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First cycle of IVF with PGD

Posted Dec 09 2010 5:23pm
It took almost a year after our initial consultation at our IVF clinic before we got on to doing the first cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Before I start to write about the first cycle, I should just explain why we were using a clinic in London when we live in Sheffield.  At the time, CRGH were the only clinic in the UK that could do PGD for Myotonic dystrophy so there was no choice for us.  This is no longer the case, I know of two other clinics that currently treat patients with Myotonic dystrophy ( Guy's and St Thomas'  in London and Care fertility in Nottingham) and I expect there may be more than that as I haven’t done any research for a while.  If you are doing PGD to test for other genetic abnormalities you may be choosing from a different list of clinics.

The year prior to our first IVF cycle was spent waiting to hear if we had been successful with our funding application (about 2 to 3 months), having tests such as an ovarian stimulation test (OST), blood tests  and the hycosy and dummy embryo transfer.  Many of the tests have to be done within a window of a few particular days of your monthly cycle.  Therefore, if you can’t make it to an appointment you have to wait a whole month for the next opportunity to come along.  A skiing holiday delayed my treatment by a month because one of my tests had to be delayed until my next cycle.
I won’t write too much about the detail of all the appointments as they will mostly be covered when I start to write about my upcoming IVF cycle.  I also can’t remember them that well.  Suffice to say, it can be a real rollercoaster ride as at any point you can get bad news and could be told that you can’t proceed with the treatment.  Steve and I had a shaky start but were finally told that we were suitable candidates for IVF with PGD.
Once the treatment started we got 10 eggs, 6 of which fertilised but none of the embryos grew very well and only two grew big enough to be biopsied (to have the PGD done on them).  This was very disappointing as with a 50% chance of each embryo having the abnormality I knew very well that meant there was a 1 in 4 chance that we would have no embryo to transfer back to my uterus.  I also knew that the odds were against us having two embryos to transfer, more likely if we got one it would be just the one.
What actually happened was that luck was on our side and three days after egg collection, I got a call from the embryologist whilst I was at work.  He told us that both embryos were suitable for transfer and I burst in to tears whilst still on the phone at my desk.  My colleagues who knew I was waiting for the call thought that I had been given bad news and they were relieved when I got off the phone and told them I had to go down to London to have my two embryos transferred.  I called Steve and we jumped in the car for the long drive.  
Unfortunately that was the end of our luck and after 16 days of torturous waiting, I did my pregnancy test and it was negative.
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