Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Secret Of My (Lack Of) Success

The one thing that took the edge of the failure of the last IVF was that I am eligible for another shot at it. Specifically, knowing I was funded for two IVFs gave me a safety net.

There is a reason that the NHS fund two shots. You can't 'carry one over' if you are successful first time, but it is an acknowledgment that there is a distinct possibility it won't work. Prior to my IVF I reassured myself that the first go was a foray into the unknown, even if this shot didn't work at least the medical professionals would know why and this could be addressed next time.

Sounds like a plan doesn't it?

Except my IVF was like Mary Poppins - Practically Perfect in every way.

The egg stimulation was great.  A lovely crop of 17 eggs - so no need to change my medication for stage one.

With 12 of them fertilising (70%) there is clearly nowt wrong with the husband's sperm.

The embryo's growth wasn't quite up to speed, but that is beyond my control - maybe there is something the embryologist can tweak but I doubt it.

And as for post-implantation, I've used up every trick I can think of.  Acupuncture, no caffeine, had the transfers on a Saturday and Sunday and didn't go back to work until the Wednesday, I even ate pineapple because it is supposed to help with implantation.

I hate pineapple.

I've played all my cards. I can't think of anything I can do different to ensure that IVF number two doesn't end the same way as IVF number one.

So tell me, have you got any ideas?


  1. It's those Practically Perfect in Every Way ones that throw you off guard. I had one (my third) and nada happened. Zip. Expectations - at crushingly high levels - crashed.

    My final round (#5, not like that will happen to you!) I was much more "I will let the fates decide. Fates? How are your thoughts?" I drank the odd glass of wine right up to retrieval. I was not to be found supine just after transfer. I did, actually, do acupuncture, which my clinic managed to mention on my last round and say that it did increase the odds of success as seen in their programme (they kept mentioning "The German Paper" as the research. To date, I've no idea what German paper they were on about) by 45%. Nice of them to tell me now.

    I did acupuncture. I was as Zen as someone staring down their biggest fears could be. I had the worst cycle in the history of worse cycles. Out of my usual plethora of eggs, I wound up with a grand total of...two. Two "very average" ones.

    Things can be picture perfect, but rare (although yes, it does happen) is the success first time round. We have to conquer the mountain of drugs, questions, routines we need/want, who to tell/not to tell, you want me to stick that thing where?, and it's frankly about getting hazed through the process the first time.

    Long story short - acupuncture may be worth a try. Couldn't hurt, may help (from all of my cycles, it was the one difference between the failures and the success). And being Zen.

    Not like "being Zen" is much help.

  2. Can you remind us of the tests you've had to rule out things, so we can have a think about other things that may help?

  3. I wonder if at this stage it would be feasible to ask for autoimmune blood testing if you were to pay for it to be done? You know my long saga with recurrent miscarriage, years of thinking it was a progesterone deficiency. Last year I decided it might be worth a shot to get auto immune blood tests taken. Turns out I have an off the scale level of anti thyroid antibodies, which had never been thought of as a potential issue before. These kind of auto immune disorders can be a cause of implantation failure in IVF. Might be worth getting checked out sooner rather than later. It cost me a few hundred euro over here in pay through the nose for everything Ireland, would probably cost a lot less in the UK.

  4. So I have no ideas for you, but I'm on precisely the same page. Or nearly. Mine was not Practically Perfect in every way, but a number of things went Not Too Badly and I'm wondering how much we can do to come out with different results the next time. I also felt like maybe this first one wasn't likely to work, it being a first one and all, but I can't help wondering what I'll feel or do if the second one doesn't either. Anyway...thinking of you, holding your hand, and paddling along in that same boat. Take care.

  5. My IVF was also practically perfect, I had accupuncture, no caffine, ate pineapple etc and here I am waiting for go number 4!
    I have been told everytime 'just bad luck'!! Not very helpful sadly.

  6. I have also had a heap of auto immune blood work done as my cycles were great lovely embryos that don't stock. The circle and bloom is also good. It didn't work for me but my amxiety levels were kept relatively in check.

  7. I wish I had something to recommend. I'd do the autoimmune testing because I have autoimmune issues, but doctors are generally hesitant unless there is reason to suspect the issues. I'm just going to be determined that the next round will be the one that works.

  8. Have your husband's SA's always been normal? Any chance your doc would order a DFI on him (that's the test for sperm fragmentation index). My husband always had stellar SA's (and fertilized most of my eggies on our IVF) but when we scratched the surface, we realized that his DNA fragmentation was very, very elevated. He went on antioxidants for three months and voila. The number declined by around 14 points. (All of that said, though, there are plenty of doctors who don't believe in Sperm Fragmentation as an indicator at all). Maybe one thing to try is for him to take antioxidants in the run up to the next IVF? Couldn't hurt? (As long as he goes quietly).

    You're not alone in having everything go like clockwork and then...nada. But it does suck so very badly.

  9. I added yoga to everything....I'm still in the middle of my first round, so I won't know if it worked until the middle pf April. But with acupuncture, which I've been doing since the start of my previous cycle, it supposedly has a positive effect.

    Otherwise prayer. I'm not the most religious of people, neither is my husband, but we pray every night. That's all I've got! Thinking of you....

  10. They say laughter is the best medicine. I read an article about a clinic who brought in a clown to amuse the women on tranfer day and apparently it made a difference. Not sure if this study is valid, but what the heck, ask your hubby to dress up in a clown outfit on the day of never know ;-)

  11. I have absolutely no wise thoughts or words to add, just quiet support.

  12. Ah, it's a bugger, alright. And I can also only offer support, unfortunately of the clueless kind.


  13. I got nothing...Our first cycle we were told on paper everything was completely perfect and they were shocked it didn't work. To me...I'd rather hear things sucked bc if they can be perfect with no luck, what happens next time when they tell me its 'okay'? Anyways...I did acupuncture, meditation, walked daily, no caffeine and tried to relax (haha). Heres to our next cycles'!!

  14. Just keep the faith and think positive. You know that we all think of you and wish the best for you! Peace.

  15. Hmmm, I'm not sure there is anything else you can do, short of standing on your head!

    I read an article recently (I wrote about it in my blog 12 March) which says that stress apparently has no effect on the success of a transfer, although it can effect a pregnancy once you get pregnant. So all the stuff we do to reduce stress may be pointless!

    I like the suggestion above for laughter being the best medicine - I say give that a go - at least you'll have fun doing it.

  16. Dr. IVF did autoimmune testing on me prior to the cycle and put me on blood thinners because my tests showed I was prone to blood clotting and my blood was sticky (huh?).

    When my cycle failed, I asked Dr. IVF if I could get my prolactin levels checked (since they were elevated during late follicular phase). He refused, saying no need to and that we would re-test this during the frozen cycle. What the? Since I read that prolactin levels could have a role in implantation (and several papers on say it doesn't matter, so hard to say), I went to my OB instead and found out it was just as high as during the cycle! So now I'm on meds and I might have to do an MRI scan to check for any pituitary tumor. I also have hypothyroidism and have been on meds to control that.
    I have yet used meditation/yoga/deep breathing techniques. That'll be my next goal.

  17. I am so sorry Ivf didn't work and unfortunatly no ideas to help. I apologize for late reply I only just caught up on your story as had an unexpected hospital stay. Best of luck for round 2.

  18. There really is nothing that you can do/change. I really believe that it is down to luck whether it is going to take or not. Our first IVF was also perfect, 10 eggs, 8 fertilised (without ICSI which was weird because we thought we had a problem in that area), 3 were grade A blastocysts. We had 1 put back in, I did acupunture, took nearly two weeks off work and it didn't work. The FET was completely different, I just saw it as another attempt before we did a fresh cycle in the spring. I went back to work after a couple of days, didn't bother with acupunture and it took.

    My only advice would be to try not to worry about it too much, take it all in your stride. I know that it is going to be difficult because this is your last chance on the NHS but you have a better chance this time round as they know how your body responded. Keep positive but calm.

  19. I don't have any advice, but a clown on transfer day would totally freak me out. 'Cause clowns are freaky. And so are freaky dolls. Chucky was a terrifying movie. I feel like I've wandered waaaay off topic here....

  20. I had a Thai massage the night before or a day before, supposed to flood the pelvic region with fresh oxygenated blood, plus it was good to get my mind into a calm place.
    The times it worked for me was using frozen embryos versus fresh. Really not sure about the why but my doctor thought it was best to wait a month and go the frozen route which I did and it worked. Real bummer you didn't get any frozen out of the ordeal.
    The Natural Killer Cells is something that I researched and would have investigated next if I had to.
    I was put on aspirin to keep the blood thin (well I think it was aspirin.. mexican aspirin I guess) for a while, sat at home for a few days afterwards, did nothing but with hindsight 'felt' implantation both times it worked the day after transfer.. crazy I know.

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts.

  21. It is actually pineapple core you are supposed to eat, not pineapple. Not that I'm sure it really helps. GL!


I've resisted word verification for ages but I'm getting so many spam comments at the moment that I think it is time. Sorry!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.