I saw my consultant yesterday to see what the next steps are and the basic answer is it’s up to me – and funds.
IVF has ethical, emotional, practical and financial considerations and no decision is easy to make. I keep going round in circles trying to decide what’s best.
I sat down last week and did the maths and worked out that so far – after all the initial tests and one failed attempt I have spent £9k. £1.5k of that (i.e. the donor sperm) can be transferred on future attempts but only in this country. Although you will see the cost of IVF listed at around £3.5k this often doesn’t include everything- my drugs were around £1k. £80 per basic blood test, hidden costs such as travel etc. You are looking at a minimum of 5k per attempt. More if you need to use donors. Clearly I have had to loan this money and would need to do the same for further treatment.
It is likely that the egg that fertilised abnormally did so because of a chromosomal abnormality and who knows if this the standard quality of my eggs now.
The consultant basically said we have no idea if this was my best attempt, average attempt or worst attempt. Most likely average (so only 2 eggs produced. Neither of which was viable).
My options are:
Call it a day (waste of 2 sperm donated units £1k [I don’t believe they can be transferred onto anyone else] but with refund of pregnancy slot £500).
Try IVF with my own eggs and the existing sperm donor units again – Approx £5k per attempt although there is a company that offers two cycles at my existing clinic for £8.6k
Try IUI with my own eggs and the existing sperm donor units again (ideally would need to have additional tests to make sure there is no blockages or problems with my Fallopian tubes. – Tests around £300 and each attempt between £2-21/2k. This would still be drug assisted and if a miracle happened and I suddenly produced a decent number of eggs I could switch to IVF.
IVF with donor eggs and existing sperm donor units in this country (unable to ship those units to clinics abroad). At my current clinic there is around a 9 month waiting list – with a £550 Non-refundable fee to go on the list, a £250 consultation and possibly a monitored cycle at around £500.
Then It will cost around £8k per attempt and no guarantees it would even go to transfer stage. I think mostly this is with egg sharing so in effect you are paying for someone else’s treatment cycle and possibly getting half of the eggs they produce (ideally 4 minimum). If the cycle doesn’t work you have to pay the £550 fee again and return to the bottom of the waiting list.
There is a IVF Donor refund company that offers a minimum of 2 donor egg collection cycles with ongoing fresh and frozen transfers to the limit of how many eggs are produced. This costs £14k (including all medication and tests) and if you don’t have a baby at the end you get a 15% refund. They don’t do this at my clinic though and the nearest is London but I assume with all monitoring appointments taking place there. Currently I get to do all of these locally (30-40 mins away) which works much better with work. Not sure of their waiting times.
IVF abroad with donor eggs and new donor sperm or embryo transfer. Not sure of the cost of this option yet. Not sure if they offer a similar guarantee scheme with multiple cycles/money back or Acosta to join waiting list. The wait tends to be less time. Eggs come from younger altruistic donors so you usually get all of the eggs from a cycle.
I do know that adoption is also something to consider but as I think I’ve said before you have to have ruled out continuing with IVF and from reports it’s also a lengthy, intense, detailed process where you are all those around you are judged. Not sure I could cope with that currently.
To add to all of this going through my head it is then it is not helpful to hear negative and unhelpful comments about the nature of parenthood from people around you.
I don’t really know where I’m going from here but I am looking into having the tests on my Fallopian tubes to see if IUI (or indeed a natural pregnancy if that came up as an option) could be an possibility if that Golden Egg came along.
IUI would be the cheaper option for trying again with my own eggs and the donor sperm I already have, it will also be less invasive but potentially less effective.
I think to try any options with donor eggs or embryos I am looking at a wait plus needing time to raise funds and lose further weight. My age is slightly less relevant for this option.
I’m naturally feeling pretty low and disheartened and really want to urge people not to wait too long if you know you’d love children of your own.
Not sure when my next update will be. Thanks for reading.
It’s been just over a week since I got the news that this round had failed and I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who has sent a message checking in to see how I’m doing.
I’ve been back at work this week and that kept me fairly busy but I have had some weepy moments when talking or thinking about things too much. Mainly because I am feeling pretty much that I’ve had my shot at this with my own eggs (mainly because of the financial cost [approx £7k for this round!!!] balanced out with the percentage likelihood of it working). But I have no real news to share because really I’m just in limbo waiting for my follow up appointment on 16th July to see if my consultant can give me an update on what exactly happened and how this affects my chances.
I have not been good with food since – at all. I ended up not going to my Slimming World group this week as I had had enough of talking to/crying at people about all this in the day. I thought of it as self preservation of tear ducts. Instead I ordered pizza which I did regret. I really haven’t been bothered to cook. Although I wasn’t in much pain immediately after egg Collection on either the Wednesday or Thursday I had stabbing pain on my right abdomen and back Friday and Saturday. This pain has receded since but definitely worsens or comes back a little when bloated or constipated. Pizza did not help that fact. Back to group on Monday to face the scales and hopefully crack back on.
My period appeared yesterday – which obviously I knew would happen but actually having it arrive is more disappointing than usual. Really hoping it’s not as bad as last month’s – although at least I can take tranmexic acid this time which helps manage heavy bleeding. I can’t help debating if I would prefer to be in the midst of the two week wait and it appear but I think having things fail before was probably a blessing.
I have made the difficult decision to put in a complaint to the clinic about the mix up with the embryologist. This mistake did make this more traumatic and I just want to make sure they review things so it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It won’t change anything for me but part of me sharing is the hopes that I can help someone else.
One discovery I made was that I really couldn’t cope without my antihistamines – at least at this time of year – and I’ve still been a sneezing wreck even taking them. I’ll need to arrange an appointment with my GP to review the safety of those medications during IVF/Pregnancy and to see if there are any alternatives.
I’ve had some comments that have said that I’m brave in sharing but that’s not how I see it. For me writing is a way of helping me to make sense of things. It’s a form of self care. It was more odd at the very start of the process where I wasn’t sharing.
For me women who go through this keeping everything to themselves are the brave ones. But really we all do what we must to survive.
I’ll be back around the 16th to share my next steps. In the meantime there will be boo reviews again.