A little later than promised here is the second instalment of my IVF Diary. As I explained in Chapter 1, I had to phone Bourn Hall on the first day of my August period. I also had to have FSH, LH and Estradiol blood tests on day two or three of that period. Well I did as instructed and called Bourn Hall on day one of my cycle, and they then sent me a UK prescription by post for the Synarel nasal spray. I was told to have the blood tests for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV to ensure I was clear of these conditions. Richard too had to have the latter blood tests as the future Father of the baby.
As soon as the blood test results all came in I emailed them back to Bourn Hall. I then had to arrange the AMH test, which living in Guernsey was a little more complicated than usual due to the fact it isn’t available locally. I asked Bourn Hall for advice on this, and they gave me the telephone number for a laboratory in London called The Doctors Laboratory (telephone number is 020 7307 7373). My local Doctor then phoned the laboratory and arranged for them to post me out a blood test kit so that we could take the blood here in Guernsey, and post the sample back to them for testing. This test cost £80.50 plus the Nurse’s appointment fee for taking the sample.
Meanwhile the prescription arrived for the Synarel nasal spray, with instructions that I would need to spray once up each nostril in the mornings, and the same again in the evenings, starting from day 21 of my cycle. I arranged for the UK prescription to be converted to a Guernsey Prescription, and then picked up the first bottle of spray from our local chemist. Apparently I will probably need a second bottle of the spray to see me through to the next appointment with Bourn Hall.
Synarel Nasal Spray works by reducing the normal response of your body to the hormone GnRH, (Gonadotrophin releasing hormone). As a result your ovaries produce less oestrogen. Apparently this results in your periods either stopping or being reduced in amount after about one month of taking the spray. It cannot be taken orally because the digestive system would destroy the Synarel before it could get into your blood stream, so taking it as a nasal spray is an easy alternative.
Day 21 arrived on 19th September 2009, so I began taking the nasal spray. I checked out the paperwork that Bourn Hall had originally sent to me with all the information I would need to know about the IVF procedure. It suggested that once my next period starts I had a “Baseline Scan” of the ovarian activity and endometrium in order that the Doctor could determine the number of follicles with corresponding mean follicular diameters, and also the endometrial thickness. I did try to arrange this, but unfortunately my local Specialist is away when the scan would have been due. I contacted Bourn Hall to advise them of this, and they said the baseline scan is not essential, so I can do without it.
The next stage will then be to arrange further blood tests for lutenising hormone (LH), progesterone (P4), estrogen (E2) and haemoglobin (Hb), and forward these on to Bourn Hall along with my current weight and height.
In the meantime we can only have sex if we take precautions, although it might sound crazy after all these years of having fertility problems. This is because if by some miracle I were to get pregnant whilst taking the nasal spray, it could increase the risk of Downs Syndrome to the baby, plus the fertility treatment itself afterwards would naturally be a huge risk to the baby.
Unfortunately one bit of bad news I have discovered is that because Richard was found to have a slightly reduced motility and sperm count, we will need to have IVF using the ICSI method, ( Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, essentially where the selected sperm is introduced directly into the egg rather than simply eggs and sperm being incubated in the same dish overnight and then the fertilised eggs removed the following day for implantation). This does put the price up, so now we are looking at a price of approximately £4000 rather than the £2950 it would have been using the easier method. This means we are currently in a bit of a panic as to how we are going to fund this, but where there’s a will there’s a way!