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Return to IVM: in vitro maturation

Brenda

Becky

Sarah

Nicole

Cari

 


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Real Patient Experiences with IVM

We have asked some of our recent patients to answer questions that we thought you might like to ask about their experiences in undergoing IVM, in vitro maturation.  IVM is a very natural approach to IVF.  Minimal medications are used and there is minimal monitoring.  Immature eggs are simply harvested from a woman's ovaries and matured in the laboratory.  These eggs are then fertilized and transferred back to the woman.

We have been doing IVM since 2009.  Our first pregnancy was in February, 2010.  This was the first pregnancy from our region of Pennsylvania and likely the first from an IVF program in Pennsylvania.  At this time, only a handful of programs in the United States offer IVM.

Brenda's experience

How did the cycle go for you?

The cycle went well. All of the nurses I have worked with helped make the procedure go well.  They were all so comforting. Anytime I had a question they were there for me.

Do you know how it differed from an IVF cycle?

Yes. Dr. Rose explained the procedure wonderfully.  Being a PCOS patient with infertility ‘issues’, Dr. Rose explained why IVM was a better option than IVF (for me).

How difficult was it for you to undergo this cycle?

Not very difficult. Dr. Rose helped me with any questions my husband or I had. Also, the nursing staff was great. Anything I needed they were always there.

 

If you had a traditional IVF cycle before or you know someone well who did, can you compare the experiences?

I ‘heard’ the medicine caused extreme hormonal changes, the shots were hard to give, and the ‘schedule’ could be trying. Lastly the cost of IVF, it’s so expensive.

Had you heard of IVM before and have your friends and doctor heard of it?

No, even today at doctor’s appointments when I talk about my pregnancy I say IVM and they usually need an explanation.  They will call it IVF in my chart. Family & friends are amazed to hear how my IVM procedure worked.

Is there anything “special” about IVM that you think other patients should know about?  

The ‘special’ thing for me was the difference in medication. Compared to IVF.

 

Is there anything else that you think people should know (about IVM or us)?

The staff is wonderful. I have seen other doctors about my infertility issues and it seemed like they were just trying to push infertility drugs on me. I have never once had that feeling about Infertility Solutions. Dr. Rose and his staff are amazing.

From the very day I stepped foot in Dr. Rose’s office I knew he was not like other Doctors. He has diagnosed me with things other doctor’s overlooked, critical things that made a difference in whether or not I was going to ever get pregnant.

 

 IVM was a great experience.  I was looking into adoption, thinking this (IVM) is my last hope. I was skeptical, I must say. I would talk to my husband after the procedure about other plans if this did not work.  I felt there is nothing out there to help me have a baby…Then I got the call. SHOCKED! It worked. I never thought this simple procedure (in the scheme of things) would work. And it did. The whole experience was great…a little nerve-wracking (to be expected) but great. I will never forget after the transfer Dr. Rose’s wife, Maureen Rose was talking to me and said she will be praying for us (I and my husband). That little statement warmed our heart. Infertility solution became a family to us. It was so nice not being treated like just another person on an assembly line. 

 

Five months later here I am still extremely grateful to Dr. Rose and the rest of his staff for giving me my beautiful little angel. It would not have been possible if it were not for Infertility Solutions. God Bless.

 

Becky's experience

How did the cycle go for you?

Fantastic. There is not one thing I would change about this cycle.  I felt comfortable and my concerns were put to easy throughout the cycle.

 

Do you know how it differed from an IVF cycle?  

From what I understand, there were less medications involved. With IVF, there are multiple shots that need to be given daily. IVM only required one day of two shots. With IVF, mature eggs are retrieved and with IVM, immature eggs are retrieved.

How difficult was it for you to undergo this cycle?

This cycle was not difficult at all. Everything was explained in detail and an information sheet was provided. The education class was very helpful and explained everything in detail. Time and attention were given to my husband and me during the class and all of our questions were answered.

Was it hard to take the medications?

The medications were very easy to take. A calendar was provided with the potential start and end dates for the medications. This really helped organize and “plan” a schedule. The hardest medication to take would be the trigger shot. I was relieved that I only had to do it one night.  I have to admit, I was never a fan of needles. I have never given myself a shot before and was extremely nervous. The directions were very clear and it was very easy, and painless, to do.

Did you have any side effects from the medications?

No

How much monitoring was done? 

I feel that there was a fair amount of monitoring being done, which is a good thing, but not an overwhelming amount. I never felt that I was being thrown into the cycle to meet a calendar deadline. Everything revolved around my body and response to the medications. I believe I had 3 or 4 ultrasounds to check follicles and the lining of my uterus.  I was originally scheduled for only one ultrasound but since my body was not responding as quickly to the medication as hoped for, it was necessary to have more. When everything met the appropriate measurements, we were able to move into retrieval and then transfer. After pregnancy was confirmed, I had blood work completed about every 2 weeks to check my estrogen and progesterone levels.

 Had you heard of IVM before and have your friends and doctor heard of it?

No

What worried you most before starting the cycle?

Pain. I don’t have a very high tolerance for pain and I was a little anxious about this. After the procedure, there was a little discomfort but nothing intolerable.  I was also concerned about my work schedule. Fortunately since the procedure was pretty well planned out, I had a general idea of any days that I would need to take off.

How supported were you by the infertility office and staff?

I absolutely loved the office and ALL staff! Everyone was very friendly, caring, and took a genuine interest in us. Time was taken to explain all procedures and answer all questions. I knew that if I ever had any questions or concerns I would be able to contact the office and have my questions answered and worries relieved.

Is there anything else that you think people should know (about IVM or us)?

After pregnancy was confirmed and an ultrasound showed a gestational sac, I had some bleeding. Of course, I went into panic mode.  Since it was after office hours, I immediately called the answering service. Jayne called me back within minutes and gave me directions on what to do. As upset and nervous as I was, she comforted me and tried to put my mind at ease. She gave me her personal home phone and cell phone number and told me to call anytime during the night if things got worse. She called me the next day to schedule me for the earliest appointment possible and to check how things were going. Fortunately, the baby is fine but I feel that this was a rare quality to see at any doctor’s office.  This is just one example of the compassion seen in the office.

Sarah's experience

How did the cycle go for you?

Fantastic. There is not one thing I would change about this cycle.  I felt comfortable and my concerns were put to easy throughout the cycle.

 

Do you know how it differed from an IVF cycle?  

I never did IVF so I don't know the difference.

How difficult was it for you to undergo this cycle?

This process was not very difficult.  What was difficult was making sure I was taking the medications at the correct time.  I did call Dr. Rose's office several times to make sure I was taking the medications correctly and the staff assured me I was.  It was nice to know that if I had a question about anything relating to this process, the staff was readily available and knowledgeable.

Was it hard to take the medications?

The medications were not hard to take; just remembering which ones to take was a little more difficult.  

Did you have any side effects from the medications?

I did not have any side effects from the medication.

How much monitoring was done? 

I was monitored at least weekly by Dr. Rose and his staff.  I felt very safe and taken care of by Dr. Rose and his staff.

 Had you heard of IVM before and have your friends and doctor heard of it?

Before Dr. Rose explained IVM to me, I had never heard of it.  When I told my friends/family about it, they didn't really know about it either.  I did a lot of research on my own and found it to be a new and exciting process and that it may help women like me get pregnant.  After I did get pregnant, I transferred care to my OB office.  When I explained to my doctors that I had IVM, some of them corrected me by saying, "You mean IVF, don't you?"  I explained that IVM is a similar but different process and most of them were intrigued to know about this procedure.

What worried you most before starting the cycle?

I was most worried that I would not get pregnant when I started IVM. 

Is there anything “special” about IVM that you think other patients should know about?

I think that because IVM is so new, many patients will not be comfortable with it.  They may think of it as "experimental".  I do hope that if they are a candidate for IVM, that they go into the procedure with an open mind and positive thoughts.

How supported were you by the infertility office and staff?

The office and staff were extremely supportive throughout all my time with Dr. Rose, especially during the IVM cycle.  If I had a question or concern, I knew I could contact them and they would help.

Is there anything else that you think people should know (about IVM or us)?

 
IVM was one of the best decisions my husband and I made in our lives.  I have achieved the dream that I longed for for so long.  Becoming pregnant was difficult for several reasons for us and IVM let us achieve what we wanted.  I am now 5 weeks away from my due date and cannot wait to meet our little girl.  She is a "miracle baby" for us.  I think about if I never made the appointment with Dr. Rose, I know I wouldn't be in this situation.  He knew the best course of treatment for me and I am thankful everyday.
 

Nicole's experience

How did the cycle go for you?

The cycle went very well for me.

Do you know how it differed from an IVF cycle?

I think it differed in the sense that I did not have to take nearly as many fertility drugs and my eggs were matured in a lab not in my body.

How difficult was it for you to undergo this cycle?

Not difficult at all.

Was it hard to take the medications?

No, the only problem I had was stomach issues from the Metformin, but that is common.

Did you have any side effects from the medications?

Stomach issues from the Metformin.

How much monitoring was done?

There was enough to monitor that things were progressing, but it was not excessive.

Had you heard of IVM before and have your friends and doctor heard of it?

No

Is there anything “special” about IVM that you think other patients should know about?

I can’t compare it to IVF, but I would say it was not overly intrusive on our everyday lives.

What worried you most before starting the cycle?

That it wouldn’t work or my body wouldn’t respond to the procedure.

How supported were you by the infertility office and staff?

The infertility office and staff were very supportive and made me feel very comfortable.

Is there anything else that you think people should know (about IVM or us)?

Yes, you guys are amazing. I never felt uncomfortable with calling with questions.

 

Cari's experience

How did the cycle go for you?

My cycle had gone very well.  I did IVM once and got pregnant.  I had no complaints throughout the cycle or with this new type of procedure.

 

Do you know how it differed from an IVF cycle?

Yes, with the IVF cycle I had to take many more shots which caused bruising and hard bumps and some water retention, with IVM there was very little.  With IVF I was also being seen every other day and blood work every other day which was hard to manage.

 

How difficult was it for you to undergo this cycle?

The IVM cycle was not very difficult.  Any cycle is stressful and inconvenient but the IVM cycle was much easier then my 4 IVFs!

 

Was it hard to take the medications?

With IVF, I was very nervous that I was messing up because there was so many shots, pills, etc.  This time with the IVM it was very easy to manage few shots and few changes, made me feel as though I had more control and more organization.

 

How much monitoring was done?

I had blood work once, was seen a few times in the office, the retrieval and implantation, and I was done.

 

If you had a traditional IVF cycle before or you know someone well who did, can you compare the experiences?

I can never complain about doing the IVF, I was blessed with my three boys.  But with the IVF I was sorer and more tired out.  I felt as if the IVF cycle took so much longer, more work, so many changes to meds, it was much more stressful.  I felt as if IVM was such a blessing.  I always wanted a large family and I really didn’t want to do IVF again, this was perfect.

 

Is there anything “special” about IVM that you think other patients should know about?

In any cycle you will worry about the outcome and you will say, “Am I doing everything right?”  But, with IVM there is less of that, there’s not too much to mess up.  Sorry though, the worry will always be there although IVM takes less time so even that’s reduced a little.

 

What worried you most before starting the cycle?

I had the same worries everyone has, “Will it work?” “Will it be hard?” “Am I going to mess it up?” “Did I waste all that money?”

 

How supported were you by the infertility office and staff?

The staff and Dr. Rose were very supporting, I never felt alone or confused.  The staff was there for me every step of the way with all my cycles.  I knew I could ask any questions I had and they put my mind at rest when I got worried.  I wouldn’t have my boys without them.  Whenever I felt like quitting or not doing another cycle after two failures (not IVM’s) I felt as though someone else understood and knew how much I wanted a larger family.  Not only is Dr. Rose the best doctor I have ever been too, but his wife has an amazing way with people and a calming nature that makes you feel like you are in the best of hands (which you are) and that everything is ok.  Without these people at this office I wouldn’t have my life, which I love every second of, but I never even would have known what was wrong with me.  After seeing some ten or more doctors, none could tell me what Dr. Rose did in twenty minutes. 

 

 Is there anything else that you think people should know (about IVM or us)?

In my first cycle I didn’t want to call and ask questions I thought were stupid, but it’s better to get peace of mind and ask.