Human Growth Hormone - what do you know about it?


#1

I’m sure this topic has been thoroughly discussed but my search though these pages has not pulled up any collective discussion.

I just met with my RE following a failed IVF cycle. Should we decide to do another cycle, he mentioned Human Growth Hormone (HGH) but then quickly said he did feel in my particular case the added cost is justified - based mostly on my age (39). He said they typically recommend/use for women 40+. So my question was what makes 40 vs. 39 so special. Kicking the ball back to me, he said if I wanted to try it, he would agree but again - didn’t believe the added cost was justified at this point. Since it is now my decision I need more data to make an informed one.

So my questions: (1) does anyone know of any recent publications addressing the use of HGH and IVF? The most recent I could find was 2010, and only one. (2) for women that have used HGH as part of their protocol - did you feel it made a significant difference in your results?

If you would like to provide advice, here are my details…This particular cycle resulted in only 3 eggs at max med levels, all of which fertilized abnormally. This is a significant difference from my last cycle (9 eggs - all good and a BFP). Granted my successful cycle was three years ago. In my RE’s defense, he did try to cancel my cycle based off of day 5 E2 levels less than 100 but I asked to push forward because the low (but within average range) amh scared me into thinking I’ll only get a few eggs anyway. Whether or not this was a good decision…don’t know.

My amh and fsh are low and high within the averages for women my age. RE said the abnormal fertilization could have occurred as a result of pulling the eggs too early or egg quality. We’ll never know for sure. My reduced number of eggs could be the result of just an “off” cycle but based on my amh levels it could also be an indication of low reserve. Again, he explained we can’t know for sure.

DH and I decided we can try one more time. Of the three doctor’s at the practice, one recommended we stop based on the probability of success being low and psychological toll of another cycle. We are also considering this as a valid option.

Since I want there to be no regrets, I believe I know the answer to my HGH decision but would still like to have as much information as possible.
Thanks for reading.


#2

I am using Saizen this cycle. I haven’t had my er yet but my re thinks I have egg quality issues so he said saizen could help with that. I’m 35 FYI


#3

[QUOTE=hmz819]I am using Saizen this cycle. I haven’t had my er yet but my re thinks I have egg quality issues so he said saizen could help with that. I’m 35 FYI[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the response hmz819! Did you take it on cd21 and a few times during stims? That seems to be the only protocol I could find but again, I could could only find that information on old threads (from varios boards) dating back to 2010 - nothing more recent.

I’d be interested to learn how it works out for you. I really hope you get your bfp.


#4

No I didn’t take it before my cycle. I started when my follicles got to 14mm. I took 3 doses so far. I am triggering tonight so I don’t know if I will take one last dose tonight or not. Saizen wasn’t covered by my insurance and it cost $650 for one vial (3-4 doses)


#5

I am taking Saizen this cycle. I took it for the first 5 days of stims. I, like hmz819, have egg quality issues, so we are hoping that this helps. I’ll have my retrieval on Saturday, so we’ll see if it helped. My RE said insurance doesn’t cover it, but luckily mine did. So, I only had to pay $50 for it. We are also trying a couple other things this cycle to help. I will have a uterine biopsy during my retrieval and then we will do a frozen transfer to help with my lining issues. Also, at transfer they will inject HCG directly into my uterus 5 mins before the transfer. Lastly, we will be doing PICSI instead of just ICSI. We’re hoping that all of these changing help our chances.


#6

[QUOTE=Geneen3]I am taking Saizen this cycle. I took it for the first 5 days of stims. I, like hmz819, have egg quality issues, so we are hoping that this helps. I’ll have my retrieval on Saturday, so we’ll see if it helped. My RE said insurance doesn’t cover it, but luckily mine did. So, I only had to pay $50 for it. We are also trying a couple other things this cycle to help. I will have a uterine biopsy during my retrieval and then we will do a frozen transfer to help with my lining issues. Also, at transfer they will inject HCG directly into my uterus 5 mins before the transfer. Lastly, we will be doing PICSI instead of just ICSI. We’re hoping that all of these changing help our chances.[/QUOTE]

Thanks geneen. This will be our second ivf for our second child as well. I’m going to call my ins. tomorrow…maybe it’s cover since ivf is not its primary use. While I have no fertility covered, some of my meds were that had other uses, e.g. estrace, pio, doxy, valium, etc. Best wishes on your retrieval, today’s trigger day?


#7

Hi EmmaL. Yep, yesterday was trigger (with lupron) and tomorrow is retrieval. I like not having the stress of knowing my transfer will be 5 days later. Good luck with your next cycle!


#8

I used Saizen on my last cycle. Like a few others here, I used it only the first 5 days of stims. This cycle turned out much better than the last, and although there were other factors, I think the Saizen made a difference. Good luck to you!


#9

On my first cycle I only got 2 mature eggs out of 7 so my RE added Omnitrope for the next. I got 16 eggs but only 6 were mature. It helped with the number of eggs but not quality. On my third cycle RE said he would try Long Lupron protocol and keeping Omnitrope. I started acupuncture twice a week, changed to Gonal F from Follistim and got on Ubiquinol. I don’t know what helped the most but I had the best cycle ever plus a :bfp:

Best of luck to you and :babydust: :bsv:


#10

I’m going to be taking HGH this cycle too.

This will be our 6th IVF but are first using HGH. Based on my google searches it seems pretty promising.

I’ve been researching pricing and I a little confused. Hope you can help… I have the choice to use Saizen or Omnitrope. Omnitrope is significantly cheaper. What I don’t understand is why nobody seems to be using the pens. My nurse was originally going to order the three 5mg Saizen vials which would give me a total of 15mg for $1404. I can get three 5.8mg vials of Omnitrope for $840. Another pharmacy quoted me $820 for the three 5.8mg vials, or I can get 1 5mg pen, plus one 10mg Omnitrope pen for a total of $612. The amount of dilute may be different since one is premixed but I should still be able to get the same amount of injections out of either scenerio, right?

Other then the extra .8mg in the Omnitrope vials it’s equalivent, isn’t it?

I’m going to ask the pharmacist tomorrow morning but I just wanted to see if anyone else looked into using the pens.


#11

Just an FYI on the pens vs vials.

I spoke to the fertility pharmacy this morning and they said that they cannot sale the pens for off-label use.

The other pharmacy (non-fertility) said they had no restrictions. I have a feeling when the order goes through it will probably get flagged. I guess I just wait and see…


#12

I had my worst cycle with the growth hormone in terms of number retreived and mature. However, my RE did say the quality of the embryos that I did have was better than last time. We transferred 3 on Tues and beta is Thurs 3/28. I am so nervous!


#13

hmz819, I would be ecstatic with a compacting 9 cell embryo!

Do you mind sharing your protocol? How long did you stim for?

Good luck!!!


#14

[QUOTE=Trippleb]hmz819, I would be ecstatic with a compacting 9 cell embryo!

Do you mind sharing your protocol? How long did you stim for?

Good luck!!![/QUOTE]
I have to clarify I had 1-compacting, 1-9 cell, and 1-8 cell. I don’t think my protocol was very good so I’m really worried. I did long Lupron with adding Saizen in when follies reached 14mm. I only stimmed for 6 days which is really short. I did manage to get in 4 shots of Saizen though.


#15

I used Saizen on my 2nd IVF with much better results than the first. I used it for the entire 10 days of stims. I’ve been reading some research that suggests using it the cycle before IVF to give it time to really effect the eggs. I will be doing a Mini IVF next and will ask my new RE his opinion of taking it before stimming. I also have read that some women do better on Omnitrope than Saizen.


#16

I also used saizen…all i can say is do it!!!

I did not get pregnant this last cycle where saizen was added BUT it was by far the best cycle I have ever had based on embryo quality.
In 10 years of IVF I had 3 day 6 embryo frozen after the saizen cycle.
If I had known we would have so many embryos make it past day 3 we probably would have done PGD to determine which ones were "good."
I did IVF 10 years ago at 29 and had no embryos make it past day 3 and the embryos we transferred were of good quality. (I would say awesome quality because one resulted in my beautiful DD)
Just the simple fact we had embryos make it to freeze is proof to me saizen is worth it.
It is very exspensive but we do not regret investing the money into it.

I also am a firm believer in not paying much attention to embryo appearance. Both my gorgeous DD’s were “good” embryos. Not perfect, not excellent by grading just "good"
My doctor says it is simply a beauty contest. You can look at a gorgeous person and that can be pure crap on the inside. I agree completely!

BEST OF LUCK!!!


#17

Hope some of you might have an opinion. I spoke with my RE about HGH and adding it to my protocol. He typically uses it starting in the cycle prior to the stim cycle and continues until trigger of the stim cycle. He said since I’m already stimming he doesn’t think it would help me but he also said he doesn’t think it would hurt anything either. It’s up to me if I want to “jump in with it, this late.”

Here is my question. I am on stim day 6 today. I have no follies at >10mm yet. I found research and post from ladies who used HGH towards the end of their stims or after their follies were 14mm. Although this isn’t the protocol my RE uses, it’s clearly something that some REs use. :nerd:

Would you invest in adding the HGH at this stage if you were me?[LIST]
[]This is my last IVF
[
]We are OOP and can’t afford another
[]I’m tempted to try it all at this point
[
]This is it for us
[]At my first monitoring I had 10 follies <10mm
[
]My next monitoring is tomorrow morning.[/LIST]Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Especially from those who used it toward of the end of stims or once follies were 14mm.

bon-


#18

I have only had one IVF cycle and I used Saizen. The REs were shocked and amazed with my numbers, fertilization rate and quality. They didn’t think I would have any to freeze and I ended up freezing 4 embryos. I miscarried but I still think the cycle was a success from the stand point that it went so much better than expected.

Some credit goes to Saizen, although I think diet and other supplements played a role as well.

I will be doing another IVF this summer at a different clinic and I will most likely be using Saizen with an estrogen priming protocol.