IVF Cycle #1 Comes to a screeching halt

Well, after my last post I received a call that afternoon from my Doctor to let me know about my 6mm lining. He offered two options – I could continue as planned, start the progesterone and attend the clinic on Monday (transfer day) and either go through with the transfer at that time or be sent home if my lining was still too thin; OR, I could start the progesterone and go in the next morning (Friday) to the city and have my lining checked at their clinic, rather than the monitoring clinic, and see how things are going. I chose to take the day off work and go into the city to have them complete the lining check.

So Thursday evening I took my first progesterone in oil injection all by myself, went to yoga and then put myself to bed early. My mom came with me to the city the next morning, leaving at 5am so we could be there for my 7:30 appointment. I had the trans-vaginal ultrasound done by a lovely technician and then met with the nurses; who dropped the bomb that my lining was actually only 4mm thick – someone, somewhere had been measuring wrong. I waited a little longer to meet with our Doctor at this point as I knew this meant our plans were about to change.

Sitting down with him, he explained that the measurement could be different due to the angle of the wand or the machine being used; however, what it did tell us was that my lining was still in a range that was too thin for transfer. He offered to either complete the transfer as planned on Monday but flat out told me his gut was telling him that the transfer would be unsuccessful. I trust my Doctor so I took this and we chose to end the cycle right then and there. Our embryos will be frozen once they reach day 5 Blastocysts.

He immediately set out to try making me feel better by starting a new IVF plan for us to move forward; until he began to realize how stumped he was on how we could proceed. You see, I do not have a natural cycle – I never have due to being born with seemingly bum ovaries. As I do not have functioning ovaries, my body does not create it’s own hormones; therefore, I am not contributing any estrogen to the medicated estrogen being added to my body. I am not responding to medication well and I cannot do a natural cycle Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) without a natural cycle.

So back to the drawing board for us as our Doctor consults with other professionals in the IVF world to figure out how to take this f*cked up body of mine and make it do something that it should have been born to do.

I was numb driving home and spent most of my weekend feeling fairly numb with a few breakthrough tears here and there. I feel as though if I let myself breakdown, I might not be able to pull myself back together. I’m angry and ashamed at my body for letting me down yet again, for creating yet another obstacle in this journey where we have already had so many to overcome. I naively thought that our biggest obstacle would be  finding a donor, having our dear friend and donor go through this process so selflessly for us, or possibly a negative pregnancy test or a chemical pregnancy. I did not think my body would have us stalled right in the middle – what if our donor went through all of this just to have my body never respond enough to make it through the rest of this journey?!

I had never let my thoughts journey into the territory of “what if this doesn’t ever work?” I had always stayed strong in my thoughts with the deep rooted believe that one day we would have at least one child in this mini family of ours. I have always joked with my husband that if this doesn’t work I get to adopt countless animals into our home (so far on the list: a pig, a sloth, a monkey, a cow, a few otters, etc.) but I had never contemplated that this might not actually work – and that thought is f*cking terrifying and currently has me chilled to the bone.


13 thoughts on “IVF Cycle #1 Comes to a screeching halt

  1. Oh goodness, I am sorry this cycle is not working for you, that really sucks. Is there any chance you could find another RE who specialises in your specific issues to get a fresh look at your issues and how they might be alleviated? Also do you know about the Beat Infertility podcast / support group? There is an option for submitting questions to the RE who regularly contributes to that show… or even there may be others within the support group who are facing / have overcome similar issues. Hope you can get some answers / ideas so you can try again more successfully. Best wishes.

    1. Thanks! I really do love our current RE and the clinic we are with; one of the best in the province! I’ll give him a chance to do his homework and get back to me with some ideas. There are a lot of other Doctors in the clinic that I know he will be conferring with in the meantime.

      I had not heard about the podcast/support group but I will definitely be checking it out! Thanks again!

  2. I’m sorry. It sucks to have a cycle canceled but I think best not to waste the embryos. On the frozen transfer can you not have a medicated cycle? That’s what I’m currently having. They shut down your ovaries and provide your oestrogen and progesterone entirely through drugs so you don’t need to be ovulating etc. My consultant says a medicated frozen cycle has a slightly higher chance of success too. I’m very hopeful there are options for you.

    1. The problem with the medicated cycle is that what they have been using hasn’t worked and he’s not sure what is going to work – thankfully he is trying his best to figure out a next step for us.
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Hi I had the same problem with my last donor egg cycle. My lining was measured at 6 mm which was disappointing and they added a few more drugs in to boost it but at my next scan it was less than 6 and he could see blood between the lining suggesting it was breaking away. No one prepares you for this right? I was worried about how many eggs the donor would produce and if they would fertilize but I never thought this would happen and yes it made me feel even more useless. I am about to start a new cycle (the embryos did not make it to freeze so I am with a different donor). For this new cycle I am on max Progynova, E Patches, Viagra and Prednisilone from the day of baseline scan – I do not know what you took last time? I am hoping this works for me and of course I will do anything and everything natural I can (can not harm). Wishing you lots of look, I hope they come up with a good plan. I will be following your journey closely.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with this as well; it really isn’t easy!
      I was taking 4mg Estrace vaginally twice per day and one low dose aspirin. After my first lining check they added 100mg Estrogen patches daily to what I was already taking. After the second check, they suggested I try starting the Progesterone in Oil to see if that helps improve anything but it didn’t so I stopped all medication a day later.

      I received a call from my RE yesterday and he said the he thinks we should try Neupogen (a white cell growth factor) with our next cycle to see if that improves the lining. He has never done so with a patient but other REs in the clinic have used it and they have had nothing but positive results from doing so. Have you had any experience with this or heard of anyone taking this?

      1. I have not heard of Neupogen? It sounds like it is something new maybe if he has never used it? I am going to read up in case it is something I may need to consider. When are you starting progesterone? I never started it last time as it was going to start after tansfer and it would of been 4 pessaries . When I did my own egg ivf I did booty shots and again only after transfer. So they can use it before to help lining? When do you start your new cycle? Sorry for all the questions it is just good to find someone in a similar position. I will send you a request to view my blog, I am not sure if I need an email but I will try. I start buserelin to shut down ovaries tomorrow and I am having my uterine scratch (ouch). Two weeks time I am starting 8mg Progynova (estrogen), 25mg Estrogen patches and the viagra 50mg. I am alergic to aspirin so will be having clexane injections but only after transfer.

      2. No worries about all of the questions because I’m sure as our journey’s progress we’ll both being asking a million of questions from each other; it’s really comforting finding someone who is struggling with very similar issues (though I obviously wouldn’t wish this on anyone). I have been reading about Neupogen and it seems like it began popping up in online conversations sometime in 2011 – so definitely still fairly new. They had me start progesterone injections the day following our donor’s egg retrieval because they said that it would put my body at the same stage needed when a day 5 blastocyst is transferred. I was supposed to start the pessaries after the transfer I believe (I didn’t make it that far). They told me to start it even though they didn’t have much faith in my lining at the time because they thought it would help it along, unfortunately it still didn’t work. We don’t have an exact date for our next cycle right now because I need to have a Polyp removed before we can move forward and I am still waiting to hear from that Doctor about an appointment – which is taking longer due to the holiday that just passed. I am really hoping to move forward in 3-4 weeks but I realistically have no clue what the wait for a Polyp removal will be.
        How did they uterine scratch go? What do they do that for? What about the viagara – do they feel like that is helping? I’ve never heard that used before but my knowledge/experience is very limited.

        Thanks for the invite to your blog – I cannot say enough how helpful it is finding someone going through a similar journey at a similar time! I was reading up on your story and I’m sorry it has been such a difficult/stressful journey. Hopefully this cycle is successful for you!!
        I know this may seem forward but if you’re interested in connecting on facebook or email or text, I would love to be able to have someone in more close contact throughout this all, if not – I will not take any offense at all lol.

      3. Hi again, I had the uterine scratch about two hours ago, It hurts so much! Though it is over quickly (all pain gone now) and is supposed to help implantation so is worth the agony. It is worth reading up on and asking your clinic about, I can not remember the cost (I am not paying this cycle) but think it was a couple of hundred pounds. My clinic does it as part of their protocol. The Viagra was added at the last resort last time and did not help as I think my lining had started to break away, this time I am starting it at baseline scan time. I do not think I mentioned I am taking the steroid from then too. Oh so much to discuss! I would love to exchange emails! I am thrilled to connect with someone in similar situation. You can email me at myrainbowblog@aol.com

  4. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a good cycle and lining very soon so you can transfer. I don’t know that my lining has been checked in a very long time, I assume my RE did when I did medicated cycles and never had issues but that was quite some time ago. I also never have a cycle on my own and am a bit worried how my lining will be when we start checking for transfer. *fingers crossed for you my dear*

    1. Thank you so much! I really didn’t think my lining would cause such a huge barrier for us – silly me had thought my non-egg producing ovaries would have been enough to add to the equation! I will keep you in my thoughts as well – all the best!

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