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Discussion Starter #1
A little info about myself. I turn 36 this year and the one has never come along and I have never slept around so I can't/won't have that an option to get me pregnant.  I have decided to go down the sperm donor route.  After being messed about online by several men, chatting for months then when it comes down to it (pardon the pun) turns out all they wanted was sex so I have given up on a "live" donor.  I don't know anyone personally who can help me so for a while have been looking into Cryos after seeing a documentary on them.    The thing is the expense.  I have saved up enough for 2 goes, that's it!  So I am scared and pinning my hopes on something I right now can't see ever happening for me.  My ovulation is never regular, my periods can range anywhere from 26 days to 37 and these last 6 months since stopping the pill they have been lasting probably one day and I am ovulating (I use the opk) anytime from day 13 to day 21 and this last month I was ovulating for 5 days from day 19 to day 23 and strong positives too.  I start checking ovulation from day 13 every month.    So where do I start to give myself the best chance?  I have an appointment with my Dr in a couple of weeks to see if anything available to help sync ovulation or if any blood tests I can have done but being NHS I doubt it.    I just need hope I guess.    Thank you for taking the time to read
 

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Hi

It's all so confusing isn't it.... I used cryos before however found it very stressful to get the timing right and I think until you know that there's definatly nothing up with u I wouldn't proceed... There are many centres that will do the bloods for you and then I'll know ur not wasting ur money x

I hope this does help u and not put u off ... I also think for the price of the cryos u could have timed iuis at a clinic??
 

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I've been there! No need to feel lost or scared anymore :) With such variance on your cycles, trying with cryos may be a waste right now because you really need to time is so finely for it to work. When you say that you've saved enough for two goes, that could be such a wide range - my attempts with them ranged from £300 to over £1000 a cycle depending on MOT, anon or non-anon and number of attempts per cycle.

If you do decide to go with them then make sure you find out why your cycle varies so greatly first to give you the best shot.

If it is just down to cost, maybe you could take a different route? I am currently egg-sharing and in return I get free IVF, it costs me just £500 for the sperm but the chances of it working are so much higher because it overrides your body. But as you're donating eggs it's not for everyone...

Otherwise, you can also do medicated IUI either in the UK or abroad (Denmark and Cyprus are hot choices) and this comes in at about £1200 per cycle, but again the chances of it working are still greater than at home with frozen sperm.

All of this is just my opinion - I tried with Cryos 9 times before starting IVF, and while it was nice to do it at home and would have been an easier option had it worked, my cycles varied (although not as much as yours) and the timing was a nightmare. About half of my attempts ended up being "perfectly timed" but I never got pregnant. I got pregnant on my first IVF attempt although sadly it ended in miscarriage, I'm just about to start #2 so fingers crossed.
 

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Hello!

If you've only come off the Pill six months ago, then I wouldn't be at all surprised if your cycle is a bit all over the place - I remember it took at least six months for mine to straighten out. So, my first bit of advice would be, keep monitoring your cycle for several more months.

You said that from using OPKs you were 'ovulating for five days' last month - but since ovulation itself doesn't go on for five days, that suggests you need to add in some more ways of monitoring your cycle to pinpoint it more clearly. I generally think it's a good idea to use at least two different methods to track your cycle, as it gives you more information. If you aren't already temping, it would definitely be a good idea to start, as this can help to pinpoint when you actually ovulated (although it tells you after the event rather than before). Some women also track cervical mucus, or the position of their cervix, or use a salivary ferning kit. Experiment to see what suits you best, but you'll definitely need to pin things down much more than a five day window.

My own checking-for-ovulation regime involves a combo of two different types of OPKs - the clearblue dual hormone ones plus internet dip strips - plus temping, plus vague awareness of my CM. The clearblue tests measure two different hormones so give a bit more of a run-up, whereas the dip strips are so cheap I can do several a day when I'm getting close. What I was able to identify with that testing was not only roughly when I might get positive OPKs, but also how soon after getting them I would actually be likely to ovulate. For me, that is a lot sooner than many online resources suggest - if I waited as long as many sites say before doing an insemination, I'd be way too late. So, this is an exercise in planning when to inseminate, as well as how to recognise when you're getting positive OPKs. Getting the timing right is everything.

My own ovulation isn't terribly reliable in terms of when in my cycle it happens, but I've found a 12-day tank from Cryos to be fine and you'd probably be OK with this, too - especially once you've monitored some more cycles to possibly narrow down the window a bit (and got the Pill completely out of your system).

If you possibly can, consider having a HyCoSy or HSG done to check whether your tubes are clear. I know it's an extra expense, but it would be a great shame to spend all your savings on donor sperm if it later turns out that your eggs had no chance of ever meeting it.

It is possible to get pregnant using Cryos - I say this through personal experience, having achieved one pregnancy in September (which I miscarried in October), and another in November/December (which is around about six weeks along now, fingers crossed). But, it's also really, really easy to spend a lot of money on achieving no result at all (I have done this, too!) so please be realistic with yourself about your chances and recognise that they are very low per cycle. IUI through a clinic is not hugely more expensive than using Cryos at home, and would almost certainly give higher odds of success, so maybe look into this as well and weigh up your options. I always worry for people who are going to need to throw all their financial resources at a very small number of attempts (not that I have infinite money myself!) so please do balance everything up, and definitely keep working on the timing if you decide to go ahead.

Good luck to you, and please feel free to ask if you have any questions!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much everyone for your replies, they really are appreciated :)

My periods have always been erratic since I first started them at 12, I was always 26 days or 35 and they were very very heavy.  I went on the pill and have been on the same one for 10 years.  I came off in July in the aim to get my cycle back to some normality and have been tracking my ovulation every month.  Each month I got a postive only one sometimes 2 days but last month 2 strong dark line for 5 consecutive days, was negative before then and negative by the 6th day.  Stupid me googling and a lot of other people have had it too and some have been since told they have PCOS so that's a little concerning.  I've managed to slightly track my cycle. I have one month ovulating day 13/14 then the next cycle is day 19/20 then again back to 13/14 so I seem to have a more normal cycle then a longer cycle.  This is the first one it's been particularly erratic and it lasted one day again

I have £2500 saved and that's it, no more funds and no more time to save as I turn 36 this year and it took me best part of 3 years to save this much as on a very tight income.      I don't know if to go with Cryos or risk it all on one round of IVF.  I'm speaking to my GP in a couple of weeks but usually shall we say not much help lol.

Congratulations to you Persipan, so so pleased for you :)  Can I just ask how many attempts it took and sperm MOT used please?

Polita is the IUI £1200 with the sperm I purchase or would that be more on top do you know?      I have considered IVF using egg sharing but maybe it's a selfish thing to say I'd be upset if someone got pregnant from my eggs but it didn't happen for me so right now I'd consider it but down the line if self insemination didn't work.  So sorry if that sounds selfish as not meant too.          Sorry to hear about your miscarriage, I am wishing you all the best for this round of IVF and I hope a little baby is on the way soon xx
 

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On the rounds I got pregnant, I did two inseminations, each with 2xMOT10 (so, 4 straws of MOT10 per cycle). On some of the previous goes I did fewer insems or used less but 'better' sperm. I think I've done five goes with Cryos in all, getting pregnant on rounds 4 and 5 - but I'm very, very surprised to have achieved that and definitely think I've bucked the odds rather than being representative of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's great news Persipan :)  So pleased it's worked and it's given me some hope frozen sperm can work.    Did you use washed or unwashed sperm and how long after getting a postive ovulation did you inseminate?  Sorry for all the questions lol.  Right now I'm looking at ICI unwashed and thinking of 2x MOT20 straws and getting shipping in a tank at around £1000 per go.  I'm waiting till I see my GP but I would like to try sooner rather than later as all I can hear is my body clock saying "you're nearly 36, get a move on".        Another thing I have read online about a cervical cap being inserted for 6 hours after self insemination and that ups the chances a little of home insemination working.  Not sure if true or not
 

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My clinic charges £700 for IUI, £500 for sperm so £1200 in total. If you need drugs on top you could be looking at a couple of hundred more depending on what you need and how much (but if you're ovulating a lot of clinics will monitor you and then give you an ovitrelle shot 36 hours before insemination, which isn't much money)

You can also go abroad for less (Denmark about £500 before flights and hotel) but if you're not ovulating regularly it's going to be more stressful trying to book last minute travel to coincide with a +OPK

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you Pollita for your help, it's given me a lot to think about!  I think the main thing I need to do is see my GP and see if any help at all she can give me for regulating ovulation or seeing if any tests can be done as to why I ovulate so irregular.  It's been like this since my first period at 12 so it's not new apart from my periods pre periods were extremely heavy and now off the pill 6 months virtually none existent.  I do worry I've harmed my body being on the pill for 10 years :(   

Thank you again and a huge good luck with your IVF xx
 
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