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Fertility Network UK
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How follicles is enough? First time ivf

Hi,

Im day 13 of my first icsi cycle and I am day 11 of stims (short protocol). I have pcos, 45 follies and my AMH is 100. However, today at my scan I only have 2 mature follicles (11, 16, 22mm) the rest are below 10. I have been advised to cancel my cycle to save my NHS cycle (of a total of 2). However, I feel that I want to continue as I have gone so far. Please can anyone share of their experiences with low mature follicles? I understand there's a lower chance of success but are there any success stories that may help me right now? :(

Katie xx

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My daughter had a cancelled cycle on her first round of icsi which was her nhs funded one. The next round they upped her dose so she produced more follicles and had her BFP. He will be 2 next month. What is one more month in the grand scheme of things. Cancel and start again my love . Good luck xxxx

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The only thing is I get 2 fresh cycles, but if I had frozen follicles then my second cycle would be a frozen cycle so I don't feel like I'm loosing out too much by giving it a try. By keeping on going at it I'm not delaying it by much anyway as my egg collection would be Friday. So hard to know what to do but mentally I'm not sure how I will feel if I didn't try my best even if it's a bit hopeless? Xx

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Hi Kepn17,

I’m sorry to hear your having such a tough time. This journey is such rollercoaster.

I think at the end of the day you have to do what feels right for you. Have you had a chance to discuss in detail implications of stopping/not stopping this cycle with your clinic? I felt during my round that I didn’t think of half my questions until I left the clinic.

If you cancel this cycle your clinic may be able to tweak your meds and give you a better outcome this cycle.

Such a difficult decision to make either way. Wishing you lots of luck on whatever you decide. X

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Thanks Vicky. It was very difficult because we ran out of medication and agreed to cancel then had a change of heart in the car and drove back to get the medication. I guess I will know more on Wednesday for my final scan. I hear that some people have success even with 2 follicles xx

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Absolutely it only takes one egg as they say! Maybe write a list of questions you may have to discuss on Wednesday. I have everything crossed for you xx

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Thank you ❤️❤️❤️

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Wishing you best of luck whatever your decision x

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Hi, sorry you are having an awful time. Ivf is soul destroying.

Only you can decide what to do, but the clinic want you to get pregnant (so their success rates look good) so try not to be too upset about their advise to stop. They want you have to the best chance.

Iv done 2 fresh rounds, both with limited follicles. My first round was awful as out of 5 collected, only 1 fertilised and then it was put back on day 2! It was soo stressful and because of the low number we had all our hopes on this 1 embryo. Every day I would sit crying, waiting for the call to see if it was still alive.

Just consider the physical/ emotional impact of the collection and also be aware that those 2 could not even fertilise and you could be left with nothing to put back.

My second round I had higher doses and I got 8 eggs of which 7 fertilised and 2 made it to 5 day blast! Obviously neither worked, but the second was much better and much less stressful because we have more to play with x

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Thank you everyone. I will see what tomorrow brings and go from there xx

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Please take their advice. 2 follicles is not enough, there might not even be an egg in each of those leaving you with nothing to transfer. NHS funding is so rare you don’t want to throw it away trust me.

Let them suggest a different approach, you had 45 follicles!! Imagine if you can get most of them to grow..... a much better use of a cycle. I know it’s frustrating but much better not to leap into things.

Good luck!

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Sorry I meant to add, that goes for freezing too. You can only have a frozen cycle if you have a spare embryo that’s suitable for freezing from your last cycle. So your banking on both having a healthy egg and both fertilising. The odds on this happening are so low..... only women with very little follicles would take a chance like this because they wouldn’t have any other choice. You have a lots of follicles, let the hospital do their stuff to get them all to grow!! IVF is a numbers game.

I hope this helps. I had so many cancelled cycles due to conditions not being perfect...... it really is a game of persistence.

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I was told similar last Thursday, I only had 1 mature follicle and felt just like you in terms of wanting to finish the cycle. I was devastated but determined to be proactive. I was booked in for an extra scan and spent the next day with a warm hot water bottle on my tummy and drank a pint of milk (as I read that warmth and protein helps). Next scan I had 6 mature follicles. Had my EC yesterday and they collected 4 eggs, and all of them fertlised! Don't lose hope xx

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