Basically, Todd’s testosterone levels came back pretty close to normal. They measured several hormone levels for me, and the report showed below average. They are recommending we do several retrieval cycles and bank the embryos that are good. Then, we’ll do a frozen embryo transfer. Plus, they are recommending we do genetic testing on the embryos. What does all of this mean, you might ask?
Well, from what I understand, what will happen is that we will stimulate my ovaries like before with all of the shots, retrieve my eggs, and fertilize them. All of that will be the same. Then, on day 3 after fertilization, they will biopsy a single cell of each embryo for the genetic testing. (More on that in a minute.) For those that are chromosomally normal, they will either do a fresh embryo transfer or freeze them until we are ready for a transfer. If they have at least 2 or 3 good ones on the first round, we will probably do a fresh transfer and save some time and money. However, if they don’t get enough on the first cycle, we’ll start again the next month with stimulating, retrieving, fertilizing, “biopsy-ing.” We will repeat this cycle until we have 2 or 3 good embryos frozen and then schedule a frozen embryo transfer (FET) for the following cycle I can make.
I was asked a lot of good questions from my bestie today, so I’m putting some of those answers here:
Isn’t a fresh transfer better than a frozen?Some places, fresh transfers are more successful than frozen, and some places, vice versa. Most places have started getting much better at frozen transfers, though. Tulsa Fertility Center has success rates that are equal with fresh and frozen transfers. Therefore, we aren’t too concerned about that part with them. We are trusting that they are not misleading us on this.
How quickly can we do the retrievals each time?The retrievals will hopefully be month after month. I have to have a period between each one. However, if my cycle falls at a funny time for when TFC does retrievals, I could end up with one in August and the next in October. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.
What is the genetic testing for?They will be testing for chromosomal abnormalities. Basically, any abnormality that can be tested for. Embryos with abnormalities tend to have less of a chance of becoming a viable pregnancy.
Sometimes, they find an abnormality that they have never seen, and they have to use a geneticist to do research to find out what it means. They have one couple that is on an estimated 6-month wait to see what their abnormality means because it’s so rare. The geneticist has put it out on boards and forums across the world to figure out if anyone knows what it means. We could find out things like the embryo “looks” good to an embryologist but has zero percent chance of being a viable pregnancy. We could find out that the abnormality will be fatal to a born child. We could find out that the baby would have Downs Syndrome or Turner Syndrome. Don’t ask me if we would implant those because I haven’t even begun to think about that, yet. J I mean the Downs and Turner embryos. It’s more than I can bare right now to consider purposefully bringing a child into the world that will absolutely, without a doubt be sterile (Turner). When she told us what it was, I broke down in the office. I can’t imagine putting my child through what we are going through just so I can have a baby. Anyway, I have to move on from that thought for now.
There will be a lot of information from the genetic testing. It could be very helpful, but it does not guarantee success. There are so many other issues that could still cause the embabies not to stick. Le sigh.
Also, the genetic testing only has a 1-3% chance of damaging the embryo. Not bad odds compared to the others we face.
What is the change in cost from this to what we have done?The cost goes up to approximately $41,700 for 2 retrievals and 1 frozen embryo transfer from what Todd and I have calculated. This price is assuming we only do 2 retrievals. The cost goes up because of the multiple retrievals and shots. Then, FET is more expensive than fresh transfers because they have a freezing and thawing-out process that has to be added to the mix. Plus, we have Todd’s process, again. On top of that, genetic testing is $5,000 for each set of embryos they test. We will bump our savings plan up to $45,000, so we don’t have any surprises we can’t afford, and I can get relaxation therapy without worrying about the cost of it…plus my vitamins.
I only share the financial information because I know there are some ladies out there that are considering doing this, too. In my opinion, it’s nice to hear all of the details from someone on our side and in Layman’s terms.
Jessah (http://www.dreamingofdimples.com), if you happen to be reading this, isn’t this what you just did at CCRM? Can you give me any more insight to things I may not be considering? I have to admit that I’m pretty scared right now!
If anyone else has any other questions, please, leave them in the comments for me. I want this blog to be full of as much information as possible.
As always, please, pray for us right now.