From IVF to Pregnancy

Related: Part 1 and Part 2.

As you will recall if you’ve been following my preconception story, I was prescribed Clomid to try for six months, in the hope it would result in pregnancy.

During the first two months I suffered from dizzy spells and feeling nauseous, which I knew were side effects of Clomid.  I was hopeful it would work but ended up disappointed because each month, although the dizziness subsided once my body got used to taking the Clomid, it did not work for us. 

The consultant who had initially started us off on the Clomid had given me his secretary’s number to call when we had tried it so, after finishing the sixth Clomid cycle I called to pass on the news that it hadn’t worked for us.  We were told we would be invited back in to see the consultant.  It seemed to take forever for our appointment to come around, but when it did the consultant was very understanding, taking the time to answer all the questions I had.  A good tip if you have a consultant appointment, for anything, is to take a written list of questions because I always find that, when I’m with them, my mind goes blank. It’s great if I can pull out a piece of paper with questions on it. 

By now we had been trying to conceive for over three years so we were told the next step would be a referral, on the NHS (we are based in the UK) to an IVF clinic.  We would need to have more tests; bloods and Chlamydia testing for me and a further semen analysis for my husband.  The reason was that this would speed up the referral process, saving the IVF clinic from needing to do the tests once we were referred to them.  We left having been informed that the next letter we would get would be an invitation to see one of the IVF doctors.

I read up what I could on IVF using the internet but still had a lot of questions, mainly about what our chances as a couple would be and what method the clinic would try. 

Several weeks later our letter came through and my husband and I went along and met the doctor.  He revealed that there were no problems with our referral and explained that, basically, my natural cycle would be stopped, managed by medication in order to produce as many eggs as safely possible.  These eggs would be collected and fertilised with my husband’s sperm. He advised that, if we let them grow the resulting embryos for five days, we should hopefully achieve at least one blastocyst (a well developed embryo with a good chance of implanting) and they would transfer that into me.  He felt that, based on our history, we would have a 60% chance of success.  I was absolutely elated, having expected to be told our chances were 25% or less, but tried not to get my hopes up too much. 

The next part surprised me because I had read online about long waiting lists once being accepted for the treatment. The doctor said “go next door and you can register to start on your next cycle.”

I’ll continue my story in Part 4!

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