IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Grey Skies

Clearly a post a day is too much for me, I just couldn’t meet my own challenge. Alot can happen in a couple of days though.

My friend F has had her op. and it seems to have gone well… in a hell-on-earth kind of way. She was told she came extremely close to having a hysterectomy, the fibroid was so big and embedded so deep. She has also been told that it looks like she has endometriosis and that she should have a laparoscopy in a couple of weeks, but right now she’s not interested. She was given an anti-nausea injection that gave her a panic attack, and when she asked about it they said it wouldn’t be that. Next day, the nausea is back and she’s given the injection again and the panic-attack came back (it was stemotil I think). She said the only thing that got her through it was knowing that it had lasted 3 hours the day before. All in all it’s been pretty hideous experience. Oh yeah, and the Gynae ward is so full she’s been parked in Respiratory!

D had a new SA done and unfortunately it doesn’t look as if his morphology has improved. He was told it is 1%, previously it has been 0%. Numbers, motility etc. all good, but morphology is shite, which is how I feel. More than 6 months on CFG’s putrid teas and any improvement is negligible.

The clinic have faxed thru the results to me and the good news seems to be in the count, it has increased 500%, which is great, so why can’t they be fit, healthy and normal forms!

D made an appointment for us to go back next week and see the sperm doctor, he is trialling something called Tahitian noni juice. He said there have been lots of studies done recently on the benefits to women’s fertility and he’s studying the effects on men.

D will get to speak to his new MS-CFG on Thursday, and she will determine his treatment program. She tells me that our story is not unusual, she’s seen lots of couples that are unaware that their ‘unexplained’ infertility is actually a morphology problem and she says that it’s not surprising that ivf/icsi doesn’t work – morphology should be improved prior to going on a cycle.

Funnily enough I find this heartening, our version of this sorry infertility story isn’t unusual. Now all I want is the recipe for fixing it.

So here's D and I, smack bang in the middle of the great debate - all fertility doctors say that ICSI fixes everything, even spaz heads contain all the necessary dna, whereas the complementary therapists (and our sperm doctor) believe the spaz head can damage the dna and result in embryos that don't implant.

We’ve already started the anti-candida diet. D is being very good, he’s not even drinking beer. We’ve switched to soya milk, brown rice, and organic meat. D is now having non-wheat muesli for breakfast – with goats yoghurt. The nutritionist told D that it’s best if we try and do this during the week, and on the weekend go a little easier on ourselves.

D is this minute off to have an ultrasound to rule out varicocele and any other low level infections. Deep breath, let’s see how this goes.

The beautiful early summer weather we were experiencing last week has disappeared and been replaced with grey skies. Also that huge weight I’ve been carrying around just got heavier, so much so I have had excrutiating shoulder pain and a stiff neck for the last 24 hours.

It feels like I’m asking for the earth, but I just want something to be easy for us, I want our hard work to have a result.


At October 17, 2005 9:17 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was interested in your comments about DHEA in one of your earlier posts. You talk about micronised rather than homeopathic and that you had to get a prescription? There seems to be stuff available on the internet that you can just buy from health shops - is that different to the type you are taking? I'd really be interested in some more information if you want to share.


At October 18, 2005 4:27 pm , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi A,
Happy to share information on this. If you are in Australia, you will find that you can only get the homeopathic DHEA in Health Food stores. The information I have suggests that this is not the best form to take - micronised absorbs quicker into the system and is more effective. Homeopathic is also extremely low dosage so I think to come close to what is being recommended you need to be taking around 12 pills a day. I also found that the websites that offered the best quality would not ship to Australia due to it being a banned substance - they carried disclaimers. It was very easy to get a prescription - I found a chemist near to me that compounds it and went to a local doctor. I know in Sydney there are at least 3 chemists do this. They only make to fill the prescriptions they have. This is the best quality and the best to take. I will dig up more information and do another post shortly. Let me know if you need to know anything more.

At October 18, 2005 9:45 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for answering my query about DHEA. I'm going to ask my clinic about whether they have heard anything and see if my doctor will prescribe it for me. Sometimes I find it difficult to get them to do different things - particularly if they hear you've heard about it over the internet. In the end I always figure what harm will it do? if the answer is none then why not? I'll keep an eye out for your post on more detail on DHEA.


At October 20, 2005 5:35 pm , Blogger MC said...

Hi Ace, I read your DHEA post and was intrigued. I had heard of it but hadn't researched it. I'm 40, we are male factor (zona binding). I have no problems getting eggs and we even usually have embryos to freeze, but I'm wondering if I should try this. We have had no implantation since my 3rd transfer which ended in a miscarriage. I think I will take the research to my DR.
I will keep reading your site, thanks for the DHEA post

At October 21, 2005 9:25 am , Anonymous Lori said...

I hope your husbands ultrasound went okay and that things are starting to go your way. Interesting debate about the morph issues with ICSI. I hadn't heard that debate - I assumed ICSI would be okay if there were at least some without any problems.

At October 21, 2005 12:08 pm , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi MC and Lori,
Thanks for visiting. Definitely check out with your RE about DHEA, but be prepared they may or may not be open to it. The research is still in such early stages that alot of drs. are v.dismissive. Women just self-medicate in those cases. We are in the same boat in that I have loads of eggs, they all usually fertilise but we never seem to have any make it to the freezer (plus get -ve result). This is where the debate comes in, RE's believe that this is wholly to do with egg quality yet other practitioners believe that if the sperm is alittle unattractive it could indicate dna damage. So all I'm trying to do is increase my egg quality as best as I can, while we try and work on a fix for D. D and I keep reminding ourselves that we have to take the 'Lorenzo's Oil' approach to all of this.
Ace x

At November 01, 2005 10:32 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At November 03, 2005 1:50 am , Anonymous LMR said...

i have just found your comments about DHEA and am interested about finding out more. We have secondary infertility and after having 3 cycles of IUI and 3 cycles of IVF unsuccesfully, and a high FSH have been told things are looking grim due to my age (43) and old eggs! Just last week I found information re DHEA but they are all US sites and haven't been able to find out more info for Australia other than it is a prescription drug here. My specialist doesn't support the idea but my GP is very open to try it, but in the dark about the dosage and where exactly to get it. I bought some today from the chemist over the counter but it's only 3mg (Homoepathic, I think).
Can you help me out?

At November 09, 2005 1:19 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to see someone else interested in supplement xango, my husband has diabetes so I have been trying to find out more!

At November 10, 2005 10:24 am , Blogger Jamie said...

Thank you for writing a great blog about xanthones xango mangosteen. I have been working with a business that is trying to help people who sell xanthones xango mangosteen so you can be a walking billboard!!


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