PCOS, IVF & OHSS

Hi, this is my first post, so feeling a bit nervous but just wanted to share my journey so far and see if anyone out there has been through the same...

We've been trying to conceive for over two years now. 6 months in I found out that I wasn't ovulating and so the emotional rollercoaster ensued. Appointments (cancelled, delayed and longed for), investigations, waiting for diagnosis, uncertainty and worry. I was diagnosed 9 months later with PCOS and prescribed (what I thought would be a miracle drug) clomid. The 6 months I was on clomid (with a months break in between) were hell. I felt so down and like a completely different person. Not to mention the pressure it puts on you. Although I ovulated the first month, every round was unsuccessful. As soon as I came off clomid I felt like a switch was flicked and I was back to my normal self. So the next step came, which I thought was to meet with a consultant and discuss options, but actually (to my complete surprise as the doctors had never mentioned this was even a possibility) I had bee referred for IVF. After I got over the initial shock & learnt more about it, I started to feel excited and positive about it.

Luckily I didn't have any side effects on the down regulation drugs, but once I started the stimulation phase, I became very bloated. I had all the early signs of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. My clinic kept a very close eye on me & every stage seemed to be touch and go. We almost had the whole cycle cancelled at my final progress scan as I was so over stimulated, but luckily I was just at the cut off and made it to egg collection. They got 24 eggs, 15 of which were fertilised. I felt ok immediately after the op, but as they'd collected so many eggs I had to go back in for a scan the following day to see if I would be able to have egg transfer or if they would have to freeze everything as wait until I'd recovered.

2 days after my op, I really went down hill. I was so ill. Nauseous, dizzy, breathless, extremely bloated, vomiting and in a lot of pain. This got worse over the next few days and I had to speak to the hospital every day to update them as to how I was. during this time I was so worried they wouldn't let me have the transfer. It was a horrible time.

Day 5 came and I managed to make it to egg transfer, though right before we went in I was sick in the consultants sink! I really thought we wouldn't be able to go ahead, but we did. I felt so emotional when I saw our embryo on the screen. When they implanted it, it looked like a little shooting star. I was so happy, but still so ill, once we left I almost forgot about what had happened!

The two week wait wasn't as bad as I imagined mostly because I was concentrating on getting better. I had to go for more scans as I couldn't breathe and they were worried that there was fluid on my lungs. Luckily all was ok on that front.

Finally the day came for my blood test. I was so nervous and hopeful. It had taken so long for us to get to this point and I was really hoping that this would be the beginning of the end. Unfortunately, the nurse called to tell me that we had been unsuccessful. I was obviously devastated and just didn't know what to do with myself. It's so gutting to have got so far and I feel like I've fallen at the last hurdle. The nurse just said that despite everything looking great there is just an element of luck. I was so hoping that we would be one of the lucky ones.

It's now a week on and today I'm just feeling so empty. I'm so tired of feeling sad and having to fight all the time. I know I need to stay positive and had been doing really well and had a level of acceptance that I hadn't had before, so just putting this down to a bad day.

We now have to wait 3 months before we can start treatment again for our FET. Apparently, I need to inject buseriline again and then take a tablet. It won't be as hard on me as I won't have to go on the stimulating drugs (and so won't get OHSS again). I know I need to stay positive and that I won't give up, but there's that little voice inside me that is worrying how I'll cope if next time is also unsuccessful. I know it can take many attempts and that there are no guarantees, but I do believe IVF will work for us. I have to keep strong and not fall apart, for my sake as well as my husbands!

10 Replies

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  • It's a lot of what you've been through! Infertility is horrendous. Sometimes I think it's a game where you lose more than you earn. I was just at my first appointment at the clinic. I'm nervous about everything I'm sure to have to endure. I'm glad you're so positive. I hope everything works out very well and the IVF works. This should be your winning attempt. Best wishes xx

  • I can give you some positive news about FET. We failed our first fresh cycle and I thought that was it, my mind thought fresh was better but I am currently 9 weeks pregnant after our first FET (which was a lower grade embryo than the fresh transfer)

    You also have less and in my case no drugs with the FET which can only be a good thing because you feel slightly less of an emotional and stressed mess without the cocktail of drugs. We were also told we would have to wait 3 months but after seeing consultant he said that we could start early. I had 1 bleed after our bfn and then at the next one I started doing ovulation tests to get ready for frozen cycle. Worth asking the question because 3 months sounds and feels like a long time (I cried when we were told 3 months because I didn't want to wait! But I guess some clinics are a bit more strict than others and maybe want to give your body and mind a bit of a break)

    Good luck with your FET,I hope you get you bfp xx

  • Oh wow! Congratulations!! That's amazing news and great to hear. I had it in my head that fresh was better but will try to change my mindset. We can make an appointment to see the consultant in a few weeks but I think it's our funding body that say it has to be 3 months. It does feel like such a long time and we've had to wait so long already, but I guess I'll just have to keep busy til then. Can I ask - did u do anything different in between / in preparation for your FET? I downloaded a book - the IVF diet and there's a detox that you can do before IVF or when it fails, but I'm not sure if I can go through another strict diet / change (I've tried everything u can think of so far!).

    Thanks for replying and good luck with your pregnancy! I'm really happy for u xxx

  • Sorry to hear about all that you have been through. You still sound positive about the future which is admirable. It's so hard. Good luck and wishing you all the best x

  • Prior to our fresh cycle I had given up smoking, I was never a big drinker anyway so I just kept that up and made sure I drank my 2 litres of water every day and took multi vitamins. I didn't diet and have never been a big fan of exercise either. Try not to over think things (easier said than done,I know)

    I wish you lots of luck in your next cycle xxx

  • Thanks lovely. Xx yeah I've been doing the same so guess I'll just keep going with that

  • Nskaz, I wanted to tell you about my friend who has PCOS and wasn't ovulating so went for acupuncture. She conceived within about 3 months, naturally (and without even having a proper period) and just gave birth to a little boy 2 weeks ago. (On the other hand, I'm also going to the same acupuncturist and have been for 9 months and still not conceived. But I am 9 years older than her.) She's 32 so a similar age to you I think. I can see you have a FET coming up but it might be a good back up plan so just thought it was worth mentioning. She didn't take any medication to prompt ovulation - just the Acupuncture xx

  • Wow thanks for this - how fab for your friend. I was having acupuncture whilst I was on clomid & It definitely helped to regulate my periods. Funnily enough I've booked in sessions with a new acupuncturist (first one moved away to Thailand!) in a couple of weeks. Thought it would be good to help re-balance my system after everything. Ah wouldn't it just be amazing if that worked?! Ah well, hope for the best prepare for the worst and try not to lose your head in between, right?! Thanks again for your message xx

  • Good luck with your new acupuncturist - if nothing else it's relaxing but fingers crossed for a miracle too! X

  • Be aware that, though from a medical perspective the after effects of the ivf drugs should be gone now, most people I've spoken to have said that the after effects do last a while. It's the combination of the emotional stress and the physical side effects I think. Be kind to yourself, you're having a difficult time. Maybe use your time off to find some exercise you enjoy... I find swimming takes my mind off my troubles quite well. Lots of us on here work with children and it seems particularly harsh that we should have to work with other people's children whilst not being able to have our own. It just makes the whole thing that little bit harder. 😞

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