ADVICE PLEASE: Has anyone here taken ... - Fertility Network UK

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ADVICE PLEASE: Has anyone here taken steroids during a frozen embryo transfer?

Bettyjoy profile image
Bettyjoy

So, after over six months of waiting, insisting and to-ing and fro-ing , my fertility clinic has agreed to prescribe me steroids for the frozen embryo transfer of our one and only frozen euploid embryo. Over the last five years i have had two miscarriages (after getting naturally pregnant) and four failed cycles of IVF. I have raised levels of cardiolipin antibodies and I need to take steroids because this year, through a immunoprofiling biopsy, I was found to have a very high count of killer cells in my uterus. I am supposed to start the protocol for FET with my next cycle and I have been told to start taking steroids only from the actual day of the transfer of the embryo. I will then have to self isolate until pregnancy test day.

Has anyone here had a similar experience? If so, did you start taking the steroids BEFORE the transfer rather than on the actual day of the transfer? Has anyone else had raised levels of cardiolipin antibodies and did you take blood thinners during the transfer?

This is our last embryo - our last shot at having a child through IVF. I just want to make sure we do everything we can during this process - I do trust my clinic and at the same time I do not want to trust them blindly- I am sure all of you know what I mean.

Any shared experience and advice you have about any of the abo r would be HUGELY HELPFUL AND MASSIVELY APPRECIATED!

Thank you ladies!

16 Replies

I took prednisolone which always started at the beginning of my drug protocol. This last time I opted to stop taking them when I learned that the HFEA were not recommending to take steroids in the middle of a pandemic as it lowers your immune status. Also I was prescribed them without actually knowing if I needed them, I was never tested for NK cells. This is a tiny bit unethical of my clinic but I guess they were just trying to increase my chances. You definitely need them but it’s worth getting a second opinion on when best to start them to give you the best chance of success.

Bettyjoy profile image
Bettyjoy in reply to jengi

Thank you very much Jengi- i am going to ask for a second opinion as you suggested. A lot of fertility clinics offer steroids anyway because there is empirical evidence that they help so your clinic did the right thing. I wish my clinic had offered them to me for the previous cycles. Were you successful by the way? I hope you don’t mind me asking...

jengi profile image
jengi in reply to Bettyjoy

I was never prescribed them when trying with my own eggs. Though we only every got to one 3d embryo transfer. On our first donor egg round, I took the steroids but it didn’t work. On our 2nd attempt with donor I took them for 10 days & then stopped as I learned the HFEA weren’t recommending it due to Covid. And I’m now 17 weeks pregnant. So for me it didn’t matter unless the 10 days worth helped, who knows? I also took heparin & aspirin too. Best of luck!

Ps sorry for a very long answer to a simple question!

I took steroids, don't have the same immune issues as you but started them on day 1 on AF for my FET. I had in the past taken them but started them closer to embryo transfer day, around a week before transfer.....this is naughty but I had them already and wanted to try them for longer so started them of my accord. Good luck.xx

Bettyjoy profile image
Bettyjoy in reply to Cinderella5

Thank you so so much for this! What is AF incidentally?

Cinderella5 profile image
Cinderella5 in reply to Bettyjoy

Period, sorry!xx

I did take them as well. I don't have any immune issues but they were apart of my protocol

Thank you x

Thank you!

I started taking them 5 days before transfer x

Hello lovely

I started taking prednisone 20mg 5 days before transfer and have gradually weaned off at 9 and a bit weeks. I don’t know if it’s steroids or what but the transfer worked! Wishing you the best xxx

AWESOME! So so pleased to hear this-thank you for the info and much love to you and bambino! 😘

I'm currently under care of miscarriage specialist as I have elevated level of nk cells- 3 failed ivf cycles and 4 chemicals. I was due to do ivf but fell pregnant naturally after taking intralipids and hydroxychloroquine. I started taking steroids on the day I got my positive pregnancy test. So far so good. This is the first pregnancy to get to 6 weeks since my first pregnancy 3 years ago. Steroids work wonders (in my opinion). Got my 7 week scan next week and never in a million years thought I'd ever get to that point. What I would say is that if you have fallen pregnant naturally before then it is likely you could again IF you have the right drugs. For me, all my miscarriages occurred very early in, at implantation stage, so it wasn't getting pregnant that was the issue, it was keeping it. If the cycle is unsuccessful, look into natural pregnancy with steroids/intralipids etc xx

Oh Zebedee1971 thank you so much for this. How did you take the intralipids and hydroxychloroquine, throughout the cycle or before ovulation and how many weeks/ months did you take them for before successful pregnancy test etc.? Were they prescribed for you by your consultant or did you start taking them following info

from the internet? I would like to contact you privately if you don’t mind, since it sounds like we have similar issues: my miscarriages happened early on too, it was keeping them the problem. We have been trying to get pregnant naturally too and in the last five years I haven’t managed to get pregnant at all. My IVF consultant blames the quality of my eggs due to

my 44 years of age. Let me know if you are available for a chat after your scan - keeping everything crossed for you and much love 💓

Zebedee1971 profile image
Zebedee1971 in reply to Bettyjoy

Hi, so I initially saw a miscarriage specialist in February this year... £2000 to have all the blood tests. They take your blood and put it into pregnancy type state to see if your blood cells attack the pregnancy. So clever. They test intralipids on the blood to see if it calms down the activity... I started taking Hydroxy about a month before my ivf cycle in july, two pills a day alongside usual pre natal vitamins etc. Then you're supposed to take steroids in pill form from the day of embryo transfer. I didn't get that far because my embryos came back abnormal, so we never did the transfer. But I had taken all the drugs.. Intralipids are administered by infusion, you get put on a drip for half hour-45 minutes, that's administered a few days before embryo transfer, then every four weeks thereafter. Intralipids are most expensive, £350 every time, but only need until 16 weeks.

All my drugs were from my miscarriage specialist who is based in Epsom Surrey. He's easily found online and there's loads of stories about him. I was getting to the point where I doubted whether it all works... I thought I just couldn't have kids or that my eggs were just all bad. Then I got pregnant naturally and that was the only time I'd taken everything he prescribed. I lost that one because I hadn't realised I was supposed to take steroids too, then got pregnant again the following month and immediately started taking the steroids alongside the Hydroxy that I was already taking daily . Still in shock to be honest.

What I would say is that if your amh is still pretty good then definitely look into nk cells. My amh is 16.5 and it never made sense to me that my pregnancies never got further than week 5. I also had no natural pregnancy for nearly 2 years, even though I'd had two very early pregnancies when we first started trying. I lost beloth before 7 weeks... Never understood how I could get pregnant so easily initially, then nothing. My body had learnt to attack teh embryos I guess, so they never got any further than fertilisation. Any other questions, do message, I hope some of this may be helpful to you in the future x

Thanks for this post. I asked a similar question. I’m due to start steroid on the day of egg collection for auto immune issues x

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