* Author Topic: Moving from IUI to IVF, same sex couple.  (Read 3199 times)

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Online LadyMac2019

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Our journey started at a local NHS fertility clinic in the North of England in Spring 2018. I was given a fertility MOT where they checked my hormone levels, height, weight, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and god knows what else. I was told that things 'looked promising' and my egg reserve looked great. I was 32 years old at the time.

I wasn't surprised to hear there is no funding for same sex couples wishing to pursue pregnancy.  We were told we would need to self fund 6 cycles of IUI before being entitled to IVF.  We took some time to think about whether we would be better off (mentally and financially) paying for IVF but we decided to go ahead with the IUI route. Even though the clinic advised the success rate was only around 10% per IUI cycle, I thought I might be in with a chance.

We started the IUI in September and completed 6 cycles pretty much back to back with a break at Christmas. 3 non medicated and 3 medicated. We used the same Xytex donor for all cycles, partly because we had already imported the 6 vials. Unfortunately, we didn't get our BFP from any of these cycles.

I've got to say, doing 4 cycles back to back was hard and it became particularly stressful when I found out my 4th cycle failed. I just wanted to get the IUI's over and done with. I was totally fed up.  The reality of the low success rate set in and I wanted to get to IVF as 'young' as I could (and stop spending so much money every month!).  The medical staff reminded me about the chance of success so this lessened the disappointment somewhat, but I still worried and doubted myself. We finished our last IUI in April.

So, after a much needed break, we're back on the horse! So to speak!

We had a consultation for options in May to find out if we want to pay for more IUI - no thanks! So were were given a date for a full IVF consultation early July, to start meds 8th July. At this consultation we were told our treatment would need to be delayed as we had been on holiday to the USA. I was given another appointment to return to have bloods taken (late July) and told I'd start injecting a few days after this appointment (29th July).

I am going to be on the long protocol so 3 weeks down regulating then around 10 days stimming. My egg collection should be at the end of August but I'll find out more when I get my schedule of appointments. I was pleased to find out my three scan appointments would be given to me in advance. During IUI, scans started on day 3 and there were several of them, often arranged at short notice. So lots of juggling things around at work.

To prepare myself for IVF I've been going to acupuncture since April, two times per month with a break for my holiday. I will probably increase this when I start injecting to once a week. I also bought a highly rated book called it starts with the egg. I've followed some of the book's advice by changing my prenatal to the Naturelo brand and I started taking 400mg Jarrow formula Ubiquinol per day. I made these changes at the start of June. I'm also keeping an eye on how many carbs I'm eating and I've increased my daily protein intake.

I have a couple of weeks until my next appointment so I'll update this diary afterwards :-)


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    Online LadyMac2019

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    Moving from IUI to IVF, same sex couple.
    « Reply #1 on: 25/07/19, 21:24 »
    I returned to the hospital 23.07. I was given my prescriptions and I got my schedule. Nothing too exciting to report!

    Ill start the down regging injections 29.07. Ill inject daily until my scan (to check my hormones are switched off/no womb lining) on 20th August. I'll add in the FSH injections on either 21st or 23rd August. The next scan dates will depend on FSH starting date.

    I've increased my accupuncture appointments to once a  week from 29.07.  I find it really relaxing so I hope it will help with the menopause type symptoms too.

    I'm feeling excited and nervous about what's ahead. The cumulative stress from the IUI cycles is not in the distant past, so I am familiar with the emotional rollercoaster Ill be boarding again..! Hence the accupuncture.  I also rejoined the gym this week and I've been twice. I've set myself a little goal of how many miles I'd like to run before the end of this process.

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #2 on: 29/07/19, 06:58 »
    DW injected my first dose of the down regging drug today. I'd read a tip saying to numb the area with ice first. I did this and I didn't really feel anything :)

    So that's one injection down and about 20 to go until my scan!

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #3 on: 7/08/19, 21:35 »
    Last wednesday (day 3 of injections) I started to feel quite tired and this increased towards the end of the week and by this Monday I was exhausted. On Tuesday I had to go back to bed! I woke up with AF so that explains the tiredness and I'm feeling much more alert today.

    I didn't know that I'd bleed around 1 week after starting Buserelin. I was actually expecting a period 4 days prior (the Friday). The only other symptom I've had is feeling a bit hot.

    I'm trying my best to eat a high protein/low carb diet. Im aiming for at least 30% protein and trying to get it up to 40%, which is actually quite hard! I've been doing this for the last few weeks or so. Im really just following the advice from the 'it starts with the egg' book. 

    Continuing the books recommended supplements and accupuncture also.

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #4 on: 13/08/19, 12:40 »
    Today is day 16 of the down regulating injections (Buserelin)! It's a lovely feeling to be two thirds through the DR process! IVF is a long process and I think it feels so long because my treatment was delayed, and I was already starting later than I thought.

    However, I've been feeling well enough during this process so far. I expected terrible night sweats, lots of mood swings, impatience, weight gain etc. So far, I've had one night sweat and just tiredness. I felt quite alert last Wednesday but the tiredness came back the next day. I haven't felt overly emotional, quite dazed if anything. So here's hoping things don't get worse although it may change when I add FSH to the mix.

    Maybe accupuncture has been helping to reduce/control some of the side effects. My accupunturist said it would. I had a voucher to use for Reiki so I used it today. It was brilliant. I felt so peaceful afterwards. No worries. I had thought about Reiki for a while, more so to help with work (vicarious trauma from my work/occupation) so I'm pleased I went. I've rebooked for a fortnight.

    I'll update after my scan next week :-)

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #5 on: 20/08/19, 12:53 »
    I had my scan this morning to check my ovaries are switched off and I have virtually no womb lining. My lining is 1.6mm so the doctor is satisfied I can start the next step of the process. This means I'll start Meriofert 225IU tomorrow evening. I have my next two scans booked in - 27/08 and 31/08. These scans will be follicle tracking ones.

    I was feeling really excited yesterday and this morning but my excitement has reduced a little after the hospital appointment. I think it's because the staff looked stressed and there were some unhappy people coming into the clinic.. I appreciate this process is really tough.. I'm doing my best to think/feel positive.

    I was at acupuncture yesterday, which was really relaxing. The acupuncturist recommends two treatments during the follicle stimulating phase so I'll be back to see her again this Saturday then again on Tuesday (after my 1st scan).


    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #6 on: 8/09/19, 09:13 »
    Since I last posted, I've had two scans during stimulation, an egg collection and a transfer!

    My first scan went fine, 8 follicles mostly between 11 - 15mm. Womb lining 7.6mm. I was told to continue taking 225iu Meriofert and return on Saturday 31st for a ten day scan.

    At the second scan I had nine follicles and most ranged between 17mm-21mm. My womb lining was 10.1mm. The nurse in charge explained things thoroughly and I felt much more informed about what was happening in my body. I told her I had been worried I had not responded as expected, as I only had 8 follicles and many others  have more. She reassured me that given my protocol I had responded very healthily so I felt much calmer :)

    The egg collection was on Monday 2nd September. I had taken the lorazapam the clinic prescribed the night before and the morning of the procedure so I felt very relaxed! The egg collection was not bad at all. The nurses were excellent with us in terms of their manner and explaining everything that was happening. I remember being told to close my eyes and that was it until I felt a twinge of pain in my right ovary but was reassured by the nurse the doctor had nearly finished. I woke up around an hour or so after the procedure in the recovery area and I was given something to drink and eat. My blood pressure was a little low so I had to drink plenty water to increase it to be suitable for discharge. I think I was home by just after lunch time. I slept the rest of the afternoon.

    The following day (Tuesday) was the hardest, I knew I would get a phone call between 9am and 10am telling me if/how many eggs had fertilised. I was actually awake from about 4am worrying about it. I had slept a lot the day before so that didn't help. At exactly 9am I got the phone call from the embryologist saying 'good news 5/8 have fertilised normally'. I was told to attend at 10am on Saturday for transfer. I cried with relief when I came off the phone. I  was so worried about this call. I think my thoughts about what was going to happen to me were really influenced by a friend's experience. I know all the eggs don't fertilise but feared the worst..

    Due to lack of sleep and worry Tuesday wasn't a great day but I told myself on Tuesday night I would pull myself around on Wednesday and have a better day. The embryologist said they would ring if there were any significant changes so I thought I'm going to feel alright about this until I know there is something to worry about. So I did, on Wednesday I did things I enjoyed and also started working out costs for some jobs we plan to do in the house.

    When we got to 5.30pm on the Friday I felt so happy and relieved there was no call from the unit. I knew that there would at least be something suitable for transfer (and my worry that my eggs would arrested part way through development had not occurred).

    We met with the embryologist at 10am yesterday. It was amazing to see my blastocysts on the Ipad! I had five of them but one of them was a clear winner; it was an "excellent grade". The embryologist explained my chance of success was 50% with this embryo and she went on to show me a video of it's development. I videod their video, and I took a photograph of the embryo. I was just so happy at that moment. My partner asked what would happen to the other blastocysts and the embryologist explained they probably weren't planning on keeping them but would continue to monitor their development. She told me that a couple of years ago they would have frozen them but not now. She was not entirely convinced about some aspects. The consultant told me the unit have a strict policy on the grade of embryos they are willing to freeze. 

    The egg transfer was very straight forward. A catheter was inserted into my uterus, a slight bit of cramping and we were done. The nurse pointed out that the catheter penetrates the uterine lining so the embryo is placed inside the lining "a bit like a sandwich". There was no need to lie down for 20 minutes like the IUI so I was free to go after being given some discharge information from the nurse. I will return in 12 days for a pregnancy blood test.

    So off I went for post egg transfer acupuncture. It was my last planned session with my acupuncturist, who I've gotten to know quite well since April so it was a bit sad in some ways but I plan to see her again if I am successful in this cycle. After this appointment, I went home are then relaxed for a few hours or so. I dozed on the sofa. I think the days events had made me feel quite tired. When I woke up, I felt ready to do something so I had a very slow walk with the dog and then satisfied my salty cravings with Mcdonalds fries. The clinic had told me that they have had a spat of people getting pregnant after eating McDonalds post transfer! After some goggling it appears to be something to do with salty fries! Probably an old wives tale but I thought I'll give this a shot!

    I've got everything crossed this will work... It's so hard when you're quite limited as to what you can do to actually get pregnant. To resort to these treatments almost seems 'normal' in some ways as there is no other option. However it's a lot to go through. IVF was not half as bad as I thought and I would choose this anytime over 6 IUI's! That really was hell for me. 10% chance IUI vs 50% IVF? Never again IUI!...







    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #7 on: 10/09/19, 20:28 »
    So today I'm three days post transfer. I've been experiencing such a mixture of emotions.

    On Saturday I felt so happy and optimistic then on Sunday afternoon I was in tears. I managed to pull myself together a bit on Monday. I was so pleased DP was not at work today because having some company, other than the dog, really helped. I also found a website called yourfertilityhub.com and it's got resouces for coping through the tww, as well as the other parts of IVF. I tried their meditation this afternoon and I enjoyed it.

    Funny thing is, I've been feeling fairly optimistic throughout the downreg and stimming processes. Accupuncture has helped here, but I've no further appointments until I get my outcome.

    So I plan to continue using the resources on the website I mentioned. I'm also going back to work tomorrow, which will be a distraction then I've plans most of the weekend.

    I suppose I'm looking forward to the end of this wait in one sense but I also feel really scared too. This is my 7th tww after hospital treatment.. It might also be the hardest one yet :o

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #8 on: 12/09/19, 17:22 »
    It's five days post transfer now! Going back to work was a good decision as my head hasn't been full of what ifs or googling!

    I had some pretty strange body sensations in the last 48 hours or so. I've had really achy thighs, including the top of my inner thighs/groin area. I've also had a tingling sensation in my cervix and quite a bit of CW mucus.

    I've had 6iuis so I know there are plenty of side effects of the hcg trigger shot. These symtoms could be due to hcg, but I hope not!

    Online LadyMac2019

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    « Reply #9 on: 6/12/19, 12:28 »
    After a BFN I really didn't feel like posting anything for a long time. Or much else! The sadness I experienced was something I wasn't prepared for. I had so many questions and as well as feeling sad I was angry and confused too.

    I suppose I thought buying services from a fertility clinic when having good fertility results would mean I'd be sucessful.. A private clinic in the region is now offering IVF refund packages. I wish this existed two years ago..

    So at my review our consultant considered the round positive, with the exception of the final outcome. His inital thoughts were to run the same protocol again but we didn't want this. So I'm taking the same stimulating medication again but 300iu instead of 225iu. We really want to retrieve more than 8 eggs. We were told that in each cycle the number can be different, even if  the dose of medication stays the same.

    I also discussed my worry about bleeding 7 days after transfer and I asked for injectable progesterone. I'm in the good prognosis group so I'm not entitled to this right now. I have mixed feelings about this response.

    I've continued with acupuncture and my supplements so I'll be ready to go again next year. I really just didn't think I'd be in this position 2 years later..