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. […]

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. […]

We did IVF but had heaps of empty follicles – help!

Some of us do IVF, go for those scans and see hardly any follicles after all those injections. Others are relieved to see a healthy crop developing as they go through their cycles. Unfortunately, the number of follicles (or “follies”) doesn’t necessarily equate to the number of eggs collected. And for some women, a huge […]

The Biological Clock: Cool interactive tool from Fertility Associates

Wondering how much time you have left to dilly-dally before seeking treatment? Fertility Associates has just put out a very cool, interactive ‘Biological Clock’ to show you the odds of getting pregnant naturally vs. IVF at your age and beyond, and how long you should wait before seeking treatment depending on your age and how […]

When and how should I seek a second opinion?

Suppose you had a friend who was grappling with a cancer diagnosis and kept wondering whether his/her specialist had really considered all the possible treatment angles that might work. Suppose he or she had been receiving some treatment but there hadn’t really been any sign of progress. What would you advise? Probably a second opinion, right? For some unknown reason, fertility patients seem to struggle with this notion that it’s somehow disloyal to seek a second opinion. Yes, it is awkward. But actually, it’s just good common sense if there’s any little voice inside your head saying “maybe there’s a better way …” If you think you might want to get a second opinion on your case, here’s what to do … […]

Infertility Humour – IVF Barbie

When Mattel were looking to design their new Barbie, IVF Barbie, they soon realized that there was not one universal Barbie that would accurately portray the spirit of IVF Barbie. So they decided they would come out with a few variations thereof. Meet: Newbie Barbie (a.k.a. Baby Dust Barbie), her big sister Pregnant Newbie Barbie, their cousin Joiner Barbie, Veteran Barbie (the Anti-Barbie), Pregnant Veteran Barbie, Celebrity IVF Barbie (featuring two versions: Denial Celeb Barbie and Out of the Closet IVF Barbie), IVF Ken (DH), RE Ken (the fertility specialist) and Nurse (Ratchet) Barbie. Collect the full set of IVF Barbies, put them in the Barbie house together and see the sparks fly! […]

IVF – the hurdles

So you’ve read the IVF manual and are all ready to start a cycle. What are some of the “wish I’d known that” snippets that veteran IVFers can share with you to help fill the knowledge gaps about what to expect? Well, one that comes up a lot is having a clear understanding of the not-so-straightforward hurdles involved in an IVF cycle. Here’s a list of some of the main hurdles you need to clear as you go through the process … […]