How do you know when it is time to stop?
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4/6/2012 11:30 AM
Facing this question now. After IUIs and one mini-stim IVF, doctor recommends moving on to donor eggs or embryos. Since I am 43, I can't really argue with him, but struggling with "giving up" on my eggs.

We are strongly leaning towards embies rather than DE since we have to use DS anyway. I *think* the cost of using embies will actually be less than using DE, and the process will be faster.

Would love to hear how others cope with "my eggs aren't good enough" feelings. I saw our embies before the ET and two of them looked absolutely perfect. I know intellectually that this doesn't reveal how good they are on the inside, but those 8 and 10 cell As looked so promising.

5/16/2011 9:01 PM
Hi Amy,

I am so glad that you shared your story here and I wanted to let you know that your story really touched me. I completely understand the emotional and financial toll that infertility takes on a person and on a marriage. It is a tough road.

I don't have much time right now, but wanted to ask you a few questions and I can respond back later. I am curious about a couple of things. How old are you? If you don't mind sharing, what is your BMI (you can get this by Googling a BMI chart)? (Don't worry...mine is high.) Has your husband ever had his sperm tested for fragmentation, etc? Have you had your thyroid functions checked and are you on thyroid medicine? Have you ever been checked for immune disorders? What part of the country do you live in? I apologize for all of the questions, but I may be able to give you some ideas of how to proceed based on your answers.

I have a few friends who have PCOS and have gone through infertility. While they were not successful with IUI, they WERE successful with IVF. In fact, one of my friends said she wishes her RE had sent her straight to IVF because after multiple IUI's she conceived on her first IVF cycle.

As for the weight issue, I don't know anyone who's suffered through several rounds of infertility and the associated medicines and not gained weight. It is nearly impossible to take all of these hormones as well the emotional toll & depression that go with unsuccessful cycles and try to lose weight. I've been there and I know. Some RE's are very strict on BMI and others are not. I cycled for years with a local RE who always, always made me feel bad about my weight. He made me lose 50 lbs. before I could even cycle for the first time. My new RE has never even mentioned it to me. I won't say weight is unimportant, but it is more important to be healthy. I'd be happy to give you some ideas here too.

We're gearing up for our 7th IVF cycle and all of them have been out of pocket. I understand the financial drain IF is. There are a few resources out there and there are some great clinics who offer "shared risk" or "guarantee" programs where you can get your money back in the event you are not successful. That helps a lot both for peace of mind and in case adoption is ever an option for you.

I am sorry you are feeling defeated at the moment, but where there is a will there is a way. If I can help you braintstorm at all, please don't hesitate to ask.

5/15/2011 8:28 PM
My husband and I have been married and trying to conceive for 7 years now. For the first 5 years I was diagnosed with PCOS, even though in the beginning I was only about 15 pounds overweight. All my doctors could tell me was to lose weight, and so I struggled for years only to end up 75 pounds heavier, full of self hatred and disappointment. I could tell, even though he would never say it, that my husband blamed me. After all, doctor after doctor repeatedly told us that "all I had to do was lose weight". After visiting four different specialists who would not look at anything other than my size my primary care physician ran yet another random blood test. He had run LH and FSH levels every year as part of a baseline, but for some reason he thought to compare it with my first test taken years ago and felt that my results could not just be attributed to my weight gain, especially since there was no improvement when I would lose weight. He sent my for a CAT scan and saw a tiny tumor on my pituitary gland. Apparently this tumor, which could be a result of advanced PCOS, but could also have been the cause of PCOS symptoms, made my body think that I was already pregnant, or had just given birth. As a result - no ovulation, no baby & massive weight gain.

Since then I have started Cabergoline for the tumor and started fertility treatment to increase ovulation. In two years we have done Clomid, Femara, timed intercourse with Follistim & Ovidrill, and 6 rounds of IUI with Follistim & Ovidrill. Now, our insurance has terminated the limited ART coverage they offered and my husband and I have to bear the financial burden of both the treatment and the drug therapies on our own. After two years, we are exhausted emotionally, and financially. We just had the most recent IUI, and our doctors have basically told us if IUI were going to work, it could have already. Our next step is IVF, which we have neither the money nor the emotional stamina for, so I don't know what we will do when this IUI fails. All I know, is that I am tired, but I also don't know when to say enough is enough. Every month I tell myself I can not go though it again. The disappointment is too much, and the impact on my marriage is extreme. Sex is no longer for any purpose other than a pending disappointment, and we seem to have lost the ability to talk about it. We can discuss anything else, but our fertility issues are completely off the table - both of us terrified at what the end of the discussion may bring. An end to the treatments? Acceptance of defeat and a life without a child of our own? Or something much worse - the end of the marriage? I don't know if I can spend the rest of my life looking at him, knowing that I am the reason he will never know what it is like to hold his child and I don't know that I want him to spend the rest of his life fighting the instinct to blame me. He says that just the two of us for ever is enough for him, but not only do I not believe it - I don't know if it is enough for me. Somedays I think that I can face life alone easier than life waking next to a constant reminder of what I can not give him.
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