Fertility Network UK
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Try again or donor eggs what would you do?

Hi, i want some advice really from you lovely women. Im now 40. I cant get pregnant naturally due to male factor infertility but also am aware quality of eggs will now be lower. Ive already spent £15,000 on 2 rounds of ICSI including meds with Access Fertility. First round 5 eggs collected, only 1 fertilisted and the next day disintegrated. Second round 6 eggs, 2 fertilisted and 3 day transfer but BFN 2 weeks later. Never enough eggs fertilised to freeze any. Question is keep going with my own eggs with the hope 3rd cycle might just work but having to take out a credit card to pay for it. Or move on to donor eggs instead? Thankyou 🤔 X

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Wow this is a hard question to answer and ultimately its down to you. Have you considered donor eggs already and come to some level of acceptance and is your OH ok with this?

Im the same age as you, we had 3 cycles though the first was a disaster so ignore that one. We did better on cycle 2 & 3 (3 blastocysts) but no BFP and none to freeze on either occasion. We had already discussed together that if after those and no pregnancy we would move onto DE abroad. We felt we had tried reasonably with my OE and gotten nowhere and along with the financial implications the negative cycles have on us mentally and physically we decided we have to move forward with a better chance of success which of course there is still no guarantee. Like you we didnt have an endless pot of money and we ultimately want to be a family whichever way we get there. We got 6 top quality blastocysts with DE and although from first transfer we didnt get BFP however we have discovered other issues that needed attended to now. Having the number of blastocysts that we got cemented that we made the best decision for us. Feel free to have a read through my previous posts if you would like a nosey at my history and ask any questions if you want to! Best of luck with your decision, its not an easy one!xx

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Thankyou for your reply. Yes we have been recommended a clinic in Cyprus for donor eggs which has an 80% success rate. My OH says hes happy to just leave it now and carry on as the 3 of us (i have a 12 year old son from a prev relationship) but if i really want to go down the route of donor he will do whatever makes me happy. I would love another child but kind of feel guilty about wanting another one and pressure put on my OH. But at same time know that life is short and to always follow my dreams so i have no regrets in years to come. I called Access Fertility to see whether its still classed as a full round of IVF if you dont make it to embryo transfer and they said yes. However from my understanding on the NHS it appears that a full round is only classed when you make it to embryo transfer. Sounds so unfair. X

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There are some good clinics abroad and they're cheaper then here, Im having treatment in Athens. I guess you just need to sit down with hubby and tell him you want to have a shot but draw a line at how much more money you can spend on this. The no transfer thing is a bit of a grey area it would appear, some clinics have different views but I think that basically if you use all the drugs and you dont have any embryos to transfer they just look at things with a business head on which is harsh for the likes of us but it is what it is. I didnt transfer on my first NHS cycle and it didnt count but only after they saw how much better my second cycle went. If number two had gone badly then I would have been out.xx

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Hi,

NHS class it as a cycle if you make it to trigger and egg collection. I had one cycle cancelled a few days into stims as I developed cysts and it didn't count. But my next cycle where I made it to egg collection got one egg but no fertilisation did count.

I now have 3 wonderful children through donor eggs.

What I would say tho is you need to do more looking at the sperm problem. Half the embryo comes from the sperm and if it isn't good then you still won't get your bfp. Look at DNA fragmentation etc. The other option is double donor or embryo adoption.

Good luck.

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I think it depends exactly where you are in the country as to what your ccg considers a complete cycle.

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Yes i was thinking sperm needs to be tested. The only problem is we only have 2 strands of sperm left in the freezer and once they've gone then OH will need another op to get more out which is a 6 month wait on NHS. Did you go abroad for donor? X

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Nightmare re wait for op for sperm. Yes, I did go abroad :) My twins (7 and 1/2 years old) are from a Cypriot donor and dd2 (3 years old) from a Greek donor. So far they don't seem very interested in them ( all have known from day one) . I know there is a possibility in the future they may want information I don't have as they are anonymous but we'll deal with that when we get there.

I hope you can get some answers re the azoospermia. It may help. And absolutely so many clinics seem only interested in the female and say icsi will sort everything. I know someone who did several oe cycles - several eggs bfn. DE cycle bfn fresh and frozen. High DNA fragmentation results on dh. Sperm improvement protocol done. Another de cycle done with pgs. Result only one normal embryo out of seven that looked like perfect blasts.

That embryo is two now. :)

Good luck. And take time for you. X x

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Yes im gonna take a break and have a think. Our 2nd round was in Feb this year. Gutted neither of them implanted and i was literally constantly down for two weeks after. Crying and angry. They were both good quality 8 celled embies at day 3. I suppose things happen for a reason and mother nature knows how to handle things. For now we have asked the clinic to investigate OH azoospermia (likely a blockage in his tubes) to see why no sperm are getting through, but it doesn't look promising. Not much seems to be looked at when it comes to male factor infertility. They just seem to extract it via an operation and straight on to ICSI without carrying out proper investigations. The clinic said the tubes that carry sperm are the breadth of one strand of hair! I must admit this process so far has been like a huge Science lesson! X

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Hey. That’s a huge decision to make. I don’t think anyone would be able to advise firmly to you what to do. I was 33 when I was told donor eggs would probably be the best option. Stubbornly I did try with my own eggs. I can recommend a good book if you’d like and I was also receiving treatment in Cyprus for DE ivf cycle last year and head back there in 5 weeks x

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Your clinic should have a trained counsellor, I definitely think you should talk the issues through with them- the counsellor at my clinic was good at pointing out things to think about before making such a big decision.

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Did your package not entitle you to any money back?

We’ve been trying over 5 years now with no diagnosed reason for it not happening naturally. I’ve got endometriosis and low AMH. I will also be 40 in December.

We had two fresh NHS ICSI cycles.

First cycle resulted in BFP and one frozen- ended in miscarriage.

Second cycle - BFN and no frozen

Frozen cycle - BFP, but ended in miscarriage again

Private fresh cycle at same clinic - BFN and no frozen

After having the ivf miscarriages, I then knew I’d had two others previously :-(

At our follow up appointment, our consultant suggested that maybe we might want to see a clinic in London for a second opinion....not entirely sure why he suggested this.

The suggested clinic were at the fertility show that we when to and we spoke briefly with a consultant. She wasn’t rude, but she said ivf is expensive and puts pressure on the couple. She said it gets to a stage where you have to think and decide, what is the best and fastest way to potentially have the long desired baby. She said sometimes couples DNA just doesn’t work together.

In my heart, I just don’t think it will happen for us naturally using my eggs. I believe our next step will be DE using Access Fertilty at a clinic in Manchester with the refund policy.

Saying that, I’d still like to get their opinion on my eggs...you have to have some hope, otherwise we’d never put ourself through any of this!

X

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Hi there, what a decision!

I had my follow up appointment this week after my first and only funded round on the NHS sadly ended in a miscarriage.

I’ve now just turned 41 and asked for the consultants opinion on whether or not (based on how I responded) it was worth undertaking a 2nd round of IVF to help us make a decision.

Have you had a review to help you decide on next steps? xx

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Yes the consultant said the next round might just do it but he was pessimistic and he then recommended we look into donor eggs in Cyprus x

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Hi one2one, this sounds similar to the predicament we were in too. My amh levels came back at 5.7 just before November. I had already had 3 full cycles with my own eggs, with only the first round creating 2 blasts, however there were sperm issues due to medication my hubby was on for round 2, of which we were never advised about 😳 we then moved to private clinic and they advised that if we had the money we could try again with my own before commencing DE, however they said my chances weren't brilliant. Due to financial issues more than anything we chose which option had the highest success rate, with undoubtedly was DE. We had looked at clinics abroad, however due to health complications with my hubby and upcoming op's we decided to stay within the uk and luckily a good clinic approved for DE is only 30mins away. We also looked at the costs of having to keep travelling abroad, accommodation, time of work etc if the first round didn't work, (which it did but have now lost it) and when we added all these costs up the access fertility donor package was far better financially for us, do after 3 full rounds if we do not have a baby in our arms then we get quite a big refund. Which has eased the financial pressure quite a bit. Your also guaranteed 6 eggs, of which we got 8 eggs from the 1st donor round with 4 blasts. So far better than I ever achieved.

Everyone's decision is personal, and some of the clinics abroad have amazing reputations. It's which ever suits your circumstances best really. Lots for you to think about and I hope what ever decision you come to, it's the one that's right for you and your OH xx

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Hi one2one

A very good post I am very similar to you. 39 in August low amh last round was our 3rd fresh go but 4th attempt and we got three eggs none to freeze and blast put back.

We have done lots of research and it helps my husband is a doctor. We have decided to go to Cyprus for tandem cycle. Time is running out and I would rather give myself one last shot with my eggs along with a donor at the same time. So either way we can have 2 or 3 blasts put back. It’s not for everyone but it’s for us and it’s quicker and cheaper too.

I will keep everyone posted on our updates we are going in May.

Only you know what to do is best but good luck to you and I hope this forum helps x

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Yes i was thinking about the tandem cycle too! Do you know roughly how much i should expect to pay for tandem in Cyprus and how long did it take you until May from when you decided on this route? X If only i was 30 instead of 40! X

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Wish I was 30 too!! I miscarried last week and decided cyprus tandem was for us few days ago. Going to cost us €4500 plus drugs and waiting on another clinic to call me Monday to discuss there prices etc. Obviously pay for flights and hotel but still cheaper than here. My friend paid £10,000 recently for a donor cycle I was shocked x

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Let me know how you get on with the tandem. Im going to call the hospital and ask for an appointment with the doctor that has the clinic in Cyprus to find out what the process is. Im just waiting for an NHS appointment first to see whether anything can be done about possibly unblocking my partners tubes as his sperm doesnt come out naturally. If this was fixable and normal sperm production then we can try for a few months naturally but from the sound of it it sounds like they dont do the procedure anymore on the NHS. XX

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Oh no that’s rubbish. Worth finding out first though. Cyprus in hold as in having a hystereoscopy on Tuesday to see why I keep miscarrying. Hopefully after that I can get on and go to Cyprus!! Will keep you posted good luck to you xx

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Hello, I am in a very similar situation to you. Can’t get pregnant due to male factor.

We have had three ivf’s using donor sperm, always had quite a good number of eggs collected, but none viable for freezing and all BFN.

I didn’t want to give up hope on my eggs but turned 40 last September so decided I wanted to give ourselves the best chance and therefore have looked into embryo adoption in Prague. We visited the clinic last week, have been matched with donors and are planning to start in May.

Xxx

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I turned 40 last September too! It sounds like the embryo adoption is moving quickly for you. Let me know how you get on. Best of luck Xxx

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