Our First Consultation

On Wednesday the 25th May 2011, we had our first consultation at the fertility clinic. It went really well. The consultant put us as at ease straight away. She was easy to talk to and very helpful in answering all of our questions. 

Because my husband had a vasectomy over ten years ago, this meant that he would need to undergo Surgical Sperm Retrieval (SSR). We decided against going down the vasectomy reversal route as our consultant advised that due to the amount of time that had passed since my husbands vasectomy, this meant that the likelihood of a reversal being successful was low. There are two types of SSR, PESA and TESA. We wouldn’t know which one would be carried out until my husband was actually on the operating table. PESA is when sperm is collected from the epididymis (inside the scrotum) using a syringe and fine needle. TESA is when sperm is retrieved from the testicles. 

The consultant said she would call us to arrange a date for the SSR, hopefully within the week. She also said that we could start treatment within the next two months and, even went as far as to say she would be disappointed if they hadn’t collected eggs by August, so this left us with a nice time frame. I remember we were both walking around with big smiles on our faces at that moment. We were desperately trying not to get our hopes up but failing miserable and dreaming of twins!

On the same day as the consultation, the consultant carried out an internal scan on me and confirmed that I had Polycystic Ovaries. I knew this already from previous tests, but I never fully understood what it meant. The consultant explained everything really well to me. I didn’t have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, just Polycystic Ovaries.

The consultant went on to explain that there are two types of IVF protocol – long and short. She explained that I would be on a long protocol. This means that on day 21 of my menstrual cycle, I would start ‘down regulating’. This involves administering one injection a day of Suprecur (aka Buserelin), which is a synthetically produced hormone. This essentially puts your body into a temporary early menopause. Symptoms that may occur are hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, headaches and a few other delightful symptoms! 

Approximately two weeks after starting down regulating, a vaginal ultrasound scan is carried out. This is to check that the lining of my womb is thin and to make sure that my ovaries are inactive. All being well, the next step is to ‘stimulate’ my ovaries to produce follicles. Each follicle will hopefully contain a number of eggs. To do this we have to continue to inject Suprecur, plus we also have to inject Menopur as well. Menopur is a drug that stimulates hormones by triggering FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) production in the body. 

So, two injections a day for around 10-14 days. We would have regular scans during this phase of treatment to ensure I didn’t develop Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This can occur when your ovaries overreact to the fertility drugs and in serious cases can result in hospitalisation. These scans would also allow us to see how many follicles had grown and a nurse would also measure the follicle sizes so we would know the best time to carry out egg collection.

We would need to have a number of tests carried out before we could proceed. These tests include Hepatitus B & C, HIV and I would need to have an AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) test.

It felt so surreal to think that soon we would be starting IVF. Soon we could have a baby of our own. This time next year there could be three of us! 

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