Our next option is in vitro fertilization (IVF). After our appointment with our RE, it was decided that IVF would be the next step in our journey towards parenthood. During our appointment and the days following my husband and I have been busy reading our clinic’s handbook and going over all of the information for the IVF process. Our clinic does IVF cycles 5 times per year, so we will be in the next round that will take place in September. In these next couple of months, we will be working on the preparation for the IVF process. We have to do some preliminary blood testing, a sonohystogram for me, back-up sperm cryopreservation for my husband, education on administering medications and figuring out the financial side of things. At first, it seemed like such a long time having to wait 2-3 months until the September cycle, but now that we are starting the preparation process, I am happy to have this time to get completely prepared. I think that there is more to preparing for IVF than just the physical things that I listed above. Since finding out that we will be doing IVF, it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster (and I haven’t even started any hormone medications yet!) I am beyond excited and pray each day that this will work for us. I am also extremely nervous. We will be spending a lot of money towards this and there is not a 100% success rate. In fact, depending on the quality of the embryos, we will have a success rate between 52% and 68%. Yes, that is much higher than our recent Letrozole cycles, but there are no guarantees that this process will work.
For those of you that are new to IVF, like ourselves, here is an outline of how a Fresh IVF cycle works.
-Preparation: (as listed above) Includes blood testing, sonohystogram, IVF injection training, and sperm cryopreservation. There may be additional tests depending on your individual situation. I had some testing and procedures done before our Letrozole Cycles so I was able to skip some things this time around.
-Down Regulation: Ovarian Suppression which includes taking Birth Control pills, Norethindrone Acetate, and Leuprolide Acetate.
-Ovarian Stimulation: The following medications are given to stimulate egg development: Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (Menopur), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (Gonal-F RFF Pen) and ultrasounds and estrodial blood tests will be done to monitor the effectiveness of the above medications.
-Trigger Ovulation with hCG (Pregnyl or Novarel) – once there is a substantial number of mature follicles.
-Egg Retrieval and Semen Collection
-In vitro Fertilization (Eggs are fertilized and kept in the lab to monitor growth and development for 2-5 days)
-Embryo Transfer (Embryos are placed in the woman’s uterus) Also begin progesterone suppositories and low dose aspirin to support embryo and fetal development through week 12.
-Additional Embryos will be cryopreserved for later use.
This is a very involved process which I think is the cause to some of my nervousness. Our clinic is very good about helping you keep on track with medications and appointments, so I am extremely thankful for that. Each day I pray for success and remain hopeful that we will find success through IVF. Thank you for your continued support and prayers as we start this new chapter. I will continue to update you regularly with our progress!