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ivf while nursing?

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have experience or knowledge of doing IVF while still breastfeeding? I have been getting TONS of info which seems contradictory...My son is almost three, and all efforts to gently wean seem futile. I'm not getting any younger and want another baby, but am having a hard time seeing my calm, happy son upset when we don't nurse...
post #2 of 116
http://neonatal.ama.ttuhsc.edu/cgi-b...pc=53&post=928
post #3 of 116
Hi there--I am in a similar situation. My son (conceived after 4 IVFs) is 2 1/2, and I too want to do IVF again. I don't think the drugs themselves are too dangerous, but from what I've heard, the main drawback is that while you are nursing it messes up your hormones so that you don't have as great of a chance for a positive beta. That's my main concern right now--IVF is expensive, so you want to give it the best chance you can.

It's so frustrating, though, because I am not ready to wean my son--it's not fair to him! And I'm not getting any younger either. I'd love to hear others' experiences with IVF and nursing.

Good luck to you! I'd love to hear how it goes for you.

Joyce
post #4 of 116
I have heard, too, that nursing negatively affects fertility treatments. It's so unfair all around, isn't it? Mine is 2 1/2 and still nursing strong. I so envy the moms who conceive naturally while nursing, especially the ones who had previously had to have fertility tx to get pg.
post #5 of 116
yes, it's really unfair! I really don't want to "cheat" my ds out of extended nursing, especially when it's good for both of us. On the other hand, I don't want to cheat any future embryos out of the best possible chance at life.

pookietooth, do you have any plans for another treatment? we are hoping to do an FET next year, but I don't think my ds will give up nursing anytime soon. I also worry about being pg while chasing an active toddler around--my pregnancy with him was tough and I was on bedrest for a while. I don't know what I would do if that happened again. I think my mil would have to move in with us!
post #6 of 116
I haven't got any specific plans, am just thinking about it. DH never wanted us to go though fertility treatments in the first place and is not really wanting another child, so it's more of a dream than a reality. I mean, he wouldn't ask me to have an abortion if I happened to get pregnant, KWIM?
post #7 of 116
I hear you. I have sort of the opposite problem--I'm so grateful for my one, and my dh is pushing for #2. It took us so long to get pg the first time that we're getting old now! And I'm certainly not eager to go back to the doctor . . .

I was an only child myself and I liked it--so to me a family of 3 is just fine.
post #8 of 116
I weaned my oldest at 14 months to conceive again. It was 8 years ago and I still regret it. I conceived twins and vowed to let them self wean before using more of my frozen embryos. They didn't wean until 4.5 years so the baby is 6 years younger than them. Now I have 2 embryos left and I'm debating what to do. I've sworn that I won't wean to do the FET. It's different for me though as I already have 4 children. If it were very high stakes (ie one of a few IVF tries) I'd probably wean. I only did one retrieval cycle though so all of my subsequent IVF's have been frozen cycles, my point being that my age wasn't an issue as far as likelihood of success and I could wait until I weaned. I'm 40 now, I did the retrieval cycle at age 30.
post #9 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by twindaze
I weaned my oldest at 14 months to conceive again. It was 8 years ago and I still regret it. .

I am scared of this myself. DS is 28 months, and I know deep down he isn't ready to wean, but, I am ready for another. I dont want to regret taking something from him that is so sacred to him (and me).
But, I am scared that the longer I wait to TTC, the longer/harder it might be than the first time, and we might never have another of our own.
This is probably the hardest decision I have faced as a mama so far.
post #10 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by monocyte
I am scared of this myself. DS is 28 months, and I know deep down he isn't ready to wean, but, I am ready for another. I dont want to regret taking something from him that is so sacred to him (and me).
But, I am scared that the longer I wait to TTC, the longer/harder it might be than the first time, and we might never have another of our own.
This is probably the hardest decision I have faced as a mama so far.
It IS a super hard decision. I was working to get insurance for IVF so I felt that doing a quicker IVF was better for him so I could quit working.

How old are you if you don't mind my asking? I was 32 when I did my second IVF/FET.
post #11 of 116
I'm 30 now, but, I was hoping to have my 5 kids by 35!!! DH is the same age, but not knowing what exactly is in store as far TTC #2 (and beyond), I am just nervous about timing etc. And where he is still nursing and I still don't have AF (I know this is completely normal...) time is just passing very quickly.

LOL, guess I might have to change the number of kids wanted and the age I'd like to be done by.
post #12 of 116
Monocyte, I agree, this is one of the hardest decisions I've had to face while a mom. I haven't found many other IF people to talk about this with, because most of them used formula and rushed back to the clinic as soon as they could. And now that I'm actually ready for #2, I just can't bring myself to force the weaning, and the clock is ticking. Even though I have two frozen embies, I'm worried that they won't stick and I'll need to go through IVF again, and I worry about that too! So, I guess I'm just prepared to continue to be happy with my one perfect little boy. I too used to say I wanted 5 by 35! It is funny how we adapt to changing circumstances.

It's funny, my IF friends fall into two categories: those that were so into the high-tech treatments that formula was a natural choice, and those that found that breastfeeding was even more important since they had gone through all the treatments. I know I was one of the latter--it meant so much to me to actually be a functioning woman after all that! I thought it really helped with the healing process after 3 long years of ttc and 4 IVFs.
post #13 of 116
Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?
post #14 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth
Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?
Sure, I'm happy to!

As far as it being smart to do the IVF at 30, it wasn't really that, it was more luck that I had the insurance and also I was just so desperate for a baby that I was forging forward on treatment as quickly as possible. We had no idea that I'd get so many embryos to freeze, just hoped and prayed for one baby out of it if you KWIM. It took me 3 years total to conceive.
post #15 of 116
Of course!!!!

and MORE

And if you have any left, can you please send it back??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookietooth
Gosh, that was so smart to do the IVF young, and to freeze your embryos. I wish I'd done that! As far as regretting weaning, to you, you did what you thought was best at the time. Sigh. So tired. Anybody want to send me some : ?
post #16 of 116
Keckland,

This is exactly the thread that I'm looking for!
Thinking about ttc#2 and we are not ready to wean either. DD (16 months! ) was conceived by IVF with ICSI. No extra embryos to store away... Almost 39, so was told not to 'wait too long'.

I am more concerned about drugs (lots of hormones from those fertility meds!) in breastmilk, than about b'fing interfering with fertility. I'm sure that REs would say to stop : ! (I'm sure they're not into a year+ of b'fing! ) If it wouldn't hurt dd, I wouldn't even tell them that I'm still b'fing. It's hard when you're going through all of the IVF stuff, but I would think it would be worth extra cycles to still be able to give 'Mommy milk' and have another dc.

Any thoughts or references regarding fertility meds and breastmilk?

Simone
Happy Mommy of dd (7/26/04) and dh
post #17 of 116
With the IVF success rate and IVF while nursing....is the success rate decreased because periods hadn't returned yet? Is there any info on this? I was thinking about carrying for someone else, but I am nursing and have no plans on weaning any time soon.
post #18 of 116
The success rate is affected by subtle hormonal changes while nursing, even infrequently. No real studies have been done on this, so doctors are mostly erring on the side of caution--considering what people will spend on treatments, doctors just want you to have the best possible chance, so even if there's a 1% chance that nursing would affect IVF, many people don't want to reduce the odds by that much. I know I feel that way--I want to give my embryos the best chance possible! Such a hard thing to deal with--I want my ds to have the best too, so I want to nurse him as long as he wants, but I do have to think of the future baby. There is just too much at stake. I only have two embryos, so it is stressful to think that if they don't stick, I will not have another child.

As far as safety of fertility drugs: from what I've read, injectible fertility drugs are not harmful to nurslings, esp. older ones. The fact that you need to inject them means that if you took them orally, they wouldn't have much effect, so they should not have much effect taken orally in breastmilk either. Thomas Hale's Web site has some good information on this.

This is such a painful subject. I myself am really feeling like it's time for #2, but I just cannot bring myself to wean ds.
post #19 of 116
Keckland,

Thanks for opening this discussion. I have felt so alone in this unique predicament of wanting to continue breastfeeding my 23 month old son, who was conceived via IVF-ICSI, while also wanting to initiate IVF in order to have a second child (we have no frozen embryos). Time is of the essence, as you know, but my efforts to eliminate nighttime feeds have not been successful and the whole process is heartwrenching.

I have done my research (Motherisk - Canada), and none of the IVF meds (that I previously used) would be harmful to my child if he continued to breastfeed. The doctors have agreed to make a big exception and allow me to breastfeed during IVF, but I am still worried that breastfeeding will further diminish my already slim chance of success with producing follicles and maintaining a pregnancy.

I would really like to hear if anyone has had any success/failure with actually proceeding with IVF while breastfeeding.
post #20 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalovesjay

The doctors have agreed to make a big exception and allow me to breastfeed during IVF, but I am still worried that breastfeeding will further diminish my already slim chance of success with producing follicles and maintaining a pregnancy.


I would really like to hear if anyone has had any success/failure with actually proceeding with IVF while breastfeeding.
IKWYM. I have a feeling that not many doc's know when a nursing mother is going through IVF, and depending on who is paying for it, how many nursing mothers actually go through with it. Seems that no docs around here will accept a nursing mother as they do not want to risk the failure not only for mother, but also for themselves as it affects their track record as a IF doc.
And I think the latter is the main reason.

I hope to hear some positive stories!
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