Big Fat…

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Negative. Sadly it wasn’t to be this time. We went back to the clinic after our two week wait and were given the bad news in the little room which has previously been the setting to our happy pregnancy news. I am really disappointed it hasn’t worked as after the whole ordeal of the pills, injections, scans, appointments, egg collection, embryo transfer and painful wait we are left with nothing. No frozen embryos and worst of all no pregnancy. It is very deflating. It feels like a waste of time, money and emotions. The real frustration is that it all came to an end before it ever really begun.

That being said if there ever was a time for it not to work then this was it. Before our son arrived we were so desperate for a baby that we would have been crushed by a negative result. This time we are disappointed but by no means heartbroken. We have a beautiful son to enjoy and we will try again in a few months. We knew it was going to be a long bumpy road ahead and we are pleased we have begun the process now rather look back with regret that we left it too long to start the journey.

It’ll take more than that to knock us down. Project Baby Number 2 continues…

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Egg Collection

a follicle.jpgToday was my egg collection and suddenly the whole thing felt very real. To my surprise the nurse, anesthetist and embryologist remembered us and greeted us warmly. The procedure was a fairly unremarkable experience since I was under general anesthetic. One minute I was having a chat with the doctor, the next I woke up in the recovery room and it was all done!

The egg collection was a success and they retrieved 18 eggs. Now we must wait to hear how many fertilised. It is hard not to compare everything to last time. But since our eggs and sperm are 2 years older I don’t suppose the outcome is comparable. However last time I had 16 eggs so already we are in a better position. However it’s all to play for now as there are a multitude of variables which will dictate the outcome.

Tomorrow, and for the next 5 days, I will receive a phone call with updates on the progress of the embryos. All being well we will have a few that make it to blastocyst stage, one of which we can transfer in 5 days time. The waiting begins.

Human Pin Cushion

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So the shots are in full swing. To be honest I don’t find them too bad. Each night my husband gets the needles ready and I lie on the bed with my t-shirt held up as a sort of shield to prevent me from seeing whats happening and we get it done. Side effects? Not really. Last time I recall being far more swollen and bloated to this time. However my husband would certainly say that I have been somewhat hormonal! In my defense I have been rather distracted by the stomach bug that has terrorised our home taking down my son, husband and myself. Nursing an ill baby whilst being ill and undergoing IVF is not ideal.

On alternate days I am required to have a scan to see the changes the drugs are having on my follicles. The scans themselves are not an issue. I don’t find them too unpleasant. The tricky part is going to the scans with an 8 month old. You would think an IVF clinic, whose job is to create babies, would be more accommodating to mothers visiting with babies. The lift is at top of a flight of stairs, the doors are heavy and too narrow to wheel a pram in and they are without fail always running late. Having arranged naps and snacks around these visits it is infuriating. However this phase is almost over. The egg collection is two days away and then the next stage will be upon us.

Watch this space!

Fertility MoT

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According to yesterday’s press busy city workers are to be offered £200 fertility ‘MoTs’ during their lunch breaks. The one-hour test will assess women using 3D ultrasounds and blood tests, while men will be offered a detailed analysis of their semen for £90. Up to 4,000 IVF cycles will also be offered each year by the Create Fertility centre, which opens in London later this month. Professor Geeta Nargund, who founded the Create Fertility centre said: ‘A woman’s fertility potential can be assessed in an hour.’

Interestingly, Professor Nargund claims that they will not offer conventional IVF where drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries. Instead they will offer natural-cycle IVF, in which a woman’s egg is collected following her natural cycle and replaced in the uterus after fertilisation. The clinic will also offer mild-stimulation IVF, in which a lower dosage of drugs is used.  She said the treatment is safer, less expensive and is able to be repeated over subsequent cycles. Her business offers three cycles of natural-cycle IVF for £5,900, while three cycles of mild-stimulation IVF costs £6,950.

However Gedis Grudzinskas, an independent consultant gynaecologist, warned that results are much lower in natural cycles than when drugs are used.

Refunds for Unsuccessful IVF Couples

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On August 2nd the Telegraph wrote an article about a fertility clinic in Manchester which is offering refunds to couples for whom IVF treatment is unsuccessful.

The “money-back guarantee” will be rolled out at a clinic in Brighton later this month. Patients must be under 37 and using their own eggs to be eligible for the IVF Refund Programme which will allow them to get 70 per cent of their fees back. Depending on the plan they pick, refunds could be up £9,000.The clinic has said that the package was designed to ‘reassure’ patients worried about the costs of private treatment that they won’t lose out financially if they do not have a baby. Repeated courses of IVF can run to tens of thousands of pounds for couples who are not eligible for NHS funding when they are paying for treatment.

Dr Falconer, lead embryologist at Manchester Fertility said: “It’s fantastic for the patient because it will give them that peace of mind. They will get the very best, state of the art treatment to maximise their chances of success… and, if it doesn’t work the first time, at least they won’t have to go out and try to raise any more money. The guarantee lasts not just until they conceive but until they have a baby.”

A clinic in Brighton, Sussex, will offer its refund scheme from August 12, and more will follow suit in London, the south west and Northern Ireland in September.

Since the cost of IVF is unbelievably high new payment schemes such as this will alleviate a lot of stress for patients. We were extremely fortunate to have financial support from our parents. However there are many for whom this is not an option. I will be asking our clinic if they have any intention of implementing a similar scheme.

To read the article visit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11007856/Refunds-offered-to-unsuccessful-IVF-couples.html