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: 08-26-2009
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 6:17pm

Hi Susan L., hi Michelle, thanks for welcoming me.

Just to clarify, we had a bunch of tests done after our 2nd m/c (they ran tests after 2 m/cs instead of waiting til a third because of my "AMA"). Checked me for "sticky blood" syndrome, genetic/chromosomal/karyotype issues w/ my DH and me, you name it. Nothing found to be abnormal, and the m/cs were, in the end, unexplained--just "bad luck" as my midwife put it. She told us to phone her if we weren't pregnant again in six months.

Six months came and went, with me charting to make sure we were catching my fertile time, and then we had a SA for my DH and a 21-day progesterone check for me to make sure I'm ovulating. All OK.

We didn't get in to see our GP this week due to my husband's schedule, so hopefully next week, when we can chat about IUI and being referred to a fertility specialist. (At 42 I'm considered too old for IVF for free on the NHS because of the low rate of success at this age; but I believe we can do it if we went via the private system. Either way, the NHS will still let us have 3 IUIs, from what I understand. Probably because it's a relatively cheap option.)

Apologies, btw, for dissing acupuncture--I forgot I used those pressure-point wristbands for morning sickness, and they did help a little! :)

Thanks, ladies!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2007
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 2:01pm

Hi and welcome.

Susan L.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2004
Wed, 09-30-2009 - 3:14am

Hi and welcome here! Sorry you felt a bit overwhelmed by all the procedures, but I do know what you mean. I spent some time looking things up that first while, and I have been part of the infertility world a long time! We aren't doing much more than just natural at this point, we are only taking clomid to help things along a little. I too have had several m/c's over the years, the last one this past January. They aren't concerned yet, but if I have another one then they would be, because that would put too many in a row without a successful one in between. But it doesn't really matter, we have no plans to go as far as IUI or IVF. I am 44, and except for when I was pregnant/nursing my 3 biological babies I have been TTCing for 22 yrs and I am ready to be off this roller coaster! Well, almost, we are giving it until the end of the year, or maybe my 45th birthday in January. By then I am hoping to either be pregnant or be ready to be done.

I think if the IUI is offered for free, I would try it, just to increase the odds a little. I am also wondering if you would qualify for IVF if the three IUIs were unsuccessful. Since you have been pregnant twice already though, I am thinking that you likely won't have to do more than the IUI anyway. :-)

I am also a believer in natural treatments, I don't have a regular chiropractor now and need to find one. Oh, and you might also want to check out the recurrent pregnancy loss board for tests that can be done to rule out other things like blood clotting issues that might be causing problems in an otherwise normal pregnancy.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you stick around here. These ladies are all so supportive, it is wonderful!

Michelle


Loving Mom to three

Michelle


Loving Mom to three rambunctious 

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

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: 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
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: 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 - 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 - 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

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