New here and confused about ART

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2009
New here and confused about ART
13
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 9:07am

Hi there

I've been posting on the TTC board for the past month or so, but I thought I might move over here and join the "big girls", lol! I'm 42 (will be 43 in January) and have been TTC #1 naturally for about 2 years now. Had two miscarriages last year (in May and December at 11 and 12 weeks, no conclusive reasons found) and have been trying again all this year w/ no luck (AF showed today).

My confusion: I live in the UK (I'm American, DH is British) and because my DH and I, after a lot of testing, aren't considered infertile (because we've gotten preg relatively recently, I'm ovulating on my own, DH's sperm analysis is "acceptible") and because of my age, I'm not eligible for IVF on the National Health Service. However time is ticking away and I'm terrified it's getting too late.

The reason I haven't been posting on this board yet is because of the fact that we aren't doing ART, and I've been scared off by not understanding all the procedures you ladies talk about. But now I'm thinking we're going to have to go private (as in, outside the NHS system) and call in the big guns--but I'm not convinced it will be effective for me, even if we're able to pay a lot of money and get it done. I'm curious whether doctors in the US are just a lot more aggressive in their approach? I'm still trying to research this and I feel very confused, and terrified that no one here is taking me seriously--my midwife and my dh's doctor are basically telling us to relax and "keep plugging away." Medical care here is much less prone to a lot of unnecessary testing and over-diagnosing, and I appreciate this approach, but jeez, I can't afford to wait and see!

I would love to think it's still possible to do this naturally, and I have several friends who have gotten preg w/out trying and had easy pregnancies (well, as easy as pregnancy ever is!) at ages 39, 40, 43, 44.... I simply refuse to give up on my dream to have children (I have always wanted to adopt also, but I need to work through this first) however I'm worried I'm the "unlucky statistic", and I don't know what to do next!

Thanks for letting me air my anxieties.... any feedback would be hugely appreciated!

Rebekkah

PS Apparently DH and I do qualify for 3 rounds of IUI for free on the NHS...is this worthwhile doing? Your thoughts? Thanks again in advance!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2007
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 10:58am
Hi Rebekkah, I don't know what ART is and I don't know anything about IUI so I'm not much help but I wanted to welcome you to the board.
 


 


Susan V

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2004
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 12:47pm

Hi Rebekkah and welcome to the board. (I'm pretty new here myself.)

I know it's scary to think you might become THAT statistic, but if you've been pregnant before, there's no reason to think you won't be again - and be able to follow the journey to completion.

Speaking only from what I'd do, if NHS offers 3 free rounds of IUI, I'd snatch up the opportunity. IUI has a lower success rate than IVF, but IVF also has a MUCH bigger price tag to go along with it. I think some docs are a little too aggressive in their treatments and that causes me to question their motives (is this really necessary for *me*, or it is necessary for the doctor, in order to make more money and improve their stats?). Just do your homework and don't feel pressured into doing treatments you're not comfortable with.

While we were undergoing treatment, I think I remember the RE telling us that while an IUI isn't as successful as IVF, it still raises your odds of conception - by like 10% or so. We felt those were decent odds, given we had gotten pregnant on our own, and even though we weren't successful, I have many friends who've done just one IUI and have gotten pregnant. Most, if not all, ART procedures/processes are monitored by your doc, and even though you prefer the hands-off approach, this might be a time to go the other way. With proper monitoring and bloodwork, the doc will be able to tell you exactly what's going on with your hormones and your ovaries, which in itself I found to be extremely helpful in understanding my body. Plus, my initial bloodwork found very treatable conditions that probably were the cause of my 2 miscarriages, so we were able to start a regimen to offset the effect of those conditions.

That said, beginning fertility treatments can be difficult, as it's an emotional and involved process. During one cycle, you may have to see your doctor 4-5 times to check your progress and to ensure that your ovaries aren't hyper-stimulated and that your hormone levels are favorable. It's a lot of on-demand appointments and baby-making. But, it's all worth it when you finally get a positive preg. test.

Much luck to you! =)























iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2008
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 5:08pm

Hi there!


Just wanted to say that you don't have to be doing ART to post here :)

Jessica

Me - 44, DH-47     

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2009
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 5:47pm

Hi Susan, Sherry, and Jessica! Thanks so much for your input and for welcoming me!

We will have a chat w/ our GP this week and ask for a referral to a fertility clinic. I think you're right, IUI (w/out drugs to stimulate O anyway) can't hurt! The more I research, though, the more I am skeptical, and I'm just really afraid of doing anything that's gonna screw with my cycles...then I came across this story this afternoon: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7547400.stm Interesting that "doing nothing" is an "unpopular choice." We want--need--to feel like we're DOING something, right? (And I think some fertility clinics make a lot of money based on this fact, but that's another story!)

But I'm with you--I will not leave any stone unturned. The farther along I get in this journey, the more things I am considering that I never thought I would. I guess once I get to talk to the fertility specialists I'll see how I feel.

Thank you ladies! And baby dust! Remember to keep plugging away! ;)

Rebekkah

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-2008
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 6:38pm

Well, everyone differs in their percentages of success for the treatments. In my case, the IUI and IVF both yield a 20% chance of success based on our statistics.

IF I chose to go IVF with donor eggs or embryos, the success doubles to 40% -- and so does the cost (about $20K for the procedures and an additional 12-18K for the egg/embryo).

According to all of the support materials we have read, we feel we have to look at this from a financial perspective too... money troubles can put a stress on a marriage. If we can't afford it, we can't do it. I think if the numbers looked better, we'd try IVF, but we're on IUIs because they are affordable. Additionally, we'd be spending adoption money on a 20% chance. We didn't like the odds.

My ¢2... Take the provided treatments, you can discuss additional options with your RE - or look into alternative therapies.

No matter how you proceed, the gals here are very supportive and try to keep this forum full of good information.

Good luck!

Jenni
Jenni
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2009
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 7:45pm

Hi Jenni
Wow. Holy cow that's a lot of money.
What are your thoughts on acupuncture? I have to say I don't *believe* in it, but then I didn't really *believe* in the claims behind the Robitussin thing, and I tried that last cycle!

thanks again!

R

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-2008
Mon, 09-28-2009 - 10:59pm

Yes, those are the numbers I have so far - I haven't 'shopped around' -- those are the figures given to me from my clinic. it's an investment -- or college fund -- or in my case, a gamble. So it makes it tough to choose cash over a baby, but my circumstances didn't lead me to my husband until three years ago. And unlike many here, I have never had a pregnancy. So I am really looking at the statistics as a real representation of my chances - with a hope that I will be one of the lucky ones!

my thoughts on acupuncture... positive! I would be doing it if I could afford it - the doc I talked to advised that we BOTH come in for treatment together. At $100 a pop - per person - onmce weekly, along with the IUI, I cannot swing and extra $800/month for it. If I decide to stop IUI I may switch to it if I do not have a pregnancy.

Positive story: my best friend of 22 years did acupuncture along with chinese herbs. She went to a doctor who specialized in eastern medicine and acupuncture. She also had crazy cycles and tried for two years to conceive.

After the two years of acupuncture and herbs, she added chiropractic (we went to the same doctor) he practiced the gonstead method of chiropractic and adjusted her at L7 -- which is at the base of the spine and coincidentally, the area of the spinal cord that gives signals to the ovaries to do their thing!

Three adjustments into it - she was pregnant. She attributes it al to the combination of treatments.

I believe there's something to it all. I am on round three of IUI/injects/clomid (I did have a clomid only IUI too) and am going to begin chiropractic again after this cycle. It is covered under most insurance (mine does) and I just want to make sure I choose the right doc.

For me this has to have a reasonable deadline. I just know I will NOT be on hormones for the holidays. and if I am going to stop the hormonal treatment, I will be able to afford the acupuncture for both of us. It's a choice we have to make for our own sanity. We have been at it for about 2 years....but we thought we weren't 'trying' since nothing was happening!

I know a few more will chime in on the acupuncture treatments.

good luck!

Jenni
Jenni
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2004
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 8:01am

Jenni was right about someone else chiming in on acupuncture. ;)

I was doing it for about 9 mos., back in '06, while we were doing treatments w/ the RE, as well as when I was on Clomid thru my regular OB (about 4 Clomid cycles). My stress level dropped dramatically after just a few visits (went once/wk.). And, my Chinese doctor was versed in charting, so at each appointment I'd bring in my most recent chart and my doctor would base that day's treatment on how my temps looked and where I was at in my cycle. After I got beyond my needle phobia, I enjoyed my visits and looked forward to the warm feeling I'd have afterward.

Unfortunately, I had to stop going due to cost too (insurance won't cover), but just 2 mos. after I stopped going, that's when I wound up pregnant, too. At that point, we had stopped all other treatments, and chiro adjustments were the only thing I was doing routinely (once every other week). And, my chiro routinely checks L7 on me, since if that's out of whack, I'll know it when AF comes b/c she's a little meaner (heavy cramps and flow) than usual.

I'm definitely a believer in more holistic approaches to "fixing" what ails us. I used to have a book that explains it all so well, but I can't remember the title now (I sold the book on eBay last spring).

Again, good luck! =)























iVillage Member
Registered: 12-09-2008
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 2:58pm

In response to the robitussen... it helps your body with mucus. It's not a wives tale - it is just a positive side effect of taking guifinesun -- since EWCM can sometimes play a disappearing act!

We use preseed but I am lucky to have a pharmacy that carries it right up the street - so no mail ordering. I wouldn't hesitate to take it, but I do know you are supposed to take it before "o" -- but not certain about the details.

KUP.

Jenni
Jenni
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2009
Tue, 09-29-2009 - 5:55pm

Thank you, Sherry and Jenni! I really appreciate everyone's input, you're helping me feel less alone.

I will def order some Preseed, I felt dry last month even w/ all the cough syrup!

Rebekkah

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