So I have just turned 40. My partner and I have had one NHS funded ICSI cycle which resulted in 10 eggs; 6 fertilised but only one could be used. Our implantation failed 13 days post implantation. I have to say, I was pretty naïve going into the whole process. I knew, because of my age, that our chances was minimal so I went into it telling myself that it probably wasn't going to work. At the same time, I kept getting positive noises from my clinic which was boosting my confidence that I might get a positive result - I know 3 couples that all had IVF success stories on their first try, 2 of them have 2 IVF children each, so thought I might get lucky too. Anyway, it didn't and I was devasted.
Once we got over the initial shock we decided to try again, but were self funding. I started reading a lot more about the process and what I needed to do to get myself into the best shape for treatment. Our initial consultation explained that since I was on Protocol 9 (the second highest drug regime) for my first try, I have practically no chance of conceiving, but since I didn't have anything to compare it too - they would facilitate one go at self funding via Protocol 10 (the highest drug regime possible). By this point I was in a better position to ask informed questions, and it was decided that we would wait 3 months so I could start taking some supplements which might (only might) improve my chances. I also started reading about different things that could be tried and decided to switch from traditional ICSI to PGT-A testing as the book I was reading suggested that the major obstacle for people my age in achieving a successful pregnancy was chromosomal abnormalities and that PGT-A testing will be able to tell which embryo's are chromosomally abnormal and thus increase the chance of implanting a chromosomally normal embryo and therefore achieve a pregnancy.
I was just wondering if anyone had any knowledge or experience of this type of testing, particularly aged 40 or over? What your experience of it was? What questions did you ask/wish you asked you clinic? What was the outcome? I have read that success rates can be increased by 3-4% of you implant frozen and was wondering if anyone had any knowledge of this?
Apart from my initial reading I have found it difficult to find much information on the process, what to expect in the UK? So any sign positing to any useful links would be helpful
Thanks in advance
Sorry your first round didn't work out 😞 You did well to be honest - 10 eggs is really great. I'm surprised you were told the chance of success is so low. I am also surprised that the advice was higher stim dosage. I am not sure of what your diagnosis is - that can have a big impact on success and why you were given the advice you received. (Or maybe you need another opinion?)
You are doing the right thing taking supplements they help many 😀
You should be aware that ICSI and PGT-A are NOT interchangeable, PGT-A is really an add-on. ICSI is recommended where there are male factor issues, or for some clinics they use ICSI for everyone. You can ready my profile for more details, but don't be mislead into believing PGT-A is a silver bullet for success. It has its place, but not a great idea for everyone. If you only get 1-2 embryos (totally normal for 40), it could be expensive per embryo and if the results aren't what you want in the UK you cannot change your mind. You should consider the pros and cons carefully.
Best of luck!
Thanks for reaching out. We started with a male factor issue, i.e. his sperm is fine but he cannot ejaculate during sex. After my last round the issue seems to be my low AMH level - which is only 0.8; and the fact that I am now 40 years old. They said my chances are 3.4% of a successful pregnancy - hence why I am preparing myself for the worst.
N yeah I thought 10 eggs was really good as well, until they explained that the best one (and only one they transferred) was 3AB - which I don't know what it stands for - do you? They called me the day after transfer (5 day blastocyst transfer) and said the rest were basically junk and they had to bin them. So think the fact that most were showing as chromosomally abnormal is why they are preparing me for the worst.
Would really like to look into the grading more before my next round - I feel like they don't give you any information at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, you really need to look for it. So, for example, when I had my consultation for this round of treatment I brought up PGT-A and was kinda fobbed off, and put down the ICSI only route. I was told that it would be to expensive and based on my last round I wouldn't have had any to transfer. However, since they also suggested waiting 3 months (which at 40 is a risk in itself) to give the supplements a chance to work I started reading up on PGT-A and contacted them again and said I wanted to proceed with the PGT-A add on - which delayed my treatment again. I know what you mean about the pros and cons - I have been told that they will not transfer chromosomally abnormal so I could pay for tests and get no transfer at all. That in itself is a risk but I figured it is a calculated risk.
I read your bio, so congrats on being a mummy, it sounds like you had quite a ride as well. My own experience was 5 years in the making, I had to change medication for epilepsy as the medication I was taking caused birth defects and learning difficulties for children; then stop smoking; then put on weight so my BMI was too high coupled with covid lockdowns and backlogs.