Tuesday, 2 February 2010


One of the things I've been idly wondering about is the timing of second and subsequent IVF attempts.

From what I've read, it's not just the sperm that take three months to mature. It also takes three months for eggs to mature. This means that if you have a second IVF cycle within three months of the previous one, the eggs that will develop on that second cycle will have been exposed to the drugs that you took in the earlier cycle.

Does this have any effect on the development of the follicles and the maturing of the eggs? Could it be the reason why I responded so poorly on IVF #2, which began less than two months after IVF #1? And could it mean that I could expect to respond better on IVF #3 later this year, when the drugs from #1 and #2 have completely worked their way out of my body?

Or could it be that the residual presence of drugs in my body and the fact that the eggs in IVF #2 had effectively been exposed to two sets of IVF drugs made my body respond better than it would otherwise have done, and that the poor response in IVF #2 was a sign of how quickly my ovarian reserve is deteriorating?

I don't know the answers to these questions, and Mr No Nonsense never ventured an opinion on whether it was a good idea for us to try again so soon or whether we should, in fact, wait for a while to give us a better chance.

I'd be really interested in any thoughts that anyone else has on the subject, or experiences of second and subsequent cycles which were either within the magic three months or outside it...


  1. I was recently wondering the same thing. My last IVF was most definately the worst one i've had and I did go straight into it after my 2nd failure so in my mind I'm grateful that i'm having more of a break between cycles before going into it again. Dr egghunt told me that the stress of going straight into successive IVF cycles can have quite significant consequences on outcomes, but of course its all a bit vaigue as how do they actually measure stress?? My dismal result could have been because of the change in drugs/protocol rather than because of the lack of break in between cycles. But i've heard A LOT of people say that their best cycles were ones where they had at least 3 months break. Stress is a funny thing, you never really realise you are stressed until you look back on a situation. Looking back now I can see that it was a bad idea to do IVF#3 when we did, I was still reeling and emotional from our previous loss. But there is no way that anyone could have talked me out of it at the time, only hindsight has given me that clarity. I hope for both of our sakes that the break we are having does us the world of good and we have much better results next time.

  2. Even though my 2nd IVF was successful, my egg quality was about the same (for my best embryo) and worse for all my other embryos. I also wondered if I had waited longer if I'd have had better quality embryos. I suspect a break will be a good thing for your chances.

  3. We had to do 5 rounds to get this far - the first 3 cycles ended in miscarriage. My successful cycle (#5) was right after my only BFN (#4) - I had a one-month break in between. My first cycle was also my worst cycle with only 2 eggs retrieved (only 1 mature). My 3rd was my best with 11 eggs, and I had a one or two-month break between #2 and #3.

    As I kept asking more and more questions about how to improve the number and quality of the eggs, my doctor kept telling me that it's up to nature and that each cycle is going to be different, even on the same meds.

    I know this isn't much help as it's the opposite of what you've heard. Sorry about that.

    In any case, much luck with your IVF, break or no break.

  4. That's interesting. Sprudeln, I remember thinking that it might be a good idea to go for another treatment before the drugs had worked their way out of my body, so your result is what I would have expected.

    Sonja, I thought of you when I wrote this, and thought that your BFP negated my theory a bit, so it's interesting that you said that.

    Egghunt, I was exactly the same as you - it probably wasn't good for me to do it then, but nothing could have stopped me, and in some ways it might have been even worse in terms of stress and emotional upset if I hadn't gone ahead straight away. Now I'm in a place where I feel a lot better about waiting, reverting to normal life for a while and just recovering physically and emotionally before we get into it again.