To do or not to do

Thank you guys so much for all of your support in my last entry. I too was hoping that this last cycle would be it and that I would be writing about pregnancy right now. It really sucks that it did not work and I am still sad about it. But, I feel like I’m doing really well with trying to move on and embrace what I have to do. I still have my moments, but I am trying to be strong and awesome.

When I talked to the nurse on the phone yesterday about what I was going to do this cycle I was thinking that I would just do a repeat of last cycle. 53 or so shots of lupron, low dose hcg, and follistim. She also mentioned the clinical trial they are doing. As I thought about it, I started thinking about the clinical trial. If I am going to do 53 shots again should I suck it up and just go with the big guns that has more of a chance for success so I won’t have to be sitting here in a month or two thinking about having to do it again for ivf? For those that don’t remember what the clinical trial was, it’s basiaclly ivf, but they free.ze the egg before they fertilize it, then unfre.eze it, do ICSI on it and then do normal IVF things. I was first thinking about it because of the discounted price since I would be paying out of pocket. Half price, with a free ivf if it doesn’t work. I talked to the husband and my mother about it. Husband had some questions that he wanted answered before we made any decisions and I agreed with that. My mother told me not to think about this in a financial way – if I needed help paying for the normal ivf she would help, that this was my potential children I was thinking about and not to do something that would make them have issues. I can’t help but not think of the financial aspect though and saving money though. An no, I would not have my mother pay for the whole thing. We have some money saved up.

So last night I did a bunch of research and came up with a bunch of questions. Today after running around a lot I called into my RE’s office and talked to one of the IVF patient coordinator’s and asked all my questions. Here is what I learned.

An out of pocket IVF would normlly cost me $11,500 while this clinical trial which they are about 75% through the process would cost $5,775 with an additional $650 for anesthesia and more for the drugs. There are a variety of drugs associated with it, but it depends on the personal protocol I would be put on. Drugs would probably be follistim, low dose hcg, lupron, medrol (a steroid), doxy something (an antibiotic), PIO (I’m scared about this), and estrace. They are really good at the freezing process, the part they are trying to perfect is the unfreezing process. They would freeze all my eggs and then unfreeze them an hour or two later. There is some genetic testing available, but it’s an additional $2,000. The free IVF doesn’t come into play until I use up all my eggs through a transfer and a FET, but I guess they are all FET’s lol.

I would be on birth control for a month before hand. While on birth control I would have an ivf consult, a mock transfer, do my consent and pay, have ivf orientation, and then have my baseline ultrasound. Once I start my drugs I would go in for monitoring every single day (usually about 13 days) until I’m ready for egg retrieval. They like to do 5 day transfers so that they can pick the best eggies. What are mock transfers like? The lady I talked to said they are like sono’s with more cramping. However, when I read about them on the net people were saying they were quick and easy, even easier than an iui. Which one is it? She said that if I do decide to do it I can pick from two start dates. I would have to be on birth control by either Oct 5 or Oct 26 and start meds on either Nov 5 or Nov 26th. If I did a cycle that’s not ivf like last time, I would only be on birth control in two weeks.

That is definiltey a lot of good information. I am going to talk to my mom again and go over everything with my husband. He most of the time leaves most of the big decisions up to me since it’s my body and I’m going through it. I’m not sure though. Am I ready for IVF? I feel like when I came in to my RE’s office I was scared of everything and slowly I mastered everything such as injectables, pap, sono, and iui. This would be one of the last things to conquer though it sucks I arrived at the big guns. Should I just stick to the cycle I know I did well with like last time and see if I can get pregnant that way or up the percentage of me getting pregnant? Should I participate in a clinical trial where they aren’t 100% sure with how things will turn out, though I guess they are never 100% sure. The coordinator I talked to said that she doesn’t know the numbers and it’s new, but she thinks it won’t cause an increased risk of genetic abnormalities. Should I put my potential children through that? I’m just not sure. What do you guys think? Have any of you guys done anything experimental and how did it work out? Thanks for listening to me ramble about everything! I am hoping to make a decision by sunday when I would start taking the birth control pills if I was going to do a cycle like last time and only be on them for two weeks. But then again, I also have to check the calendar and see how it would work out with our busy November.

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14 Comments

  1. You ARE doing awesome. I am sorry you have to put on the brave face, but I believe your attitude and body are going to make this right for you and soon.

    Does the RE have an opinion beyond wanting you to be part of their trial? For example, in my IVF consult, we discussed whether sperm count was a detriment to our potential IUI success (answer, after looking back at all of our IUIs and hubs’s sperm counts in each one = no), was lining a problem that we could overcome through IVF (possibly, but ultimately lining was not an issue once I got on injects), was there an egg quality problem or a fertilization problem (possibly, and IVF could help resolve that if so), emotionally could we go through another IUI (possibly, but we were really frustrated and at the breaking pt), etc. It was very helpful to break down each piece of the puzzle and have our RE give HIS opinion on each one, so we felt more comfortable with choosing IVF.

    It sounds like a lot lot lot to consider. You and your hubs are an awesome team and you will make the right decision for you guys. Thinking of you, LFL!

    • I’m not sure what he thinks of me being part of the trial, but he always said I was a good candidate for ivf and offered it to me when I was ready. last time I was in his office he also mentioned the option of frozen eggs to me. We didn’t get into it though. Hub’s sperm isn’t an issue, and I don’t think my lining is an issue when I have enough follicle stimulating hormones, though I could be wrong because it never got really really thick. I don’t know about my egg quality since we have never done ivf and the nurse I talked to said there might be some scar tissue on the outside of my tube, but I doubt that, but don’t know for sure. So yea…it could go either way.

  2. hey – can you do both? one more iui, then be part of the trial? i think you had a great iui cycle. just ended up on the wrong side of the odds. i feel like your chances are great if you do it again, just the same way. goodluck making this decision. both options sound very tempting, so it sounds like there’s lots to think about, and i don’t think you can make a wrong choice here. icing on the cake that your mother is willing to help and how supportive she’s being :o)

    • I potentially could do both. I’m just not sure how long the ivf clinical trial is going to run. I just want to be pregnant already and not have to worry about a next cycle.

  3. It doesn’t sound very different than a regular IVF — just the number of monitoring appointments. (I typically have one at Day 2 or 3, and then one at Day 8, one at Day 10, and maybe one at Day 12.) And you’re already used to the shots, although the specific medications might vary a bit.

    From the list of meds you mentioned: The steroid and the antibiotic pills gave me no side effects (although you can’t one of them with dairy/iron so I had to shift my breakfast schedule around a bit). The progesterone shots were scary mentally, but not bad physically. My compounding pharmacy does progesterone in ethyl oleate, which is thinner than progesterone in oil. The heat pack after the injection really helps. Estrace gave me no noticeable side effects, but dramatically helped my lining.

    The mock transfer is for all intents and purposes an IUI. They want practice threading the catheter through your cervix, and they’ll do it while watching on an ultrasound.]

    IVF does have higher success rates than IUIs — in part because they’re taking out so many variables and ensuring that egg meets sperm.

    Are your IUIs covered by insurance? That seems like one aspect to consider. It’s great that your mom is so supportive — that hopefully helps a little with the stress of considering IVF.

    • No IUI’s are not covered either. But $880 is a lot less than almost $6k or $11k. The only difference is they freeze the egg before the egg and sperm meet up.

  4. FCblacksheep

    I really wish I had some valuable advice to give. These are big decisions for sure. On one end, you did have an awesome cycle and that makes me think, if you have just a couple more of those then you’ll probably get pregnant soon. But then I think, you’ve been through this for so long and never took a break, you need that BFP like yesterday. It sounds like a lot, the drugs, the appointments, but compared to what you’re doing now, it’s probably not too big of a leap. Of course, being at the IVF stage kind of has this stigma to it that can be kind of scary mentally. It does seem like it’s a good easy program to enter into; I know you don’t want to base it on money, but it’s definitely affordable and then you get that freebie.

    OK, so all I did was debate everything back and forth like you’re already doing, so I’m sure that wasn’t helpful at all. I know whatever you decide it will be what’s best for you, hubs and your future children.

  5. I wish decision making was MUCH easier! I feel for you right now and the weighing of the possibilities. But I do think you are on the right track with talking it over. I would weigh their thoughts but ideally your heart is the decision maker. It sounds like a great opportunity, although there is a lot of unknown it is still a choice that could lead to the ultimate goal of a baby. I will keep praying girl, you are a VERY strong woman and very logical and level headed and I know you will make the best choice. GOOD LUCK!

  6. I think you should do it, it’s a great opportunity. but that’s just my opinion.

  7. I wish I had some great advice or insight but I am kind of new to all this, we are doing EA and before this we had only tried clomid etc… I am thinking and praying for you and the decisions you all have ahead. God Bless!

  8. Lots of decisions. I know the feeling well. You are being super smart about analyzing each outcome and it’s impacts. It’s hard not to think about the financial part, that’s a part of life. Something tells me you will make the decision that is right for you both! Sending you lots of love and light!

    ~Elaine

  9. Wow, if it were me, I would join the trial in a heartbeat, but IUI was never an option for us because of low sperm count, so I don’t know how helpful my advice is. But a free cycle if it doesn’t work is huge! And I know that IUI is a lot cheaper, but if you have to do it over and over it starts to add up.

  10. JS

    If I were you I would do it in a heartbeat, considering the first one is discounted and the second is free if the first doesn’t work.

    I did everything under the sun to get pregnant for two years. When I finally did IVF, it worked right away and I am 39! I am almost 14 weeks today and everything looks perfect.

    IVF takes away many of the random variables that natural or even IUI can’t account for. If your doc’s lab is a good one (you can tell by DE and under 35 stats) then I would go for it!

  11. MK

    So so sorry about your BFN. I HATE those letters, truly I do.
    I have to say though, you have a great attitude. 🙂 (oh, and thanks for adding me on twitter!)

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