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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,I'm a newbie. Can anyone tell be a bit more about natural cycle ivf? I came across it in a posting I read and would like to learn a lot more. I had an HSG and were told both tubes were blocked due to Chlamydia I had years ago (think I had it for 3 yrs b4 any symptoms showed) I am now due to have a Lap & Dye in Sept and am wondering if they cant unblock them how do they know whether to do natural ivf or other ivf? Is it totally my choice? I don't think I have any other probs so far so as long as my eggs are healthy enough could I just have a natural cycle and they take the egg and do IVF and then put it back? Would appreciate some experience on this! Thanx  :)
 

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hi dewy

i dont know much about natural cycle ivf but i think its a bit rare and not all clinics offer it.  They usually like to get a lot of eggs during an ivf cycle as not all eggs are capable of being fertilised.  On a natural cycle u would probably only get one egg and hence the chance of a successfull pregnancy are significantly reduced. 

I think a natural cycle is possible best suited to someone who does not respond well to the stimulation drugs.

If they cant unblock your tubes then they will probably refer you straight to stimulated ivf.  In fact they may do this anyway as tubal surgery has a relatively poor success rate and can just result in you loosing precious time or having a greater chance of an ectopic pg and having to go to ivf later anyway. 

Please dont be alarmed by this and stay positive the chances of a success on ivf after a few attempts is good and you only have to read the stories on this website to realise that a lot of people overcome difficult circumstances and go on to have healthy babies.

As i mentioned in the chat room there are some good books around.

I recommend Zita West - fertility and conception  and
Robert Winston - getting pregnant, both are available on Amazon.  Zita West is more reader friendly but Robert Winston give more technical detail if that is what u want.

good luck dewy and let us know how u get on hun

Lots of love

Annie M  ^daisy^ ^daisy^ ^daisy^
 

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Hi Dewy

I have tried natural cycle IVF a couple of times before we went the now 'coventional' IVF route (the original 'test tube baby technique was natural cycle!)

They monitor your cycle and when you are just about to ovulate they do egg collection and then try to fertilise in the normal way. Unfortunately, it wasn't a great success for me as when I went for egg collection I had already ovulated and the egg was already somewhere inside me so we converted to IUI - but if your tubes are blocked then that almost certainly wouldn't work either.

Natural cycle IVF is great for women who hyperstimulate with the ovary stimulating drugs or for those who would prefer not to use these drugs. It's also cheaper than stimulated cycles as it doesn't use the expensive ovary stimulating drugs. However, the success rates are lower - because there is generally only one egg per cycle. In a stimulated IVF treatment there will be several eggs, not all of them will fertilise and then they choose which ones to transfer back - often transferring 2 embryos. To give you an idea, our fertlisation rates weren't great but from about 14 eggs we got 6 fertilised embryos - so in theory, at least half the time we did a natural cycle even if they got the egg OK it wouldn't have fertilised and they would have had nothing to put back.

Another good thing about natural cycle IVF is that in theory you can keep trying month after month without a break. In practise, this is hard work - as you need to go for several hospital/clinic appointments each month before you even get as far as egg collection - so it's quite intrusive time-wise...

I hope this has given you a balanced view of the pros & cons of natural cycle from my experience.

Good luck and masses of babydust to you whatever course of treatment you decide upon.

Sal xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Check out this article http://www.sghms.ac.uk/News/pdfs/march01_.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
oh, thanks for the replies. It's a bit disheartening though. I thought they could give you drugs to make you produce more than one egg, but you are right I never thought about all the hospital appts cos they wouldn't know when you were ovulating would they without constantly monitoring you? My periods can be anything from 24 to 31 days so it would be impossible to know. Never mind. I think Im just panicking about time running out and I want to do the quickest method and being able to do it every month appealed to me. Thanks for the babydust!!
 

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Dewy

Don't be too disheartened... I think that they can use a more 'gentle' drug like clomid to try to get more than one egg (just not as many as in stimulated IVF) - which you can take month after month for up to about 6 months I think...

Also, they don't have to monitor you constantly - I typically had about 3 scans before EC / IUI.

Try not to panic about time running out - although all of us feel like that...

Lots of love and MORE babydust!!

Sal xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

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Hi Dewy,

Just wanted to give you a success to story to cheer you up a bit and rekindle your hopes and dreams! I had exactly the same diagnosis as you, just in April this year, and I'm now 9 weeks pregnant with twins after my first ivf!!!

If you click on my name and read back through my posts you'll see we did everything we could to make this 'the one'. I think you're right, hopefully its just the blocked tubes that are stopping you and all else is healthy and well. With ivf though there is still a lot you can do to improve your chances, with diet, supplements, getting yourself in good shape, and drinking HEAPS of fluids throughout treatment. All of this will soften the impact of all the drugs as well, as you'll flush them out quicker.

Stay positive, you'll get over each hurdle as it comes, and hopefully you'll be lucky first time around too.

All best to you and please get in touch if you want any more info or have questions after the lap. I had all that too and had to decide whether to go for tubal sugery etc. Had great explanations and really glad we got all the support that we needed to try ivf first.

xxx Kate
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Kate,
I did click on your name and read loads of your messages! What a lovely person you sound! Congratulations too! I really hope my story turns out like yours. I don't know if I have the fluid no one has mentioned fluid so far (would they know by now?) When I have my first lap in Sept, is it just a diagnostic thing? They won't take it upon themselves to remove anything will they? I am so worried now! Can I come back to you each step of the way?...you sound so knowledgeable, I have so many questions and I know each case is different but rather than bury my head I want to know what is going to happen to me. They have explained nothing of the lap to me. I got a sheet to take home but they didn't go through it with me or tell me what they were going to do or anything! They also said there is an 8 month waiting time for Ivf on the nhs and I would only get one go because of my age (i am 37 in Sept). I would look into funding it myself because I, like you, feel that time is of the essence (especially if it doesn't work first time). I also have work worries - my boss is not kiddie friendly (although she has a 21 yr old daughter of her own) but I wouldn't want anyone at work to know about this and am worried that all the time off will lead to questions etc! Although I am of the opinion that this comes first! (but I need the job to pay for it so its a vicious circle!) Anyway I will let you know how the lap goes if that's ok! Hope you are feeling better now (read your messages!) and good luck with the double bump! xx
 

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Hey Dewy,

Of course you can come back to me, anytime, just send me an IM if you have questions I'll be happy to help if I can. Are you having NHS lap? You need to ask questions before you go in because you'll have to give consent beforehand so you really need to know the extent of what they might do. I was first dx via NHS and very alarmed they seemed to want me to consent to removal of my tubes before they'd even looked - I could've woken up with the whole lot whipped out, no discussion! I had to insist on a HSG (which I then had to do privately because they took so long to agree that would've lost another month) and then they told me it was a 8-12 month wait for NHS lap anyway ..... grrhhh!! I felt very much if I had it done there it would be taken completely out of my hands, and just seemed like a very old-fashioned if you don't need it lets whip it out kind of place.

We decided (again because time seemed to be of the essence) to stump up £1900 for a private lap + hysteroscopy, and the whole process was completely different right from the first consultation. The surgeon explained everything that he might find, and what it would mean, and the full extent he would go to in that initial op. He explained that there are grades of disease and blockage, from 1 to 4. 1-2 are suitable for tubal surgery, and 3-4 aren't. Therefore he couldn't possibly tell me the next step before actually looking inside and seeing the situation. He also said he wouldn't think of removing the tubes until we'd had a proper discussion, and during follow-up he recommended a cycle of ivf before any further surgery (my tubes were grade 2). These are all the kinds of things that you should be able to discuss with your consultant / surgeon, before you go into surgery.

The NHS people told me they offered two kinds of lap. Diagnostic, purely to look and see, with someone who wouldn't be qualified to actually perform any removal or sugery on the tubes. Or, as they said would be in my case, it would be done by a surgeon capable of following through ...yikes!!!! Oh, and the other thing they said was that I COULDN'T have ivf on the NHS unless I had my tubes removed ... nice huh!

Anyway, just call the nurses wherever they're going to do the lap, and ask for more information. If you can't get another consultation beforehand you should at least be able to run through it with someone on the phone so you know what's what. Where are you based / having all this done?

We went for a private ivf first and also got our names on the nhs waiting list. That way we figured we would only have a few months before the nhs one came up if the private one didn't work. You have to be careful though as some health authorities won't put you forward for NHS if you've already paid for private. It just gets better!

Sorry to hear about your non-kid-friendly boss. Just think of it as a general gynae problem and tell her you have to have some tests and procedures and will need a time off for appts every now and then. If she presses just tell her its a bit upsetting and you'd really rather not talk about it .... worth a go!

I really hope all this works out for you. Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on with it all.

Have a great weekend!

xx Kate
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Kate,

Thanks for the info!

Yes my lap is nhs (Stirling - Scotland). I had an HSG in July (around the beginning) and then had a follow up consultation at the end of July where they told us the results (although I already knew this from the HSG) They then said that this requires further investigation as sometimes the HSG can be wrong due to the tubes going into spasm and can look blocked but may not be and that they won't let me have ivf without it. I could however go private and can go on IVF straight away without a lap if I want, but DH says better to go through with it and get every bit of info we can as to what's wrong.My lap is on 9 Sept but it would have been 13 Aug but we had a very important wedding and couldn't miss it (although I wanted to!) So my lap appt has been very quick.

I know one of my tubes is definately blocked cos it let dye through right up until the ovary end and then there was no spill and from what I have read this is the worst kind of blockage cos the damage has gone through the tube to get to that end so the delicate villi will most probably be damaged too. The other tube showed totally blocked with no dye going through at all and I got almighty pains when having the HSG, it felt like the worst period cramp ever (and I do get them) but I wasn't prepared for that one!

I just feel because of my history (Chlamydia) my tubes will be damaged as I think I had this thing for about 3 or 4 years before I got any symptoms and got it treated. I desperately want to go straight to ivf and get the ball rolling but I am also scared of IVF, as if child birth isn't painful enough without us having to endure that just to get there!

Anyway, if it has to be then so be it because I don't think I could face life without ever having a child. I am starting to feel sad at the thought that everyone around me has at least one and I am that sad person who can't have any and I feel people are starting to wonder now why I don't have any.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom! I will get more info on this lap as you suggest just to put my mind at ease and I will make sure that I state before I sign that they are not to remove anything without discussing it with me first! I think I know the path I have to take kate, so once I get this lap out of the way my next step is to seek a consultation with a private hospital on IVF. I will let you know the outcome anyway!

Just out of interest, now you have been successful privately have they taken your nhs privelage away? If you want more children will you still have your free IVF go or will you have to fund privately in the future?

I would love to know how you get on too! You must be ecstatic!! Once you help get me through IVF, your job is to then get me through pregnancy and childbirth!! There's no shakin me off for quite a while!!  :)

 

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I'll be right here for you!

I don't think you get NHS ivf once you have a child. Fortunately if we ever feel rich or mad enough to have more after surviving twins we have four little frozen ones from this cycle as well. Frozen embryo transfer is only half the cost of full ivf so at least that's something.

I know what you mean about the lap, at least you'll know for sure whats going on in there. Just don't let them talk you into removal of tubes, so many places think you HAVE to for ivf to be successful and I just don't think thats true. Theres so many other things you can do to counteract the negative of having dicky tubes!

I also had a very painful HSG, took me blimmin' ages to get over the soreness afterwards as well. I have to say though, that was the absolute worst part of the whole ivf in terms of discomfort, so don't be scared - you've already done the worst bit! You will be bloated and a bit sore after the lap, but nothing like the hsg because of course you get proper pain relief because you're having surgery. The day immediately afterwards I was quite sore though, and not impressed with the standard issue nurofen recommended when I called the hospital! DH managed to get some 400mg stuff that worked much better, so get a supply before they send you home!

Really, don't worry about the ivf, you'll be absolutely fine. I think you're doing the right thing to get nhs lap, and then you save some money to go towards private ivf after that. You should find out all you can about local places up there as we had a lot of people from Scotland down at our clinic in London, which has some of the best rates in the country. Of course we were lucky to be nearby but I think when you do it you really want to make sure you get the best treatment possible. Not all private clinics have great rates and if you're paying you want to make sure you get the best!

You know if the tubes are your only problem then theres every chance this will work for you first time. I really hope it does, and will be following your progress all the way.

Take care, and let me know if you manage to get more info about the lap.

xxx for now,

Kate
 
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