Different cycle, different outcome
I’m so glad I keep my blog for moments of despair so I can look back on previous cycles and try to pinpoint where everything went wrong.
Cycle 1 – Menopur, started on 225iu and increased from there as needed. 19 eggs collected (9 for me, 10 donated) Outcome? 80% fert rate, 3 blasts, pregnant with twins, miscarriage
Cycle 2 – Menopur again, started on 375iu, gradually reducing. Only 9 eggs collected (4 for me, 5 donated) Outcome? 2 morulas, no blasts on day 5, 75% fert rate, BFN
Cycle 3 – Gonal F, started on 300iu, HUGE number of follicles (20-30+!), dose dropped repeatedly, 27 eggs, 22 mature but only 2 fert (9% fert rate). One day 3 embryo frozen, FET BFN
I try to research and learn about my cycles because when you’re a private patient you really need to take care of yourself and tell them what you want/need.
This time, I’m on a completely different protocol (short, not long) and different meds (fostimon & merionel with cetrotide). The powers that be say that a short protocol tends to work better for those who overstimulate, which usually I don’t but last cycle I did, and I strongly, strongly believe that the fact that I was so overstimulated gravely affected my egg quality last time.
This time, I want to aim for 10-15 follicles/eggs which seems achievable. I’m also on a lower dose of drugs this time (225iu)
Another issue has been my ‘sticky eggs’/. I’ve done ICSI for all 3 IVF cycles, not because my eggs particularly needed or called for it, but because my chosen sperm donor was ICSI only. This time I have changed to a non-ICSI donor, and my consultant wants me to do 50/50 IVF & ICSI which I was happy with. After doing some research tonight I’m going to make a note to the embryologist on Egg Collection day that I want to be informed before any fertilisation attempts as to the quality and appearance of my eggs (ie. do they look sticky/abnormal/immature?). I want any immature eggs in the IVF 50% of my fertilisation pot, apparently immature eggs can fertilise with IVF in some instances, but never with ICSI. If they think I need ICSI for all my eggs, I want to know and be given the opportunity to pay for them all to be ICSI’d
As for cycle abandonment, I wonder whether my last cycle should have been cancelled due to the crazy number of follicles on my scans. WHY wasn’t it cancelled? I wonder this a lot. Only one of my ovaries does anything (the left one is a lazy bugger) and at my last scan before EC I had a whopping 26 follicles on ONE ovary, and 6 on the other, and these were only the follicles large enough for egg collection – they didn’t bother to count the others because they were too small to be mature anyway. That shows I was way overstimulated. Should I have cancelled it? Is it even my place to say that I want to cancel a cycle? Would I have lost the cost of that cycle had I decided to abandon it based on follicle numbers? These are all going on a list for me to ask my nurse when I’m there next week for my baseline scan.
I’ve become that patient – the one who thinks she knows everything, the one who wants to know exactly what’s going on and not just take things at face value, the one who starts many sentences in consultations with “I read online that…”. The one who paid £50 for a copy of all of her clinic records just so she could read through them and try to piece together my cycles. When I had my NHS scan last week the consultant was laughing at me because I was twisting around to see the screen (they don’t have the luxurious large screen TV mounted to the wall like my private clinic does!) and I kept asking her what she was looking at and why things were like that, I must have really irritated her but she didn’t say anything – in fact, she answered all of my questions.
This is me, just how I am. I need to know what’s in my medication, what it’s for, how it affects my body, how everything comes together to play a part in IVF. After 5 cycles I have a pretty good idea now but there are still some things that throw me. When my nurse called me to tell me to take norethisterone a few weeks ago I was badgering her on what it was for and why I needed it. I’m a pain 😀
So, yes. I’m trying to remain positive and realistic about this cycle. Last cycle went badly because of the follicles numbers, I’m sure, so I just need to keep on top of it this time and make sure that we don’t have a repeat of it.
Sugar is now gone (bye bye chocolate 😦 ) and it’s all for this cycle. Please, please let it work.
As for my family issues, I have made the decision not to tell any of them I’m going again. I will make my own way to egg collection alone (train, bus and taxi again!), and if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant they will find out at either 13 or 18 weeks. I want the time to enjoy my pregnancy stress-free. As they have showed me this week I owe them absolutely nothing, just like they feel they owe me absolutely nothing.