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Frequently Asked Questions For Joining & Participating In Cycle Buddies...

So, you're doing a treatment cycle and you need some buddies to look after you and give you some support - and to be your friends!
Here's how it works...

How do I join? :)

It's very simple really. :) find the thread that most closely corresponds to your treatment period, and then take that first step and say 'hello, can I join you?' and introduce yourself. Let us know what your tx is, when you're starting, or where you're up to in your cycle, are you a first-timer or an old pro, and anything else you'd like your buddies to know about you.

Who can join?

Anyone going through any kind of treatment that falls in the month covered. IUI, FET, IVF, ICSI, donor egg/sperm, clomid or surrogacy is just fine. All are welcome to share the hopes and fears of treatment and beyond. Men are welcome too too. If you feel you would like more local/treatment specific cycle support, please have a look under the treatment or Regional boards for the "Current Cyclers" threads. They have their own guidelines so be sure to read the first post if you decide to join there instead. ;)

When & which one should I join?

It's a good idea to wait until you have some set dates before joining, or you could end up posting on a thread and finding your treatment has slipped and you're the only one left at the end waiting to test! As a rule, if you wait until you actually start down regulation or stimming/lining prep (or as soon as you know those dates) then you can work it out so you join the right group.
Long protocol/medicated FET cycles take about 6 weeks from start to testing, and short protocol/natural FET will take about 4 weeks. From this you can work out roughly when you will be testing. It make sense to ensure that your test date falls somewhere in the dates the groups you have joined... for example:

You are starting Down regulation in early/mid January, doing long protocol IVF lasting roughly 6 weeks and a predicted test date around last week in February. In this case the best thread for you is the Jan/Feb thread.

You are doing Frozen Embryo cycle with ET some time in February and testing by the end of February. You would join the Jan/Feb thread.

You are starting down regulation at the end of January, stimming sometime in February, with your test being early in March. You would join the Feb/March thread.

These are all very rough guides and some of you will find delays mean your test dates fall after the date of the thread but that's fairly normal and so long as you're a close match with your cycle buddies, this is what counts. As the threads can get get very busy, it makes sense to try and stick with just one if you can, but if you are delayed that much, you can hop over to the next thread if needs be. If you're still not sure, you can either PM for advice or just dive right on in and post and someone will come along and guide you in the right direction. :)

Do I stop posting when I finish treatment?

It's up to you. Many members of cycle buddies really gel and want to keep the special place where they formed their friendships going for long after the initial treatment is over. Here in the cycle buddy area you are more than welcome to continue posting, so long as you respect the Posting guidelines: http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=529.0 If your threads continue for a long period, they will be eventually moved into a long term chit chat area so you can keep your group together.

The threads seem so busy! How will I keep up? :eek:

Sometimes it does get very busy and hard to keep track of where everyone is up to treatment wise. ::) For this reason, at the height of the treatment period, we do ask you to try and keep on topic as much as possible, and we may remove posts if we feel the are detracting from the cycle support in the area. General chit chat is fine in moderation but try and keep your posts based on treatment and supporting each other through this. When they start to get a bit quieter (as people have finished treatment) then you can start nattering about your tea! ;)
The best advice we can offer is don't try too hard to keep up and do personals for everyone! Keep up with what you can and support others as and where you can. If you read back a couple of pages each time, and do some personals/messages to just those, then everyone will have someone (maybe not all but at least one) reply to their post. Don't take it personal if not everyone replies all the time. You will enjoy cycle buddies and find it much easier to make friends there if you let it happen without worrying about doing personal replies to everyone all the time without missing people out. The more you post on cycle buddies, the easier you will find it to remember what everyone is up to and the more friends you will make.

If you find the cycle buddies groups here are too busy for you to integrate, perhaps look in the treatment or regional boards and join one of the Current Cycler threads there instead. The operate slightly differently but will provide you the support during treatment that you need just as well as you would find it here.

Volunteers - what do they do?

I am here to help,and look after you, please PM me if you have any questions or want to suggest anything. Generally I will provide a Hall Of Fame for your buddies so you can keep track of where you all are in your treatment. I can also help out with any queries about the site or where to find information.

I am very aware that seeing pics of our babies, scans or bumps in our avatars, or pregnancy/baby tickers in signatures can be upsetting for some members still doing treatment. Did you know you can turn off avatars (profile photos) and tickers on the site? - You can do this through your profile. If you need help with this, please let me know. ;)

What do the Volunteers need from me?

Not much. :)
All I ask is for you to let me know what treatment you are having and any significant dates within that treatment cycle (i.e when you start down regulating, when you start stimulation, when you have EC and ET or basting and when you are due to do a pregnancy test). Finally really like you to keep us up to date with how you are getting on and, most importantly, how your treatment cycle turns out. ^reiki^
Other than that, I ask only that those who have had successful treatment, respect those who have had negatives / are still having treatment and post pregnancy chat in more appropriate areas. See the Site Guidelines for more information: http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=260253.0

Commonly Used Jargon.

DR = down regulation, downregging. This is where buserelin is either sniffed or injected to 'quiet' your ovaries and induce a menopausal state and a nice thin womb lining.

stimming = stimulation of the ovaries - where hormones are injected to grow follicles and hopefully eggs. (Also called stims)

EC = egg collection

ET = embryo transfer

embies = embryos

basting = when sperm are introduced via a catheter into the uterus as part of IUI treatment

2ww = two week wait, after ET - the wait until a pregnancy test

SP = short protocol for IVF, also known as antagonist and short flare protocol, where DR and stimming start at the same point on CD1

LP = long protocol for IVF, also known as agonist protocol, generally involves starting on CD21 with DR lasting roughly 2-3 weeks, then stimming for approx a week to 10 days followed by 2ww.

DE = donor egg IVF, where the patient recieves donated eggs for her tx

ES = egg share, where the patient donates some of her eggs to another

bottybombs = cyclogest pessaries, you'll find out about them in the 2ww ;D

PUPO = Used after ET and before testing. It means Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise!

OTD = Official Test Date.

AFM = As For Me. Used when a member has posted several replies to people in a thread, and wishes ti highlight the next thing they say is an update on their progress.

If you see any terms you don't understand, just ask! Someone else out there will probably be scratching their head too and be glad you asked and plenty of people will have an answer for you.


Your cycle buddies may become great friends on FF; the support through your cycle from people going through the same things as you is second to none. All you need to do is make that first post and join up! :)
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