Saturday, June 11, 2011

Please forgive me for I have slacked.

It has been 6 weeks since my last blog post.

I have been super busy at work which is one of the reasons I haven't updated. I also haven't had much to say. I've been on birth control pills waiting for the time to start stims for IVF. Well, I'm now done with birth control!! I started lupron injections last week and I'll start stims next week (assuming my baseline goes well).

For those who are unfamiliar with the process of in vitro fertilisation, I'll give a breakdown. I'm new to this too, so I'm going to keep it simple.

There are multiple different medication protocols all designed to get the ovaries to make lots of follicles that are all at the same level of maturity.
Most protocols start with birth control, lupron or both. This is designed to shut your system down in the reproductive department. The doctors don't want your ovaries making any decisions on their own. Once the ovaries are shut down, they are ready for stimulation. The drugs for stimulation are the same as the ones I have used in previous cycles, but the doses are higher. The hope is to stim for about 7-10 days and get lots of mature follicles. After stims, comes the egg retrieval (ER). A drug is given to 'loosen up' the follicles and get them ready for the retrieval. The retrieval is done at the REs office. Basically, an ultrasound is used to guide a needle through the vaginal wall into the abdominal cavity. The needle is directed at the individual eggs and they are aspirated out. Once the eggs have all been retrieved sperm is added and the waiting game begins.

Not all eggs will be mature and even mature eggs won't necessarily fertilize. Once it is known how many of the eggs fertilized, decisions regarding how long the now embryos will wait in culture before being put back in the uterus or frozen. Generally embryo transfer (ET) is done at either 3 days or 5 days. The doctor will help guide the decision of how long to wait and how many embryos to transfer. For us, we will transfer 2 embryos at the most. If we have great quality embryos to choose from and we are able to go out to 5 days, we will likely just transfer 1, but it's too soon to be sure. (at this point, I am just hoping that we have something to transfer!)

The transfer procedure is very similar to an IUI. Instead of sperm being placed directly in the uterus, an embryo or embryos will be placed directly in the uterus. After that it's another waiting game. Just like before, there's a 2ww before testing for pregnancy.

Phew! Just typing it out has me tired!

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