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When should I start thinking about IVF?

Hi everyone! Happy new Year!
I am starting to think about IVF. When was the moment that you stopped trying to get pregnant naturally and looked into IVF as an option?

Honestly, perhaps it should have occurred to me earlier as I am already 39 but it's only a couple of years since we started trying to get pregnant and so far nothing. I was optimistic in the beginning but getting less so with every period. 

Anyway, just any input would be helpful by now, I'm a bit lost about it.


  • Hey @Thehappyvet, I just stumbled upon this and realised you hadn’t had a reply yet. 

    I am just starting my first cycle of ivf. We have been trying for almost 2 years but it was only about 6 months into trying when I knew something wasn’t right.  We were lucky that the doctors did tests so early but it helped us plan the future, and here we are, first ivf cycle. 

    if there is anything I can help you with, please just ask 😊 it’s a very daunting process but once you get into it.... it’s quite straight forward. 

    I think the first thing would to be for both partners to have tests (gp should do this).  Are you in the UK?
  • Hi @SR19,

    Thank you for your answer! 
    Yes, I am in London actually.
    Both me and my partner have been tested already and there seems to be nothing wrong, medically speaking. But we have been trying for two years now and have not managed to conceive. 

    I have actually been pregnant in my early twenties and have terminated the pregnancies and I am thinking that this could be perhaps what might have caused the issue.

    As for questions I have loads!
    How long does one cycle take? And are you taking a lot of medications? Is it hard for you? How do you experience it?

    The best of luck with your cycle!!! <3

  • @Thehappyvet
    okay, well unexplained infertility for starters is very common! 
    Would you qualify for nhs treatment in your area? it depends what area of London you are in as they all have various requirements.

    The termination... if all the tests have shown nothing is wrong then I wouldn’t worry about this too much. A termination has never been mentioned or the question asked whilst I’ve been having treatment.  Various other things have but not that. I think if there was any evidence that it could cause problems they would ask? That’s my thought on it.

    Okay questions.. it depends what protocol they put you on for medication.  As I have a lower egg reserve than I should have for my age, they have put me on a long protocol.  This is the longest so worst case scenario for a basic cycle really. 
    This involves taking down regulation medication for 2-3 weeks. I will then have a scan to see how my body has reacted to it  (they will keep me on down reg drugs a week longer if they aren’t happy when I have the scan).  If it’s all gone to plan, I will then start stimulation drugs for approx 2 weeks then I will have egg collection. 5 days later I will have the transfer and that’s it. Waiting game for taking the test. 

    Medication is fine. I have been advised to take lots of supplements prior to starting treatment to help with egg reserve and quality.
    Now I have started treatment, I take these plus 1 injection a day.

    It’s easy to do and my partner does it for me but I could definitely do it myself if needed. I’m 1 week in and no issues so far.  In actual fact, I don’t have any symptoms at all. It’s quite common to have side effects but so far so good... but I have another 12 days to go so it could all change. 🙈
  • @SR19

    Wow thank you so much for taking the effort to write such a comprehensive answer.

    Yes, my doctor also reassured me that it is common and perhaps the stress factor is playing an important role. But it's been two years and I don't really know how to switch off stressing.  :s

    As for the NHS treatment, I am eligible, yes, but the waiting lists are way too long. It can go up to a couple of years and I feel like with every period my chances are getting smaller and smaller.

    Did you follow your procedure via NHS? 
    I was considering going abroad for this, it also seems to be much more affordable.
    So glad to hear you had no side effects, issues are indeed quite common.
  • No problem, it’s nice to have a clear understanding. And I can talk for England 🤣

    You can’t ‘not stress’ when it’s something that takes such a toll on life. You’ll get there ☺️

    That’s good but I completely understand the timescale is off putting.  
    We have actually done it privately.  My BMI was too high for nhs and losing the weight quickly is not something my body does plus my egg count being low I didn’t want to wait and risk it being much harder in years to come.
    It’s a lot of money but there are packages and deals that do make it more affordable.  
    I did look at abroad but most don’t offer the same ‘standards’ as the UK and I think that’s what put me off mainly, Plus obviously the fact it’s a lot harder to travel at the moment.

    Have you considered IUI rather than IVF to start? 
  • @SR19

    I don't know about the standards to be honest. I saw some clinics in Spain and across the Mediterranean and I was impressed by how professional they seem.

    The travelling yes is a pain at the moment but I hope we can resolve it soon with the vaccine.

    As for the IUI,  am 39 pushing 40 and I have the feeling it will be a waste of even more time. I know it is somehow advisable but still I feel it will become even harder than it is. 
  • @Thehappyvet Well I’m sure with the right research you’ll be able to find a good suitable clinic abroad. 

    That’s understandable, I was just thinking with the cost being significantly less for IUI and as there is no definite reasons why you haven’t conceived yet, it could be a started point.  But I completely understand the timeframe etc.  We didn’t/haven’t done anything else, straight in with ICSI. 
  • @SR19 Thank you for all your help and for taking the time to answer!
    Maybe I'm a last moment person, I don't know but it really hit me somehow that I need to take the action because my stress is growing exponentially as time goes by.
  • @Thehappyvet I think just looking into it and seeing all your options will help you feel more in control. 
  • Yes, absolutely. This is exactly what I did. I actually handled the matter of finding a clinic an a semi-professional manner. I compiled all the clinics that seemed good to me and had a good reputation in the UK and I started already in the beginning of the year to send a bunch of questions to each one of them. The ones that were quick to reply were the ones that I kept on reading more about and eventually I figured out the clinic I will be heading to. I really feel that if the customer service in a clinic sucks, so will the medical care. Perhaps I'm wrong but I wouldn't take chances with a clinic that has an unreliable customer care. I really recommend the method by the way, it has helped me clarify the options.
  • I'm not pro-IVF.... but because egg quality starts to drop off fast after 37yo, I would kinda be looking at it maybe a year or so before especially after ttc for at least a year.

    That's assuming your AMH / AFC look normal for your age, meaning you don't have diminished ovarian reserve, otherwise the earlier the better.

    I'm not sure if Oxford Fertility met your criteria, but their results are among the highest in the UK / World.

    Lots of baby dust for you Xxx
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