How do you like your eggs?

Published June 13, 2014 by Jennie

DonorEggs

 

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 herehere, 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.

Stress

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

25 comments on “How do you like your eggs?

  • I have also looked into it a lot and found that FET seems to have, if only remotely, higher more successful transfer/pregnancy rates. This is my main concern with going forward WITH our insurance coverage cause they don’t do FET.

    Like

  • i was forced to delay my transfer because of OHSS. i was/am devastated about this. after 4 years of TTC i did not want to delay anything even one more month. i have done zero research. i’ve had 4 years of googling and i am DONE with all of that hahaha. after reading your research and stats here i am seeing that there may be benefits to this waiting period, so thanks for the info!

    Like

  • I started the IF process when I was 30/31, and they would laugh me out of the office if I joked about getting older. In the world of IVF, trust me, you’re a spring chicken!

    I did two fresh cycles and transfers back-to-back. I never had any issues with OHSS and I produced 20-30 mature eggs EACH time. We got pregnant each time too, but had two early losses (due to a clotting issue). The third time we did a FET, because I had plenty of viable embryos from both fresh cycles. Third time was a charm, once we changed my protocol to deal with the clotting issues.

    Personally, I found the FET process easier, because the stims and the monitoring and the giant ovaries are a drag. BUT you’re going to have to deal with that anyway. If OHSS isn’t an issue for you, you might find your change your mind about waiting — it’s hard not to get excited when they call with your embryo updates!

    Like

    • *I should add, I have no doubt the fresh transfers we did would have been successful if the clotting issues had been dealt with differently from the start. I know lots of people who had successful fresh transfers. We’ll be doing FETs in the future, only because we still have so many embryos left over.

      Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I have learned the most from people who have gone through this. I have no reason to think OHSS will be an issue but I have not yet done IVF so I have no way of knowing yet. Thanks again!

      Like

  • Hi ! My fresh IVF failed in march and I am having my first FET on Monday (super excited!) . My doctor told me that his office is actually moving in the direction of only doing frozen transfers from now on because of the higher success he is seeing . So I am hoping he’s right and I will be pregnant in 2 days 😉 😉 good luck to you !!

    Like

  • Well the only experience I have is with my IVF cycle we transferred 2 fresh 3-day embryos and they did not work. The only one made it to blast we froze and we used it 5 months later and I am now 7 weeks pregnant. So frozen def does work.. I know my dr prefers using frozen because you give your body some time to recover from all of the stimulation during IVF. She also thinks eventually the ART sector will eventually stop doing fresh transfers and only do frozen. It’s interesting..

    Like

  • In regards to OHSS, this isn’t an issue with FET as OHSS is the result of the IVF drugs. When having a fresh transfer you don’t have all of those drugs so my understanding is the risking OHSS with frozen transfer is zero.

    As for what’s better I can’t say as we’ve had 2 fresh and 2 frozen transfers. No success yet but our specialist says they’re equally as good as each other in his experience.

    As for the chromosome testing, if you’ve got the money to do it and your insurance covers most of your other expenses then I think you should go for it.

    You have nothing to lose. You can always make more money if you need it.

    Best of luck.

    Like

    • I needed to hear this. Thank you so much. All these decisions are draining. I’m worried in gonna screw this up. I am so sorry yours have not worked yet. I can tell you have the courage and motivation to persevere. I hope I can do the same.

      Like

  • Delaying transfer was never an option in my mind. And our success rates for fresh transfer was slightly higher than frozen so for me it was a no brainer to start with fresh transfers.
    I wish you the best, I hope you get a sticky bean right away. But, as you know with my own journey, some times it takes a few tries to succeed so don’t give up!

    Like

  • I did 2 cycles of IVF, with the intent of doing PGD (genetic screening). We froze the first batch at Day 3, and then thawed them when the second batch got to day three to grow all of them out to Day 5 for the PGD. Perhaps due to my egg quality or for other reasons that remain unknown, only 2 embryos/blasts out of 2 full IVF cycles made it far enough to do PGD. And I could not justify the $5,000 for just 2 of them. We never ended up with a baby after those cycles. If I could go back and do it over, I would have done a few things differently. 1) Cancelled my first IVF cycle where they only retrieved 7 eggs. And tried again for more eggs. 2) Done a fresh transfer. There was no way to know that my embryos would not do well with the thawing, but they didn’t. So, a fresh transfer would have increased our chances for success.

    Mostly, I think all you can do is get as educated as possible and try not to second guess yourself once you have decided and gone through with things. Trust yourself and be kind to yourself – because you will always make the best decisions that you can. And kicking yourself about it later doesn’t help. Good luck!

    Like

    • Wow thanks for your input. I never thought about canceling a cycle if I there is not enough eggs to transfer. I know plans always change but right now I feel only committed to one retrieval and as many transfers as we can (2 at a time). I know I am not going to try forever.

      Like

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: