Sunday, August 31, 2008

IVF 3: Post-Retrieval Update

The retrieval went better than we were anticipating in some ways, not as well as we'd hoped in others. Despite the worryingly estrogen plateau we got a good number of eggs. If I recall correctly it was 11 or 12 mature ones out of 21 good ones. As before, five others had cracked zonas which has the doctor puzzled. Still no idea why she's had so many do that, five every time.

The doctor called yesterday to tell us we had 13 fertilize. If things go as they have in our previous tries we'll have about half of those give us embryos, so we're anticipating roughly six or seven to choose from. Not sure how many we'll put back. I think my wife would like to put them all in, after having nine fail in her, but I think ultimately it's up to her sister to decide what she's comfortable with. The transfer is scheduled for tomorrow morning, though thankfully not near so early as the retrieval.

Wish us luck!

Friday, August 29, 2008

My wife's in the retrieval

My wife's in the retrieval room now. They've already given her a shot of anesthesia and I can hear her laughing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

IVF 3 Update: Triggered But Anxious

We triggered last night, but we're not feeling all that secure about it. My wife went in for a progress check yesterday. The follicles were the right size, but her estrogen was not up as much as expected. The doctor doesn't think that continuing the stimulation will make any difference so he told us to go ahead and trigger. We did so at 9:30 last night and have to be at the clinic for 7 tomorrow morning. In case you haven't read my earlier posts, it's about a hour drive so we're going to be getting up pretty early. I'm used to getting up a little before 8, so this will be fun, I'm sure.

We're not sure what we'll be getting out of this in terms of egg quantity or quality. I guess we'll find out tomorrow morning. Wish us luck.

Friday, August 22, 2008

IVF Take Three

Well, a lot has happened since my last post on this subject. I started a draft post mid July, but let that sit so long it's woefully out of date. So here's what's going on...

We went to the consult with the new doctor. We thought it would be a straightforward deal, just getting the details down for a try with my sister in law as the carrier. The doctor presented us with some options to mull over, though, including using donor eggs since my wife is now over forty. We went home and after a bit of hand wringing my wife decided that this is our last chance to have her own child so we would go with her eggs this time. Her sister is several years younger so if she's still willing we could try again later with donor eggs or adopted embryos. (Probably the latter since we're both not entirely comfortable with a child being from one of us but not the other, but would be fine with adoption if it weren't such an ordeal.)

Anyway, the protocol is underway. My wife is in the stimulation phase and will probably be ready for the retrieval in a week or so. Meanwhile my sister in law is primed for the transfer and waiting. (She has it easy: instead of shots she gets to use vaginal suppositories.)

We also got some good news today. My sperm numbers have improved greatly. The motility is greatly improved and the morphology is at 4% normal. The best morphology I've gotten in previous collections was 1%. I've been taking coenzyme Q-10 and vitamin E supplements most nights with dinner for the past month or so, the E for a bit longer. I don't know if that's what's made the difference, but my numbers are all at or near the minimum levels to be considered "normal" and I intend to continue. We both will be increasing our exercise as well to get in better shape, given that we now have an off chance of getting pregnant on our own. (It would be really crazy if she and her sister were both pregnant with our babies at the same time.)

I do believe we'll be having more sex. We've been off it for a bit. The low sperm counts & quality have been a bit of a downer, and it's hard not to think about it when you're thinking about sex. It just gives the whole thing a feeling of futility. Now, though, that load is lifting and we're both excited about it. I'm not sure when or if I'd be having any more analyses done, though, so there's a danger of uncertainty undermining that feeling if much time goes by with no luck that way. I guess we could always request an analysis.

With the numbers improved my wife asked the doctor if we were in IUI range now, and he said yes. I don't know if we'll do that, though. I read about a study recently that indicated that in cases of unexplained infertility using IUI (artificial insemination) or Clomid (to stimulate egg production) work no better than increasing the frequency of sex. Of course, you might say our infertility would be explained by my low counts & quality, but that in itself in unexplained, as is the fact that we've had three transfers of decent numbers of decent embryos with none implanting. I guess we'll see.