That’s the question I’m asking myself today. And y’know, I can totally see that you might think that I should probably have been asking myself that question before now, but I’ve been speaking to the embryologist at the clinic because I wanted to talk to him about PGS (pre-implantation genetic screening), and how it would work.
(If you’re interested, at the end of every cycle, assuming you have decent embryos that are worth freezing, they take a biopsy from them, send them to a lab where they freeze them and then, at the end of the three cycles, the lab does a screening process on all the biopsies and tells you which — if any — look chromosomally normal, and thus which are most likely to survive and become a healthy live baby. So that’s the embryo you put back — and this isn’t information you can get just by looking at the embryos.)
But the thing that gave me pause for thought was what he said about numbers. He told me that from three cycles of IVF I would probably get a maximum of five embryos, and that in his experience, at the age of 40, only one in nine or one in ten would be chromosomally normal (and thus stand any chance of ending up being a healthy live birth.)
You don’t have to be a maths genius to see how that one adds up. Or doesn’t.
And I suppose my sister was right when, in response to my question “Am I being totally mental to do this at all?” she told me “I suppose the answer is, is it madder not to try if it’s something you really want? At this point another £10k isn’t going to make a huge amount of difference to anything else you may want to do and if there is a chance, even if it’s a small one, it’s worth doing if you think you can face it.”
And she’s right of course.
But now in a bid to improve those numbers, I’ve started reading It Starts With The Egg and realised my body is probably full of BPA and phthalates and I should probably have been taking CoEnzyme Q10 for the last four months and god alone knows what else. But what you going to do? Onwards. What else can I do?