Hi all. I went for my first scan on Friday since starting the medication and things were all looking good. Ready to go good. I had one follicle on each ovary – 19mm on the left and 17 on the right with my lining at 9. I did have enough Meriofert to take until Sunday evening but the plan was set as: Take Friday evening’s dose as planned then trigger at 14.30 Sunday and I have my appointment for IUI in London on Monday.
I’m actually going up on my own this time but I don’t need a general anaesthetic this time so I’ll be up and back on the coach with some books to keep me company.
Then it’s a waiting game. My period is due when I’m on holiday in October. Obviously I’m really hoping it doesn’t come but I’ll be with good friends if it does.
Keep everything crossed for me.
Nothing much has really been happening in trying to conceive land for a while and instead I have had some wonderful turning 40 celebrations. I can’t wait to see the photos from my Harry Potter/cake smash session with my friends. Here’s a sneak peek.
Today, however I went for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)- try saying that three times fast?! This was basically a test to check whether my Fallopian tubes are clear and – I’m waiting for the proper report – but all looks good.
To have this test I needed to have a swab to make sure I had no infection and to take two lots of antibiotics, one the evening before and one the morning of the procedure to make sure I don’t get an infection. The procedure itself is similar to a smear – I know joyful – but hey I paid for the privilege this time! PSA – go get your smears ladies – they may be nasty but they are important.
Then they inject dye into your tubes and scan/X-ray to make sure it all passes through. At this point you do get cramps similar to period pain. Afterwards you need to wear a pad to capture any blood or dye fluid. I’ve had a little cramping this evening but not too much. I had worse on my period early hours of Wed morning when I woke up having leaked. Being a lady is so dignified.
This all means that I should be having at least one round of IUI – Intrauterine insemination with the donor sperm I already have, starting with my next period in September. Supposedly there is evidence to suggest that doing this the cycle after the HSG may be more effective.
I have an appointment with my consultant on 10th September to clarify the process but I should be doing the injections again to boost egg production but with a slightly different protocol. Then after the trigger injection this time I go for IUI with no need for general anaesthetic and we just hope Mother Nature/ Golden Egg and super sperm meet and fall in love and …
The percentages are lower than for IVF but it is less invasive and cheaper and this time, thanks to my sister I have Pax the Pineapple to cheer me on. As well as all my lovely friends and family.
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.