Fertility Journey: Part 2

In our second series of fertility journey today we look at Medical Procedures:

Surgical procedures

This will be necessary ifyour fallopian tubes have become blocked or scarred, you may need surgery to repair them.

Surgery can be used to break up the scar tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it easier for eggs to pass through them.

The success of surgery will depend on the extent of the damage to your fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis is when parts of the womb lining start growing outside the womb.

Laparoscopic surgery is often used to treat endometriosis by destroying or removing fluid-filled sacs called cysts.

It may also be used to remove submucosal fibroids, which are small growths in the womb.

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a minor surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling can be used if ovulation medicine has not worked.

This involves using either heat or a laser to destroy part of the ovary.

Correcting an epididymal blockage and surgery to retrieve sperm:Causes of Infertility In Men

The epididymis is a coil-like structure in the testicles that helps store and transport sperm.

Sometimes the epididymis becomes blocked, preventing sperm from being ejaculated normally. If this is causing infertility, surgery can be used to correct the blockage.

Surgical extraction of sperm may be an option if you:

have an obstruction that prevents the release of sperm,

were born without the tube that drains the sperm from the testicle (vas deferens):

have had a vasectomy or a failed vasectomy reversal,

Both operations take a few hours and are done under local anaesthetic as outpatient procedures.

You’ll be advised on the same day about the quality of the tissue or sperm collected.

Any sperm will be frozen and placed in storage for use at a later stage.

Disclaimer. This author is not a medical practitioner, the article has been written with the help of reference materials taken from NHS England. Please consult your Medical practitioner for further advice if you suspect you may be affected by the topic discussed here.

Yours In Hope

Debi

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

How to cope with the stress of infertility

One of the worse things a couple can learn is that they are unable to have children. This very discovery can either make or break a relationship.

Having spoken with so many couples about their experiences I have discovered that everyone is affected in a different way, but one common factor is stress.

This post brings you ways of coping with the stress brought on by infertility.

The feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is real to the infertile couple, this feeling if left unchecked can wreak more havoc.

The commonest forms of stress are depression, feelings of anxiety, and mental health problems.

Here are 5 ways you can adopt to deal with stress

1. Identify your feelings: Sometimes it is very difficult to know which feelings you are exhibiting so it is important to identify your feelings. It might hep to Talk to a professional to help you get in touch with your feelings. Identifying how you feel is the first step in dealing with other emotions like anger, guilt, fear, jealousy and shame.

2. Seek Help for your situations : there are a lot of resources on fertility options. (see sources below) rather than waste precious energy on negative emotions, busy yourself by seeking help. Find out all you need to know about your issues. Your doctor should be your first point of call as they will kick start the treatment process.

3. Consider the options available to you. Your research should include cost, the type of treatment available IVF, IUI, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, other alternatives such as adoption, fostering, surrogacy should be considered also. Advancement in medicine has made possible the impossible.

4. Have a support net work. It is much easier to cope with a stressful situation by talking to someone than by coping alone. Your support net work can be a close friend, who will not be judgemental or a family member like a mum or sister. It can consist of a group or an individual. Be sure they they are people you can count on to be discreet and to always be supportive. There are lots of support groups on social media You can join but only share if you comfortable doing so.

5. Take on a hobby: Find something to do to take your mind off the situation. It can be a passion you had packed away, hiking, fund raising for a good cause, cooking or writing poetry etc. The very act of being engaged in something rewarding frees your mind from the stress of infertility.

Finally always look on the bright side. No matter how worse or bad a situation feels believe it can get better.

So I encourage you to hope for the best.

Believe the best

and expect the best to happen.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Read More »

IVF:Stages to egg implantation

  1. Meeting with Team: this is the initial consultation with the clinic to go throughout process.
  2. The process: The woman will be given medication to suppress her normal menstrual cycle. This is usually given for 2 weeks. My first cycle was a nasal spray but the final cycle was an injection which I learned to inject myself. After which step 3 begins
  3. Boosting the egg supply: This will include stimulation of the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual, to increase the number of eggs for fertility. You will be given a fertility hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is also a daily injection you give yourself or your partner can assist if they want to be involved and feel connected to the process. It’s usually for 10-12 days.
  4. Monitoring. you will be monitored while on the FSH, some clinics will scan every 2 days while others maybe twice weekly during the process. The monitoring may be ultrasound scans to monitor the size of the ovaries, blood test or both. The ovaries are usually measured to see how big the eggs are and a final hormone boost may be given 34-38 hours prior to collection.
  5. Collecting the eggs: Eggs are usually collected on days 10 or 12 depending on the sizes/ how well the ovaries have been stimulated. collecting is usually done under local anesthetic where you will be sedated. A needle is passed through the vagina into each ovary under ultrasound guidance. This procedure may take 15-20 minutes. You may experience cramp or light bleeding afterwards.
  6. Fertilizing the eggs: Once the eggs are collected they are mixed with your partners or the donor sperm in the lab. They are checked after 16-20 hours to see if Fertilization has occurred.
  7. In some cases the eggs may be injected individually with a sperm called ICSI.
  8. Egg Monitoring: The embryos are left to continue to grow for 6 days before being transferred into the womb. The best 2 are usually selected to be transferred.
  9. Embryo Transfer: The embargo’s are transferred into the womb using a thin tube called a catheter passed into the vagina. The procedure is quite simple and doesn’t involve any sedation.
  10. Then began the 2 weeks wait. see next post for how to cope.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/05/11/a-woman-in-waiting/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/11/surviving-treatment/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/09/22/exploring-other-options/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/26/choosing-an-ivf-clinic/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/31/it-only-takes-one-egg/

Surrogacy: I call it a helping hand.

Gone are the days, when having a baby means you have to be pregnant. While pregnancy is a beautiful experience. Sadly many women have suffered needlessly without success. With surrogacy, hope is restored and couples can now experience the joys of being parents.

I am so glad about the attention surrogacy is getting thanks to some high profile births via surrogates.

Like Candy from the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Kim and Kanye West.

To me, surrogacy means fighting to defeat infertility, doing whatever it takes to hold that precious soul in your hands.

It means not being ashamed to asked another to be the womb that holds your jewels, to trust someone with your heart.

It means exploring what is possible.

To be an expectant mother without the visible sign, but knowing that your heart is pregnant and bursting with love and gratitude.

Surrogacy, it is indeed the helping hand we all need.

In March we I’ll explore more on the topic.

Stay tuned

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

Do you know what you are getting into I asked, no I don’t and I don’t care. The only thing I care about is that a baby comes out at the end of it all. This was the conversation I had with a colleague a few weeks ago. 

2 months into her treatment, she was exhausted, miserable and an emotional wreck. She was broken in more ways than she ever thought possible.

She has 3 failed cycle. Before finally conceiving on the 4th.

So what can we do to prepare for Treatment.

First we need to understand the process. What is involved and the help available to you.

Below are 9 steps to be aware of before embarking on treatment 

  1. IVF treatment requires a lot of doctors visit, this is for the clinic to find out the cause and commence the appropriate treatment. After this comes the shots 

  2. The shots: These are administered for 10 to 12 days to stimulate the woman’s ovaries. During a normal cycle, a woman produces one or two eggs. During an IVF cycle the ovaries are stimulated to produce lots of eggs to increase the chances of success. You will be monitored daily or every other day. This will involve ultrasound to measure the size of the eggs as well as ensure that the ovaries are not over stimulated.

  3. After the stimulation phase comes the egg retrieval from the ovaries. This is done under general anesthesia. It is then put in a dish (usually in the lab) to be mixed with the sperm.

  4. Then comes the monitoring stage. 3 to 5 days after the egg retrieval if fertilization occurs, the embryos will be placed back into your uterus. 

  5. Sometimes the eggs maybe abnormal and no fertilization will occur, where this happens it means the cycle has failed. 

  6. The transfer only occurs where the eggs have been fertilized by the sperm. 

  7. You may have some embryos left over and decide to freeze them for later. 

  8. Two weeks after the implantation: you will be invited for a blood test by your clinic to see if you are pregnant. 

  9. This is a very stressful time and you may want to occupy yourself during these 2 weeks wait. 

  10. Pray, believe and rest. 

This is a summary of the IVF process. 

You maybe wondering if it will work, there are no guarantees in life, but we can only try, pray hope and believe.. 

Your Partner in Hope 

D’Ebi 

Related links

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/07/14/what-if/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

Identity

Anyone who has ever suffered infertility knows too well the roller coaster of emotions they go through.

One minute you are full of hope and happy the next minute you see a pregnant woman and everything changes.

I am not certain any other illness do this to anyone, maybe it does. For me having experience infertility as well as Other illnesses. I find that I am most affected by infertility than any other illness.

Why is this so? Maybe because having a child is a build in desire. A desire to birth, to want to procreate seems to trump any other desire.

Life has season, our seasons of infertility will come and go.

Weather we will be gifted with a child in the way we desire tile will tell.

But whatever the path we take to a new season, we must keep our identity in view.

We are not define by infertility, do not make it your identity, Do not class yourself as an infertile woman/man.

You are gifted with abilities and potentials, crafted in the image of the maker of the universe.

Delicately and wonderfully  made,

Living in the abundance of His grace,

Wrapped in His beauty,

Fashioned with the best of His storehouse.

Here are ways to help you stay focus on who you are in Christ.

  1. Stay connected to God, being connected to God and the word will help you grasp who you are in Christ.The enemies of our souls knows this and wants us to only keep in focus the lies about who we are. if you believe you are worthless unable to parent a child, you will be unable to lay hold on the promises of God’s word concerning children. Staying connected to the word about who you are

  2. Speak positively about your situation, speak life to your body, claim the promises available to you as you stay connected, you will begin to have a new reality.

  3. The battle is ongoing  to remind yourself of who you are, set reminders throughout the day by immersing  your love in God’s truth. Put memory verses in your car, in your purse. Set reminders on your phone with encouraging quotes to remind you of your identity..

  4. Avoid events or issues that might draw you away from God! Draw near to Him throughout the day. By doing this you will be able to resist the temptation to give in to your emotions when those ugly thoughts about your infertility rears their head, you can chop it off with the word of God.

The battle is not over until we win. We will win because the word says so. So set your mind free from fear and live in the hope of coming into Hos promises for your life.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Encouraging post

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/11/22/joy-after-%f0%9d%97%a3%f0%9d%97%ae%f0%9d%97%b6%f0%9d%97%bb/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/03/04/do-you-call-it-quits/

Whatever you do, Don’t Stop Trying.

Happy New Year, it seems like it was only yesterday we watched the fireworks display and then sang the Happy New Year song.

It’s 4 years now since  I stopped making New Year’s resolutions, simply because I never keep them.

I think same can be said for most people, resolutions are sometimes about our hopes and aspirations what we wish we could become in the New Year.

For me pre kids days, every year I resolve to be pregnant and set about to do everything I possibly can to bring that dream to to reality.

the funny thing was looking back now I use to include it as part of my New Year’s resolution.

The things we do to in our quest to have a baby.

So what’s your resolve this year? To be a parent? Either via natural conception, IVF, or adoption, whatever the route, I hope that this will be the year you see that reality.

My advice to you is this:

Don’t hesitate, whatever the method through which you expects to become a parent, begin to find out all you can about the process.

If it’s IVF, find out what’s available in your area, what are treatment options, The cost, the process and then book an initial consultation with your Doctor as a starting point.

If you have being through IVF before and receive a diagnosis follow it up, what’s the next step, can you embark on another course of treatment?

If you are considering adoption, find out about the process, what’s required of you, what’s the local authority procedure.

Get started now.

Are you thinking of surrogacy? How would you go about it?

What are the applicable laws where you are?

In all cases consider the financial and emotions impact on you as a couple or single, are there support groups that can help during each process?

I have previously written about each process

See the link below.

Whatever you do, don’t waste another moment, all the best as you embark on the next phase of your journey.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Relevant link:

On Funding

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/07/17/the-uk-commissioning-groups-decides-who-gets-funding-for-ivf-there-are-some-factories-they-take-into-consideration-i-deciding-who-gets-funded-this-post-looks-the-criterial-for-funding/

In Adoption

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/12/10/to-adopt-or-not/

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/06/the-adoption-process/

On Surrogacy

https://faithfulwait.com/2017/10/11/surrogacy/

Choosing a clinic

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/10/26/choosing-an-ivf-clinic/

Exploring treatment option

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/07/02/exploring-treatment-options/

How to come back from a Painful loss.

The previous post talks about the painful decision of trying and coping with loss.

What do you do when your world has seemingly turned upside down?

How do you recover and rebuild again? This post looks at how to come back from a loss or failed treatment cycle.

That’s the question we are faced with after a failed treatment.

Speaking from my own experience, I know that the days immediately after a failed cycle or loss are the worse.

I remember going around  like a zombie and feeling loss, helpless and alone.

I did not know what grief looks like, looking back now, I was grieving but carried on as normal. As the days went on, I slowly came round to the ideal that another treatment had failed and I had to deal with that, but how?

How?

First thing for me was crying I cried the first few days, I was so emotional I refused to eat. Not many people knew the pain I felt because they did not know I had undergone treatment.

Since I was unable to open before the treatment, I decided to spare them the details of my demise.

Crying was my outlet, but a temporary fix.

Temporary because whenever I saw a pregnant woman or baby the emotions came back anew.

I then had to think seriously about  my mental health and how to ensure my body returned to health. Crying for me was a temporary fix providing a temporary relief. Another helpful way I dealt with it was to

Speak out.

I remembered a few friends who had gone through similar situations reached out to me. I was glad they did. They were very supportive and did not attempt to reason my pain away.

One friend in particular just sat in silence with me and we said nothing, that was all I needed. No words, no reasoning.

Often people mistake our grief for an opportunity to offer advice, one has to be sensitive at such times and not assume anything in that moment.

Sometimes all we need is that silent nod which says,  “I care”, “I am here”, “I got you”.

Energy Outlet

To gain new insight into the situation, I channeled my emotions into learning how the next cycle will be better, I asked myself these questions.

“What was was done now”, what could be different“?

Firstly, I nurtured myself to health. I researched how my existing illness could be a contributing factor and the more I read, the clearer it became that it was.

I researched clinics and the type of treatment on offer. I read stories of others who had failed cycles – and how they overcame it.

As a result I gained useful information on clinics and treatments options.

Positivity.

I surrounded my myself and mind with positive vibe, I realised that this is not my fault. It is an illness which needed treatment.

By learning more about the situation and my particular illnesses I was comforted that perhaps there is a treatment option tailored for me.

I prayed

This should be number 1, but it wasn’t, it was difficult at first. But as the days went by, prayer offered a consolation which was a far better relief,

I was able to get rid of negative emotions. Which afforded me the opportunity to speak to a higher power.  

I am a Christian and I know that God helped me through this process and the dark days which accompanied it. So whenever I felt lonely or deeply sad, I talked to him.

I found hope in his assurance as well as being amongst like minded people encouraged me to keep going.

So on this national infertility week, be encouraged to look above, ask for help.

You may not apply these steps exactly, but I do hope that you have gain some perspective on how to deal with a loss or painful situation.

It is very easy to throw in the towels and give up, but never ever lose hope. The rain may be falling now, but the sun will shine again..

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post:

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/10/23/a-painful-decision/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/14/speak-out/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/06/17/6-ways-to-deal-with-fathers-day/

Breakthrough Miracle

40 years ago Louis Brown was born. She is the first test tube baby. Today countless number of families have had their wishes come through via the same process.

I am certain that in those early days there were lots of cynics who thought this was as good as it was ever going to get that science cannot develop any further than that.

Soon after Ms Brown’s birth, Australia’s first IVF baby, Candice Reed, was born on June 23, 1980

Both babies were born using a woman’s natural ovulation cycle.

Professor Trounson and his colleagues started trialling fertility drugs to try to control the cycle.

“It worked. Suddenly everything became possible,” he said.

According to mews, Professor Wood’s team also pioneered techniques to inject sperm into eggs to overcome male infertility; egg donation resulting in the world’s first donor egg pregnancy; and freezing embryos, which resulted in the world’s first frozen embryo pregnancy.

These break through in reproductive technology was made possible by vision and trial.

Without which thousands would not have achieved their dreams.

Don’t dare give up, don’t despair,

Keep hope alive

Try and try again in your quest towards having a baby.

Who knows soon you too may celebrate your breakthrough miracle.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

IVF: Who Gets Funded?

For couples struggling to conceive after several try, IVF May seem the only option. No treatment plan is easy and to decide to take the leap is to choose to hope and to dream that one will become a parent at the end. To get there, first couples have to meet several rigorous health checks.

The national institute for health care makes recommendation as to who should get funding on the NHS.

Women under 40

NICE recommends 3 IVFs cycle to these group of women on the NHS. Provided

  • They have been trying to have regular unprotected sex for 2 years.
  • And they’ve not been able to get pregnant after 12 cycles of artificial insemination

women who are 40 – 42 are given 1 cycle of IVF in the NHS.

Provided that they have been

  • Trying to conceive for 2 years
  • have not been able to get pregnant after 12 cycles of artificial insemination.
  • They have never had IVF before and
  • Test do not indicate low levels of ovaries or low in quality.

The provision of IVF treatment varies across the country. Although NHS trust across the country are working to provide the same service this often depends on the local CCG. (Clinical commission group).

The CCG may have additional criteria before you can have IVF on the NHS, such as:

  • Not having any children already, from both your current and any previous relationships
  • Being a healthy weight
  • A non smoker.
  • falling into a certain age range (for example, some CCGs only fund treatment for women under 35)
  • In some cases, only 1 cycle of IVF may be routinely offered, instead of the 3 recommended by NICE
  • (from NHS UK).

The process of being accepted and rejected can be daunting. Having to be rejected based on age is like being punished for not trying early.

The decision for most older women is not that easy, they may not have met the right guy early enough and for those who did they might just fall outside of the recommended age by a year. Some CCG offers treatment to those below 35.

The over 35s may have secondary infertility. This leaves the only option available which is to go the private route.

Regardless, the NHS is trying to help first timers and cases which are not as complicated. This surely is a good thing, but no consolation to those who are unable to have funded for their treatment.

Weight check is important as Research have show that a healthy weight is beneficial in many ways.

My advice to anyone seeking IVF on the NHS is this:

Ask your GP or contact your local CCG to find out what the criteria for NHS-funded IVF treatment are in your area.

Private option is your only choice If you do not meet the funding criteria, you can contact the clinics directly or get a referral from your GP.

Going private comes at a huge cost with average cost at £5,000 or more per cycle.

There maybe additional cost of consultation fees, blood test and other adds on..

Find out exactly what is included in the cost before embarking on treatment.

Finally have faith in your body, be positive and keep hope alive.

Your Partner in Hope.

D’Ebi

Sources:

NHS choice, HFEA (Human Fertility and Embryology Authority.