After getting top of the waiting list, we had our first IVF appointment on Thursday.  It was an information appointment to talk us through the IVF process, what to expect and what would be expected of us.

I was given ALOT of written information to read through! Plus I was armed with a deluge of consent forms to complete.

To start, I am going to be undertaking an IVF Antagonist Cycle. This is a shortened cycle of IVF because of my PCOS. How they explained it was; a normal treatment would involve 2 weeks of medication to shut the ovaries down, followed by 2 weeks of medication to kick start the engine to harvest eggs.  However, PCOS sufferers (if that is even a word) are highly susceptible to Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This is where, as a result of the treatment more than 20 follicles might develop leading to problems further down the line.  Therefore, the Antagonist Cycle skips the shut down 2 weeks and involves very close monitoring in the 2 weeks medication before harvesting the eggs.

The process will be:

Before starting the treatment:

  •  Drugs – these will all be ordered and delivered all together to my house;
  • Trial Embryo Transfer – a test run to make sure my cervix is at the right angle and to know all will go ok on the day;
  • Sperm Test – another one is needed because the last one was nearly 2 years ago;
  • Day 2-5 LH and FSH blood tests. An internal scan is also done to check all is ok; and
  • HIV, Hepatitis B and C screening.

The Treatment Cycle:

  • Day 2/3 scan. I will then need to inject myself daily with Gonal F;
  • Day 6 scan;
  • Depending on how my follicles develop, I then need to inject myself daily with Centrocide to surprise my LH production to allow the follicles to develop further. This means daily scans for anything up to 7 days. Regular blood tests will also monitor oestrogen levels;
  • Once the follicles reach 17-20mm I will administer a final injection of Ovitrelle to prepare the follicles to release the eggs. I will have to inject this at a specific time of day, because the hospital then has 34 hours to harvest the eggs;
  • Egg collection – officially known as Ultrasound Directed Follicle Aspiration. This will be done under general anaesthetic (eek – I’ve never had that before) in the day clinic. Once done, my husband has to transport the eggs in a special transport unit up to the London Women’s Clinic in Central London (about an hour’s drive). On arrival he hands over the eggs and provides a fresh sperm sample;
  • I start taking Cyclogest pessaries (Progesterone) vaginally for 14 nights;
  • Fertilisation will be done either via IVF or ICSI immediately;
  • After 3 days I’ll be informed of how many embryos were successfully formed.  If there are more than 6 good embryos, they will allow them to grow to day 5;
  • Transfer of the 5 day old embryo (blastocysts);
  • Pregnancy test after 2 weeks!!.

On the day of the appointment, the nurse tried to ascertain when the treatment would start. It just so happened that I started my period on Monday, so at the appointment I was on day 4 of my cycle.

Perfect! They said. We can bring everything forward in that case. Come back tomorrow for your scan and blood tests. My husband also had to have the HIV/Hepatitis blood test – so they did that the same day!

On Friday I went for my scan and tests. According to that the doctor thinks everything looks OK to go. My right ovary is apparently 8.2mm with 20 follicles and my left 7.4mm with 15 follicles. All normal he said.

So we’re on our way! I go back on Tuesday for the Trial Embryo Transfer.  I am mega excited now, but also absolutely petrified. Please please let this work.

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