Hi Ladies. I'm actually writing this 35 weeks pregnant and belatedly keeping a long-ago made promise to myself to share my story and encouragement with others, as during my fertility struggles hearing from other people who had been through it too was something of a lifeline for me. Like many of you, it has been a long, difficult journey for me. Shortly after I got married (husband and I both aged 33 then) I came off the pill, in preparation for trying for a baby in a year or so. But my periods were irregular and I felt like something was up so went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a dermoid cyst and polycystic ovaries. Given this, we decided to start trying sooner rather than later. Also my husband's motility and count were quite poor. Here's what we tried:
- 3 rounds of clomid: had to stop because it thinned my lining and also the last round gave me really bad blurred vision
- 3 rounds of letrozole
- husband had an operation to fix a varicosele
- husband went on Fertil Aid pills and reduced alcohol and caffine intake
- I switched to a low GI diet
- I did acupuncture, yoga, biotherapy, reduced alcohol intake, took wheatgrass, started juicing, took a range of vitamin supplements
- I did 2 rounds of IUI with letrozole, both times lining was thick, had a couple of good sized follicles, husband's sperm was fine but BFN
- I had an operation to have the dermoid cyst removed (doc thought there was a chance it was causing hormone imbalances)
- 3rd round of IUI with injectibles. I totally overstimulated - the doc said we couldn't carry on with IUI as it would be too dangerous with so many large follicles, the risk of multiples was too high. So we pushed through and turned it into an IVF - increased the stims and did the whole thing. I had 2 good embryos 5 days after egg collection, implated one and froze the other. BFN.
- Waited 2-3 months and tried to live healthy and relax, and get over the hearbreak. Husband got me a kitten to try and cheer me up and weirdly it really worked!
- 2nd round IVF (Now aged 35. Also fresh cycle - I am from the UK but live oversees right now, so instead of implant the frozen embryo I had, I used my trip back to the UK to do a whole new fresh cycle). They put me on a really high dose of stims, I produced 24 eggs; of which 6 made it to good quality 5 day blastocysts. I implanted 1, froze the rest. I also went to a acupuncture clinic who do specialist fertlity treatment and had acupuncture 3 times during stims and twice on transfer day (immediately before and after transfer). I ate a high protein diet during my treatment and took some time off work. The treatment made me very sick - two days after egg collection I was rushed to A&E with ovarian hyperstimulation. I wasn't sure if they could compelete the treatment, but they did; I was just in a lot of pain for a week or so.
A week after transfer I had left the UK again and was testing (too early, I know!) and all BFNs. I had spotting 7dpt and was convinced it was game over. I went to see my doctor to discuss a FET and to my amazement the blood test he asked me to do showed that I was pregnant.
I tried so many things and made a lot of changes to my lifestyle. I'm not sure whether it helped get that positive result with the final IVF but I think it can't hurt. IVF and pregnancy are both really hard on the body so getting yourself healthy and in shape can only be a good thing. I feel for anyone going through this, it's brutal. All I can say is try to have faith that this is temporary and eventually it will work. And try to be kind to yourself, be proud of your ability to cope with something so hard. Good luck to all of you.