A Scanner Darkly

On Tuesday we were all geared up for one of the most exciting days yet in our IVF cycle. We had an appointment for our first scan to see if the stimulation hormones were working. It would be the first time that we would actually see physical proof that something was actually happening.

Quite a big deal right? Apparently not.

The whole experience was rather underwhelming.

We went in and Nic assumed the position.

There is the right ovary and there were some follicles.

Fantastic! It’s working!

They are a bit small.

Oh.

The left ovary is hiding but there are a couple of small ones there.

oh.

We’ll up the dose of the stimulants from 150 to 200 to try get them a bit bigger.

oh.

And that was pretty much it. In and out in ten minutes.

In hindsight that first scan really is just to check that there are some follicles and to take an initial measurement so that there is something to compare to next time. I suppose we were expecting a little more of a fanfare but it was all so matter of a fact. It was odd because there we were with proof that things were working but it seemed like wasn’t quite as good as it could be and we were both really despondent because we felt what we had achieved wasn’t good enough.

There is a sign in the waiting room at Bourn Hall that says:

“Every journey is different, every treatment is individual”

It is so important to remember this because although it is great to share experiences and learn about the averages and typical treatments, the only thing that matters is what you are experiencing and your treatment plan. Despite how we felt after the first scan we went into the second scan feeling positive. The second scan which we had done today was totally different. We were in there for 40 minutes and it was really thorough. The nurse performing the scan was actually training and being supervised by a senior nurse. The found the right ovary with no trouble and measured the follicles. The good news is that they are growing at a nice steady rate and they are reasonably even in size. The nurses explained everything to us in great detail and explained the images we were seeing on the screen.

Ovary Scan 1

It seems that the right ovary is slightly more dominant and has taken the lead in number of follicles and size of follicles. The left however is being a little awkward. There are slightly less follicles and they are slightly smaller. It is apparently very normal for one ovary to do better than the other but what makes the left one a little awkward is that it is tucked behind the uterus making it very hard to scan and get a good view of it.

Ovary Scan 2

The nurse also mentioned that Nic has a retroverted uterus that means it curls towards her back. It is the first time anyone has told her this and after a little research it explains a lot. Some of the issues that can be caused by a retroverted uterus are extremely painful periods and difficulty conceiving. After ten years of various investigations and fertility consultations no one has ever suggested this as a possible cause. After the scan the nurse showed us how they chart the follicle growth and organised the next scan for Saturday. Nic will stay on 200 of Gonal F until then and based on the outcome of the scan they will adjust it accordingly. It seems the follicles are growing slowly and steadily and at this rate we should be looking at egg collection at the end of next week sometime. We will post a short update on Saturday after the third scan.

Thanks for reading,

Tom

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Gonal In Sixty Seconds

Hello again,

Nic has just started her stimulation phase so we decided to do a video of the first injection. Unlike the Suprecur, the Gonal F stimulation hormone comes in an injection pen. She will be taking this alongside her Suprecur and soon she will start having scans to see if the follicles are growing. We are still feeling quite excited as the process continues and are planning more blogs over the next week or so, so watch this space.

 

 

Thanks for watching,

Tom

The Good, The Bad and The Grumpy

Hi everyone

So the process is well underway! Today is day 9 of down regulation with Buserelin injections. It’s been an interesting week (as I’m sure Tom will agree…!)

I was well prepared for the side effects and I’ve pretty much had some of them all over the last 9 days!

I don’t have any problem with the actual injections, they are painless and pretty ease to administer.

About 15 mins after the first injection, I started to sweat and was very dizzy and felt sick. It passed pretty quickly and has only happened once.

Over the week I’ve felt very unfocused and fuzzy headed. I’m also weaning myself off Citalopram (an antidepressant) so it does mean I’ve had some horrible mood swings too. It’s really hard to describe the mood swings. It’s like PMT X1,000!  I know I’m being angry/tearful/irrational/grumpy but I can do nothing to control it. It’s really frustrating and disconcerting to feel you have no control over what you’re feeling. You have to accept you have no control; it’s purely chemical!

Even though I’ve been drinking loads of water, I’ve had a few bad headaches and also some aches and pains in my joints. The fatigue has hit me hard too; at some points I’ve been nodding off without warning!

Now it’s a bit of a waiting game – I have to wait for my period to come before I can start the next phase (Stimulation). I was due to come on yesterday (Saturday) and have all the signs and a tummy ache but nothing yet! I hope it hurries up; I’m impatient and I want to get onto the next phase!

We also went to the Bourn Hall Patient Support Group last week, which was great. I recommend using this service if your clinic offers it. It allows you to meet other people going through treatment and there was a great talk from an embryologist.

Well, thats all for now. Hopefully the next phase will start soon 🙂

Nic

Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs, Oh My! Part 2

Here is an update to our previous blog about supplements.

You can read our previous blog on the subject here: Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs Oh My! and you can find out a bit more an about Androferti here: www.androferti.co.uk 

There will be a part three to this in a few weeks so stay tuned to find out what I thought of Androferti and what regimen of supplements I end up using!

Thanks for watching,

Tom

Training Day

Hello again!

Today was our “Medication Teach” at Bourn Hall. I’m due to start the down regulation injections (stage 1) of our first cycle of IVF this saturday. I think it’s great that Bourn Hall prepare you for the injections and show you how to do them, as it can feel quite daunting!

The Pharmacy nurse was brilliant and explained everything really clearly and put us at total ease. We both had a go with the needles, so we understand how it works and what to do.

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The Suprecur syringe is a bit fiddly and takes a bit of getting used to.

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The Gonal-F (stimulation drug) is dispensed using a syringe pen and was really easy to use.

 Our nurse totally took any fears I had out of doing the injections and in fact I left actually feeling excited to get started on Saturday! Sounds weird, I know!

Tomorrow the medications are being delivered directly to our home. I think there will be a few boxes!!

Stay tuned

Nic