As most of you have probably seen by now, Jennifer Anniston recently went public about her struggles with IVF treatment and trying to conceive, which we thought was very admirable indeed, especially as so many people suffer in silence about it.
I have three friends in my close circle who are currently battling through what feels like an endless IVF rollercoaster and many more before that. So in tribute to all those who are currently going through IVF and everything it brings with it to your life, I wanted to share these things you should know about IVF treatment from Lara Solomon – founder of Hoopsy which makes eco 99% paper pregnancy tests.
At the age of 45 and single, Lara decided she wanted to try and have a child. So she embarked on a mission to try and get pregnant. Here, she shares 10 things to know about IVF…
It is better to know what you are in for
Personally, before I started IVF I didn’t really think about how hard it would be, emotionally, financially, time-wise or how thought-consuming. I just thought, “well if I want a baby I will just have to do it, no point stressing about it before I start”. This is one way of going about it, but actually having been through one round of egg freezing and two embryo transfers, I think it is better to know more before because then you can plan and prepare.
It’s more expensive than you think
My egg-freezing round was in Australia and cost me about £5,000 after government rebates. I then did my two transfers in Spain which were €4,000 each, but then on top of that you have the medications, the acupuncture – if you choose to have that – (I did the second time), any additional procedures that they recommend, private blood tests and scans. Then if like me you go overseas, there’s the travel going backwards and forwards. All up, on all my treatments, I probably spent around £20,000.
There is no guarantee
IVF is all about hope; hoping that you get pregnant, but there are no guarantees. The specialists will quote the chance of getting pregnant regarding your age etc, in my case it was 2% when I did the egg harvesting. Looking back I think, “WOW I did it with only 2% chance, that really was a shot in the dark”, but of course you always think, “someone has to be that 2% why not me…
I’ve seen the movies where women do IVF and it looks like a walk in the park! In my case not so much, all the injections were painful and left lots of bruising. Putting pessaries in my vagina twice a day was not what I would call pleasant, but I have to say the actual embryo transfer was painless!
It can test friendships
I spoke to a couple of close friends before deciding, one who I had been friends with for over 12 years through my divorce, my Dad and Mum dying and me having thyroid cancer, she really didn’t think I should do it, the end result we are no longer friends. Another friend, who is a financial advisor, told me out and out that I couldn’t afford to have a child and we are no longer friends either. Of course, there are lots of people who still are friends, but it amazed me how it affected those two friends in such a polarising way, even though I tried to reconcile they could not let it go.
There are massive highs
When I found out I was pregnant after the second embryo transfer, when I got morning sickness, I felt elated. When, after a bleed, I thought it was over and it wasn’t…
There are massive lows
When a sudden gush of blood arrived after I knew I was pregnant, what was happening? Why? Was I losing it? Was there a problem? Should I call someone? Was this normal? What colour was it? Was it dark red that was bad?…
You just cannot understand it if you haven’t been through it
have been through grief and illness, but to me, IVF is very different. With IVF it is you, you, you. Your body that gets punctured with needles, has wands poked into it, has to feel the ups and downs. I think part of you feels always on guard, should I be doing this or that and will it affect the outcome?
There can be other unwanted effects
I lost quite a bit of weight before I did IVF, but the drugs made me feel so bloated like I had put on 10lbs, but I hadn’t (I checked on the scales). I felt blah and therefore I ate more and guess what the weight went back on ☹ For me the drugs also made my fibroids grow approximately 2cm, which means if I decide to go again for a third time that I would first need to get them removed.
Support from others is SO important
Luckily, I had a few friends who were going through it around the same time as me. One who did eight embryo transfers to get her gorgeous girl. For me, having her to talk to made all the difference – I remember calling her after getting the blood test results from my first transfer (hCG of 2 = not pregnant), just having her there on the phone getting it and being there for me made SUCH a huge difference.
12.5 million home pregnancy tests are completed in the UK each year, causing a shocking amount of plastic waste to be sent to landfill. But Hoopsy is on a mission to change this, with its eco-pregnancy tests made of 99% paper.
The tests have an hCG sensitivity of 25mIU/ml and are over 99% accurate from the day of your expected period. Clinical trials have taken place to prove the accuracy and laboratory tests to ensure the sensitivity levels of the tests. It’s also registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The paper test can be cut in half – the part you wee on goes in the bin and the other half in paper recycling. What’s more, the cardboard packaging can be recycled in paper recycling and the pouch the test comes in can be recycled in soft plastics at the supermarket.
Hoopsy pregnancy tests are available in packs of three tests for £14.99 five tests for £22.99 or if you want to be really sure, 10 tests for £39.99. They’re available to buy on the website with free shipping at www.hoopsy.co