ICSI & IVF Thread & 2ww Come and join GIRLS !!!

Discussion in 'Long Term Trying To Conceive' started by Angeldust, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest




    Hi Ladies

    I decided to do this icsi /ivf thread so if any one is having either we can all post here so its easier
    for us to keep up to date with eachother and ask eachother questions about medication etc

    I am hoping to start my icsi sometime soon but could be after xmas now

    If want me to write here what date your starting med or test day let us know :)

    (MAZ) Down regging 28th October First scan 12th November :dust:
    (FjL) Will be having Egg Transfare in December :dust:
    (Mendy) will be having her ivf in 11 mths time :dust:
    (Waiting4u) consultants on Nov 6th, hope to start nov/Dec :dust:
    (Strawberry199) Starting ivf in November :dust:
    (AngelDust) starting ICSI Downregging 10th november :dust:
    (bryany1) Waiting to start ICSI:dust:

    With regards to information on IVF, it really depends whether you are going to be on the long or short protocol but one thing remains the same for all types of fertility treatment - it's a rollercoaster ride!


    The long protocol takes approximately 6 weeks from start to finish although this can vary and be longer or shorter! The real difficultly can be planning anything because it depends entirely how you respond to the drugs.

    Some hospitals provide people with a planner/flow chart giving details of what should happen at what point, however others don’t and advise you at each appointment.

    Down Regulating

    For both the short and long protocols you have to stop your natural cycle – putting you into temporary menopause sometimes this is done with the use of a nasal spray, Synarel which leaves an unpleasant taste at the back of your throat and some people inject burserlin. The effects of this drug can make you very hormonal, hot flushes; headaches etc but some people don’t have any side affects to this drug at all. Some people call this part of the cycle the “down regulating��? stage. Before you commence the next stage you may down regulate for between one and it has been known up to eight weeks! You will continue with these drugs throughout your cycle up to the stage they collect your eggs.

    Once you have started your period you may have to call you clinic (or you may already have been given a date for this when you start treatment) to arrange either a blood test or a vaginal scan (this doesn’t hurt, in fact it’s quite interesting because you can see what is going on, on the screen!) to confirm that your natural cycle has stopped. This blood test and/or scan will show that the lining of your womb has thinned out (from your last period) in order for your body to be clear ready for the cycle.

    Once you have been given the go ahead to start, the next stage is stimulating your ovaries to produce lots of follicles (which will hopefully contain eggs!).


    The treatment involves daily injections (normally either self administered or administered by your partner/friend) just under the skin (sub-cutaneously) for approximately 11 days.

    After approximately 7 days you will have a vaginal scan, which will show how things are progressing. In an ideal world you will be producing some small follicles around your ovaries and your womb lining will be growing thicker.

    Unfortunately some women do not respond at all to the stimulating drugs at all and the cycle may have to be stopped (generally a decision on this is not taken as early as 7 days into the stimulation routine). Some women find that they initially do not respond and have their stimulation drugs increased which helps the follicles grow and other women over respond where they produce too many follicles which produce too much oestrogen which can potentially mean that they develop OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome). If this happens the drugs can be decreased to a lower dose, or stopped (called coasting) until the oestrogen levels have dropped and the cycle is safe to continue.

    During this time you may feel uncomfortable and your tummy can be distended (and your clothes too tight, elasticated clothes are quite handy sometimes!) as your ovaries are stimulated to produce lots of good-sized follies.

    After the first scan on about day 7 you will probably then have scans either daily, every other day or every third day depending on your hospital procedure (and whether it’s the weekend!!).

    When your leading follicles have reached about 18mm plus and your womb lining is generally over 8mm you are normally ready for an egg collection date to be planned (if it’s not been pre-planned).

    36 hours before the eggs are collected (normally late at night, so keep those match sticks handy!) you or your partner will normally inject yourself into your tummy (sounds awful but it isn’t!) with a drug called “profasi��? which contains a pregnancy hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadatrophin), which starts the process of the eggs maturing and being ready to be released from the follicles. This is equivalent to you “surging��? naturally. At this point you stop all other drugs (“synarel��? or “burserlin��? and the stimulant drugs).

    The following day you can have a drug free day (fantastic!).

    Egg Collection

    Egg Collection can be done either under general anaesthetic or by sedation, it depends on the hospital policy or you may have a choice! You may find the procedure fine and have no discomfort or you may find that you can be uncomfortable afterwards. Paracetomol can be taken to ease any pain. The Egg Collection can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour but you wont know anything about it! When you come round from either the anaesthetic or sedation the hospital will tell you how many eggs they managed to release from the follicles.

    Generally on the same day your partner will be asked to provide the sperm sample (unless it has already been collected and stored in the freezer ready).

    The hospital will then take your eggs and the sperm that you are using and undertake either IVF or ICSI as was discussed with you previously.

    Normally the following day you will receive a telephone call at home (nail biting!) to advise you how many of the eggs have fertilised. This can be difficult and exciting because sometimes no eggs fertilise and there may be different reasons for this but generally there will be some embryos for you.

    Embryo Transfer

    Most hospitals now will only transfer 2 embryos per IVF cycle. Some hospitals transfer embryo’s 2 or 3 days after your eggs have been collected. By the time they are transferred they should be at “around��? either 4 cells or 8 cells depending on whether you are having a 2 or 3-day transfer. Sometimes couples want to take the embryo onto more cells to determine which are the strongest (possibly an idea if you have lots of embryo’s), sometimes hospitals recommend this too. Taking the embryo onto a “blastocyst��? is generally 5 or 6 days after you have had egg collection and the egg is fertilised. A blastocyst is an embryo that has many cells (more than 32) and is ready to hatch out.

    The embryo transfer is not normally done under general anaesthetic or sedation and you can be required to have a full bladder (difficult if you have to wait for transfer!). It is similar to a smear test and sometimes you get to see the embryo’s that are being transferred back to you on a screen (very emotional experience!).

    The Two-Week Wait

    You then have the dreaded 2-week wait (2ww), although some hospitals may make you wait a little longer – torture! If a blastocyst embryo is transferred you are generally asked to test on day 10 rather than 14 (as the embryo is more developed and “older��? by the time it is transferred).

    A nail biting, knicker checking, every twinge and pain analysing time that is the culmination of the rollercoaster! Some ladies take the time off work others prefer to keep everything as normal and go back to work - it's a personal choice.

    During this 2ww quite a lot of women are on progesterone pessaries “Cyclogest��? and some women have additional injections of HGC during this time, both ways help to maintain the lining of the womb, so the embryo’s can get snuggled in and hopefully implant into the womb lining.

    If you have developed symptoms of OHSS before your embryo’s are transferred back to you your hospital may wish you to wait until your body has settled down as it may be too dangerous to you for your embryo’s to be transferred. If this is the case your hospital will freeze your embryos and transfer them at a later date. If you develop OHSS AFTER your embryos have been transferred back to you it is one of the symptoms that can possibly indicate that the embryos are implanting. If you do find this then you must contact your hospital for advice.

    During the 2ww you assume that your body will suddenly start kicking out all the pregnancy hormones and we should all be feeling something 'positive' to say 'YES' we're definitely pregnant!


    Lets face it, we have our embryo’s put back between 2-5 days post EC, well the day of EC, is classed as the day of Ovulation, so you then need to allow 6-10 days post ovulation, for the embryo’s to implant (or there about anyway!). Once implanted, it's not suddenly going to produce mountains of hormones, these will build up over the coming weeks, or months, at which point you may then expect the various symptoms (bare in mind, many women don't experience any symptoms at all!).

    I think we are all so desperate for some sign, that our imaginations run wild, we analyse every twinge, every bit of tiredness etc......

    Below is some information about early pregnancy symptoms, which has to be the most down to earth stuff read.

    Q: What are typical early pregnancy symptoms and pregnancy signs? Can I feel the pregnancy signs and symptoms before missing my period?

    Many women have typical pregnancy symptoms even before they miss their period. However, most of the typical pregnancy symptoms and signs are directly related to the pregnancy hormone hCG. Small amounts of hCG enter the blood stream several days after implantation, about 8-10 days after ovulation. Thus, typical pregnancy symptoms typically do not appear until the hCG has reached sufficient levels which is about 1-2 weeks after you miss your period (3-4 weeks after ovulation, or 2-3 weeks after implantation), at a time when the hCG has risen enough. Nothing will really confirm a pregnancy except a positive pregnancy test.

    The first symptoms and the time of their appearance are listed here:
    • Temperature drop (dip) on Implantation day
    • Implantation bleeding or spotting:(a slight staining of a pink or brown colour on average 8-10 days after ovulation))
    • Lower abdominal cramps
    • A positive blood HCG pregnancy test: About 10 days after fertilization/ovulation
    • An elevated BBT curve for 15+ days without a menstrual period
    • A missed menstrual period (amenorrhoea):
    • A positive urine pregnancy test (HPT): As early as 10-14 days after ovulation/fertilization or 3-4 days after implantation. The more sensitive the HPT the earlier the pregnancy test will be positive.
    • Nausea: as early as 2-4 weeks after ovulation (BrJObGyn 1989b;96:1304)
    • Nipple or breast tenderness: 3-4 weeks after conception
    • Fatigue: 3-10 weeks after conception
    • Vomiting: 3-10 weeks after conception
    • Food cravings: 1-2 months after conception
    • Frequent urination: usually after 1-2 months
    • Softening of cervix: usually not before 6 weeks after LMP
    • Constipation: later on
    • Lower back pain: later on
    • Darkening of areola (breast nipple): After 14 weeks
    • Fetal heart beat on sonogram: 8-9 weeks after conception
    • Fetal movements: 16+ weeks after conception

    Remember everyone is different and there are many pregnant people that were convinced they were not pregnant and thought their period was about to arrive any moment!


    Unfortunately sometimes, some women do not reach the date that they have been asked to test by their hospital as their period arrives earlier than expected. If this is the case you should contact your hospital and ask them for their advice as they may still wish you to test on your correct test day as some women do experience bleeding and are still pregnant.

    At the end of the 2ww some hospitals offer a blood test to confirm whether HCG hormones are present in your body. The presence of the pregnancy hormone HCG indicates a lovely positive! Alternatively you may wish to do a home pregnancy test (HPT) and some people do test earlier than the required date, which can make you think that you have a negative when in fact you have possibly tested too early!

    If you do get a BFP (big fat positive!) you may have to continue on with the progesterone pessaries until the pregnancy is well established (generally 13 weeks) a small price to pay! However, some hospitals ask you to stop the cyclogest after the positive test too!

    If you do not have a positive test and the test is negative you will cease taking the drugs (on the advice of your hospital) and wait for your period. This is a cruel time and you will find that you grieve. Your hospital should offer you a follow up consultation at a date that is suitable for you.


    The short protocol generally matches in with your normal cycle and is therefore over a timescale of approximately 4 weeks (rather than the long protocol of 6 weeks). The short protocol is usually used when a woman has not produced that many eggs under the long protocol or where the woman is a bit older than average.

    The main difference between the short protocol and the long protocol is that unlike in the long protocol where there are 2 distinct stages – down regulating and stimulating, in the short protocol you go straight to the stimulating stage. What usually happens is that on day 3 of your cycle you go to the clinic for a scan and/or blood test to make sure that your womb lining has thinned out after your last period. Assuming that it has you then start the stimulation injections described above and at the same time start to take the down regulating nasal spray or injection. You will then be asked to return to the clinic after a few days and thereafter will have regular scans and blood tests (daily, every 2 days or every 3 days depending on your clinic) until the clinic decide you are ready for egg collection.

    Once the clinic has made that decision the process is exactly the same as under a long protocol as described above (i.e. profasi injection, egg collection, embyro transfer and the dreaded 2ww).

    The advantages of the short protocol are that there are fewer drugs to take as you miss out the initial down regulating stage, which is part of the long protocol, and as a result it is also a faster treatment cycle. Most women who have not had a very good response under the long protocol find that they produce more eggs under the short protocol but this is not always the case.


    Some couples are lucky in that their hospital will freeze good embryo’s that have not been transferred, alternatively if a cycle was stopped before embryo transfer due to the risk of OHSS then the embryo’s will have been frozen.

    To use these embryo’s some hospitals will recommend a natural cycle and others will recommend a medicated cycle.

    Natural Cycle

    When your period arrives you will make an appointment with your hospital to check that your old womb lining is gone/reduced. Once that has been determined (blood test or vaginal scan) you will have another scan in approximately 7 days which should show that you are producing at least 1 follicle naturally (so that your body has the correct hormones in it). That follicle will then be tracked until it reaches approximately 18mm and your womb lining approximately 8mm. You may be asked to use Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPK’s) which will detect your “surge��? before you ovulate.

    Once you have surged you must ring your hospital to advise them. The surge is the equivalent to having the profasi injection on a full cycle and the day after would on a full cycle be your Egg Collection day.

    Depending on the day that your embryos were frozen (i.e. if they were frozen on day 3) then the following day would be your egg collection but this is not necessary on a FET cycle. You then have to wait 3 days (if frozen on day 3) before the embryo’s are taken out of the freezer and thawed.

    This is a difficult time because you don’t know if any of the embryos will survive the thaw, it is possible (and rare) but they sometimes do not. However it is also rare for ALL of the embryo’s to survive the thaw and generally you are looking for the strongest to survive the thaw.

    You may have decided to have the embryo’s transferred back to you on the same day (alternatively you may decide to grow them from the day they have been frozen and try to get the strongest to blastocyst) as they have successfully been thawed in which case you would have embryo transfer followed by the 2ww as described above. On a natural cycle you may not have any drugs at all including progesterone support.


    It is important to remember that everybody responds differently to all the different stages of IVF, emotionally and physically. This site is fantastic and the girls will give you all the support that you need as they totally understand what you are going through.

    Wishing you good luck

    Here is a little guide for IVF which should also apply for IUI.

    Start to prepare your bodies at least six weeks before IVF treatment

    Maximise the sperm count
    Sperm counts have declined in recent years. West advises taking a supplement called CoenzymeQ10, that, according to two recent studies, is linked with sperm quality. In one study, Israeli scientists found that CoQ10 doubles the rates of mobility and fertilisation. Stopping smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption and avoiding stress could also help.

    Detox your liver
    Drink two to three litres of water a day. This helps to build fat, juicy follicles with healthy maturing eggs, before IVF treatment. It also helps the body to deal with the side effects of IVF hormones.

    Eat healthily
    Make sure you get plenty of protein by eating chicken, red meat, oily fish and shellfish, as well as eating plenty of greens, cereals and pasta. Avoid rich food, caffeine and alcohol in the run-up to IVF treatment. Take the supplement docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a chemical that is critical for early foetal and infant brain cell health. It is found in oily fish and shellfish, but studies show a decline in modern diets and in breast milk. Busy people, who might skip meals, should also take a multivitamin supplement.

    Take to bed
    Stay in bed for the first few days after the embryo transfer.

    Warm the abdomen
    The Chinese consider it important to encourage good blood flow around the womb. This helps to build up the placenta to provide a hospitable environment for the embryo. "Warming" foods, such as red peppers, beetroot, tomatoes, red berries and some spicy foods, are rich in antioxidants and cleanse the blood. An occasional glass of red wine is warming and relaxing.

    Take no - or very little - exercise
    Again, the idea is to encourage blood flow to the abdomen. West does not advise strenuous exercise or even brisk walking during pregnancy. "Gentle yoga and qi gong, a deep breathing technique that encourages more oxygen to reach the reproductive system, are fine."

    Visualise the implanting embryo
    Imagine healthy, fertilised eggs implanting in the womb. Visualise the baby developing and being born.

    Many of these tips are equally valid for a couple planning a natural pregnancy.

    One thing to know is to be prepared for what you want as you may need to "lead" your clinic by the hand. For example if you overrespond ask if you can convert to IVF rather than abandoning or ask if they can do follicle reduction or even argue your age if you can.

    As a final note you may be required to undertake some tests before you start IUI. Common tests before you start
    HSG lap and dye

    There is more information on ivf/icsi on page 3 have a read
    Good luck all with BFPS may this thread be the lucky BFP thread



    Good luck for :bfp::bfp::bfp::bfp:

  2. maz

    maz TTC #1 since Oct 2004

    Feb 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I'm starting IVF this cycle. Hopefully I've just finished my last natural AF for a very long time!!! Start down regging on 28th October - whoop whoop - can't wait.

    Bring on the mood swings, headaches, and hot flushes - what an excuse to be grumpy!!!!

  3. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Good luck Maz for that :bfp:
    The medication is a pain in the butt but well worth it if we get :bfp:
    I had icsi june gone and it was :bfn: i had the injections my poor belly was like a pin cushion .....

    I cant wait to start icsi again am hoping i will be able to have it before christmas :hugs:
  4. maz

    maz TTC #1 since Oct 2004

    Feb 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    My DH keeps telling me that if I can't do the injections he'll gladly do them for me. Git!! :grr: He'd better be gentle or I'll develop a reflex action of kicking him up the arse!! :rofl:

    I think he's secretly hoping I can't manage it myself so that he can inflict some pain on me!! :shrug:
  5. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    :rofl: They show you how to do it in the hospital it does not hurt going in but stings a little when the fluid goes in if you do it to fast ,

    The making the medication up is a pain cause you have to snap the necks of the little glass bottles and when you first do it theres tiny little pieces of glass in your hand so i sussed it out the best way to do it is .......

    The little line on the bottle get a tea towel or somthing and snapp it as fast as you can :rofl: it works for me comes off in one piece straight away
    onec you get use to doing it its ok , one thing i did hate was the vag things that you have to put up looks like soap in a shape of a bullet Lol there to support your womb , You have to do them up your bum for 2 days then the rest up the front for a week

    Your dh is gonna have a feild day with the injections may i suggest you tell him theres no way you can put thesa up your bum he is gonna have to do it for you just to see his face :rofl:

  6. maz

    maz TTC #1 since Oct 2004

    Feb 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The nurse told me that I would have a little pen-like needle (a bit like an epi-pen for adrenalin) that you turn the dial on for the correct dosage and stab it in your leg. Also, I have to take pessaries twice a day for two weeks, and there was no mention of putting them up my bum ... eeeek!! I managed to psyche myself up for inserting pessaries in my vagina - not up my bloody bum!!!
  7. FJL

    FJL Heartbroken after m/c

    Apr 3, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I'll join in :)

    We are waiting to start a FET cycle with our one and only embryo left over from our first IVF/ICSI back in August.

    I'm currently waiting on AF (she should be here anyday now) then have to wait for another AF, then I will officially be cycling again :D Transfer should be early December sometime.
  8. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Oh so your's in the pen way lucky you and lucky you again not having to put the pesseries up your bottom poor me had to use the normal injections .......
    and had to put two pesseries up my bottom then use the rest up your vagina
    but maybe they do it different when doing ivf as i had icsi
    Did i give you a heart attack :rofl:
  9. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Hi HUN

    If you can let me know your date so i can add you to the list above
    hopefully i can add myself soon just waiting on some results :)
    I really wish you the best of luck hun for a bfp fingers crossed for you :hugs:
  10. Mendy

    Mendy Mom to Tati n Braden <3

    May 29, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi ladies, I am supposed to be starting IVF 11 months from now, so it's still awhile to go but I decided to join in so I can read up on your experiences and be prepared for when my turn comes.... I hope that's ok!!! :blush: And of COURSE I look forward to seeing all those BFP's AND birth announcements!
    I'm reading about all those injections and stuff...ouch! But it will all be worth it in the end! Best of luck to you all!
  11. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Hi Hun of course it ok for you to join in :hugs:
    thats why i done this thread so its easy for people to find as much information out as possible when there going through ivf/icsi

    The needles sound worse than what they actually are and the pesseries
    that you have to use up your vagina and bum well i had to use them both ways with icsi think this scares most people as it did me when i first found out i had to use them

    Its not a lovely thing to do but if it helps to get the baby you long for then
    then i would stick a rocket up mine :rofl::rofl:

    I have added you to the list hun :hugs:
  12. FJL

    FJL Heartbroken after m/c

    Apr 3, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I can't give you a date sorry as it all depends on my AF's and then again on when I O for transfer. You can put me down for early December though :)
  13. Mendy

    Mendy Mom to Tati n Braden <3

    May 29, 2008
    Likes Received:
    :rofl::rofl::rofl: To the rocket!!! It's true though!
    Thanks for adding me! :)
  14. waiting4u

    waiting4u Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi, I'd like to join! Just had a failed IVF due to poor follicle response. ( Don't worry about the injections, they were no problemo at all!) We are back a the consultants on Nov 6th, hope to start on that cycle so Nov/Dev time - FJL, looks like we might cycle together!

    Thanks, good thread! xx
  15. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Hi Hun i have added you i have also added you as well fjl :)
    Waiting4u hope you get a better follicle responce this time :)
    they might put you on some stronger drugs,
    when i had my icsi in june just gone which was Bfn i had lots of follicles but come egg collection day they only collected two ,
    I know you only need one egg and i am hoping it works next time for me
    and us all girls :hugs:
  16. Mrs Muggy

    Mrs Muggy Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hey Ladies...Good luck to everyone on this journey.
    I've had 2 cycles of IVF aswell as egg sharing which we finished 8 weeks ago.
    I know what you mean about the injections! The stimming ones were ok but i'm now on Gestone injections every other day, have been since I got my BFP and will have to continue untii i'm 12 weeks.(They bloody kill
    !!) DH has been having to do them because I really can't reach my own arse even tho I thought I would considering the size of it!! lol.
    Its all worth it tho...Good Luck Girls xx
  17. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Thanks hun congratulations on your pregnancy :hugs:
  18. Helen

    Helen ICSI Twins + miracle BFP

    Aug 31, 2006
    Likes Received:
    This is a great thread. It's really good to be able to see where everyone is.

    As a previous ICSI person I wanted to wish you all the luck in the world. :hugs: I really hope there is something to celebrate on this thread very soon.
  19. rachelle1975

    rachelle1975 And then there were 3!!

    Apr 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hey guys

    I'm waiting on my first appt at the FS for ICSI so although i don't have any dates yet, i hope i will soon!!!xx
  20. Angeldust

    Angeldust Guest

    Thank helen :hugs: i hope to see some :bfp: on here soon myself :)

    Rachelle Hiya hun as soon as you get your date let us know and i will put you on the list :) in the mean time why your waiting you can read here and see whats going on :) I am hoping to start icsi myelf hoping before christmas but reckon it will be in january now

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