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Shah's Story

2008/09 I wanted to share our IVF journey with you all as I never found anything which detailed the entire journey. I am 36 years old and my wife is 35. We had been trying naturally for a baby for over a year and nothing happened. So we decided not to wait as her biological clock was ticking and we also were keen to start a family soon.

2008 =
Oct 22nd - We had our initial consultation where they took our medical histories, asked both of us to get blood tests done. My wife had to go through an array of tests, while I had to be tested for HIV and Hepatitis. The also asked me to provide a semen sample. They tested this and told me that there were no issues with low counts or motility. It would be fine for IUI or IVF and again dependent on the day but all looked fine.

30th Oct - my wife had to go for further tests during her cycle so that they could test FSH, LH, Estradiol, Prolactin, Thyroid Hormone, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - first day of full flow.

5th November - my wife had her HSG test. This was a pretty expensive test (£550) and my wife found this quite painful. They liken it to a smear test but my wife said it was much worse. The results were clear and we knew that there were no blocked tubes.

11th November - My wife had a progesterone test. Result was fine.

12th November - My wife had a scan and an Estrogen Mid cycle test. Later she also went for a smear test. The clinic required this before they proceeded with any treatment. Might be wise to get this done before you begin anything.

14th November - We were given a choice of either going for IUI or IVF and as our condition was unexplained as in there was nothing obviously wrong with either of us we went through the pros and cons of both. With IVF we though the treatment is pretty intense, with IUI they would have given her some fertility drugs to increase the chance of conceiving - but this could lead to a multiple pregnancy. The success rates for IVF at our clinic were much higher (63% IVF vs 30% for IUI) we thought lets go for the IVF.

15th November - We went to the clinic and they gave her a suprecor nasal spray to be taken three times a day. This was to down regulate her body so that she would stop producing any folicles and once her oestrodial levels were deemed low enough they would begin the next phase of the treatment. The spray can apparently cause headaches and tiredness but my wife was a true soldier and managed without getting the side effects.

16th - 24th November - continued with the nasal spray.

25th November - her period began. continued with the nasal spray.

26th-27th continued with the nasal spray.


28th November - scan and blood test. The scan revealed what the doctors believed was a folicle (later turned out to be a cyst) and they ask her to continue with the nasal spray and asked her to take a pregnyl injection the next day (this basically releases the egg in the folicle). They also asked her to take another medication which triggers the next period.

29th November - Injection taken and started tablets to induce the period. continued with the nasal spray.

30th November - 3rd December continued with the nasal spray and table to induce period.

4th - 10th December continued with the nasal spray.

11th Dec Blood test to see if estrodial levels had fallen. They hadn't so they increased the spray dose from 3 sprays to 4 sprays a day.

13th Dec Scan to see if the cyst noticed on 28th November had now gone. But it hadn't continued with the spray.

14th Dec - Day care under general anaesthetic they aspirated the cyst. There were three other ladies who had the same procedure done that morning. I think it is a common side effect of taking the spray. While the cyst is there the estrodial levels will never fall sufficiently.

15th December - blood test and scan. To ensure the cyst was not regrowing and blood test to see if estrodial levels had subsided.

16th December - further blood test and scan. They saw three small folicles growing and we though she would again be induced to have another period so the treatment would be further delayed by another 10 days or so. But luckily they said that she was ready for her down regulation to end and the stimulation phase to begin the next day as her estrodial levels had completely dropped.

17th - 25th December - Daily blood tests and scans to see how many folicles were developing and how mature they were getting. The medication they gave her on a daily basis was a mixture of Fostimon or Merional injections and every day based on the results they would advise how much of the which or both to take, the injections were adminstered by me and they need to be taken at the same time every evening. They are quite expensive so they give you enough to last you a couple of days only as each person will require a different stimulation period. 10-14 days is the norm but in my wife's case it was only 9 days. Drink 2-3 litres of water and 1litre of Milk a day to avoid hyperstimulation.

26th December morning blood test and scan revealed her 8 or 9 folicles were mature enough to be triggered into releasing the eggs. My wife complained that with that many large foliciles inside her she felt a bit sore. The main doctor did a second scan and confirmed that she could receive the trigger injections. Which had to be taken at 8pm that night. So that 36 hours later they would collect the eggs.Drink 2-3 litres of water and 1litre of Milk a day to avoid hyperstimulation

27th December - no medication just rest. Drink 2-3 litres of water and 1litre of Milk a day to avoid hyperstimulation.

28th Dec - Egg collection under general anaesthetic. Before we left to go home my wife was giving some progestorone supplements (pessary) called cyclogest. These needed to be taken once a day. They had collected 11 eggs some were a little small but most were good. I provided the semen which they then washed in their solutions and applied to the eggs. (they check the concentration and motility to ensure it is suitable for IVF. It was but as they believe that there were only 8 realistic eggs that would fertilise they suggested doing 6 by IVF and 5 with ICSI to maximise the number of embryos we ended with. (ICSI adds another £1500). Drink 2-3 litres of water and 1litre of Milk a day to avoid hyperstimulation

29th December we were called and advised that 8 had fertilised and there were chances that 9th would as well.Drink 2-3 litres of water and 1litre of Milk a day to avoid hyperstimulation. Continue with the cyclogest pessary.

30th December - the fertilised eggs were growing nicely some faster than others.Drink 2-3 litres of water a day to avoid hyperstimulation.Continue with the cyclogest pessary.

31st December the fertilised eggs were growing nicely some faster than others. Our clinic does either a Day 2, 3 or 5 transfer. 5 of the IVF and 3 of the ICSI were still doing well and they said that we should go for a day 5 blastocyst transfer. Blastocyst transfer are the more successful.Drink 2-3 litres of water a day to avoid hyperstimulation. Continue with the cyclogest pessary.


1st Jan still everything looked fine.Drink 2-3 litres of water a day to avoid hyperstimulation. Continue with the cyclogest pessary.

2nd Jan - the day of the transfer. We got there nice and early. At 10am they called us down and attempted the transfer. My wife kept feeling as if she needed to go to urinate when the consultant was pressing on her insides in preparation for the transfer. She has a tilted cervix and found smear tests and HSG tests very painful in the past and as a result she was very scared of this part of the treatment as the cyst aspiration and egg collection was done under sedation but this part is done while you are awake. After two attempts the doctor said "its critical that we get this part exactly right, so we need your bladder to be fuller so that we can access and place the embryos in the right place - btw we had decided on transferring two. He asked if she would prefer to have it done under sedation and she jumped and said yes. So as she had eaten a light breakfast she was told to wait till 2pm before the anaesthetic could be administered. The transfer took place. She recovered and was
brought back to the waiting room. We waited for a while then the prescriptions for Clexane (once a day) to keep the blood thin, Cyclogest (twice a day) and Ritodrine tablets was given. I got the meds and we drove home.Drink 2 litres of water a day to avoid hyperstimulation, and now 1 litre of milk every day protein for the baby I believe.

3rd - 11th Jan - Rest and drink water and milk as per usual. Continue with the Clexane, Ritodrine the 2 x cyclogest pessary. And now one baby asprin a day.


12th Jan - Blood test at 7.30am. We decided to go home straight after rather than waiting around. They told us to expect a call between 11am and 12pm. We were called at 10.50am and told that the HCG level above 30 would indicate pregnancy and her level was 273 so she was pregnant. We were elated !! We called our parents and siblings to let them know. The clinic send the bloods for a second full blood count and told my wife she needed to increase her clexane injections to twice a day. She must stop the ritodrine tablets now but continue with the twice a day cyclogest. Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day.

13th Jan - Another blood test. HCG level was now 423. (they say these should be doubling every 2 days ideally or 2-3 days. Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin.

14th Jan Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin.Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day.

15th Jan Another blood test. HCG level was now 742. Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin. Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day.

17th Jan Another blood test. HCG level was now 1215. Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin. Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day.

19th Jan Another blood test. HCG level was now 2105. Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin. Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day.

21st Jan Another blood test. HCG level was now 2877. Continue with twice daily Clexane injections, twice daily cyclogest pessary, once a day Asprin. Continue drinking 2 litres of water and 1 litre of milk every day. The level today should have been in excess of 3500 so the clinic was concerned. They said that we needed to go in the next day for a further blood test and scan to confirm that the pregnancy wasn't ectopic or that my wife was not miscarrying. We were devastated and my wife was very upset. Just when things had been going really well. Didn't sleep very much that night.

22nd Jan. The scan revealed there was a sac in the right place so ruled out the possibility of a ectopic. There was only one sac so no twins in the pregnancy. The blood tests came back and the doctors had said that the slow down of the increase in HCG between 19th and 21st could indicate that she was miscarrying. The HCG levels had risen though to 3455. Not a great increase but an increase nevertheless. Don't lose hope they said. They prescribed some 1mg daily of dexlamethasone steriod in addition to everything mentioned earlier and asked her to go back again the next day.

23rd Jan HCG level 4124 (so another increase still not doubling every 2 days but increase so not miscarrying)

24th Jan HCG Level 5002 (so another consistent increase from the last two days)

25th Jan they asked for her to be scanned and another blood test. The scan revealed that the sac had grown but as the HCG levels were still low there was nothing else visible no yolk or foetus. HCG results came back and the level had hardly risen and was now 5234. We both got upset and accepted that this was not viable and that the miscarriage is now imminent. We called our parents and siblings and told them the bad news. The clinic asked her to go back again on 26th Jan for another blood test.

26th Jan we hoped that the test would now reveal a drop in HCG levels and this would confirm the beginning of the miscarriage. The results came back and the level was now 6302 so another increase. The increase was not significant enough to give us any hope so we have accepted that this must be a blighted ovum where the embryo failed around 19th-21st Jan. The sac will be empty. The clinic have asked for her to go for another blood test on 27th Jan.

We are both now just waiting for her to miscarry. Sorry this had a sad ending.

 

 

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