The IVF countdown has begun! While I am still nervous and scared, I am super excited! I know we are lucky to even have this opportunity. It is also fun to daydream about the possibility of it working. Before we get down to business (this all starts in August) we still have some decisions to make.
We are seriously considering NOT doing a fresh cycle. From my research, this does not seem to be the norm. Here is why were are considering this option.
Success Rates and Health Impacts
While research is conflicted, some sources suggest that frozen is just as successful (or possibly more successful) as fresh (more info is also available here, here, and here). Another source states that:
Experts from Aberdeen University reviewed 11 previous studies, which followed to birth, more than 37,000 pregnancies resulting from the transfer of either fresh or frozen thawed embryos. When frozen embryos were used, there was a 30% lower risk of bleeding during pregnancy, 30 to 40 percent less chance of the baby being born underweight, 20% lower chance of premature delivery and 20% less likelihood of dying in the neonatal period.
These sources also indicate that frozen cycles decrease the risk of developing OHSS. I have no reason to think I am at a higher than average risk for OHSS. Even so, I would like to decrease my chances of having this be an issue. I have heard one to many horror stories.
Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS)
If you are unfamiliar with CCS (I was until I started looking into IVF), here is a brief overview of the process (information found here)
Aneuploidy is the term used to describe any embryo with either too many or too few chromosomes. Most people are not aware that aneuploidy is the cause of greater than 60% of miscarriages, as well as the most likely reason that patients do not get pregnant from an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. The purpose of CCS is to analyze, select and transfer only embryos that do not have abnormalities in their number of chromosomes. Screening embryos in advance can help achieve higher implantation rates and fewer pregnancy losses, particularly for women 35 or older, couples with multiple-failed IVF cycles or implantation failure, and couples with repeated miscarriages.
Other research also suggests that CCS can improve the chance of success with IVF. Some places offer CCS but most clinics (including mine) have to send the eggs to a testing center which means they have to be frozen. This process is not cheap. It is not covered by insurance and runs about $4,500. The good news is that the cost is the same no matter how many eggs are tested. We are lucky that our insurance covered 90% of IVF and will also cover 90% of the costs to freeze and store my eggs. We are seriously considering this option. Part of me thinks that if we are going to take a shot at IVF, we minus well do everything we can.
I feel that delaying transfer may help me handle IVF. It would give me more time to recover from the retrieval process. I know that with infertility, time is our enemy. I am 31 now which is not young but I think I can afford to wait a month to transfer.
This post is not an endorsement or recommendation for an IVF delayed transfer. I have done my research and I am leaning towards this option. I really hope I can get some feedback from other bloggers who have decided to either do a fresh or delayed transfer. If you chose one or the other, what were your reasons? Has anyone had any experiences (both good and bad) with CCS? Any thoughts on these options are greatly appreciated! All the research in the world can not replace the value of feedback from people who have actually been in this situation. xoxoxo- Jennie