- Step one - uterine biopsy to rule out any infection such as endometriosis
- Step two - go on holidays
- Step three - supplements to prepare ourselves
- Step four - general health and diet
- Step five - general self care
The uterine biopsy and scratch was suggested by Dr. Peppy at our new clinic as it's the one test I haven't had done yet. It was uncomfortable but luckily not painful and only took a few minutes. The long part was getting to and from the clinic, as it's in a different city to where we live. If it turns out that I have an infection such as endometriosis then I'll need to take antibiotics for a month and probably test again so it would definitely affect how soon we can start our next IVF cycle.
We went to Australia in April for my brother's wedding and had an amazing time. It was so nice to spend time with family, have a holiday with hubby and just relax and not think about infertility treatments! It was really good for us to take some time off from everything. Traveling is one of my favourite things to do. I'll try to do a separate post on that and share even more photos. I'm really glad we decided to go on the trip in the end. Initially we had been considering staying here to save money and not have to postpone IVF too long, but a family wedding is such a special event and I'm glad to have been a part of it.
Usually I try to quit alcohol in the months leading up to IVF but I haven't been doing that this time. I haven't been drinking much though, just the odd glass or two of wine at the weekends, but then in Australia I ended up consuming a fair bit, as you do on holidays! For instance, we went on a Swan Valley wine tour one of the days and my sister and I got very tipsy. I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time! I've decided to not let myself feel bad about it as I needed the break after everything. Once I start with the IVF injections I'll cut out alcohol completely.
We are both planning to take his and her preconception supplements once we start our IVF cycle. I've also got hubby on Coq10 which has been shown to improve DNA fragmentation. He hasn't been shown to have any issues with his swimmers, but no harm doing whatever we can to improve things. Hubby and I have both been taking vitamin D as our blood tests showed we were low.
My doctor agreed that I can try DHEA before this cycle which can help women who respond poorly to the IVF hormones. Of course, I'm also on folic acid. For egg quality I'm taking 600mg of coq10 each day and I'm planning to start 3mg of melatonin once I begin the IVF injections stage until the egg retrieval as I've read good things about it. I had taken thyroid meds for several months after my blood tests showed my levels were slightly off but my most recent blood test showed my thyroid is ok now. Let's hope it stays that way!
Since January, I decided to go gluten free and eat low dairy and less sugar. Apparently that could help reduce elevated natural killer cells. Hubby and I have also been trying to avoid processed foods as much as possible and generally eat lots of vegetables and legumes. We've both cut down on the amount of animal products in our diet. It has been fun trying out new recipes together and we've both been feeling great. I decided to try going gluten free after reading this study which concluded;
Patients of childbearing age having fertility problems may have subclinical NCGS and they should be informed that the treatment of NCGS by a gluten free diet might improve their fertility. Based on the case we are presenting, the possible prevention or treatment of reproductive effects may be achieved through a strict gluten free diet.
NCGS stands for 'non-coeliac gluten sensitivity' by the way. In some people your body apparently mistakenly thinks it is something bad and there can be an autoimmune response. I figure I could try it for a few months, what have I got to lose? Since going gluten free my general digestion has also improved which is a plus. It can be quite challenging following a gluten free low dairy diet living in Germany though, particularly when eating out! Here's a picture of a delicious breakfast I ate in Perth. Vegan buckwheat pancakes with fruit and cashew cream.
I haven't started this yet but I'm planning to try to make more time to do nice relaxing things for myself. I'd like to book a massage for instance, read more as I love reading, take long baths, listen to music and so on. And make sure we also do nice things like go on dates. It's very easy to get into the habit of staying in and binge watching tv shows and as much fun as that is, it's good to get some variety and go out for walks, dinner, cinema etc.
Won't it be nice once all this is over and I can eat, drink and do what I feel like without worrying about affecting my egg quality! Also it will be great once I'm done taking so many tablets each day. But it's ok, I'm happy now as I know that I am doing it all for an important reason. I've also noticed that the Australia trip has done me a world of good! I feel like I got to be myself again. My brother's wedding was so much fun! I was hanging out with a lot of his friends who are about three years younger than me. The handy thing was that none of them were at the kid stage yet (it's quite typical to not get married in Ireland until your 30s) so hubby and I weren't constantly being reminded of our lack of children like we might be when we meet up with friends our age. It was interesting to get to know my brother's friends and his life on the other side of the world. I had fun dancing like crazy on the dancefloor! Myself and some of the other girls from Dublin even attempted to do some Irish dancing, haha!
I would even go so far to say that I feel stronger emotionally after the Australia trip too. For instance on the flight there I refrained from watching "Bad Moms" or "Storks" on the plane as I was still feeling too fragile and worried that they would upset me too much with too many triggers. However on the flight back I watched them both! Bad Moms had some moments about how great it is being a mom and so on but otherwise it was mainly silly and funny and perfect for wasting a few hours on a long flight! During Storks I did cry a bit at the end but everyone did!
Hopefully I'll hear from Dr.Peppy soon so we can finally start planning when our 4th round will start. In the meantime we have another wedding to go to this month, so there will probably be more drinking and hitting the dancefloor!
You are ON IT! You got this :)ReplyDelete
I like Step 2! Very important mentally. I agree with you on the other things, they can't hurt, and they can only do good, so if you have the willpower (I didn't) then absolutely go ahead. I've heard great things about COQ10 also. Enjoy the wedding and don't worry too much about the drinking!ReplyDelete
Yeah the holiday was just what we needed! So nice to have a break from everything. Thanks. I'm hoping that the relaxing will counter any effects from the alcohol :)Delete
Sounds like you have a great plan there. The only other thing that may or may not have made a difference for me was stopping caffeine. I quit caffeine just after new year and fell pregnant the 2nd cycle after. Also does your prenatal contain folic acid or methylfolate? It's a good idea if possible to go for methylfolate in case you have the MTHFR gene which makes it difficult/impossible to absorb folate in the form of folic acid. XReplyDelete
Interesting about the caffeine. I quit it last year just in case it might help. After our second IVF failed we got extensive blood tests done and that showed that I didn't have the MTHFR gene so I'm able to absorb folic acid in it's usual form. Thanks for the support! xDelete
Good steps!! I am rooting for you. Keep me posted!!ReplyDelete
That's so sweet, thanks!Delete
"I feel like I got to be myself again" - wonderful! I am glad you had a good time in Australia and enjoyed dancing :-). All my best wishes and good luck!ReplyDelete
Thanks! Yeah it was so nice to travel and spend time with family and be reminded that life has many nice things to offer even if it doesn't work out with us having kidsDelete
Australia sounds AMAZING! I hope that your uterine biopsy comes back in the clear, and that all your awesome prepping does the trick. You have a great plan, I love all the self-care and letting go of some pieces (the wine tour sounded amazing!). I have heard that it's real hard to be gluten free in Germany, but the meal in Perth looks amazing. Good luck to you, and hooray for a wonderful trip!ReplyDelete
Australia was so much fun! Such a cool place. Despite the shark risk ;) Yeah it has been a challenge trying to be gluten free in Germany. Some places will have a special allergy menu you can ask for or even write it on the menu but other places are more difficult so you just have to try to guess! There are lots of options in the supermarket though so cooking for yourself isn't a problem. Thanks for the good look wishes!Delete
Your wedding trip sounds amazing! I'm so glad you decided to go have a good time and feel like yourself again. At some point, we've got to stop giving up the things we love doing "just in case" and remember how to enjoy life again. Go out, have a few drinks, and dance the night away. You deserve it more than anyone!ReplyDelete
Also, is your uterine biopsy testing for endometriosis or endometritis? I know one can be treated with antibiotics but not the other. You must be so frustrated waiting for the results, especially after being told different time-frames from everyone. Crossing fingers that they come in soon.
Lastly, high five on the gluten-free diet! When I started mine, I also laid off the dairy a good bit. It was so hard! But I truly think it made a difference. There's also something called "silent celiac" where someone can have Celiac Disease without any symptoms and may even pass the blood test. If you have this and continue to eat gluten, it basically effects the quality of the eggs and functioning of the ovaries. I'm convinced this is what happened to me. Like you, as soon as I went off gluten my digestive system worked better and I felt better than ever before. Keep sticking with it. I'll try to send you some good recipes if I can remember. Do you have a lot of gluten-free options in the grocery stores there?
Thanks! I'm really glad too that we decided to take a break from it all and go on the trip. Feeling stronger emotionally now too which will help me once we start the next IVF. The uterine biopsy tested for endometriosis which is the one that can be treated for antibiotics. I had a laparoscopy a few years ago and they didn't find any endo luckily.Delete
Interesting that you went off gluten and cut down on dairy too! It is really hard. Especially in my office when people bring in baked goods on their birthdays I find! There are good gluten free options in the supermarket here though and I've been trying out some gluten free dairy free recipes. Sure, send me some recipes too if you like! We can swap notes :)
Delighted you'd such a good time and fab holiday in Oz. Hopefully your results will be back soon enough and the waiting will be over for your next cycle. No matter what the results you'll have no regrets as you did all you could to ensure optimal results while continuing to live 'normally'.ReplyDelete
Thanks Tric! Yeah that's how I feel about it too. If the next IVF still doesn't work, I should be able to walk away knowing we really gave it our best shot and not have many regrets going on with our lives.Delete
Those buckwheat pancakes look amazing. I'm so glad you had a relaxing and blissful Australian vacation. It makes me very happy to read.ReplyDelete
Hubby and I want to go on a vacation somewhere we never have been. However, there are two weddings in DC this summer so I know we'll probably end up going. And my cousin's shower is in a suburb of New York City, so I may fly up for that to see family and hang out in the city for a day. Have you ever been to New York or the USA?
You and the GerMann are very wise to prep for IVF. Last year it was just me. And we paid the price. Now, hubby is involved in the prep process.
I went in for second opinion RE visit yesterday and she suggested 600mg of CoQ10 - so good job on finding the optimal dose.
"Won't it be nice once all this is over and I can eat, drink and do what I feel like without worrying about affecting my egg quality!" ----> I totally agree.
oh yeah the buckwheat pancakes were yummy! I'm really happy we went on the trip, it was good for us as a couple after all the stress we've been too and I feel stronger emotionally at the moment now too. Hopefully it will last! I've been to New York, Orlando and Las Vegas several years ago! Had a great time and would love to plan another US trip sometime.Delete
Yeah, it can take awhile to get the men fully on board. I got my hubby to take pre conception tablets for a month before our previous IVF and I noticed his swimmers had better numbers that round compared to previous. I'm glad to hear 600mg coq10 is what you have been advised too. Let's see if the DHEA will also help in my case.
Sorry for the delay in commenting - it all sounds great! Really hope it's going ok so far!ReplyDelete
thank you! :)Delete