Tuesday, August 11, 2009

IVF 4: I Like Them Fertilised

There is an old joke about a man asking a woman at breakfast after sex how she likes her eggs, and she answers, "I like them fertilised". Me, too.

This cycle went unexpectedly well.

The new protocol was a success. On my second ultrasound, I had six follicles, four quite close together in size, which means they are likely to mature at the same time and be able to be harvested. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, when I received the blood test that showed my estrogen was rising well, because that was exactly what didn't happpen last time. By the third ultrasound, one of those follicles had gone, but my estrogen was great and it looked like I might get three eggs from this cycle - a small haul for many women, but a record for me.

The egg pickup was also quite good. Surprisingly little pain. Only two eggs, but, hey, I'm the two-egg girl so it wasn't exactly a surprise.

I was remarkably centred and unstressed though this cycle. It started as just being fatalistic, but in fact I became quite relaxed. I took nothing for granted, I didn't assume that we would even get to pickup, but once we'd done the pickup, I truly thought we would complete the cycle. As the good news accumulated, I started to feel an almost a mystical calm and positivity and even started to assume that we were on a roll and we would get pregnant.

What I didn't see coming was the total non-fertilisation of those eggs.

I have previously had a 100 per cent fertilisation rate, when the normal rate is around 70 per cent. I've always produced two eggs of very good quality. The better the egg quality, the better the embryo quality, and the higher your chance of pregnancy.

This cycle, my fertilisation rate was zero percent. Nothing, nada, zilch.

The embryologist looked like she'd been crying. She said, "I'm so disappointed for you." She explained that the eggs were a little dark, with a thicker layer than usual, which makes it difficult for the sperm to penetrate. She said, "These were not category 1A eggs".

So this one's over, too.