IVF Consultation

I didn’t know what to expect from this appointment.
I was told when I booked it that it was just to discuss why IUI failed.
We don’t know, isn’t that the point?
Would they tell me I had to try IUI again?
Maybe I’m not a candiate for IVF.
Maybe there’s a massive wait?
However the consultant was lovely and gave me options.
Would I like to try IUI again?
When I said no she smiled and told me it was good to give it a go but it only had a 5-10% chance of success ‘that just nature’ she said. The probability of success decreased dramatically since I started treatment then! I was promised 20% chance!
When I said I wanted to try IVF she gave me a presentation about what it involved and put together a plan.
A PLAN!
I expected nothing from this appointment and I now have a plan for my IVF treatment!
So the plan is some kind of tablets for 2 months, I missed what these were for, followed by a short course treatment, as I have polycystic ovaries, (not the syndrome apparently just lots of follicles and she doesn’t want to cause Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome by going for the hard drugs) of 100iu of Gonal-F to mature the follicles and then trigger the same as IUI with Ovitrelle. In for egg collection and go from there. As soon as I start the Gonal-F I will also have to take fragmin injections to stop my blood clotting which is apparently a side effect of Gonal-F made worse by my antiphospholipid syndrome. Great.
Total cost she reckons somewhere £6-7k. Ouch. But having spent £4652.05 so far on the ‘cheap’ option of IUI it’s got to be worth a shot.

I am now just waiting on the nurses to call me to arrange my tablets (and so I can find out what they are!) and I’m guesstimating if I get these tablets soon that I start Gonal-F in June/July-ish time! March/April baby?

Tablets

Who knew you needed contraception when trying for a baby! How very ironic!

The nurses still hadn’t contacted me and as my next period was due soon I decided to chase it up. Pretty sure I had been forgotten, but once they had checked my notes I was told to collect my tablets from reception, no appointment needed, so I had them ready for my next cycle. As my next cycle was due to start any day I rushed down there the next day to collect them. I was told to call on day one…

I got home and looked at what I had bought, and, as I was bored, read the leaflets. Mainly to find out what I had been given, Microgynon and Northisterone. Both leaflets flagged concerns for me. The Microgynon said ‘do not take if you have antiphospholipi syndrome’ which I do! and the Northisterone said do not take if you have any clotting disorders, which antiphospholipid syndrome is! So I called the clinic and was told they would talk to the doctor and let me know! It may be necessary to go ahead without these tablets and go into the cycle naturally.

So now I’m awaiting a phonecall to let me know what pills to take (which ones won’t kill me anyway!)

Mistake

So the clinic got back to me and told me to not take the Microgynon, that the prescription is a general one that is raised for everyone and slipped through… if I hadn’t noticed I could have formed a clot and been in serious trouble, but ok… mistakes happen…. but that the consultant was happy for me to take the Norethisterone (slightly nervous about that, but I’ll trust them!) and that this would be towards the end of the cycle before.. I told her today was day one and she told me they had no egg collection spots left in May so to leave it for this cycle and they would pencil me in for egg collection on 21st June and that I would start Norethisterone on the 23rd day of my next cycle.
I HAVE A DATE!
I AM PENCILLED IN!
THIS IS HAPPENING!!

Expecting a Delivery

My drugs have arrived! All £800 worth!

Two massive boxes, one refrigerated, delivery man must have wondered what he was delivering!

They are now safely tucked in my fridge, among the yoghurts and fruit, and in my cupboard, ready for me to use in the next few weeks!

I start Norethisterone tomorrow until 2nd June, then baseline scan is on 7th!

Nurse Appointment

I wasn’t exactly sure what this appointment was for, as the consultant had explained everything pretty well in the initial appointment, but I had my virology bloods done (again), she told me how to mix the cetrotide (far scarier than the pens I’ve used up ’til now) and seemed surprised that I didn’t have more questions and was so relaxed!

I will be back for my baseline scan on 7th June after finishing my Norethisterone on 2nd (apparently I will probably still be bleeding, which is freaking me out!)

At the end of the appointment I asked when I had to pay up for IVF and how much I could expect it to be, we had been given a rough figure in the consultation but now needed to know how much to get ready. She said she would have to check and let me know how much, but that it needs to be paid in full on 7th with the baseline scan which is considered the first treatment of the cycle.

Cost

Asking the receptionist about cost had got me thinking about the Access Fertility leaflet I had been given but hadn’t really looked at, so I gave it another look and it started to seem more like a good idea. I had been pretty sure about IUI working first time, which it didn’t, then second time, again nothing, so what if IVF doesn’t?
Looking at the packages, the multicycle seemed like the best option, giving me the chance of 2 fresh IVF cycles and unlimited frozen. Something that if I was paying for individually I probably wouldn’t do a second fresh.

So the clinic didn’t get back to me, and I had to chase them up, but I almost wished I hadn’t because I nearly passed out at the cost!

She had split it into component parts : IVF, ICSI, Blastocyte culture and freezing. The last 3 are refundable if not needed/done. So the total to stump up on 7th was 5,800, about 1k more than I had expected (because I hadn’t even considered the need for ICSI)! Hopefully I will get the ICSI cost back as I shouldn’t need is as that is to do with sperm quality. But if I didn’t have bank of mum and dad with the best interest rates in town backing me I would have had a full on panic attack there and then about having to find another 1k in 6 days!

I asked if it was too late to use Access Fertility and she said no, but to get onto it ASAP!
Which I did!

I was concerned about the fact they had separate basic vs ICSI packages and didn’t know how that would work with probably not needing it, but the lady on the phone explained that I was better off getting the basic package, paying for ICSI seperately and then hopefully getting the refund. It actually works out no cheaper if I do need it by doing the ICSI package anyway. (well maybe like £200) So I (or rather mum and dad) stumped up £6,800 for a multicycle package. That takes the pressure off a bit if this cycle doesn’t work. If it does then we are 2k down. If it works after one frozen cycle then we are £500 down, any tries after that and we are in profit. But as mum said, we would kick ourselves less for that when theres a baby, than stumping up another 4k when there isn’t!

So that’s it! All paid up and ready to start!
Once I come to the end of my package and if it hasn’t worked then I will be out of sperm and tries and will have to stop. It seems like a good end point rather than ‘just one more try’ which I can ill afford. I’ll be paying this off for years to come as it is!!

Roll on 7th for my baseline scan (and stumping up a further 1k for the ICSI!)

Baseline Scan

Ready and eager to start my first IVF cycle I was booked in for egg collection on 21 June. My drug order arrived on 22nd May in 2 massive boxes, one room temperature, one for the fridge. Suddenly it all felt real!
As I am not able to take the combined pill due to my antiphospholipid syndrome, I started my Northisterone on 23rd May and continued it on until 2nd June, with my baseline scan booked for 7th June. They found 25-30 follicles on each ovary, with slightly fewer on the left. The lining was still a little bit thicker than they’d like, but I only started bleeding 2 days ago and don’t start Gonal-F until tomorrow.

Progress Scan

I started Gonal-F 100iu on 8th June alongside fragmin to offset the fact that Gonal-F can make your blood thicker.
Today was the first progress scan, and there were still 30-40 follicles on each side, but only 3-4 follicles starting to grow at 8-10mm. They asked the consultant and they upped my Gonal-F to 125iu, they don’t want to over stimulate and cause OHSS. Now just to wait and see if any others can start to grow and catch up.

Started my cetrotide today, first injection I have had to mix myself! Felt like a chemist! Managed to get the needle stuck in the cap and now the injection site stings! I don’t like this injection!

Tracking Scan

Slightly downhearted from the last scan where there were only a few follicles growing, I had another scan today and found only 2 follicles on one side at 11 and 12mm and the rest haven’t even started growing yet. They have upped my Gonal-F to 200iu and the nurse said that egg collection would be pushed back to atleast the end of the week (It’s already pencilled in for Thursday so guess its Friday now, or the week after and I have to travel to a different clinic!)

Worries

What are the chances that the previously unstimulated follicles answered to the higher dose over the weekend and have started to grow? What if no more follicles have grown and they call off the cycle? How long will I have to wait before I can try again? How will that affect my Access Fertility finance? So much stress!

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