I found a thread about this exact same topic, but it was from 07 and is now locked, so I can't revive it. So sorry for a repeat. =)
When my partner and I first started talking about having kids, she always wanted it to be my eggs that were used and for her to carry the child. There are several reasons for this, first being she already has two biological kids from a previous relationship, and she'd like me to have my own mini mes. But the biggest reasons are financial/health related.
First I have rheumatoid arthritis, which isn't a big deal on its own, but to treat it I have to take medication which pretty much guarantee birth defects. I think there has only been one reported birth of a healthy baby who's mother took any of the drugs that I am currently taking. I CAN stop taking the drugs for about 6 month before TTC and I'd have to remain off of them for the entire pregnancy which puts me at risk of having the RA act up enough to keep me from going back to work, possibly permanently. We've decided that's not a risk we're willing to take because I have a higher income so having a mother with big health issues AND a major financial crisis isn't something our new baby will need. =P
One big pro to this method is that I am 8 years younger than my partner, so using my eggs should (we hope) improve our chances since I should be more fertile. However, we've decided that IVF with the use of my eggs will be more of a backup route we'll take if we're unsuccessful with at home IUIs, but we'd still like to prepare for it since I need months of detoxing before we even begin that route!
So the reason for my thread, I'd like to hear from those of you who have gone through IVF and can give me more information about the medication that is used in order to prep for it. What are the side affects if any?
We plan on starting with at home IUIs and I'm going to stop taking my medication around the same time we begin. If we have no success with IUIs after 6-8 months then we'll move on to IVFs using my eggs, which by then will be free from all the crazy medication I take, BUT I'll be likely having more flare ups from my rheumatoid arthritis so I guess I'd just like to know what else will be in store for me when I throw in the IVF meds into the mix.
Thanks in advance! And sorry for all that medical background, hope it's not terribly boring.
So many variables that go in to deciding who is going to TTC! I'm about 5 months post IVF (with two babies kickin' around in my belly to prove it). It looks like your main question is about medication. Here is a list (along with instruction videos - wahoo!) of many of the common IVF meds: http://www.freedommedteach.com/player/Videos.aspx
The side effects weren't that bad actually. The Lupron left me with a continual low grade sinus headaches, but I'm prone to migraines, so I'm just sort of headachy anyway. There's bloating, of course. The estrogen patches left me with what I lovingly referred to as my "estrogen baby." And there's weight gain. By the time the docs were done testing all the meds and I had gone through 1 mock cycle and 1 round of canceled IVF I had gained about 10 pounds. But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to indicate that packing on a little weight before you get pregnant is actually a good thing (esp if you get crazy morning sickness like I did!).
Can you do acupuncture to help managed your RA as you go through this? I had to refrain from taking my migraine pills (and I get 1-3 per week) during this process and acupuncture saved me.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for the info!
We have talked about using acupuncture to help with the RA symptoms, it might help with the pain, I'm not too sure about the swelling but I was considering looking into it.
How long was the entire process from when you started taking the meds to being ready to move forward with IVF? I guess it varies by couple because part of the process is to sync both women so that they are in the same stage of their cycle.
Oh gosh - the whole process? I think my first appt with the RE was sometime in March and then I did a "mock cycle" in April/May to see how my body would respond to the meds. We were set to do IVF in July, but the birth control (which the RE puts you on to regulate your cycle before starting the stimming meds) caused a cyst so we had to call it off until September/October. So my process was probably longer than the usual. If your RE does a mock cycle protocol you can probably count on about a 3 month process. But if s/he doesn't then I'd figure 1-2 months. I know that in the "fresh donor" protocol REs usually put both women on bcps to sync up their cycles, so that might add a little time (like a week or two) as well.
Hope that helps!
Cejae, thank you so much for answering all my questions. I was very curious about the whole process. The more I know about it the more I think it might be the right route for us to take. It's still kind of a back burner option for us but definitely something we'll consider sooner rather than later if we have trouble with the IUIs at home.