What’s going on…?

You’d be WELL within your rights to ask that. Because what are we? October 11th? And there hasn’t been a post since September 2nd. Well not a fat lot really. By which I mean not a fat lot of interest. By which I mean I’m not pregnant nor really any closer to being pregnant.

There’s been some more emotional fuckwittery — which I can’t be arsed to go into, explain, or justify to myself or anyone else right at this moment. Suffice it to say figuring out what the fuck is going on is a bit like trying to untangle the sort of mess you’d get if you put 15 fine chain necklaces in a tumble dryer (although why you’d do that I don’t know, I’m just trying to find an analogy for something multi-stranded and very knotty) — it’s not resolved, but the way I’m trying to be OK with it is by making my peace with the fact that it’s a multi-stranded knot and knowing that it won’t always be that way.

There’s also been another cancelled cycle. Which I’m feeling bizarrely OK about. You might recall that after my last failed cycle, my consultant suggested we did natural cycle IVF for the next two rounds, which meant little or no stimulation. You might also remember (although you might not because really why would you?) that I had wanted to take a hormone called DHEA to try to improve my egg quality but my consultant was against it as she said there was scant evidence of its efficacy and it could cause ovarian cysts which made it hard to dose stimulating hormones.

So when we decided we were going to do a natural cycle, I asked if she was OK with me taking DHEA. She basically said “You know my feelings on it but if you’ve got it in your head that you want to take it, take it.” So I did.

And then when I went in to see her for my next cycle, it transpired that — yup, you guessed it — I had cysts on my ovaries. She said it was possible that it was natural hormonal fluctuations, but let’s be honest, we both suspected that it was down to the DHEA. So I’ve stopped taking the DHEA, and irony of ironies for someone trying to get pregnant, I’ve started taking the contraceptive pill as it’s meant to get rid of the cysts.

What I haven’t told you is that I delayed the latest cycle using a drug called norethisterone because there was a very real possibility that otherwise I was going to have to have an egg collection on the day of my best friend’s wedding where I was bridesmaid, and I’m also going to have to carry on taking the pill for a few weeks beyond the 21 days she suggested as otherwise I’ll be abroad during the crucial days of my next cycle.

All this drugging — DHEA, norethisterone, microgynon — has made me pause and slightly take stock of what I’ve done this year and the amount of hormones I’ve been putting into my body since January…

  • 1 cycle using frozen eggs that included an embryo transfer
    (Progesterone pessaries for about two weeks)
  • 1 dummy cycle to check they were putting the embryos back on the right day (they were)
    (Oestrogen for a few weeks and progesterone pessaries as well)
  • 1 cancelled cycle because the lining of my womb wasn’t thick enough
    (Oestrogen for a few weeks and progesterone pessaries as well)
  • 1 cancelled cycle because none of the frozen eggs produced any embryos
    (Larger doses of oestrogen for a few weeks and progesterone pessaries as well)
  • 1 fresh cycle that didn’t produce any embryos
    (About two weeks of pergoveris, the follicle stimulating hormone)
  • 1 cancelled cycle because I had cysts on my ovaries

That’s quite a lot for one person. And one body. So while I may not be pregnant, or have a baby, I don’t think I can ever reproach myself for not having tried. And I think that’s maybe why I feel quite so sanguine about the DHEA and the failed cycle. If I hadn’t tried, I’d always have wondered if that would have made the difference. But I tried, I got ovarian cysts, and so that route is no longer an option.

All I can do is keep moving on and trying, until I can’t any more…


14 thoughts on “What’s going on…?

  1. Hello!

    I dont know if this makes you feel any better but I have also being doing IVF for a year thus far and my year looked like this:

    – 3 x egg collections to bank embyros
    – 1 FET that was unsuccessful in April
    – 2 x small polyps removed via D&C (the removals were exactly a year apart – was it the same one that didnt get cut out first time?! You do wonder).
    – 2 x ERA that said pre-receptive and now on my 3rd taking progesterone for 7 days hopefully comes back receptive this time or I will truly lose the plot!!

    My next FET clearly going to be next year now and another birthday looming in a few weeks so not feeling any younger.

    So, long and short of it is that I feel your pain. As one of my good friends said there are so many twuists and truns and you constantly feel like this process is trying to trip you up. But we will get there, you have to be so patient and resilient in all of this!

    Really enjoy reading your posts, makes the reader feel a little less alone in the process that is IVF 😉

    Liz x

  2. For what it’s worth, your blog has made me feel so much better. I’m just starting out on my IVF ‘journey’ (HATE that word) – which is simply my way of trying to buy myself some time and keep my options open through attempting to create some embryos to freeze. I spent the last month being astonishingly healthy, swimming, avoiding booze, stockpiling extremely expensive drugs in my fridge and generally being focussed – only to find when I went for my baseline scan that I’ve got a cyst as big as my ovary on one side. For some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me that this was something to prepare myself for… I felt disappointed, frustrated, furious, upset. Like you, I’m now on bloody Microgynon (I’ve always hated the pill) which seems immensely counter-intuitive and which also seems to be adding the bonus side effects of making me depressed and fat. Hooray. It’s a waiting game now until my next cycle in a few weeks, so we’ll see. There are points when I’ve wondered why I’m even bothering. And you’ve been working on this for some years now, so I can only imagine how you must feel at this latest setback. The way I’m trying to see it is that it’s all medical, it’s all down to chance in the end and that stats are stats. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work.

    Good luck with your next phase… and to anyone else reading this who is in the middle of it too. What a tricky beast this whole process is.

    Hattie x

    • Sorry to hear that we’re in the same boat. But thank you for taking the time to comment. As you said the whole thing is so very complicated, but it’s weird how it helps immeasurably to “know” other people in the same situation, and to have their good wishes and support XXX

  3. Glad to hear you’re feeling okay, even with all the emotional fuckwittery and the cancelled cycle. Anything is possible with this process and if you hadn’t taken DHEA now, then later on in another cycle you might have wished you had. And you will never reproach yourself for not having tried. You’ve put 110% into this insane process and should keep reminding yourself of that and be proud of yourself. Especially on those days you want to just sit and cry and think about how unfair it is that you’re even in this situation. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.

    Your blog is still helping me too, so thank you. Definitely nice to know there are a few of us scattered over the world doing this.

    I’m almost 1 year into this and I’m still back at egg freezing. I’ve had two successful cycles and one cancelled one. I initially thought one cycle would give me 10+ eggs and that would be that, all sorted, backup for later done and dusted and I could move on, knowing I had a contingency plan for later if I needed it. But no such luck. It’s long and drawn out and no one has clear answers as to why things don’t work and what to try instead. So it’s just a matter of taking it one month at a time and hoping for the best with each attempt.

    • You’re spot on about the DHEA thing and my need to feel like I’ve tried everything. And I’m so with you on how your expectations and understanding change as you do this. I was like you – planning on three cycles of egg freezing and getting 10 eggs and 10 embryos – LOL (that’s a very hollow LOL BTW) – long, drawn out, and no clear answers. Literally The Worst Possible Situation for someone of my temperament! Best of luck with it all and thanks so much for your support xx

  4. hey, wanted to say thanks for your blog and sharing. I find myself contemplating unexpected singledom at 35 (nearly 36) and wondering about egg freezing for the first time in my life. It feels such an unknown so its so great to read your blog; and your writing style is v enjoyable too. I haven’t actually read it up to date yet becuase i only found it this afternoon and at the mo am still very much just in the egg freezing stage of things but wanted to comment where you might see it. (see, have no idea how these blog things work really) Totally did not expect to be making these decisions in life – I chucked my job in as well and am now living with the parents! – so it’s even more of a big lot of omoney to spend. Anyway, chin up to all of us!

  5. I wanted to thank you for your very candid and well-written blog. I think it takes a lot of courage to write about such personal things so publicly. . I’m looking into freezing my eggs and hearing someone talk about their experience has been amazing and has given me a lot to think about and read up on.

    Good luck with your next phase!

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