3 Failed IVF Cycles: First Period after 5 years at the age of 40

"I admire Siobhan's honesty and professionalism"

· Over40-Years,Male-Infertility,Failed IVF

Read my story of 3 failed IVF Cycles and how Siobhan’s treatment gave me my first period after 5 years all at the age of 40.

My name is Karen. My husband and I started trying to conceive in 2008. I always knew we would have problems as I had irregular periods from the time I commenced my menstrual cycle, having had no periods in five years. After almost a year of trying without success, I visited a gynaecologist, after which  the  following tests were carried out – “Ultra Sound, D & C, Gynae Laparoscopy, Hysteroscope and Cone Biopsy”, a cyst was found, which was removed, but there were no obvious signs as to why I was not getting pregnant.

I was prescribed ‘Provera’, to bring on a false bleed, followed by ‘Clomid’ for 3 months. The side effects were tough and the bloods showed no change in hormone levels. It was suggested that we go down the long emotional and expensive road of I.V.F.  We were referred to a Fertility Clinic, we found the doctor and the nursing staff to be so supportive throughout.

Cycle 1: My body was very slow to react with the down regulation, it took 17 days (compared to 5/7 days for some women), and the follicles were ready for egg collection then. I had 3 good size eggs which all fertilised, however, only one was transferred – Grade 1A. On day 10 I got tummy cramps followed by a bleed. We were both devastated, it was so hard. Dr Allen spoke to us and encouraged us to try again, as I was now 38 years of age, they felt I had no time to waste. Within two months we started the next cycle again……..

Cycle 2: Commencing the second cycle we had more knowledge, as to what to expect so things did not seem so bad. My body was reacting a lot quicker. I felt fine and was so positive throughout this cycle. The follicles were more plentiful and ready for egg collection, everything was in order. I just had to wait for a blood result (FSH), which turned out to be too low, to proceed with egg collection, this cycle was abandoned. We were gutted, it was so unfair. It was Christmas week which for some reason made it so much more emotional. Life was so unfair. I felt such a failure and did not want to speak to anyone. I knew I could not give up and would give it one more ‘go’.

Cycle 3: My body was reacting so well and it did not take as long for the follicles to grow. Egg collection was suggested, I was so positive this time. The nurses were amazing all so kind and supportive. I had 6 eggs retrieved, but only two fertilised and both were transferred. We were so excited but nervous, as you cannot take anything for granted with I.V.F. Sadly, on day 10 I had a bleed, my hopes and dreams were shattered. The consultant advised us to stop, to give up. Her only option for us was egg donor; she explained everything that it entailed. My husband and I decided this was not for us: both of us were grieving for the failed I.V.F. cycles. We did not go for counselling, we coped by ourselves. Time passed and it did not get any easier, as my friends were becoming ‘mammies’ and conversations always were about babies or so it seemed to me….

August 2011:

I heard about Siobhan Kehoe, through a midwife and read a few testimonials, which I was amazed with to be honest, I thought it was too good to be true. My husband was a bit sceptical as to how herbs would work over I.V.F. treatment. I decided to go and give it a try, at this stage I had nothing to loose.

What I liked about Siobhan was her honesty and professionalism. Her ‘motto’ was there was no such thing as unexplained infertility. I found Siobhan to be very honest, she did not promise anything but was willing to help. I was told I had ‘kidney yin’ deficiency and a blood deficiency. My body was too ‘hot’, this was all diagnosed by looking at my tongue. I was also referred to a nutritionist – Davina in ‘Evolv’.

Davina was excellent, full of knowledge and gave me an eating plan to follow. I had to make a few changes to my diet. I was put on Chinese herbs and supplements. I was attending Siobhan approximately every 3 weeks. I used to have bad night sweats and disturbed sleep almost every night. My night sweats had completely stopped and I was having a great sleep. Recently, Siobhan asked me to get a ‘scan’, to see what the lining of my ‘womb’ was like, as I was experiencing ‘PMT’ symptoms, and my tongue colour had improved. My general health was good.

The result was not what I had hoped for, the lining was too thin and so no chance of a bleed. However, there was activity as there was a ‘cluster’ of follicles present. My gynaecologist spoke with me and told me there was no change with ‘no’ hope of conceiving a baby naturally. My age was against me and the only option was egg donor. I was broken hearted. My husband just gave up and wanted me to do the same. All I ever wanted was to experience the joy of being a ‘Mum’- why couldn’t I? So, I didn’t give up!

I continued to eat healthily and continued taking the herbs. The day before my 40thbirthday, I got a bleed, my first period in five years. It was bright red, good flow and lasted 4 days. I was shocked, surprised and delighted. I sent a text to Siobhan to tell her, she was also very excited for me. As my body has proved that things can happen unexpectedly, I will continue to hope for the day when all my prayers and dreams will be answered and that I too will enjoy motherhood……………

Update 15/01/13 : I got my FSH level checked twice since May’12. The FSH level was 5.7 mIU/ml, another FSH level was 7.8 mIU/ml and my progesterone level was 54. I have had 6 periods since May 2012. They are normal periods with a 4 day healthy flow. I get a positive on an ovulation kit each month. I get good egg white discharge each month. My husband’s semen analysis was then tested in November’12, it came back with very poor morphology of 99% abnormal and only 1% normal among other abnormalities. He took herbs and got a retest 1 month later morphology was gone up to 2% normal in December’12.

Karen, Clonard, Wexford