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New to posting but not new to IF :( Failed DE transfers - cramps?

Donor eggs cramps Endometriosis Chemical

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#1 JoeyA

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:27 PM

Hi guys, 

 

This is my first ever post on a fertility forum. Sadly, that doesn't mean I'm new to infertility, just a previous lurker who really needs some help. 

 

So our story in brief: 3 years of TTC, two failed IVF cycles with own eggs (two fresh transfers, one FET, 4 embryos total all created from eggs showing signs of poor quality). This year moved onto donor eggs, found an amazing proven open donor on here and ended up with 6 (!) beautiful frozen blasts from our half of the eggs. In contact with other couple from egg sharing and they got pregnant with a fresh transfer and are currently 5 months pregnant with a girl. Our first FET with donor egg embryo resulted in our first ever BFP, but sadly my hcg never got above 300. Dr put it down to bad luck so proceeded with another FET right away; just found out that this transfer is a BFN. We still have 4 frosties but I don't want to waste them if there's something else wrong with me. We thought DE would fix things so is this just bad luck or something else?

 

My biggest concern, and something my Dr can't give me a reason for, is that with 4 out of our 5 transfers I've experienced severe cramps in the middle of the night 3-10 days post-transfer. The cramps are often centered around my left side and last about 10-20 mins. They're so severe that I get overheated, sweaty and often vomit. With our two fresh transfers the cramps occurred a few days after a 2/3-day transfer so my Dr thought it could have been my ovaries recovering from the retrieval. As a precaution I've been on buscopan for my FETs, but with my FET that gave our BFP I experienced the cramps 10dp5dt, hours after a great first hcg level and then my hcg didn't quite double and then went down. With this last FET I had the cramps 7dp5dt and again about 12 hours later (so during the day). Usually I only have one bout of the cramps, sometimes with milder bouts in the following days. 

 

Has anyone else experienced or heard about cramps like this after a transfer? I've obviously heard of implantation cramps but I can't help thinking that these are much more severe and a sign of something else going on. I worry that the cramps are part of my body reacting badly to the embryos, or that I could have undiagnosed endometriosis or something that flares up when I'm on all the hormones (for my last two FETs my estradiol and has been sky high due to vaginal Estrace - 14,000!). 

 

I'm just really looking for ideas of what to do next and/or anyone who has had cramps that sound like mine. I know I won't be able to not give our remaining 4 embryos a chance at life but I'm so scared to go through all of this again. I do have a few possible red flags for immune problems I think (hypothyroid but no antibodies, low neutrophils, low AMH for age, wrist pain) but my anti-nuclear antibodies and C reactive protein came back fine. 

 

Please help me if you can! My husband tries his best to understand but I feel so alone.

 

Thanks for reading x

 

 



#2 Aimeehug

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:30 AM

Hi, Im sorry to hear about your journey. Im only on ivf cycle 1 so dont have much experience to share. I know I had cramps like that after my retrival, and they suspected it was OHSS, but hat doesnt make sense for you.
I have had cramps like that during my period tans turned out I had endo. Will they do a lap?
I hope the next embie sticks!!

me: 34 DH: 35 TTC since: Sep 2015

 

Jan 2018- Lap for Endo, and septum removal surgery

Mar-Aug 2018- 3 failed IUIs

Nov 2018- IVF...got my very first ever positive. 

Dec 19 2018- confirmed loss. at 5 weeks. cry.gif

Feb. 2019- preparing for first FET. Let's do this!

March 13, 2019- Transfer date for FET #1

March 18, 2019- turned 34 and got a squinter 5dp5dt.

March 22, 2019- Positive Beta! 

April 8, 2019- 1st ultrasound. all good except a small SCH.


#3 TracyFlick

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:27 AM

I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. I don't know, but I'm curious about immunology - is there a standard range/course of testing to be done when you suspect it to be an issue? I had two consecutive losses and while they did find a septum I also have some red flags for immune (all I was told was that I was fine) and this story - https://www.refinery...y-success-story - by the website's editor-in-chief really interested me, particularly the doctor's point about recurrent loss not being the issue of REs but of reproductive immunologists. 


January 2017 TTC

March 2017 BFP

April 2017 m/c

July 2017 BFP

August 2017 m/c

Stopped TTC to investigate issue

January 2018 Cycle monitoring; two misdiagnoses regarding fertility issues

August 2018 Septate found / uterine septum removal

November 2018 IVF #1: seven eggs, six mature, six fertilized with ICSI, four embryos, two PGS-tested normal

July 2019 IVF #2: 21 eggs; 17 mature, 13 fertilized with ICSI, seven embryos, five PGS-tested normal

Sept. 2020 first FET with 4AA PGS-tested embryo; BFP; low rising numbers but excellent scans

June 2021 healthy baby girl via C-section <3.

Future: Considering trying again when permitted following C-section but might be one and done. Will donate embryos to research if any remain unused when we are done.


#4 JoeyA

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 12:41 AM

Hi Aimeehug and TracyFlick, thanks for your replies :)

 

Aimeehug, you're right, my cramps do sound like OHSS and even though I never produced enough eggs to be at risk of OHSS, my Dr still thought the cramps I experienced with my two fresh transfers could have been ovary pain. Of course now we know that it happens with FETs too. I've never had painful periods in the 3 years we've been trying so I've never considered endo until now, but I guess I do have some intestinal symptoms that I now realise could be endo-related. We have a phone appointment with our Dr next week so I'm hoping he'll be open to doing a lap in the New Year. I've also been reading about having lupron depot shots for a couple of months before a FET to try to suppress any endo. Have you had your endo removed or suppressed prior to your upcoming IVF cycle? I really hope IVF works first time for you!

TraceyFlick, I'm so sorry for your losses. All our BFNs have been hard but our chemical in October was the worst, it's so hard to go from so happy to so sad. Did they remove the septum? I really hope that fixes things for you. As for the immune testing, I've read a lot of posts on here about it as well as reading the book "Is Your Body Baby Friendly?" by Dr. Beer. It's that book that set off a few alarm bells for me. From what I've heard, full immune testing is very expensive and not all doctors even believe in immune factors. Luckily for us, our Dr is a believer and seems happy to give the treatments empirically based on failed cycles etc. rather than insisting you pay for the tests. He was happy to keep me on Medrol (a steroid) until after my blood test for this last transfer, so I'm wondering if he might want to add some other immune-targeted therapies (intralipids, blood thinners etc.) to our future transfers. Do you have a good, open RE who is open to your suggestions? I really think you have to advocate for yourself during this process. I often think that my RE must get so frustrated with all my questions and reading, but as a biochemist I can't help but read scientific articles and try to figure out what's going wrong!

Sending you both lots of luck for your current/next cycles. Let's hope that 2019 will be a happier year for all of us! X



#5 Aimeehug

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 04:47 PM

The funny thing about my endo, is that I rarely got painful periods. Maybe only 2 really bad episiodes in the years that I stopped my BCP (and I think I stopped for like 5 years, even before we were ttc). Most of the time they were fine. Since I wasn't displaying a lot of symptoms, my doctor wasn't really sure I had it, but since I had a septum and she said people with septums are more likely to have it, she agreed to do a lap. My AMH was also on the lower side, which is another indication.

I had the lap in January, and they removed it then. Hopefully that will help us. I can't believe how long this wait is. 

 

I was excited and really hopeful in the beginning, but the closer it gets to test date, the more nervous I get that it didn't work. 


me: 34 DH: 35 TTC since: Sep 2015

 

Jan 2018- Lap for Endo, and septum removal surgery

Mar-Aug 2018- 3 failed IUIs

Nov 2018- IVF...got my very first ever positive. 

Dec 19 2018- confirmed loss. at 5 weeks. cry.gif

Feb. 2019- preparing for first FET. Let's do this!

March 13, 2019- Transfer date for FET #1

March 18, 2019- turned 34 and got a squinter 5dp5dt.

March 22, 2019- Positive Beta! 

April 8, 2019- 1st ultrasound. all good except a small SCH.


#6 JoeyA

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for telling me your endo story Aimeehug. Hmm, my AMH is also low for my age...I really hope my Dr takes my concerns seriously at our appointment next week. 

I know, the wait to test is horrific and it makes me feel sick just thinking about being in that position again. Are you going to test at home before your beta or are you going to be good and hold out? I could never wait but home tests are a real head ****! I've got my fingers crossed for good news for you soon x

 



#7 Aimeehug

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 02:10 PM

I have a whole bunch of tests left from the iuis. Im usually good about not testing much but have been testing already. The trigger shot seems to be out Which is good. And if I just get negatives Ill just have to keep reminding myself they might not be sensitive enough.

me: 34 DH: 35 TTC since: Sep 2015

 

Jan 2018- Lap for Endo, and septum removal surgery

Mar-Aug 2018- 3 failed IUIs

Nov 2018- IVF...got my very first ever positive. 

Dec 19 2018- confirmed loss. at 5 weeks. cry.gif

Feb. 2019- preparing for first FET. Let's do this!

March 13, 2019- Transfer date for FET #1

March 18, 2019- turned 34 and got a squinter 5dp5dt.

March 22, 2019- Positive Beta! 

April 8, 2019- 1st ultrasound. all good except a small SCH.


#8 hopefullyus

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 09:23 PM

My first transfers that failed I had intense cramps like you describe.  I also had some other autoimmune issues that surfaced as well during my treatment.  What ended up working for me was the immune protocol - intralipids, heparin or fragmin, medrol and doxy - in addition to the normal hormone support.  Since using those meds, I stopped having the cramping during our cycles.  Bets of luck to you!  Hope that you find your answer and most importantly your successful cycle(s).  


Me: 40

DH: 45

 

Diagnosis: Severe male factor, likely female factor (uterine/immune) and age at this point

 

The short story: 

4 fresh cycles plus one cancelled fresh cycle 

3 FETs plus one cancelled FET

Have a 2 year old son from FET in 2013 when immunotherapy added to protocol with VFC 

Trying for sibling since May 2015

Got pregnant on fresh cycle last year at 39 but ended in miscarriage

Just transferred two blasts Oct 24 from fresh cycle at 40 and was lucky to have two blasts to freeze- this cycle at 40 so far has been way better than my last fresh at 39:)

 

Detailed info re cycles on about me page. 

 

 

 

 


#9 JoeyA

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 11:05 PM

Thanks so much for your reply hopefullyus! You're the first person I've heard of that's experienced the same thing :)

We already did doxy and medrol with our last transfer, but I was thinking that my Dr might suggest using an immune protocol next time. Did you have any tests that showed an autoimmune condition? It's interesting that we're both at VFC; hopefully Dr. Hudson might remember your case of cramps when we talk about mine!



#10 hbbg

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 02:39 PM

What about an era? To make sure you are transferring on the right day for you. Will your dr do immune testing?
******* Holly *******

#11 JoeyA

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 03:57 PM

Hi hbbg! My hubby and I had a WTF appointment with our Dr this week and he brought up the ERA. His honest opinion was that the data aren't convincing yet - he's had patients come back as pre-receptive so they delay the transfer but it doesn't work, so next time they bring it earlier than normal and then it does work. He did suggest something interesting that he said they've had good success with though called platelet-rich plasma so we might try that. He seemed to have forgotten about my cramps (or not taken them seriously?) so I reminded him and he's agreed to refer me for a laparoscopy. The only problem is that the waitlist is about 5 months :( In the meantime, I'm going to take the pill continuously for a few months to suppress any endo if it's there. We also talked about some more immune treatments we could add, like intralipids and antihistamines. I don't think he's much of an advocate for immune testing because of the cost. So, I think we're going to wait and see how long the laparoscopy is going to take and, if the wait's really long, maybe we'll try another transfer in the meantime after I've been on the pill and lupron for a few months, plus add in the plasma and intralipids. I suppose it's good to still have more things to try!



#12 Canadamommy2

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 05:20 PM

With both of BFPI had a really really bad cramping right in the middle of the uterus and a super bad lower back pain. I think the pain you described is pretty normal.
Age : Me 34
Hubby 43

Trying to conceive : 2 years
IUI : 4 failed
IVF#1 : 19 folical, 19 retrieved, 11 fertilized with ICIS
FET#1, #2 : FAILED 😭😭
FET#3 : our Son, Alexander was born November 2015 🎉🎉🎉🎂😍💖

Sibling project is started ^^ 😊😊😊
FET #4 (2017) (Natural FET, estrace day3-7, hcg trigger shot, low does hcg every 3 days after transfer)
Cd3 : lining 4.1Cd9 : lining 7.1Cd10 : lining 8.6 tripple line+trigger shot good to go.
Dec2 : transfered 1 5AA BlastoBeta#1 (9dp5dt) 388 !!!!Beta#2 (12dp5dt) 798 !!!!!!! Im officially PREGNANT !!! ;-)
12w NT SCAN showed 10mm Cystic hygroma(didnt get the result until 15w ;-( ;-( )
NIPT low risk all 3 Trisomy 13, 18, 21
17w1d : Diagonsed with 11m cystic hygroma +hydrops
17w2d : Disgnosed with Hypo plastic right heart syndrome
18w4d : TMFR. Our hearts are shattered. Our little sleeping angel baby girl Cicely Bella Veighey was born @2:30.She was beautiful just like her name. She was so loved and so wanted. Mommy and daddy and your big brother will love you forever !!!Sibling project continue with the hole in our heart.Hoping to

TTC our rainbow baby girl (if possible)
FET#5 : transfered perfect 6AA fully hatched
10dp5dt : 428 Progesterone 60
12dp5dt : 709 (not quite double) progesterone 50
14dp5dt: 1457 Progesterone 49
19dp5dt: 6158 Progesterone ?
7w u/s gestrational sac measure 6w2d no fetal pole or heart beat
10w gestrational sac still the same 6w2d still no fetal pole or heart beat. Diagnosed with Blighted ovum ;( took Misoprostole to end the pregnancy and spotting for 8w until beta turned back to 0.

Continue our sibling Progect. We will bring home our rainbow this time!!

#13 JoeyA

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 11:50 PM

I just wanted to give an update in case someone else is searching these forums with the same symptoms as I had.

 

So I had a laparoscopy two weeks ago and they found extensive deep endometriosis on the left side of my abdomen, the side where I experienced my post-transfer cramps. This was after having no "typical" endometriosis symptoms and painless periods! I'm so glad that I pushed to have this surgery as we finally have answers and hopefully our next DE embryo transfer will be successful. My surgeon was able to cut out 80% of my endo and cauterize another 15%, so I'm now going on Depo Lupron for 6 weeks to suppress what's left before we start our next transfer. And we're going to add intralipids and platelet-rich plasma to my transfer protocol. 

 

So for anyone else out there who's been told they have "bad eggs" when they're relatively young and/or have repeated IVF failures and/or chemical pregnancies, I encourage you to investigate endometriosis as the cause! We're still going to continue with our DE embryos as I just want this infertility journey to be over asap, but hopefully now my body won't be a toxic environment and our little embryos will stick. Know your body and don't be afraid to advocate for yourself! 


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#14 Aimeehug

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Posted 27 March 2019 - 11:28 AM

Glad you found that out. I too had silent endo. Only symptoms were low AMH. And the very occasional bad period. I suspect a lot of women who have unexplained may have undiagnosed endo.

me: 34 DH: 35 TTC since: Sep 2015

 

Jan 2018- Lap for Endo, and septum removal surgery

Mar-Aug 2018- 3 failed IUIs

Nov 2018- IVF...got my very first ever positive. 

Dec 19 2018- confirmed loss. at 5 weeks. cry.gif

Feb. 2019- preparing for first FET. Let's do this!

March 13, 2019- Transfer date for FET #1

March 18, 2019- turned 34 and got a squinter 5dp5dt.

March 22, 2019- Positive Beta! 

April 8, 2019- 1st ultrasound. all good except a small SCH.


#15 JoeyA

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 03:47 PM

Thanks for the reply, Aimeehug. I totally agree, if it weren't for all the research I did and coming across Dr Braverman's posts on silent endo I don't think it would have ever been diagnosed and we would have just wasted more precious embryos. 

 

I see you got a BFP this month! I have everything crossed for you for your ultrasound x



#16 Aimeehug

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 04:18 PM

Thank you! :). Wishing you the best in your journey too!

me: 34 DH: 35 TTC since: Sep 2015

 

Jan 2018- Lap for Endo, and septum removal surgery

Mar-Aug 2018- 3 failed IUIs

Nov 2018- IVF...got my very first ever positive. 

Dec 19 2018- confirmed loss. at 5 weeks. cry.gif

Feb. 2019- preparing for first FET. Let's do this!

March 13, 2019- Transfer date for FET #1

March 18, 2019- turned 34 and got a squinter 5dp5dt.

March 22, 2019- Positive Beta! 

April 8, 2019- 1st ultrasound. all good except a small SCH.






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