I feel a little bit like I'm in limbo at the moment. We are just waiting to go to our first IVF appointment. Thankfully this is fairly soon on 8th December. I think infertility forces you to (at least act like you) have the patience of a saint. I mentioned this to a work friend last week, saying that this is all just practice, it's teaching me the patience I'll need for when I finally become a mother. She said she'd remind me of that when I have a screaming toddler I have to run around after!
In the mean time I have been doing a bit of research and organising a few things. I continue to take my daily kick in the teeth that are pre-pregnancy vitamins, along with extra zinc and vitamin C, and a probiotic. After discussion with my friend and medical herbalist Helen (www.kindnature.com) it was clear that all multivitamins are not created equal. Since then I have stuck to the Lamberts StrongStart for women, which includes a daily omega 3 capsule.
I will be changing my probiotic to one with a higher concentration of micro organisms in (at least 10 billion needed!)
Most people know that you need to take a multivitamin in pregnancy, but it is also essential for conception. Again most people know you need to take folic acid. Did you know that the NHS also recommends that you take vitamin D? Well, I only know this from research - it is there on the NHS Choices website, but not one person has mentioned this at fertility clinic! So 400 mcg of folic acid (higher if you are at increased risk of neural tube defects) and 10 mcg of vitamin D should be in your daily multivitamin if you are trying to get pregnant.
Talking about being in limbo, I have been looking at the Infertility Network UK (www.infertilitynetworkuk.com) and Fertility Fairness (www.fertilityfairness.co.uk) about the postcode lottery that exists with IVF treatment across England. Fertility Fairness found that 80% of clinical commissioning groups (CCG) in the country fail to meet the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2013. NICE recommends that women aged up to and including 39, should have access to 3 full cycles of IVF treatment. To see the guidelines please visit: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg156
My CCG only allows for one NHS funded IVF treatment. This is the average in England with 110 CCGs funding one cycle, 61 funding two cycles and only 38 funding three. It fluctuates all the time, with one CCG that previously offered no provision for funded IVF now funding one cycle, yet at the same time some are looking to decommission all together, or downgrade from three to two, and two to one.
I am now going to be writing to my MP about this, hopefully helping to raise awareness of the issue in Parliament, and keeping it in the minds of the policy makers. I guess, if anything, it is something to keep me busy and my mind occupied.