Final ivf cycle at 46... any advice p... - Fertility Network UK

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Final ivf cycle at 46... any advice please? xx

Aquarius_hope profile image

Hello ladies!

Thank you so much for sharing all your stories on this forum 😘

I wonder if you could give me any advice too...?!

My story is .... I met my partner late in life,

so we decided on just 3x IVF / ICSI cycles before I turned 45, using our own eggs & sperm. (His sperm count is low & he also has poor quality sperm. My tests came back ok... so I guess my age is the main issue for me.)

Unfortunately, no eggs fertilised on the 3rd cycle so I had no embryos to transfer. Devastation doesn’t even describe how I felt afterwards... !! I felt cheated that I didn’t get a “proper” 3rd go... and I also didn’t get the closure that I needed.

Since then it’s been a battle with my partner to have 1x more attempt. My partner (who is now 52 & recently redundant & totally petrified of the Coronavirus!) is not keen at all, and doesn’t really understand (in his eyes we did 3x cycles as planned!!).

I am now 46... and I think our chances of success are about 1% (with our own bit & pieces!). I am more scared of genetic abnormalities this time ... but my consultant has been amazing. She keeps reminding me that the risks are higher... but still “low” overall! Plus there are more tests available now. And she even tells me personal success stories to help reduce my worries (eg her 51 year old friend who got pregnant naturally and now has a beautiful healthy baby girl!!).

Any thoughts / advice ladies...?

I would love to squeeze in a final cycle before we have another lockdown (!!)... but I am more scared this time round... and I also need to convince my other half too!! 🙈

Thank you 😊 xxx

13 Replies

I can’t offer much advise, as I tried 5 full rounds with my own eggs over the last 4 years, I’m only 36 now but at 31 or 32 I was diagnosed with egg reserves of someone aged 45+.

After 2 rounds of high dose normal ivf, I did 3 rounds of natural modified ivf which might be worth you trying? It can be better for older ladies and for lower reserves. Have a look at my older posts maybe?

You haven’t mentioned it, so might not be ready yet, but have you considered donor eggs? It could give you the guarantee that you are after but it really does take time to get to that point and it’s not for everyone.

I’m now using donor and surrogate xxx

Hello Orla,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and for your advice. My clinic did talk about a low dose protocol... but then changed their mind and offered the regular protocol again (menopur 450 units /day) as they had seen better results (???!!!). I will speak to the consultant again though xx

Also, my partner won’t consider other options (donor eggs, adoption, etc).. But thank you for suggesting anyway xx We only have this one last shot with IVF/ ICSI... xx

Wishing you all the very best with your journey 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤗🤗😘 xx

Moving from 2 rounds on max dose 450iu onto lower doses really helped with quality, my first 2 rounds were pretty dire (2 eggs then 4 eggs, but terrible embryos, fragmented and didn’t make blast) but when I did a package of 3 rounds of natural modified ivf, my first round was only 75iu, the second 150, and the third 225. The round with 150iu yielded 6 eggs and 5 made blast. I’d also agree on retrieval at the smaller end of the follicle sizes as growing them too much does reduce quality.

Taking 300-600mg ubiquinol daily along with inositol and dhea really helped too.

I know you’re at last round, but the multi cycle packages are amazing value and you can do them back to back, freezing any embryos and you only start to transfer once you have “banked”. This is what Yehong did I think.

The particular clinic I used were very good, decent value too, and offer interest free credit on the packages which helped. Definitely worth considering, they have branches in the north and south.

Good luck xxx

Lovemylion profile image
Lovemylion in reply to Orla9298

Could you pm me the branch you used please? Xxx interested in multi cycle package 😘

Orla .. thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with me and for all your advice. I am overwhelmed with everyone’s support. What a lovely bunch of ladies on this forum 😊.

I am intrigued about the lower dose protocol (especially after what happened to me after my 3rd cycle.. ie eggs weren’t great quality and I got no embryos 😢).

I will do more research tomorrow and contact another clinic too for their advice.

Thank you so so much xxx

Hi! We are in similar situation, I think. My husband is 57 this year and I’m 42. We should have thought about the baby issue 10 years ago, but we didn’t and here we are! I have low AMH and not responding much to the stimulation protocols. I had three eggs retrieved first cycle, did a 2dt, failed. Then second cycle 3 eggs and only one fertilised and survived to day 3. We froze it. Then third cycle four eggs retrieved, 3 empty and 1 abnormal. So, about two weeks ago, I had a FET with the only embryo we had and I just got a BFP. I know this is just the first milestone we hit and I hope this pregnancy will continue well! 🤞🏻

Having said the above, my experience is that you have to carefully consider your protocol. My first doctor was so assembly line approach and he was pessimistic all the time. Not willing to try anything new or discuss the plan with me. He put me on highest dosage for three cycles (2 cancelled and only one led to retrieval). I didn’t respond to the highest dosage at all and he would not consider any alternative.

My second doctor was very open minded. She sees every month as a new opportunity and will discuss a few options with me and we will decide which one to try. She and I agreed that it was crazy to put me on the highest dosage for three cycles! She started with 150 with me and max only increased to 225 before trigger. And it worked.

The other factor you should discuss with your doctor is egg retrieval timing. I have done a bit research and was convinced that for older women like us, we shouldn’t wait till Over 20mm. 17-19 mm is good enough.

Finally, I started accupuncture in this cycle. I don’t know whether it helped or not. I’m just trying everything I can!

I know you must be in a dilemma at the moment. I suggest you do a bit research on your own and also speak to your doctor again to detail your opportunities and risks. Then you can have a less emotional discussion with your partner... although this is an emotional topic!

Wish you the best of luck!

Good morning Yehong,

Thank you so much for responding to my post and sharing your story. It’s so lovely to hear from someone in a similar situation. (This is quite a lonely process in so many ways!). However, congratulations on your amazing result so far 🎉🎉!! I will keep all my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Thank you also for all your advice. You seem to have researched this area far more than I have! I suppose I trusted the team too much. However, I will ask more questions in my next consultation (about a lower dose protocol, about timing of egg retrieval, etc). I will also look into acupuncture again ... or other methods of relaxation/ de-stressing!

Do you mind if I just ask you a couple of questions..? Why did you end up freezing your embryo after one of your cycles? Also, is your new clinic based in London or Hertfordshire? If so, maybe I could consider seeing them for this final cycle?

Anyway, wishing you all the very best with the next part of your exciting journey.. and please do keep me up to date!

Big hug 🤗

The reason for freezing the embryo was that in that cycle I used clomid and therefore the lining was thin. It was a grade 1 good D3 embryo and my doctor decided to save it till my lining is better. We also discussed FET vs fresh transfer and at best, there is not much difference and there seems to be some doctors believe FET is better as the patient can adjust hormone levels and Better prepare for the transfer.

Speaking of this, Maybe you can ask your doc whether you can use Clomid for 5 days and then once you see the follicles, start the injections. It is sort of blended mild stimulation and short protocol. When I started injections, I used 150 and then gradually upped to 225. At the same time, I continued to use clomid.

It is easy to think you shall leave this to the experts. But I learned a hard lesson myself! It was not until a few long hard weeks of research that I decided my first doctor was rubbish.

I did my IVF in HK. My husband And I thought about doing it in the UK as we heard the techniques are better. But COVID 19 didn’t leave us with much choice. As I don’t speak Cantonese, there is little local support. That’s why I’m A frequent visitor here 😂.

Aww, you ladies are amazing!

Thank you so much for all your help and support.

This is such a difficult process anyway... but if I know that I’m on the best possible protocol for my age & situation, I would feel a lot more confident about our last attempt!

Looks like I have to have more conversations with the specialists and do more research .. but at least I will feel better prepared for our final go.

It’s also reassuring to know that you can get a positive result with a frozen embryo! I was under the impression that fresh transfers were always a better option! Oh boy.. I have so much more to learn 🙈!!

Anyway, sending lots of hugs over to HK! 🤗 xx

I’ve sent you a message about clinic xx

Thank you 😊 xx

Hi lovely. Thank you too for sharing your story.

Im not entirely in the same position but just wanted to say that i had my last transfer during the Covid time (july/august) and even though unsuccessful i just wanted to mention i felt very safe. At most i saw one more patient in the waiting room and i was dealth with very carefully. Masks, one way system, nurses fully in ppe, washing hands, taking temperature, pre questionaire before every app and partners not allowed mostly so it was only me going in. I was scared but i as i said due to their precautions i felt very safe. So from that perspective i just wanted to reassure you. I hope you follow your heart and dont give up. Sending hugs xx

Aww, bless you!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the clinic with me. It definitely helps to put my mind as ease xx I’m sorry that this last cycle didn’t work out for you... but I really hope the next one brings you a little miracle 😊

Big hugs back 🤗 xx

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