IVF questions
27 Replies
Alexa - December 5


Hello everyone, my husband and I have been trying to conceive for over a year now with 5 failed IUI's, I was hoping that someone here could explain to me alittle bit about IVF and what i should expect during the process
I want to know as much as i can before deciding to move forward with a try

I would most likely continue with follistim do they also make you take a trigger shot for ivf and are there any other meds you have to take along the way?? i have no medical conditions we are the unexplained infertility category except for my age

Alexa

 

BabiesOnBoard - December 6

Hi Alexa,

My name is Jessica and I just had my 1st embryo transfer on Dec. 1st. I'm on the 2 wk wait before I can find out if we have a positive result or not. IVF was our 1st choice, when examining all of our options. My first appt. with my doctor for consultation was on July 20th of this year and my first scheduled egg retrieval was Sept. 25th. It's a really quick, but expensive process. Unfortunately, this didn't happen, and I was rescheduled for Oct. 2nd.

Typically the transfer will occur 2 - 3 days after the retrieval, unless you get OHSS, which I did!! OHSS or Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome occurs when your body responds O, too well to the stimulation medication (Follistim). As a result, my embyros had to be cryo preserved and we had to do the assisted hatching and the blast.

Some of the medicines you may have to take, which are standard, although each persons dosage may vary are the following:
Lupron (injections), Birth Control Pills, Follistim (injections), 1-HCG (injection), Progesterone (injections), Estradiol (injections), Progesterone (Suppositories), Prenatal Vitamins, Aspirin, Zithromax (pills/both you and your partner), Medrol (pills/you only).

I'm not sure what you have to go through with IUI, but don't let all the meds scare you. Believe it or not, I've gotten used to my husband giving me the injections!! :o

I hear this is pretty standard for everyone. As of Nov. 20th I turned 30yrs old and I'm in EXCELLENT health, with the exception of asthma. My husband also is in GREAT health, but his sperm output was low and with no motility. IVF was the 1st option our doctor presented other than adoption or a sperm donor. We both decided to try this 1st before examining any other options.

God Bless You and I hope all goes well!

 

Alexa - December 7

Hi Jessica,

First I want to thank you for responding its nice to speak to someone who has gone threw the process, there is so much to know and learn about this process after the failed IUI's I was thinking about turning to IVF but then forgot about it since our insurance does not cover it...

I was on Follistim in the past so I am fimilar with that and also the trigger shot but nothing else was needed for an IUI cycle except for the Progesterone supp. which I am also use to, but you threw me off when you mentioned birth control pills how long do you have to take them and why is it needed???

We are under the unexplained category but I am guessing my age has alot to do with not being able to conceive.

I have to ask does any medications make you sick like upset stomach or does any of these drugs cause headaches? did you feel bloating and crampy along the way of taking all these drugs at once, this is what I am scared about..

Also I wanted to know while they do the retrieval do they put you under anethesia? and are you feeling crampy now, sorry for all the questions I am really nervous to jump to IVF...

Our consult appt is next week to discuss our protocol
our meds are covered but ea Co-pay for all these drugs are going to run about $30ea its still going to add up but I guess its better than ea. costing over $1000 my RE had mentioned that they could give us some meds that the drug co's distribute to them to cut the cost I just am not sure how to ask him for free medications if he doesn't bring it up...LOL

I would love to have an IVF buddy to chat with it sure would be great, God bless you and I will pray for your positive result..

Alexa

 

BabiesOnBoard - December 7

Hi Alexa,

I know what you mean, the BCP threw me off a little too! What was explained to me by my doctor, is the BCP will help them regulate your menses, thus giving them control over when you'll ovulate and help them time precisely when to start you on some of the drugs.

Personally, I didn't have any side affects to any of the medication, with the exception of the metformin, which I was given to help with the digestion of sugars. Not everyone has to take metformin, only those who show a higher risk on the glucose examine as being a type 2 diabetic during pregnancy. Fortunately, you can't continue taking metformin when you become pregnant, but then you have to cut out all the sugars in your diet. Food becomes really bland...

Unfortunately, there's not many insurances out there that cover IVF. We researched this before getting started. I paid $3,085.00 for the 1st batch of medicine. We paid $551.00 for the 2nd replenishment and if we get a positive on next Wednesday, we'll have to get more progesterone. The assisted hatching was $500.00 and $3000.00 for the blast and $6900.00 for the 1st cycle of IVF. All the blood work (i.e. genetic testing, XY Chromosome testing, glucose testing) averages around $1600.00. Finally, the consultation was $250. We anticipated spending $20K on this process alone.

Having come this far in the process, if the 1st attempt doesn't work, I'd be willing to try it again. I still have 8 fertilized embryos frozen.

Yes, you are put under anesthesia to do the egg retrievals, approx. a 30 min process, but when you go back to have the transfer done, you're awake. It's like go to have your annual pap done.

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers, as I know this is not an easy process, but a necessary one for some.

I'm not sure if you're working outside of the home, but if you are, you may want to consider taking at least 2 weeks off starting the day of your egg retrieval so you can just rest. The doctors usually recommend at least 3 days, but having done it now, relaxation will become your best antidote.

LOL,
Jessica


 

Alexa - December 7

Hi Jessica,

Thanks again for all the information, I just received a handbook on IVF from the RE's office its alot to absorb
LOL....

Our meds our covered with $30 co pays I am guessing all the other meds are covered as well we are paying $9700 total for everything my husband called the finance office we will not need cryo freezing because I am only trying one cycle, we are saving money to buy a house next year hopefully, so we are using some of that money and my parents want to help us with some of the cost ( I am so greatful for their support and help)...Our consult is covered also ..we live in Boston its one of the few states that covers IVF but my husband works for the government and blue cross federal will not contribute to any fertility treatments, they will cover BW and U/S and meds....Its funny how they send all these poor soldiers to their deaths but yet they won't contribute to help a woman conceive.....it makes me sooo angry.

Are you asked to stay on bedrest during the 2WW
are you feeling anything at this point?? I am guessing I have to wait till my next cycle starts which is around Christmas Grrrrrrrr..I hope your getting plenty of rest
talk with you soon..God Bless

Alexa

 

BabiesOnBoard - December 7

That's awesome news to hear you'll only be spending half the avg. cost. Here in CA insurance providers are only mandated to offer the employers a policy which includes IVF coverage, but the employers can elect not to go with the policy. http://www.fertilitylifelines.com/pay
ing/insurance/statemandate.jsp
Suc
h
was the case with my and my husband's employers. I thought having double the insurance, what one doesn't cover, certainly the other should, but this wasn't the case with IVF. Infertility treatments were covered, with the exception of IVF and of course this is what we needed.

We only signed up for 1 cycle, but when they perform the egg retrieval, they may retrieve more than they can transfer back. So, the next question will be asked, what would you like done with the extra fertilized eggs (i.e. donate to science, discard, freeze), we elected to have them cryo preserved. The first years free and I think each year up to 10yrs. is a small cost of about $300 - $500. The benefit is: If you choose to go back and have more children in the future, these eggs are already fertilized and you'll just have to schedule the transfer, but you won't have to use the stimulation drugs anymore. Also, the transfer is maybe 1/4 of the cost of a full cycle!!!

In my retrieval, my doctor removed 32 eggs! Out of the 32, 15 accepted fertilization and 14 moved on to become embryos (this can only be seen in a day 5 transfer). As a result, the other 18 were discarded because they would never yield a pregnancy.

On the day of transfer, my doctor unthawed 3 straws or 6 embryos (embryos are typically frozen in pairs). All 6 were given the assisted hatching, but only 3 continued successfully. Two were transferred, the other 3 that did not continue are discarded because they are too weak to yield a successful pregnancy and the 3rd one was refrozen for future use. So, I have enough remaining eggs to try this process at least 2 more times over the next 10yrs.

I awoke this morning to lots of abdominal cramping and noticed a smear of blood when using the restroom. I called my doctor and was advised that this was a good sign and not to loose my mind. Apparently when the eggs attach to the cervix they begin a burrowing process around the 6th day which may cause some slight bleeding for a couple of days. I was told "STAY OFF YOUR FEET", but we're right on schedule.

Since the procedure, my breasts are extremely sore and slight sporadic abdominal cramping. Other than these, nothing more.

I work for the Government Dept. of a Medical Diagnostic's company, here in CA. My division writes and administers all of the contracts necessary to get medical equipment placed into our Veteran Hospitals and Military Base Hospitals. Although I have a desk job supervising a staff of 12, my doctor thought long periods of sitting and standing was too much. I must admit, he's a bit over precautious in some cases, but rather error on the side of precaution, than negligence.

I took the week of my transfer off and two weeks afterwards to rest. I would like to have an answer before going back to work, so I can face the outcome, good or bad. It means a lot to me to try to assist the process as much as possible, so getting lots of rest, staying off my feet and eliminating any possible stress is the route I've chosen to take. I know co-workers who have completed the process and was successful and this was their recommendation.

Oh, by the way, good luck with the home purchase. My husband and I just bought our 2nd home a year ago. We actually purchased the home with small children in mind. So, as soon as our little blessings come along, we'll have something to fill those rooms with.

When shopping for your home, shop with your children in mind.:-) You're in my prayers...

LOL
Jessica

 

Alexa - December 8

Hi Jessica,

I am looking forward to my appt with the RE and was looking over all the medications that they have listed and it sure looks very intimidating, It seems like so many drugs to take at once, I was also reading about having to take prednisone did you have to use that also, I have a dog on prednisone because he is sick and I see the side effects it causes him I wonder if its the same kind of medication, I am really starting to get nervous...

I have a 2 yr old daughter my husband and I tried for a full year and then was put on Clomid I was pregnant after the second month on it, at that time I was 37, I will be 40 shortly so I don't have much time to continue I tried the IUI's which didn't work, I even tried Clomid again and nothing, I so wanted to give my daughter a sibling its very important to me and time is running out so I am hoping this works. if it doesn't I have run out of options...

It sounds like your slight bleed maybe implantation bleeding! I can imagine what is running through your mind during this wait, I hope your dream has come true you have been so kind and nice talking to me about what to expect and what your feeling now and it means alot ..

It would be great to be able to share this journey with you and maybe you can help me during my IVF process
I am sure I will need your help during my transfer ...
and explain all the terminology, my RE is an older guy and it seems that he hates a million questions almost like you are second guessing his intelligence...LOL

It must be really nice in California its about 20 out here
today and very cold, I was sick this morning for some reason I was very dizzy and lightheaded so my mother came over to help me out, I am better now...

Your in my thoughts and prayers everyday, don't forget to rest!

Alexa

 

BabiesOnBoard - December 8

Well Hello My Friend,

The weather here is beautiful, but the news reports rain and a cold front for tomorrow and next week. We may have a cold Christmas at last.

I didn't have to take prednisone and I'm not sure of its side affects, but I did omit one other drug I did have to take, which was menapour (forgive the spelling), which had to be mixed with the follistim. Good Luck with the prednisone.. Truly, by the time you're done, if anyone was to ever rummage through your trash and see all of the needles you would have gone through in a month, they will either pity you or report you to some higher authority (ha, ha, ha)...

Update on the bleeding, my doctor did call the bleeding implantation bleeding and advised it would stop. So far, so good today!! Wednesday can't come soon enough.

I will certainly be praying for you and your family that God permits your womb to open once again to conceive, so your daughter will have a sibling to grow-up with. A friend of mine just had her 1st baby in Oct. and she's 38. Also, another word of encouragement, my great-grand mother, who will be 94 in Jan. had her daughter at 41 and her son at 43!!! Anythings possible..:0)

Some doctors do get a little annoyed if you ask too many questions, but I've learned to continue probing for answers. After all, I'm responsible for making an informed decision. Right?

Stay encouraged and please keep me updated on your progress. It truly is a breath of fresh air to journey through this process with someone else.

Jessica

 

Alexa - December 9

Hi Jessica,

I was kind of hoping I could omit half the drugs but I am sure its not possible..LOL I know can you imagine someone going through the trash seeing all those needles they would definately think a junky lived here we have a red plastic bio-hazardous container which I still have with all the old needles I used my husband could always get rid of them in the proper place at work.

What part of California do you live in?? I have my appt on Wednesday are you testing then, I can't understand when you try naturally you have to wait for sperm to meet the egg then you have to wait till it reaches the uterus and I can see it taking two weeks but with IVF
since you bypass all that I can't understand why you still would have to wait two weeks the process seems like it should speed up a bit??

We just bought our Christmas tree today so it looks like I will be spending the next few hours decorating..

I am praying for you here, I want nothing but great news from you...

Alexa




 

BabiesOnBoard - December 10

Alexa,

Good Luck with your 1st appt. Yes, my blood test is on Wednesday. For some reason I already feel pregnant. I can hardly wait to get the GREAT news and share it with you.

I know, you would think the process would be a lot quicker, but even after the transfer, the embryos can stop developing and your menses can begin. So, it's really a waiting game to see if the transferred embryos stick and continue developing as normal. Although, everythng was done successfully and all looked well during the transfer, the little guys could give up or your body could recognize the implants as foreign objects and reject them. I'm just so happy I haven't had any additional bleeding! I actually feel quite well, aside from all the abdominal cramping, which I'm told will stop when I stop having to take the progesterone.

I haven't even picked out a tree this year. We've been so preoccupied with this process. But, I need to do so by Friday, because I have to be back at work on the 18th and Christmas is always celebrated at my house. Imagine 40 - 50 people in only 3000 sq. ft. of living space!!

To answer your question, we are here in Southern California, 15 miles from Orange County. My husband and I both work in Orange County, so we have to commute through all the CA traffic each day. To go 15mi. it takes approx. 45min. - 1hr. each way! I'm not looking forward to sitting through all that traffic again.

Well, if I don't hear back from you before Wednesday, please know that you're in my prayers and as soon as we get an answer I will be posting!!

God Bless,

Jessica

 

Alexa - December 11

Hi Jessica,

I posted earlier but noticed it didn't go through for some reason...I am getting very excited for you so I expect to hear great news on Wednesday :) which is funny because its the same day I go for my consult, I am praying for you...Did you try a home pregnancy test ?? when I had my IUI's I never made it to my test date my cycle always started days before...

Your house sounds big to me houses here in Boston are expensive, houses in the town I live in are no cheaper than $500K this is where I would love to find a house becuase the school system is great here, my husband wants to look for a house the next town over the houses are more reasonable but the school system is horrible so I am really stuck at this point.and I dont want to move farther away for a cheaper house becuase I grew up in this area and can't imagine leaving.....

My dad owns the house I live in and a few others he gets $1200 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment..but I am guessing California is more expensive...

Paying for a round of IVF will set us back somewhat so I am going to see how my appointment goes before deciding, I am really torn what to do since the odds are not in my favor at this point.but I am still trying to remain optomistic....

How are you feeling today? keep in touch!

Alexa

 

alison29 - December 11

Hi Alexa and Jessica,
I have been eavesdropping on your posts. I am not quite to the IVF phase but was pretty curious about what the cost for me would be in the end. I have BCBS and they seem to cover what Alexa's group does so it gives me a ball park 10,000$ yikes but you can not put a price on a baby in my opinion (just have to convince dh of that) Did you know there are about 15 states that cover with insurance IVF through the family building act Florida is not one of them either :(. Alexa- my mom had me at 38 after 10 years off birth control her "brilliant" doc told her she would never have any more kids (she had 3 babies that did not live) and low and behold after adopting my 3 sisters...anyway thanks for all the info.

 

BabiesOnBoard - December 11

Hi Alexa,

The housing prices you're quoting seems to be comparable to California's prices. Our 1st home purchase in '99 was 170K for a 3 br/2bath, 1290sq ft. Our 2nd home in '05 was 551K for 4br/2bath, 3000sq ft. Yikes!! What a hike in just a short period of time.

Much like you, we chose to stay in the same city because of the community. We live less than 2 miles down the street from our old home. My German shephard (Sheba) likes to get out of the yard and sometimes makes her way back to the old neighborhood to chase the kids!! I can only imagine what the prices will look like when my kids are about 5yrs old and we have to upsize. Most of my family resides in MS and any homes costing more than 200K belongs to doctors, lawyers, business owners, etc. and you get LAND!!! Here in CA you get lots, not land.

My husband and I have added your family to our family's prayer list. Please don't give up. I know the cost is a bit steep, but if this is truly a desire that you and your husband both share, it's worth the investment. Just make sure you cut no corners when looking at all your options.

Wednesday will be here before we know it. I have a home pregnancy test in my bathroom, which I'm refusing to take until tomorrow morning. I know my HCG counts may not be high enough right now, but I'd really like to see if I can get a positive a day ahead!!

I'm so really happy we've met online. It has truly made this process more bearable...

With LOL,
Jessica


 

BabiesOnBoard - December 11

Welcome Aboard Alison,

Nice of you to join us. I was 29 when I started to see a doctor, after TTC for 10yrs. The 1st year of my marriage, I was still in high school and didn't want any children before I graduated, so I started taking the shots. In less than a year, I had to come off of them because they were too strong and I started developing PCOS. After a laser surgery to remove the cysts from around the ovaries, my menstrual went back to normal. Later we found out my husband had a low sperm output and no motility. The little guys are just plain lazy!!:-) I attribute this to many years of weight lifting and football.

At first we weren't really concerned, because we were still so young, but when his father passed away this February @ 52 from an aneurism and his mother passed away @ 32 from pneumonia, he started having strong feelings that he wouldn't have a long life and wanted to at least leave me (so he says) with children to care for me. I made him promise to never say those words again, instead, he had to promise me that he would stick around to help me raise them, or we weren't going to the fertility doctor. So, after 11yrs of marriage we decided to go see the doctor!!!
We started this process in March '05 with our medical doctors who then referred us out to one of the top 3 IVF clinics here in California. Since then, we've both changed our eating habits (No pork, No Caffeine, substitute white for brown eggs, rice and breads). Neither of us drink alcohol or smoke, but I loved a cup of coffee in the morning, afternoon and evening. It was tough to kick, but I'm glad I did. We work out together now and take long walks in the evening to eliminate stress. No, we can't determine our end, but we can certainly maximize each day, so if God permits us to see a ripe old age, we can still enjoy life (both quality and quantity)!

My husband's an Accounting Manager and he watches every cent... But when we looked into this process and he said, "I don't care about the cost, I'm willing to do this as many times as it takes." I drew the limit at 3, because we have enough fertilized embryos for 3 attempts. My body responded too well to the stimulators and I wouldn't be willing to do that again. Now it's a matter of working with what we have.

Good luck to you and I hope you and your husband both agree that having those little feet run around the house is worth every penny spent.

God Bless You,
Jessica



 

Alexa - December 12

Hi Jessica,

I want to thank you for adding me to your prayer list I have also done the same for you, I really believe the power of prayer does help, A little story, 3 yrs ago or so my mom was sick and had to have surgery I remember at that point we had been trying to conceive for quite a long time, I had 2 prayers at that time one was that my mom gets well and the second prayer was to be pregnant so it would give my mom a chance to be a grandmother, 3 mths later my mom recovered and I was finally pregnant! so I do believe that someone up above is listening,.as they say when one door closes another opens...

My father has cousins that live in Tarzana and one other place in California I will have to ask him again, I hate the weather here in the East Coast we only have like 3 good mths of warm weather then it starts to get cold by the end of September, it would be great to spend Christmas on the beach somewhere...My family has a house on Cape Cod right near the water its so beautiful in the summer, we do not get to go often we have a Jack Russell Terrier and he is very hyper not to mention he is sick and needs meds daily so we are not able to leave him to go on trips, we can't take him anywhere the meds he is on make him pee like every 10 minutes so its hard to bring him places....

I wanted to ask you when they have you take the birth control is that needed to be taken for a whole month before you can start the injections or are they taken at the same time??

I am awaiting your great news! take care..

Alexa





 

alison29 - December 13

hi Jessica,

I am praying for you on your test day many positive thoughts and blue lines your way. I am in the process of giving up all my toxins as you have already done because I know everylittle bit helps. I have at least switched to tea from coffee (1/2 the caffeine). Its hard not to take pain relievers and give up that wine on the weekends but that is next step i want to be totally "clean" when i go see the RE at the end of January. Well good luck to you both! I might be back if we decide to do the IVF. We still have some IUIs to try first I read on another thread (from Alexa i think) that if they are going to work they will in 3 times ugh...such a long road but WELL worth it in the end.

 

alison29 - December 13

Hi again,
I forgot to to thank you for sharing the details of your journey towards IVF so far. I have just tried clomid and Femara so far...I had one more question though was there any particular reason it took so long to get from the referral in March 05 to the actual process which you are going through now? You guys are lucky to have 3 GREAT clinics in Cali. I live in Gainesville and we have only one clinic here i haven't heard much about at least there is one

 

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