Monday, March 28, 2011

FET Questions

Tomorrow is my follow-up appointment to discuss our FET with Doc. What went wrong, what can we do differently this time, things like that. I have been anxious about the appointment since the day after we found out the FET didn't work. Mainly because there were issues I had with our FET. Issues that I wish I had been more vocal about from the start. And really, I have no idea if my issues amount to a hill of beans when it came down to result time, but I just felt like things started off rather shaky. So when the final results came back negative of course my mind goes to the things that had me worried from the start.

When I started the birth control pills to regulate my cycle, I started spotting. And then I never stopped. I was suppose to go off the pills and then have a period, but since I had bled the entire month, that of course didn't happen. They had me come in for an ultrasound and everything looked good, but still. It bothered me. Then when I started my patches I started cramping really bad. I mentioned it at my monitoring appointment on cycle day nine, but he said everything looked good and we were go for transfer. Now, looking back, I just feel like maybe my body was rejecting the cycle from the start.

I know lots of different doctors have different protocols, but Doc doesn't do any blood work for an FET. Is that normal? When we did our IVF my baseline blood work was off and the cycle was canceled. I ended up having to go on Lupron for a month leading up to the cycle to get everything where it should be. I asked Doc this time if that was necessary again and he said no because levels don't matter for an FET. Is that true? Do some people do Lupron prior to starting a Frozen Transfer? Is it wrong that I want to do it, just because in my head it helped with Henry?

What about a trigger shot? Does anybody know why some doctors do this for FET's and others don't? I hate to go in and say "Well I read online that all the other doctors do it!" without some sort of facts behind why it might be better. Still. I just feel like I want more monitoring, more medications that these other doctors use. I mean, clearly they believe it helps. I know my doctor doesn't feel they are necessary, but what if I want to try them anyway? How hard do I push for that?

I trust Doc. I truly do. He gave us our sweet Henry and just because our FET didn't work doesn't mean I am jumping ship. I just feel like they have a standard FET procedure that didn't work for us. I am now interested in other options to see if they might give us better results. The one thing I know is that this is our last cycle, so I am doing everything I can to make sure when it's over I am not sitting there saying "I wish I had spoken up" or "I wonder if it would have made a difference". It's my last chance to fight for this, so there will be no more just assuming the doctors know best. They might, but I want it explained to me so I know I agree.

If you have done an FET before, I would love to hear your doctor's protocol!


  1. Sarah- I am doing an FET cycle right now and I’d be happy to share my protocol. I start Lupron tomorrow, take my last birth control pill on April 2nd. April 6th is my cycle day one and I will go in for blood work then. I’m not exactly sure what blood work they are doing (but I can check.) They said if my blood work looks good that day then I can proceed with the estrogen suppositories, climara (estrogen) patches, baby aspirin. I will continue the lupron until a few days before my transfer is scheduled. I only have one lining check scheduled through the cycle, but about 3 blood tests before the transfer. I will also take medrol for 4 days right before transfer. I also have 3 hcg shots (2 right before transfer, and 2 right after.) I asked the nurse why the hcg shots (since that’s what I used to trigger ovulation with IUI’s) and she said it just helps get your progesterone going and get your lining nice and thick. Lastly, I’ll have about 3 weeks of endometrin suppositories…starting them a few days before transfer (same day as first hcg injection.) Then, I will have blood tests every few days after transfer. I hope that is helpful! If I were you…I’d just ask if he wouldn’t mind switching up your protocol a bit since the your FET was not successful. You could even come to appointment letting him know what you’d like to do differently. It wouldn’t hurt just to ask!

    P.S My exact FET protocol is under "my IVF cycle" tab on my blog.

  2. I did 3 weeks of BC pills, got my period and then started Del Estrogen every 3rd night. About 2 weeks later I started PIO every night. FET was 5 days after starting PIO. I did have bloodwork and u/s monitoring during the meds before transfer. I hope your appt brings some answers and maybe a new protocol.

  3. i don't have any experience with IVF or FET yet, but i wanted to wish you luck! i hope this cycle goes better than the last and brings you another little miracle. :)

  4. I've never done an FET BUT I would think at least some bloodwork is needed on around day 2/ 3 to check if your hormones will support the embryos...

    I love how you're asking all these questions so as to leave no regrets! Love it!!!

  5. Aren't protocals fascinating! All so different and different success rates. The UK is quite different and yet we have similar success. I didn't do birth control at all. I started with a down reg drug which I take in a nasal spray to ensure my ovaries do not release an egg then when I get my period I start taking oestrogen tablets. I take them for 2 to 3 weeks then they check my lining. As soon as my lining is over 8mm thick then we schedule the transfer. I take progresterone suppositories twice a day 5 days before transfer of my 5 day frozen blasts. I keep on those progrestone pessaries until week 12 assuming I get pregnant. My clinic in London has some of the best FET success rates in the UK. Is it the protocal? Maybe but I also think they have an excellent lab that only freezes the best embryos. Good luck!

  6. I had a fet in December. I started lupron then had scan and labs about 2 weeks later. All looked good so I started estrogen. My period started the next day. I returned a week later for another scan and labs. 5 days later I took my last shot of lupron. The next day started poi, medrol, and aspirin. Continued estrace. Transfer was 5 days later. Good luck to you and your family.

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