Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let's talk. IVF.

This is the post I've been wanting to write for several days now. To get others {your} thoughts.

Charles completely caught me off guard the other day when he brought up IVF... It began like this.

Charles works with a lady who has triplets via IVF. She is actually the one that recommended we see the new RE {appt is Feb 3!} as he has fantastic success rates! Charles and her were able to have a rather lengthy conversation, especially in regards to her IVF experience.

Said her and her husband only agreed to do IVF if the Dr would only retrieve FOUR eggs. Fertilize those FOUR eggs. And thus transfer back, all FOUR eggs. That's it. No more. No less. Four. They now have triplets.

Charles now has it stuck in his head that this is exactly what we will do too... Four.

He is afraid we'll end up with some odd enormous amount of embryos left to freeze {thus costing money as our insurance company does not cover this in any way}. Not to mention, the thought of if we have more than we would want to use? What then? The thought of embryo adoption/donation to other couples kind of weirds him out. {I can admittingly somewhat sympathize with this...}

I have reminded Charles of my friend Cathy who is currently pregnant with twins via their first round of IVF. She had 43 eggs retrieved! Only two made it to transfer and none to freeze...

Then their is my friend Annie... She just recently had her two beautiful baby boys, her IVF miracles! For her, they retrieved 16 eggs. Transferred two. They have three snow babies.

Such extremes! So I guess I'm asking for opinions. What would you do? What did you do? How many retrieved? Transferred? Snow babies? Pregnant? With how many?

I just keep imagining us only doing four... YEAH RIGHT! With me stimming for timed intercourse or IUI, heck, I over produce! Four, that's it??? I just don't see my body cooperating...


Nicole said...

My HONEST opinion (as an IVF veteran of three cycles)... please don't be offended, but I don't think sugar coating it will be as helpful to you... is that I think that is a horrible plan. For several reasons:
If you produce more than four eggs it is HIGHLY unlikely, and probably unethical, for the doctor to not retrieve them. Point out to hubby that such a course would result in the remainder of your eggs ovulating on their own and then you would have to have a period to flush the unfertilized eggs, which could be bad for your embryos that you transfered. Not to mention having tons of eggs floating around in your ute could mess up your hormone balances, etc. and unoptimize your IVF.
There is absolutely no way to predict that you can stimulate only four, that all four will be mature, that all four will ferrtilize and even be available for transfer.
The IVF process slims out your options as it goes. You get Y number of follicles. Only x% of those will be mature. Then only z% of those will fertilize. Then only t% of those will be any good. You will transfer however many (2 is the standard quantity and most REs refuse to do more unless you have extenuating circumstances like 'advanced age', or all your embryos aren't great quality), and still only n% of your leftovers will be freeze quality.
YOU WANT SOME FROZEN IN CASE THE FRESH CYCLE DOESN'T WORK!! TRust me, a frozen cycle is much cheaper, easier, less stressful, less invasive, and quicker than a fresh. And what if you want a second baby later? If you are investing in TTC enough to do IVF, please save us the $500-700 dollars that cyropreservation and storage for a year ot two costs. It is pennies in a bucket compared to what it would cost you to retry IVF. And that's only financially, not to mention the heartbreak of having to retry from scratch.
I don't know you well to know what your family plans are or anything, so please don't take offense to this comment :) It's just my thoughts on "the FOUR plan".
I've done this three times myself and followed dozens of people stories through IVF. I bet this FOUR girl at DH's work only had four eggs and was the 1 in a million case who got all mature and all fertilized and three took. That's RARE.
BUT... in the end you should do what you guys think is best for yourselves. Just make sure you consult in detail with your doctor and make a well educated decision. Hooray for your Feb appt! Exciting! :) Best of luck to you!

Nicole said...

I feel like I came across as being harsh in my first comment. That wasn't my intent I promise! Also, I forgot to include my personal results :)

IVF #1 (overall, this cycle was the semi-high side of average); Fresh with ICSI day 3 ET
35 follies, 23 eggs, 16 mature, 11 fertilized (but not all very good quality). Transfered an 8-cell, grade 2 and a 7-cell grade 2. Froze the rest. BFP, chemical pregnancy aka m/c at 6 weeks

IVF #2 (overall, crappy); Frozen cycle, day 5 ET
All but two of my embryos died during thaw, and the two survivors were super crappy. BFN

IVF #3 (overall fabulous so far!); Fresh with ICSI, day 5 ET
42 follies, 25 eggs, 17 mature, 14 fertilized. Transfer 2 blasts (AB and BB) TODAY!! I don't have a freeze report or a beta results yet since the cycle is still in progress. But the embryologist said we'd probably have 2 to freeze

I hope you get all the input you desire and that it is all helpful for you and DH. I really just want you to have the best chance possible, pleae don't think I was being mean before. It's just the cold hard ugly truth of infertility. :)

Making Babies said...

I have to agree with Nicole. :)

Maureen said...

Hi Meghan! So excited that you are thinking of moving on to IVF!! And I think your appt is with Dr. P right? You know my opinion of him!! :o) So I have to say I agree with Nicole too...the 4 embryos scenario is super risky!! As I think you saw in mine, Jenny, and Cathy's cycle (and as Nicole mentioned) even if you have a lot of the end...the odds are you are NOT going to have a lot of embryos (if any to freeze). My numbers were 17 retrieved, 16 mature and fertilized, 2 transferred on day 5, and 5 snow babies...although honestly we made them freeze ANYTHING they thought might possibly survive...regardless of grade...typically they only freeze grade 1 or it is likely they will not all survive the thaw, but we didn't believe in just discarding them unless they already stopped that is something else to talk to your dr. about b/c they will work with you and your beliefs...and thankfully we were told that ahead of time, b/c normally they just make the decision on which to keep and don't involve you! I would also ask about his thoughts on doing a low stim cycle if you are concerned you're going to produce tons of it may not be 4, but atleast it won't be 40+. Just talk to the dr...they do this all the time and I'm sure you aren't the first couple with these fears...I bet he'll have things to recommend too. I'll be praying for you both!! Keep us posted! :o)

Kelly said...

I just happened to come across your blog and I am so glad I did. My husband and I have been TTC since April 2008. We have been on fertility treatments since August 2008 because I have severe endometrosis. We have been told by our RE that IVF is our next option. We are not ready emtionally or finacailly for this next step. I am interested to see what you and your husband decide to do. Sorry that I couldn't give you any advice about retrievals.

The Swann's said...

Thank you so much for your comments!!! I have many thoughts on my responses but unfortunately, will have to do that this weekend...

Michele said...

My honest opinion is that I would do IUI over IVF any day of the week. We weighed how we feel, etc, and decided IUIs were as "advanced" as we were willing to go. It's a personal decision, but I felt like I would weigh in with my opinion.