What seems to work best for which poor responders and women over 40?

This is one of those areas where we’d hope the empirical literature would be able to tell us what works for whom and under what conditions. But unfortunately poor responders and women over 40 – and particularly poor responders over 40 – are a relatively small group and rather neglected in the research (JMHO). So, […]

What are the main IVF options for poor responders?

What are the main IVF protocol options for women with high FSH/low AMH/DOR and poor responders? This post covers the main protocols, choices of stim drugs to use, and the main arguments for high vs. low-stim options. […]

I’ve got high FSH/low AMH … what does it mean?

If you’ve clocked in with elevated FSH (usually defined as any reading >10) or OK FSH but elevated E2 (>150 in NZ units, or >40 in U.S. units) or low AMH (<14 pmol/l in NZ units, or 2ng/ml in US units), then you have probably been visiting Dr. Google and have come up with a very depressing view of your chances. Your specialist may also have told you this is not good news. And no, it's not, but here are a few snippets of information I've been able to glean in my travels. [...]

What is assisted hatching?

Assisted hatching is an optional extra procedure used in IVF where a small hole is made in the shell (or ‘zona’) of a Day 3 embryo. This is supposed to help (in some cases) the embryo ‘hatch’ out of its shell and transform itself into a blastocyst (usually on Day 5). Is it publicly funded? Should we ask about it? Are there any risks? A few thoughts and some links to a really good site. […]

Conflicting expert opinions – how do I know who’s right?

So, you finally plucked up the courage to go for a second opinion, and guess what – now you have two or more well-qualified and plausible experts with compelling arguments telling you to do the exact opposite. Who should you trust? Who’s more credible? And, can’t we just rely on the scientific literature to give us the answers? […]

How do we know when to move on?

“Moving on” can mean a lot of different things: ditching IVF and going natural, moving to donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos, adoption, fostering, child-free living, accepting a smaller family than you hoped for … How do we know when it’s time to move on to the next option? And, when should we (and when should we NOT) be making those choices? In this post, I share a bit of my own story from the very lowest points of my ttc journey, how I weighed up the different scenarios of whether the journey would end in failure or end in success, what would have made me move onto another option, how I resisted making big decisions in my darkest hours, etc. […]

What is DHEA?

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies which depletes as we get older. Here’s some info quoted from a UK site (<– click the link for more detailed info):

Description: DHEA, also known as “the mother hormone”, is produced by the adrenal glands and is the most dominant hormone in the body. […]

What are the main IVF protocols used in NZ?

Basically there are three main protocols used by NZ clinics (plus a few variations, which I’ll try to add later): 1. The ‘long’ protocol (default for young women and those with normal FSH; not generally used on high FSHers unless they are quite young, and seldom on anyone over 40 because it can easily oversuppress those with diminished ovarian reserve). 2. … […]