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What you wish you knew when you started

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#1 MrsAx

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

For anyone that has learnt a lot along the way, can you please tell me what you wished you knew from the start.  

I am now approaching 12 months and have had one appointment with RE.  I was given clomid to make me ovulate earlier.  On 25mg it made me ovulate late and bleed/spot all follicular stage of cycle.  On 50mg I have bled/spot much worse all cycle.  I have ovulated 1 day early at best,  I ovulate on CD 19-24.  

The RE said clomid for 3 months, then a laproscopy, then IVF.  Its all so medical and i dont know whats wrong.  I have had ultrasound (polycycstic signs but ovulating so not the syndrome), hormones (slightly out of normal range), had deficient Vit D (now on 1000mg pd) and hubby SA "normal" but morphology 6% (is that normal?).  

Are there any other tests etc before going down the medical route?

Edited by MrsAx, 18 February 2013 - 07:15 AM.

#2 Jessie_T

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

I wish I went to a fs earlier. They did a more through examination of dh sperm and he basically has hardly any useable sperm.

One big word of advise, a fs will only push the medical route if they believe there is a genuine reason. I got offered to go to a fs appointment 12 mo ths ago and decided for the gyno option because I thought it would be to Ivf straight away. I wasted 12 months of our life because more thorough testing wasn't done

#3 Libertine

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

It took me two years ttc DD2 (when I'd had no problems conceiving DD1). I too went to a FS and was given clomid even though my charts clearly showed I was ovulating every month. I also had a hysteroscopy (sp?) to rule out Ashermans.

Tbh it all cost a fair bit of $ and was very stressful. At the time I thought I felt better 'doing something' rather than just waiting but with hindsight it was all a stressful waste of time.

What eventually worked for me, I believe, was changing my diet. I was getting acupuncture which was great for my general well being but it was only when incorporated the dietary changes they recommended (for me that was limited dairy, no gluten,slow cooked food, limited raw) that I fell pregnant. I did a fair bit of reading about how sensitive your hormones etc are and how they can be influenced by what you eat. I think I may be sensitive to gluten. I cut it out, next month I was pregnant. Might have been a coincidence of course! But it 'felt' right.

I'm not saying you should necessarily cut out gluten though! But if you are interested in a more natural, holistic approach maybe you could look into acupuncture and a TCM diagnosis. Nothing to lose!, acupuncture is very relaxing and I used to feel great afterwards.

#4 Glitterz

Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

I wish I really knew that trying for #2 with AC would possibly be a longer and more tiring journey compared to #1.

#5 Paddlepop

Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

DH and I TTC for 2 years before we used IVF and conceived our DD on our second embryo transfer.

My hormones were normal, regular periods, ultrasounds confirmed ovulation was occurring and uterus appeared healthy with no fibroids and had a normal thickness of lining. My DH's multiple sperm tests were normal. I was 29yo and DH was 31yo when we commenced IVF.

The first 3 FS I went to wanted to do a laparoscopy immediately before doing anything else because they figured that I must have endo or PCOS. I refused because I didn't have the symptoms for either, hence why I saw multiple FS. Instead I had a HSG (hysterosalpingogram) done via my GP and an x-ray place, and it showed that one of my fallopian tubes was completely blocked. I had the procedure repeated a few months later and the result was the same.

When I saw my fourth FS, he was relieved that I hadn't had a lap done because it can cause scarring and cause infertility issues. He prefers to not do them straight away, depending on other test results. He was satisfied with the HSG results indicating a tubal blockage, and concluded that the open tube was probably damaged and nonfunctional. We went straight to IVF, had a failed fresh transfer and then a successful frozen transfer.

If you don't want to have surgery, then don't. Maybe you will need to have exploratory surgery (ie a lap) done at some stage but if you don't want to yet, then don't. There are 2 nonsurgical ways of checking whether your tubes are open but it seems that these are rarely used. They are HSG and HyCoSy. They both involve placing fluid into your uterus via the cervix (and a speculum) and seeing how freely it drains out of the fallopian tubes. HSG is the older and cheaper version done using x-ray, and HyCoSy is the newer, more detailed and more expensive version done using ultrasound.

It is your body. Don't do anything that you don't want to. Maybe you need to take a break for a few months, and then go back to the RE. If you don't feel that your current RE/FS is the right one for you, find a different one. I really didn't like the first 3 I saw. DH and I both liked our 4th one, and the IVF clinic he works with felt "right" to us. If/when we try for another child we will be going back to him and that clinic.

#6 Hands Up

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

I wish I knew how long it was going to take my body to recover after going off BCP. I would have done it earlier. I would also have not gotten my hopes up so high in the early days. I am much more relaxed now.

#7 *LiMa*

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

That the needles aren't that bad!  I put off IVF for ages because of my severe needle phobia.  It took me an hour to inject myself the first night.  It was no where near as bad as I expected.  I wasted so mich time putting it off based on that fear.

#8 minidiamond

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:05 PM

1. To make an FS appt much further in advance i.e.. it took me ages to get in to see one & you can always cancel !  Also, if you need to make a follow up appt with an FS after a BFN, try & do it before you even finish the current cycle (if they'll let you).  Or do it as soon as a BFN is known (sorry to be negative, just realistic).  Not all FS-es require a face to face appt.

2. To understand that everyone truly is individual.  Don't compare yourself to anyone else, no matter how similar your stories might be, both IRL & here on forums etc.

3. If you're able to a referral from your FS, get the second 'phase' of BTs, which for most FSs is a series of tests for things like thyroid, etc. after a few BFNs.  Again, not being negative but you're eliminating things & saving time.  It takes 12 vials of blood but it may rule issues in or out immediately.

OP, I am also polycystic but don't have PCOS. Do some googling around that, some ppl reccommend metformin but I don't want to give that advice not being a medical expert (I didn't have it but it's a treatment sometimes used for more overweight ladies with PCOS).  By the same token, make sure the FS takes the polycystic issue into account.  There is a strong school of thought that quantity that's often associated with polycystic ovaries is actually damaging to quality of eggs.  Have a look at this - it's just a blog but it's quite hard to find info on PCO v PCOS (which is the more 'diagnosed' condition)

*preg mentioned*

Good luck ! I had success aged 42, after a number of cycles.

#9 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:05 PM

It's your body, your money and it will be your baby.  It's important to understand what's happening and why, so you have confidence in your treatment.  Note down all your questions as they occur to you, and go through them with the FS.

Plus what Minidiamond said about the appointments.   Suck up to the receptionist.

Edited by meggs1, 18 February 2013 - 08:06 PM.

#10 alright789

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

I think back over my five year journey and there are so many things I wish I knew before I started.

I was referred to a FS early on, after coming off the pill, but I let them dictate what to do too much (well, they are the specialists, aren't they?).  This list is what I'd do differently / wish I'd known:

  • I should have asked more questions and not just blindly followed everything they said
  • Ask if you are a good candidate for each type of treatment, eg. if there are big problems with sperm quality / numbers etc. maybe IUI treatment isn't for you
  • Be realistic about possible outcomes, and ask what the realistic % outcomes may be at their clinic
  • I should never have believed them when they told me "it'll be easy to get you pregnant", "I don't usually make promises, but with you..."  (meaning IVF was a sure thing)  It set me up for a bigger fall each month when I got my BFNs.
  • I wish I hadn't bothered with clomid (easy to say after the fact for me, when it didn't get me pregnant).  For me, being on clomid for so many cycles and having some breaks in between and changing to another FS, meant I was a long time into the journey emotionally, but really hadn't started "trying" yet, by moving on to injectibles
  • At the same time: don't let them push you into treatments you don't want or don't fully understand
  • If the FS doesn't have time to discuss full treatment cycles with you, then ask to speak to the nurses - they are who you will spend the most time with and are usually more generous with information and explaining what comes next / when things will happen
  • Research what problems can cause infertility (in general) and ask them to start ruling them out - if you have a supportive GP they can start with some basic blood tests
  • Take a list of questions with you to FS - if you don't get answers consider changing to a FS who will work with you, and it's important that they respect your beliefs and feelings
  • Let them investigate your fertility issues, with Hycosy / HSG and test sperm etc.
  • I wish I hadn't been afraid of injectibles - I am a master fainter - but now I can have blood tests sitting up (that's a huge deal for me) and the daily shots don't hurt at all
  • Consider starting early with relaxation type endeavours (massage, acupuncture) and look after your general health, even get advice from a respected naturopath (if you're comfortable with that) - they can help with diet, exercise, and supplements.
  • Consider journalling your thoughts - for you - so you can work through your feelings and thoughts.
  • I would have been much kinder to myself
After trying for so long, we were at the end of our journey and had our last fertility treatment cycle - we were done.  I was on metformin and I had an HSG and lipoidal flush in October and in November I got a BFP naturally.  I wasn't "relaxed" at all (everyone told me to just "relax" and it would happen... very annoying advice and the worst possible thing to say to me), I was an emotional wreck.  I'm not suggesting that this was a miracle cure or the reason it happened, but these types of things are worth looking into.  Turns out for me, I also had a thyroid issue, which may have been a problem, but no doctor ever put me on meds or talked to me about it.

Good luck with your journey.  original.gif

#11 gemgirl

Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I agree that the needles were not as bad as I'd expected. I also have a phobia.

Edited by gemgirl, 27 February 2013 - 09:49 AM.

#12 ellebelle

Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:56 AM

Agree with PP about not being afraid to change doctors if you don't feel they are "working with you". Look for one that is willing to try different things.

#13 mez70

Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

Warning Pregnancy mentioned..

One thing I wish I had of known and wish I had done differently is not to put my life on "hold" so to speak. In the 3 years I was TTC I was really burnt out in a job, that really was giving me no joy, yet as they "understood" and were great about me taking time off, getting to work late etc I stayed prob a good 12 mths longer than I should. Each week and month I would look at all the internal vacanices and transfers and not go for them as I was sure that would be the month and why start in a new role only top go on Mat leave.... It was only when I finally took the leap and not only transferred into head office, but then even applied for a promotion that I thought I would no way get (and was successful) that I got my much awaited and dreamed for BFP. I am not saying changing jobs,location etc would have made it happen any sooner, but I sure would have been happier and in a better frame of mind which could have only helped.

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