Frozen Embryo Transfer

On Monday we had our appointment with the fertility Dr.  The meeting was all about reviewing what we wanted to do next. To establish the “next steps”.  As I know I’ve spent the last few weeks googling away trying to find answers, and there are more hits for posts on IVF than anything else on here at the moment , here’s what I learnt from my Dr on Monday:

1) What I went through was not normal.  29 eggs is not a normal, good thing.  The Dr was so pleased that I looked well.  Having been away the whole time I went through the process last month she hadn’t seen me, and apparently expected to see someone who was far more ill walk through her door.  I am apparently, unusually able to bounce back from things. I told her how I thought it wasn’t as bad I expected it to be and she laughed and said “God you’re a trooper!”

2) There is no reason why our embryo decided not to stay.  In her words, even though we made it happen the way it did “being pregnant is luck”.  That seems a little unfair after all the work we did but I guess creation is a fickle thing.  We certainly shouldn’t be worried that something isn’t working that we don’t know about.  Apparently, it’s only after 3 full Antagonistic IVF Cycles that questions are asked about those kinds of things.

3) It IS totally expected that the cycle following IVF is “not normal”. It is absolutely fine that, for some reason, ovulation didn’t occur until day 23 and it’s all very normal for things not to be normal. I should stop freaking out about that

4) It IS expected that once this current cycle completes – everything will return to normal – phew!

5) There is a 30% chance of success with a defrosted embryo – it was 50% with the “fresh” ones they used last time

6) There is a 10% chance that the embryo they defrost won’t survive being defrosted.  If that happens then they’ll just thaw numbers 2 and 3.  It would be really bad luck if they all failed to make it.. but it happens.

7) There’s a 4% chance that the embryo will split and we’ll have twins. This is the same whether we’re using a frozen embryo or a ‘fresh’ one.

8 ) Eggs do not, as I thought, leave the womb through menstruation. If they’ve failed to be fertilised, they die and disappear around 12 hours after they have been released.  menstruation is more about linings than eggs.  Therefore I don’t have to worry about silly things like dead eggs living inside me for 9 months with my new baby – when we’re successful.  Who ever we had for Year 8 biology has a lot to explain to me!

9) The stats we were given 1st attempt – 50%,  2nd attempt  – 70%, 3rd attempt – 90% refers only to complete cycles… In the case of IVF complete cycles mean injections, egg collection and transfer.  That means there is only a 30% chance of success with our frozen friends, not 70%  (see note 5)

10) Attempt number 2 starts as soon as my next cycle arrives.  I call on the first day of my new cycle, they count 10 days and take some blood.  If my hormone levels are normal and show that I might be ovulating then they organise for the embryo to be defrosted.  Because our little frozen friends are 4 days old, four days after they’re sure I’ve ovulated it’ll be placed back inside.  There are NO injections, NO hormone pills, NO hormone pessaries or creams.  Just me, nature and defrosted bunch of cells from a jar.  Sounds much better to me!

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