IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Well blog it seems you have been of some great use to me recently.

The documenting of my misery is exactly what I needed recently, where else did I provide so much detail of my IF and many failed cycles??? The absolute mundane detail to be frank.

Our journey is not over. We are still determined to 'try' and have another child.

Star said she was onboard with whatever we decided to do... how is it that some people are born with such an incredible amount of selflessness???

In order to find out if this is a viable option, we decided to opt out of our 'rat in a cage' existence and seek another opinion. From the competition.

Hence the value in all the mundane detail.

We had some incredible luck, the high-brow lady doctor who conducted all our inside-and-out testing prior to embarking on our donor journey had cancellations that enabled us to see her virtually immediately.

Her view is that Star is (and always has been) an ideal donor. Her age - under 30, her proven fertility (her own children), the good egg nos. via IVF (8 and 12), our success (BabyG).

She believes that both cycle protocols were good (proven by the egg nos.), she also concurred that the Antagonist Protocol (last used), is fast becoming the protocol of choice (as advised by my own RE). She said the old thinking was that it was a last-ditch with 'mature' patients, but anecdotally they are getting equally good results as with the long-suppression, and it is also the protocol that patients prefer.

Interestingly she said that Star being on stims for both 8 days and 12 days was not an issue in terms of egg quality. She said they are triggering patients at 7 days(!) and getting good results.

Where she believes we have suffered is with poor laboratory conditions (all embryos lost on day 3!!!). In her words 'an RE is only as good as the lab and scientists in the clinic'.

She said that in a situation whereby a cycle will yield a fresh blastocyst to transfer and two to freeze, you were at a 70%+ chance of success. Yes this clinic is 'blastocyst and proud'. Because they have been doing blast transfers for more than 10 years she says 'we've gotten pretty good at it by now'.

She agreed that if we were to cycle with her clinic she would change the stimulant if it made us feel better, but ihho, there was no difference between pure.gon and gona.lf.

All interesting.

Decisions will be made.


At June 14, 2009 10:21 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of the conclusions of your doctor confirm what I was told at my hospital, the biggest clinic in Europe, with the most advanced research facility (5,000 retrievals per year): the protocols can be altered slightly, but the proof of the pudding is often in the lab. Going to a place with wonderful, human doctors who say they have developed unique protocols -- but who have mediocre labs and embryologists -- will give you false reassurance. (Your dr's bit about blastocysts is not, however, the common wisdom among researchers these days.) Also, short stims are fine. After many IVFs of my own and three DE cycles, we were finally successful, and the donor stimmed for just 7 days. Overcooking is a mistake when it comes to human eggs.

At June 15, 2009 9:33 am , Blogger Sparkle said...

Yes, that is my conclusion anon., good doctors are good doctors and can be found in the ordinary clinics as well as the great ones.
BTW, what is the common wisdom among researchers with regards to blastocysts? I'm forever changing my mind ... depending on our most recent experiences!
I now think that Day 2. is too soon, at that stage the 4-cells are 'maternal only', so with young eggs would prolly look good in any lab., but may not be necessarily that great - until Day 3., when you have the male/female cell division.
Lastly, congratulations!

At June 29, 2009 7:09 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

Too bad anon is anon, sounds like she might be a compatriote of mine. Not that I go to a clinic as large as that one.

Good that you got encouraging news.

At July 09, 2009 5:01 am , Blogger Summer said...

During the wait from retrieval to transfer for my DE cycle, I did some researching and I read that until Day 3, the embryo is "running on" the instructions from the genes from the egg, but after Day 3 the genes from the sperm come into much greater play (my concern was my husband's age and sure enough over age 50/55 sperm make embryos that have a lower chance of making it to day 5).

I also read that if a good percentage of your embryos make it to blasts, then your chances of success is also increased. Of course, this also depends on the quality of the embryology lab.


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