I am TTC #2 and have had 3 unsuccessful IUIs (with injectables) over the last 6 months... I really want to have another LO but I just turned 39 (yesterday) and feel a bit hopeless given my age and declining egg reserve and quality. Trying to figure out next steps just seems really daunting and I'm not sure if I'm ready to face the emotional rollercoaster of IVF. Has anyone been in this boat? How did you decide to move on, how did you prepare, what questions should I ask my RE? Just looking for some advice and support, thanks so much!!
persimmon / 1023 posts
We've had to make the choice twice. We did 6 natural IUI's, one medicated over a 10 month period with our first child, and 2 medicated IUI's over 4 months with our second. We got pregnant with our son on the first IVF cycle and are currently pregnant with our second from our second IVF cycle.
We moved on due to impatience and feeling like we needed to try something different. Our RE didnt have an answer as to why it wasn't working as our cycles looked great and no known issues (lack of sperm because we are 2 women!) I was frustrated because we just kept doing the same thing and it was draining. Once the medicated cycle failed when we were trying for our first it was time. This time around, we got a funded cycle offered to us sooner than we though so we went for it. We had been doing IUI's while we waited.
I remember thinking it seemed like a HUGE jump to IVF and I was scared. But ultimately, we were given a 40-55% chance of success over the 15-20% per IUI and we were ready. It seemed like the last resort (before adoption or other avenues) so I just wanted to know if getting pregnant was possible if that makes sense. IVF seemed to hover on the horizon for months and I was just ready to go to the 'final' step!
In your case, I would not hesitate if you want that second child. I've since read that if IUI is going to work, it usually will by the 3rd try. Plus, if you've done injections already, you are familiar to that and it's not all that different. Financially, yes, but logistics, not that much. It is intense because the stakes seem higher but if age was a factor, I wouldn't think of waiting past 3-4 tries.
ETA: In terms of prep, I tried to look at it with excitement even though I was so scared it wouldn't work. We tried to eat healthy, exercise, journal and take care of ourselves. This recent cycle we only had a month until our cycle started so we didn't do anything different. In terms of questions, our RE explained everything very well and they were very streamlined to how it all worked. I guess how many embryos to transfer, what their success rates are, how many patients make it to transfer, what protocol they suggest and why.
pear / 1580 posts
I didn't find IVF to be so much of an emotional rollercoaster, especially after being used to the appointments and medications required for IUIs. The stakes and the cost are higher, but if you, DH, RE are on board and it's financially viable, then I say go for it ASAP! If I were you, I would just ask my RE for his honest opinion about our chances and to help me to set my expectations. Good luck!!
apricot / 334 posts
@muffinsmuffins: you totally hit the nail on the head... psychologically IVF seems like a huge jump and it feels like i have so much more at stake, if that makes sense. anyway, thanks so much for sharing, congrats and good luck with #2!
pomegranate / 3355 posts
I was exactly in your boat!! We did 6 months of treatment with an RE. Some TI and 3 IUI's. All BFN. I was so torn and upset and I didn't want to give up on lo2 so I got a second opinion and then I did a lot of thinking.
I ultimately decided not to continue on to IVF. The cost was just too much for not a lot of guarantee. And honestly I was just "done" after the 6 months we did do. I give sooo much credit to everyone who does IF treatments. Such a roller coaster of emotions and so physically and emotionally demanding.
Ironically I got pregnant on my first cycle after deciding to stop all treatments....
Good luck!! If you have any specific questions for me or anything feel free to wall me
grapefruit / 4043 posts
I had done two IUIs and felt ready to move on to IVF. I was trying for my first baby. I felt I was getting older and time wasn't on my side. (I was 33.) I had tried for 3+ years. And I was ready to make the financial move because I figured it was for my peace of mind. I was only going to do IVF once and if it didn't work out, then I would know that I tried all I could. ETA: I had unexplained infertility. Good luck with whatever you decide. It can be such a tough decision.
pomegranate / 3809 posts
After 3 IUIs checkbox I was ready to just get the show on the road and go for higher chances... thinking IVF was the "answer" since it seemed to just work for everyone. Little did I know it'd take until my 4th retreival over 2 years to even get pregnant, just to lose it. One cycle is not really a roller coaster imo. I naively had hope the first time. I guess my advice would just be to be prepared in case the first try doesn't work and what your options would be afrer that.
apricot / 334 posts
@ineebee: thanks! My RE said it's really not that much different than my IUI cycles since I was already doing injectables... but like you said the stakes are so much higher. I will definitely talk with the doctor again and do some more thinking.
@Ajsmommy: it's comforting to hear that that others have been in the same boat. the ttc journey for #2 has been so trying, i struggle between not wanting to give up and not wanting to go through any more treatments. It's such a difficult decision and one I feel I need to make asap given my age. anyway, sounds like you were fated to have lo2 congrats!!
@agold: thanks so much for sharing your experience. I do want to feel like I tried all I could.
@PurplePumps: this is totally my fear. even though I know it's naive, I have so much hope that IVF might bring us lo2 but obviously it may not be successful at all. thanks for the advice, I know I need to be prepared for possible disappointment even if I move forward.
persimmon / 1132 posts
@Jellyfish: Lots of good thoughts here with ladies who have done IUIs first, etc. so I don’t have too much to add on that note. I didn’t do IUIs first because we went straight to IVF after learning DH has severe MFI. I just wanted to lend my support as someone who started IVF at 39. The statistics and success rates are straight up scary for those of us who are older, so it’s a lot to ponder.
Because of the statistics, I think the stakes being higher is a huge thing to mentally get over, not to mention the cost. (It was told that it was like a 35-40% chance of success in my case.) And then I don’t know about you, but there was some pressure (in a helpful and realistic way) from the RE to get going because of my age. Before that, I never thought twice about being an older mom and had obviously waited so long because I had bet on it. Suddenly age was an issue!
Despite it all, I just wanted to know that we had tried everything we could. Neither of us thought we could go through life without having gone all in. We just jumped. I don’t know how else we could have arrived at such a hard and risky decision.
So we literally went from a MFI diagnosis in April/May to starting to cycle in August. (It would have been June but we had a vacation planned.) I got my BFP around my 40th birthday. Statistics be damned, in my case. Even my AMA pregnancy was super smooth...so it DOES happen. Best of luck to you!
kiwi / 518 posts
I think we did 5-6 rounds IUI from April to November and if I had it to do over I definitely would have gone to IVF after 3 cycles like one of the nurses suggested originally. I think they were all medicated though not monitored and we never went to injectibles because our RE suggested if we were going to go through the time spend of that level of monitoring that it would be best to just move to IVF.
I was worried about how intense IVF would be but honestly it wasn't bad. I was not in a lot of discomfort and didn't find my moods were affected greatly.
We had moderate to severe MFI and had really good outcomes from IVF - I still have 10 embryos on ice. We got pregnant on the first try but lost it early and then just did a FET which resulted in my sticky baby - 38 weeks now!
I will say we were in a good position where insurance covered almost all the costs of IVF so it was easy to handle, but given your age, if you can swing it I would just move forward with IVF.
pomegranate / 3230 posts
We almost tried IVF for baby #2 after two years:
Nov 2015: IUD pulled
~March 2016: Miscarriage (I was almost 39)
Nov 2016: Started working with an RE
May 2017: Miscarriage from second Clomid cycle right around my 40th birthday. We had skipped the IUI due to a schedule conflict
July - Oct 2017: Rounds 3 and 4 of Clomid, one more IUI
Oct 2017: switch insurance coverage since my husband's plan covers IVF. Plan to start IVF in January.
Nov 2017: Final Clomid + IUI = BFP
When I started seeing the RE, my intention was to stop before IVF because it sounds so rough to go through coupled with relatively low probability of success. The odds of failure are higher than the odds of success.
But then after the second miscarriage I just felt like I was running out of time due to my age. I wanted to do a round or two of IVF as a final step and then quit. The alternative felt like just going back to timed intercourse on our own with no clear end to the process so this started to feel like a better path to closure in a weird way. Since we had the option for insurance coverage for one round we decided to go for it.
Ironically we had never planned on more than two children and now this pregnancy is identical twins. So my husband and I are working through feeling twice as excited and twice as terrified! And twins are automatically a high risk pregnancy so I don't really feel "in the clear" yet.
Hang in there. I know it is really tough to navigate. It is really hard not to let your emotions get the best of you when you are in the thick of all the appointments and the monthly rollercoaster. Hugs.