Even on the uber aggressive "poor responder" drug protocol, I am responding poorly. I may only get 3 eggs out of two weeks of intensive drug dosing, a truly pitiful and dismal showing in the world of IVF. For best results, I should be getting closer to 15, though my antral follicle count prior to starting led them to believe I would make at LEAST a solid 8. But 3? Pathetic.
You may wonder why I would need 15 eggs to make a single baby, when most women do it just fine each month with just 1. To begin with, of 15 retrieved eggs, not all will be mature enough to fertilize, only about 60-70%--down to 10 eggs. Of those, which we'll fertilize with the ICSI method, only 70-80% may fertilize--down to 8 embryos. At this point, we let them grow a minimum of 3 days; many embryos may die in the dish, some will fragment or fail to thrive, and a few may look ready to transfer, we'll say about 30%--about 3 embryos left. Of those, the embryologist will grade them to decide which have the highest probability of implantation and implant the best two, freezing the other one only if it looks really strong. After implantation, each embryo transferred has a 45% chance of making it to a live birth. See why you'd want as many as possible? See why I feel totally screwed and hopeless right now? 3. Harumph.
Meanwhile, still sticking myself three times a day and shelling out even more money for a few more boxes of Gonal-F. I'm also now going in every day for monitoring, rather than every other day. I expect we'll do the egg retrieval by the end of the week. I'm afraid this post wasn't very entertaining.