Jan 18, 2012
After having three failed IUIs, two failed IVFs, and one IVF resulting in a miscarriage I really felt I had nothing to lose in my endeavours to get pregnant and complete my family with a much wanted third child.
Here is a list of what I added to my IVF (ICSI) cycle last October. I am now going on 17weeks pregnant, and pray eveything turns out fine finally. I am not recommending any of these things, as it is important for every individual to research on their own and decided what they are willing to add to their cycle, but, I want to list them so others can choose to look into them if they wish.
Of all the medicines, supplements and procedures I added, MELATONIN, MYO-INOSITOL, VITAMIN E, VITAMIN D3, SAIZEN, INTRALIPID, and the HYSTEROSCOPY were the ones which were added for the first time to this last successful cycle and one of them could be the answer to my ongoing BFP!
There is a lot being written up about melatonin in conjunction with Vitamin E. Also a lot of research and positive findings regarding Myo-inositol. The other supplements all seem to have properties thought to improve egg/embryo quality. DHEA is quite a big one being used by many women, and some fertility clinics prescribe it to older women. The pycnogenol and Trans-Resveratrol are supplements that I notice quite a few doctors actually recommend. As with most remedies, you will find positive research and then you'll find negative research, so before you start taking any of these, please look into them yourself, as I'd hate to recommend anything you think has an adverse effect. I also started weekly acupuncture with a fertility expert about three months prior to my cycle. I continued it through the cycle and also 13 weeks into my pregnancy.
The other thing I did was ask my RE to perform a HYSTEROSCOPY prior to my last successful IVF cycle. This is a quick procedure where a camera is inserted so your uterus can be seen. I knew there was nothing wrong with my uterus, but the reason for me having it done was so that my RE could scrap away a piece of the endometrium so that a scar formed. There have been statistics showing that the procedure can increase pregnancy rates, as the scarred endometrium makes implantation more successful.
I also asked my RE to prescribe SAIZEN last cycle when I started the stimulation drugs for IVF. (I used the micro-dose flare protocol, with 225iu of puregon, plus 2 x daily shots of buserelin). Saizen is a human growth hormone, and is often used in older women or women with egg quality issues. Also, this last cycle, I was prescribed with prednisone. I started on this a day after egg collection, and kept taking it up to 7 weeks gestation.
All this time, I've kept off caffeine and I think it's best to keep off alcohol. I don't drink alcohol, and think maybe it's not great for fertility, although there's nothing documented about it.
The other BIG thing I tried this successful cycle was INTRALIPID. I was worried about the possibility of my having an auto-immune problem, as my ANA was high when it was tested in 2008. Intralipid was given to me the day I started stimulation drugs. It was also administered the week I received my BFP, and then at 5 - 6 week intervals after that. Now I'm almost 17 weeks, I won't be having anymore intralipid as my RE thinks the risk of a reaction may outweigh the benefits at this stage.
Fish oil - Omega 3, with EPA and DHA
Myo-Inositol (must be myo-inositol, not just inositol)
Vitamin E (600mg)
Vitamin D3 (1,000 IU)
Wheatgrass in powder form
Royal Jelly, liquid form best, but capsules still OK
DHEA (75mg - 3 x 25mg daily)
Trans-Resveratrol (some RE's actually recommend this in conjunction with Pycnogenol)
Green tea (one cup per day)
Low dose aspirin
I used vitex for my third cycle from memory, but cut it out after reading some not so good reports on it.
Now, I'm not necessarily saying any of these things contributed to my now being pregnant, but after 2 1/2 years of heartache, in my heart, I do feel that something did help me this time. Maybe the intralipid, maybe the hysteroscopy, or even the saizen or myo-inositol? Who knows?
Please don't start taking these things without looking into them yourself. All I want to do is to list them, and let people know that after using them, I did get pregnant.
The one last important thing is to have a specialist who realistically believes in you. My first RE unreasonably gave up on me after my first IVF failure. He thought I should be happy with two children, and after my miscarriage last May, went on to say the only way I'd achieve another pregnancy was if I used a young egg donor. I wasn't willing to do this, as I had two young children and wasn't ready to give up on my own eggs. I changed to another RE at the same clinic who believed another pregnancy was indeed possible and that donated eggs should be Plan 'D'. His confidence in my ability to have another genetic child gave me extra confidence. And this is very, very important in this game.
Good Luck everyone!!!! Patience, perserverance and a fair amount of money (if you're like me and had to pay out of pocket) are often the key to getting pregnant with your own eggs!!! Especially once you're over 35!