Is it really worth it…?

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?

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2 thoughts on “Is it really worth it…?

  1. God, are the odds really that low? One of my good friends was 38 doing IVF and only ended up with a few embryos each time. But her third round worked and at age 39 she gave birth to a healthy baby. I’ve heard good things about “it starts with an egg”. I read a study once saying eating soy can undo the damage done by BPA, but then I’ve also ready that too much soy isn’t good!
    I’d recommend coq10 too. 600mg a day for a few months is what is often recommended for women 35 plus. This website was helpful I found for articles on egg quality: http://www.paleo-mama.com/ You could ask your IVF doctor what their thoughts are on DHEA and melatonin as potentialyl you could take either or both of those. Don’t take DHEA without checking with your doctor first though as it can affect testosterone levels. Melatonin you could take 3mg a day during your IVF cycle during the injection phases up till egg retrieval. The odds with donor egg would be higher of course but I absolutely understand that it is not for everyone for many reasons. I’ve heard of a lot of women flying to places like Prague or Budapest as a donor egg IVF cycle is such good value there. Best of luck!

  2. Oh gosh, those odds are another of those not ideal things again. But yes, it is really worth it, a small chance is better than no chance and it’s been important enough to you to make it this far, so of course you want to keep trying.

    I’m 36 and have a rubbish AMH result so not having much luck getting eggs retrieved. Who the hell knew it was possible to hit menopause (or perimenopause if we’re using the right terminology) in your late 30s?! Super sucky. Somehow I’m in the 5% of women this can happen to. But I’m still going through this process and trying because it makes more sense to me to do it than not to. Basically I’m having blood tests each month and when my FSH gets low enough (it fluctuates like crazy from month to month which is apparently normal), attempting a new cycle. I’m taking CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and folic acid daily and there is some (limited) research about short term use of Androderm patches in older women for a few days before starting stimulation injections resulting in an increased number of follicles retrieved, so going to try this too. Wish me luck and let’s hope in doesn’t induce hirsutism! That would be just what I need. Maybe something else for you to look into? The patches, not the hair 😀

    Also very pleased to hear you have a plan. I was a bit sad on your behalf after seeing that post a few weeks ago so am glad to hear you’re still doing this and not ready to give up yet. Having a plan really does help. Wishing you all the best xx

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