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Hi Ladies,

Firstly thanks for reading this, totally new to Fertility friends and the world of IVF. Brief history, age 38, 39 next month. One child aged 3, conceived after surgery to remove endometriosis. I had the surgery again last year in August and fell pregnant in December but lost it in February, stopped growing at 7 weeks. We've been trying since with no luck. My AMH is 1.9 pmol (not surprising as my ovaries have been messed around with during both surgeries), FSH 15 and follicle count between 7-8.

We had our first consultation with CRGH the other week, and was told that chance of success was minimal, a back to back egg batching cycle was recommended, and he expected to get a max of 2-3 eggs per cycle with anything from 1-3 embryos at the end to do a frozen transfer at some point in the new year. He would try one protocol first with human growth hormone, if that didn't work he'd try another and if that didn't work we would abandon the 3rd cycle as there would be no point...his words.

I feel really disheartened by all of this as I honestly, and somewhat naively didn't think I could be that much of a lost cause as I very fortunately conceived our son, and only recently been pregnant.

I've been on all the ISWTE supplements, including adding in the DHEA and Melatonin, daily wheatgrass shots, tummy massages, reiki, acupuncture, you name it I'm doing it, in prep for our first cycle starting in October. It's probably not going to be enough time to have built up in my system but willing to give it a go anyway with the idea that by the time I hit the November cycle it should have built up a bit more.

Has anyone had experience with this clinic with similar results? I just feel like they are expecting me to fail and wondering frankly whether it's worth even doing it.
 

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Hi Red

I’m sorry for your loss and recent deflating experience at Crgh. I would similarly have expected more optimism given your history.  I’ve just completed our second batching cycle at CRGH.  Our age and afc are very similar, though I’m an old timer at IVF at this stage!

I was on the mild stimulation protocol and have 6 days 3 embryos in the freezer from our two batching cycles, which is what our consultant predicted at the outset. With mild stimulation the aim is to use as little medication as possible in the hope of preserving egg quality.  The number of eggs collected is often lower than in a standard Ivf cycle. We plan to do a third batching cycle (this was our preference rather than the clinic’s recommendation) and PGS test any embryos that make it to day 5. We’ve been very happy with our experience at Crgh so far. Our consultant (Mr S) has been both direct and empathetic in any dealings with us.

Do you plan to do PGS testing? It’s not without controversy but you may have already seen on their website the chances of success are higher if a PGS normal embryo is transferred.  Don’t lose faith and wishing you the best of luck with your treatment Xxx
 

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Hi Seafoam,

Many thanks for your reply. I'm so sorry you're going through this too, I haven't even started and already dreading the journey. I keep convincing myself once I get started it won't be so bad. I have a zoom consultation with the nurse this morning to go through everything.

So you have 6 embryos from 2 cycles already, did I read that right from your reply? When you say day 3 does that mean they got to day 3 and froze them then, rather than waited to day 5? that all sounds really good and gives me hope! Can I ask what your AMH, FSH and AFC is?  We'd like to do PGS testing depending on if I make any decent embryos but I've read mixed reviews on it and HFEA doesn't recommend it as an add on so I honestly don't know.  :-\

We received a letter from CRGH that said we can expect to get 2-3 blastocysts out of 3 cycles with a success rate of 30-35% per transfer so we thought with those odds ideally we should try and get 5 so I'm guessing we might need to do 2 more egg batching cycles ontop of the 2-3 we're already planning. I guess we'll know how I react once we get started. I was a bit taken a back that they wouldnt even bother treating me if I didn't respond to the second cycle! I had 7-8 follicles which I honestly didnt think was that terrible! To be honest I'm pretty sick of being told how infertile I am, I have heard this same message from literally when we started trying at the age of 32 and my AMH was only 6 pmol...I had 2 cysts on each ovary from endometriosis so I have never trusted that result. Sadly the only time I seem to get pregnant is after surgery to remove endometriosis, it's happened twice now, first resulted in our son and the second last year resulted in a miscarriage in march this year. I'm hoping to get some blasts that I can then transfer in late spring next year depending on whether i need to have another surgery beforehand.
 

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Hi Red

I hope your nurse consultation went well and you feel less daunted.  Earlier this year my AMH was 8 and AFC was 6.  I can’t remember what my FSH was and don’t think it was a concern. We’re hoping to cycle again in November about month after you. That’s right, we have 6 embryos from 2 cycles (3 each cycle) which were frozen at the day 3 stage of development. Our next cycle is our last cycle.  The clinic will grow any embryos collected next cycle to day 5, defrost the 6 that are in the freezer and hopefully grow them to day 5.  They advised however that roughly only 50% of day 3 embryos will make it to day 5.  Any day 5 blastocysts will then be biopsied as part of PGS testing and re-frozen until we are ready for transfer, hopefully early next year.  I think the PGS results take about 3 weeks to come back. 

I feel some dread too facing into another cycle, but once on the hamster wheel it can feel busy with scans etc. and another rollercoaster of emotions takes over. Wishing you the very best of luck, and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch X
 

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Hey there, I didn't want to read and run but thought I would give my quick input as I was in a similar situation once. I also don't think you should be made to feel like it is so hopeless so soon. At the very least one cycle to see how you respond to stims is essential. Although, I am a marginally younger than you, I have an AMH lower than yours, FSH has at one point been over 20 and AFC usually of 2 or 3 and out of 4 cycles we had 3 decent results. I would highly recommend the Lister, they have been absolutely brilliant. For some interesting and well written info, I found this, shared on their website, particularly reassuring - https://listerfertility.co.uk/treatments/low-ovarian-reserve/... its the 3 PDFs when you scroll down.
 
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