Help! Natural FET: any experiences on... - Fertility Network UK

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Help! Natural FET: any experiences on here?

RidleyNL
RidleyNL
26 Replies

Hi lovely community. We've been dogged by issues throughout our journey ttc over the last 3 years, around every corner there seems to be another obstacle. On Monday this week I had a hysteroscopy to investigate fluid in my uterus they found on our last FET (then abandoned), and as suspected my consultant found some dense adhesions (most likely from myomectomy last year) so they have cut them away and I now have a coil in place until we are ready for the next FET. During our last round, the DR hormones had such a huge impact on me that I am 90% convinced I am going to insist on a natural FET to minimise the turmoil.

Has anyone gone from medicated to natural FET and have any advice/experiences to share? My consultant mentioned he might put me on oestrogen patches to make the sure the lining is thick enough, should I go along with that? This is our last funded round on the NHS, so am I crazy not to throw all the meds I can at the situation?! Sorry for all the questions, but I feel totally at my consultant's mercy and had my confidence in his clinic generally eroded massively over the last 6 months due to some poor patient management, so am keen to get any advice I can! Thank you thank you to anyone who replies xx

26 Replies
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Cinderella5

I was actually just discussing this with someone else but mine is for DE. For my fresh cycle prep, I down regged with prostap and my lining was too thin for transfer so they froze all my embryos and I had a progesterone induced bleed and started prep again by which time (my prostap had gone out of my system) my lining still too some time to get to the specified thickness with estogen tabs (progynova) but I got there. Im convinced the down regulation doesnt do me any favours either. I briefly mentioned if I would down regulate on my FET again or without but they insisted they had better succes with medicated FET. My thoughts were to just not down regulate and still do the estrogen tablets but will see how I get on this time around with my prep and what my lining does as Ive had a few procedures done since my last transfer. Would be interested to hear how you get on!xx

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RidleyNL

Thanks for replying - god it’s such a rigmarole and a minefield if information isn’t it.. I’ve never heard of the drugs you’ve taken but I’ve taken notes as I also hear that different brands of drugs can have significantly different effects. I’m currently on Zumenon estradiol 2mg twice a day after my hysteroscopy as they want to encourage my lining to thicken. Not tried progynova... I think I am going to insist on the natural FET next time. I just feel instinctively that pumping myself full of hormones isn’t the right way to go, especially after the last round. And I’m fed up of feeling like a lab rat my consultant is experimenting on! I’ve known him closely for over a year now and I think I’m his ‘project’.. but IVF is still such a research process and he doesn’t seem to need too much pressure to agree to what I ask for, so fingers crossed it works! I’ll PM you with updates. Wishing you so much luck, I’ve been following how you’re getting on xx

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Cinderella5

I did the 2mg of estradiol after my hysteroscopy too for the same reason but I took cyclacur (which I bought over the counter in Athens) its similar to the Zumenon and Progynova. Some of the other ladies on here have had a lass medicated cycle like what I would like to do and they seem to have faired better (without the down regulation but still taking estradiol to help build the lining) and others have done the whole thing completely natural. There are literally so many different regimes that its hard to know what's best! Best of luck to you and look forward to seeing your updates!xx

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VannaGio

Hi Cinderella, may I just ask you what you meany by "down regulation" here? So I can follow you better... thanks as always! xxx

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Cinderella5

Yes of course! Down regulation is when the clinic use medication to shut down your natural pituitary secretions (it's like putting you in a menopausal state). This can either be with one big injection, daily injections or sniffing a nasal spray. It just means the clinic are fully in control of your body really! Hope that makes sense!xx

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VannaGio

Ah thanks... sounds a bit scary! :-)

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baby2016

I went from medicated to natural, 3 months of medicated to try and thicken my naturally thin lining, and all it did was get thinner! I was on oestrogen tablets and patches! In the end I requested natural and as I'm still having regular periods they agreed. I did start taking oestrogen tablets on my own accord from day 8 🙈 just to help with my lining, as know from previous rounds the tablets on there own do work for me. This meant I still ovulated as started the tablets later in my cycle, and as I suspected my lining for to 7mm, which had previously been 4 and 5mm on the medicated cycles! This cycle went into work and give me a bfp, however I've just had medical management for MMC earlier this week, but not related to my lining in any way.

So for me, I'll def be sticking to natural (with some medication) for my next FET.

I was also in clexane, lubion and steriods which I started all of these 5 days before transfer xx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to baby2016

Thanks for replying. I am so so sorry to here about the MMC this week, I hope you are bearing up as well as possible, it must be so crushing after a bfp. I'm really sorry.

I'm so interested in your story above - on our last round I was doing oestrogen patches and tabs and my lining only got thinner too! I honestly couldn't believe it. I think my system was just going haywire from the DR drugs and that's why I feel so strongly about not doing a medicated FET next time. My womb is hostile enough without a gazillion hormones coursing through my body too.. Some people say it's a waste of an embryo but I have an incredibly regular cycle so I am definitely ovulating and want to give myself a chance. Very interesting you were taking other drugs before transfer, I will do some research as not heard of lubion. Thanks again for replying, I find it so valuable hearing others' stories. And again, I'm so sorry for what you're going through with the MMC, my heart goes out to you xx

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baby2016
baby2016
in reply to RidleyNL

Lubion is a form of progesterone, I requested it as the were going to give me cyclogest and a precaution, but always makes me really sore. My NHS clinic would only use cyclogest, but when I went private I requested lubion. It is expensive, but definately preferred 1 injection a day than the cyclogest.

If you look through my old posts, it's all about my lining issues.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm doing ok, but feel exhausted with it all today xx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to baby2016

I bet you are shattered, it is all so draining physically and emotionally with all the ups and downs. Be kind to yourself, you're being very strong xx

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baby2016
baby2016
in reply to RidleyNL

The clexane and steriods were because I have high NK cells and borderline sticky blood syndrome xx

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Abbie40

I’m all for a natural cycle!! I’ve had 5 rounds of ivf and now pregnant on my first transfer with a natural cycle. I soon realised in my case that the pill was messing with my hormones so we just waited for my natural period to start. I’m 45 and every single time they tried to increase my lining they’d give me up to 14mg oestrogen pills and 2 patches and still my lining was inadequate. Finally they thought to try a natural cycle and my lining naturally got to 9mm. I have been pregnant with a lining of 7mm the last 3 times but all chemical pregnancies but for me natural works best! Good luck!!

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to Abbie40

Thank you, this is so helpful to hear! That's amazing that naturally your lining did its job.. isn't it incredible that they can give you all the drugs to induce it in the world, but it doesn't happen and then your body naturally kicks in? I find it amazing. Chemical pregnancies are really tough, the high of seeing the positive test and then the crippling low of it not taking.. But I am really encouraged by your story and really hope this pregnancy is the one for you! Wishing you all the best, please let me know how you get on xx

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Abbie40
Abbie40
in reply to RidleyNL

Thanks so much!! I’m trying to stay calm but so hard after everything. I’m so happy you found this useful, please keep me posted and you can ask me anything. Good luck!!! Xxx

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Lizzielizzielizzie

I had a medicated FET without DR, my clinic say they get similar results with and without DR so maybe ask about this? I had oestrogen tablets, which did start to affect my mood after a couple of weeks but then I added in the progesterone pessaries five days before transfer and got back on an even keel within two days. I got my bfp from my frozen embie.

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Lizzielizzielizzie

Ps the brand name of my products are progynova and utrogestan x

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RidleyNL

Brilliant news for you and thank you for another positive story about using less drugs. I find it amazing how my clinic recommends protocols that are so drug heavy as standard, without talking you through the less medicated options in equal measure. It’s like they are an after thought, which is just plain wrong - especially if the results are similar!! Why the hell wouldn’t they suggest protocols that aren’t so hard on the body?! Unfortunately this does give strength to my ‘lab rat’ feeling, BUT at the same time I feel more convinced to call the shots - when I first started IVF I was so clueless I gave my clinic all the credit for being experts, and put all my faith in my consultant’s opinion because I’m so desperate for a baby, but it’s my body and I realise more and more I don’t just have to agree with everything they reccomend. Or at least bloody question it (like I do in every other part of my life 🙄😬)!! Thanks SO much for the info and best of luck with your pregnancy xx

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VannaGio
VannaGio
in reply to RidleyNL

Hi there! Ah, yes, similar story here too. I had two FETs canceled in the last 6 months, because my lining got THINNER as I started taking estradiol, and it messed my cycles all up. Now after 2 months of only taking herbs and acupuncuture my lining is back to 6.3mm... still thin but better than with hormones. I am hoping it will go up even more next time (herbs apparently take at least 3 months to work...). I am as puzzled as you are. I think the patches/pills usually help, but not always, and the only explanation I have come to so far is that organisms are terribly complex and the same protocol does not work for everyone. I hope we will both be lucky and better off without hormones... good luck to you!! xxx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to VannaGio

And you!! Very glad I’m not the only one, I thought I was totally abnormal!! Although I rather like the fact I am a terribly complex organism 😝 Keelp in touch and very best of luck (ps. What herbs are you taking?!) xx

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VannaGio

Hi there! I am taking a tincture of various herbs as recommended by a herbalist and available through their prescription... I would not just "do it yourself", as herbs can have side effects. Also you should not use them if you are also taking hormones or if you get pregnant! If you book an appointment with a herbal doctor/expert (someone with a certification) they will give you a consultation and prepare a mixture for you, and recommend perhaps changes in diet too. I am taking e.g. shatavari and black cohosh, which help with estrogen, and chaste tree, which helps with progesterone. Oily fish 3 x week. Flaxseeds too... But really best to see someone as they will also take into account other aspects of your health and situation (each plant has multiple functions) and make the best mix for you. Does it work? Well, I think it does... Good luck and keep in touch! :-)

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to VannaGio

Thanks for the info and yes totally agree seeing agree sorry is the way forward, was just curious as my acupuncturist has also recommended herbs on the side in the past and wanted to see if they tallied!! All the very best to you and goooood luck xxx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to RidleyNL

*totally agree seeing an expert is the way forward* damn you autocorrect!! 🤣

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Smang

Hi Ridley, as some of the women mentioned. Similarly I did a partial medicated fet for my frozen. I did not down reg, and started cyclacur (estrogen) on day 2 of my period and introduced progesterone five days before transfer.

If you have a regular cycle, I don’t think it’s necessary to down reg. I got a bfp on my second frozen transfer.

In addition I was prescribed prednisone (for NK cells, although never tested. I was given it as a precautionary), clexane injections and baby aspirin.

Also try incorporating acupuncture, if you can, it really helps with lining development.

Wishing you the very best of luck xx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to Smang

Thank you this is so heartening. My periods are like clockwork, the problem with me is the lining condition (fibroids and tiny ‘nodules’ even my consultant is baffled by) and thickness. I’m determined to try the lowest amount of meds this time 💛💛

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Smang
Smang
in reply to RidleyNL

I will ask my friend what she had done, similarly she had fluid in her uterus and they inserted a coil as well. She had multiple surgeries over the years to remove fibroids. Her second time around she got her BFP and she has a beautiful baby boy. She lives in the USA so I will pop her a message and see if she can offer any advice or recommendations based on her experience xx

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RidleyNL
RidleyNL
in reply to Smang

That is so kind of you thank you very very much xx

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