancer worse or it growing as a result.
    Surprisngly our infertility isn't just me, for a long time we thought it was for four year I've been having surgeries endometriosis and ovarian cysts then they tested my husband and his sperm count was abismal. They say you have to have at least 15 million to even think about having a child and my husband is at 3 million.
    I have friends that have done IVF sucessfully and unsucessfully so I am right now trying to emotionally prepare myself for everything.
    People say well if you have cancer this is a piece of cake but its not. waiting to hear something after four years of trying and knowing it may not work, if it doesn't working the first time I know I will be devastated. We don't have the money or time to keep trying. So I'm doing what someone earlier suggested which is taking it easy and enjoying my time.
    I am having a minor procedure wednesday to help with the pain so I can get off some of the pain meds.
    Thank you all for your help!!!
     
  18. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    Well, it is including the birth and all. Also keep in mind this is the US health system, so prices will vary.

    But $10,000 is a small price to pay, especially when your other option is not to have a kid at all. Today, my son just looked at me and said, "daddy, I love you." That's worth the 10k right there.

    Yeah, infertility. Sorry I wrote it in the iPad, so I think the autocorrect screwed it. Funny how it didn't fix the rest of the shit I miswrote.

    As for it, yeah, hearing that it won't work is devastating. My wife was extremely depressed and literally devastated for at least a couple of weeks, but knowing that there were more eggs available really made her get through it. Not sure what we would have done had it not worked.

    The good news is, if you have multiple eggs become embryos, then you can try it multiple times. It is cheaper when you do it if you have embryos already frozen.

    As for the cancer thing. Read up on breast cancer and ivf. In NJ they force you to do a breast exam to make sure that you don't already have breast cancer. So I am sure there are a lot of things you can look up.

    As for your docs, they sound like they are doing the right thing. One of my friends did ivf 5 times because of the same type of issues you had. Not saying you will have those issues. But they did what you did and it took. You want almost nothing interfering, so that is good they are starting you that way. Hopefully they can get that reduced for you. That will help a lot.

    The other good thing about ivf is how close of an eye they keep on you. When you get pregnant, you have so many tests and stuff that you always know if things are fine or not. It is good if your at all worried about carrying to term. If their are any problems, they will know early enough to help.
     
  19. MTME

    MTME Well-Known Member

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    the good news with me is they said once I get pregnant I'll be fine it's getting pregnant thats the problem, plus pregnancy apparently cures the endometriosis which is 90% of my problem.
    Getting pregnant with my son was literally a miracle because we got pregnant within a month of trying a month!! and this was back in 2004 before either of us knew we had any problems. It confused me as to how we have problems now but not them and the doctor just said "Well do you believe in miracles"
     
  20. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    My wife and I never want to go through it again. It was physically, mentally, emotionally and financially draining.

    It didn't work for us.

    So we decided to take a break from the process and all the stress that came along with it. Went on a seven day cruise in the Caribbean and as fate would have it, got pregnant. We now are proud happy parents of a four month old boy.

    But yeah, IVF is something that we want to avoid as much as possible in the future.
     

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