Fertility Treatments - Trying to Decide

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2006
Fertility Treatments - Trying to Decide
4
Wed, 09-06-2006 - 9:29am

Hi....

I'm new on this board but have been reading your comments with interest. I could really use some advice now, and would appreciate any comments (pro or con) on our situation.

My husband (51) and I (44) have an adorable two year old, conceived "naturally" three years ago with little trouble. Now we are struggling for #2. I have had three miscarriages in the last year. I have undergone fertility treatment with injectables the last two months (intercourse only, no IUI). No success the first month and, I already suspect, this month either. We are trying to decide whether or not it is worth trying IVF at this point.

I'm handling and responding to the injections fairly well, although the cost of all of this is adding up and the emotional toll is growing. I know the statistics on a successful IVF at my age are not great; still, it's hard to stop completely without giving it at least one try. When do you decide that "enough is enough?"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 09-06-2006 - 1:27pm

I'm certainly not a doctor and it should go without saying that a good specialist will be able to give you a better sense of your particular situation but here are a few thoughts based on my conversations with my own doctor.


Have you been monitored with ultrasound to see how well you are responding to the injections thus far? How many follicles are you typically producing? And how does the uterine lining measure? A good number of maturing follicles and sufficient lining for implantation will help increase your chances for successful IVF. An appropriate FSH level on day two of your cycle will also be a decent predictor of how well you may respond to the follicle stimulating drugs. Was your DH checked for sperm count and motility? That will also be necessary for IVF.


I've had 5 cycles of chlomid (3 with IUI and 2 with timed BDing) and 1 failed cycle of injectable Gohnal-F which I did not respond to and was cancelled mid cycle before the planned IUI. I'm in the middle of that cycle now and my doctor advised IVF next cycle with the maximum dosage of meds.


When do you say enough is enough? Good question... if you ever find the answer let me know ;-) If you're paying out of pocket the cost of prolonged effort may be prohibitive. Or the amount of time you need to committ to the effort may not be possible with your career or other responsibilities. I suspect we'll just know when it's time to move on to other good things in our lives.


Jeanette

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2006
Wed, 09-06-2006 - 2:35pm

Jeanette, thank you for this response. Your little girl is adorable!

Here is a little more about my situation; I can certainly relate to what you are going through. I started with an RE in March after second miscarriage. He said that I am a good candidate for fertility treatments; good blood numbers, etc. In fact, before we could get started on a program, I got pregnant again in May... then miscarriage #3.

I started on injectibles (Bravelle and Ovidrel) in July and had a decent, not great, response -- 3 mature follicles. Uterine lining was very good. No pregnancy. I did another cycle in August and go for blood test tomorrow, but home test this morning was negative. My doctor does not think that I am a candidate for IUI because I do seem to get pregnant; he said that he reserves IUI for women who need assistance with the actual conception.

Due to travel and other commitments in September, we're going to have to take that month off and then decide whether or not to proceed in October. I'm sure he's going to suggest IVF next... I'm just trying to decide if it's worth the time, emotional commitment and expense that I know it will involve. Of course if it "works," it's worth every penny but if it doesn't, that's thousands of dollars down the drain. Dollars, I might add, that we could be saving for the education of the child that we do have!

Thanks again for checking in on this and best of luck to you....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 09-06-2006 - 6:38pm

The IVF/IF rollercoaster is like a drug.....especially if you respond well. As soon as I got my 2nd IVF BFN, I was ready to start selling my retirement stock to pay for my next treatment.


I did SO well with a total of 33 mature eggs retrieved between two cycles at 41 & 42! and my fertilized eggs were BEAUTIFUL 8 celled...but still they didn't work. I was crushed....however, some women are blessed on their first try.....


So, right now we are taking a break. It took a HUGE emotional toll on us....monetarilly it wasn't that bad as we got married late in life and have established careers---but still the 30 grand out of pocket

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2006
Wed, 09-06-2006 - 9:32pm

Sarah, thank you for your note. It's truly helpful to know that there are others out there that understand all of the complex elements involved in all of this. Now that I'm in this situation, I see that one can never really "get this" unless you've been through infertility and treatments yourself. For years, I had so many friends going through it all and I thought I understood what they were trying to express.. now I'm realizing how little I actually knew.

Regarding the financial issue, we're in the same boat in that my husband and I married late in life and we both have successful careers/ businesses. So I guess, technically, I shouldn't be complaining about the cost... I'm sure that many, many people have to really scrape to get the money together or simply can't try expensive fertility treatments because of the cost. Still, there is something hard to swallow about shelling over all this money for something that is in no way guaranteed. When you buy a car for $25,000 or $30,000, at least you know you'll drive away with a car!

This brings up another point: does anyone else out there ever get the sense that it's all just a big scam? I don't understand what about this has to cost so much, especially for repeat cycles when you're essentially doing the same thing over and over... by that point, patient knows as much about it as the doctor does!