Well my blog post title has given the game away, so in summary…our next step will be In-Vitro Fertilisation!
This morning we met with our RE who reviewed our progress so far, or lack there of. Our tests were all normal, the three IUIs all went according to plan (except of course for the pregnancy part), I responded well to the letrozole with 2-3 follicles, Chris had awesome sperm. We remain unexplained, but she does still suspect endometriosis. If my period pains were so bad that they affected my life and I wanted that to change then she would recommend a laparoscopy. This surgical procedure comes with risk, side effects and can take several months to return to normal, so if my periods were so bad this would be the way forward, however, in my case the benefits are unlikely to outweigh the downsides. So she recommends we move straight to IVF. She explained the overall process:
Week 1 to 2 – after menstruation I start birth control pills for about 14 days, these help to control my hormones
Week 3 – start injectable medications to control ovulation and stimulate follicles to grow – many many more than the 2-3 that were stimulated with letrozole in order to get the best chance of retrieving some ‘good eggs’.
Week 4 – continue injectable medications…have ultrasounds every other day to monitor follicle growth, along with blood work to monitor hormone levels. When the follicles are ready, we will inject the hCG Ovidrel trigger and 36 hours later I go for egg retrieval surgery. Under sedation my eggs are extracted from my ovaries. Chris provides his sperm and my eggs are fertilised in-vitro. After the eggs have been fertilised, the embryos grow for a few days under close watch. Then if they survive, one or two embryos are transferred directly into my uterus.
Week 5-6 – start injectable progesterone until the big pregnancy test either says – “woohoo you are preggers”! then I stay on progesterone, or…”booooo it’s a BFN my friend”, then we will…..well, let’s not go there right now.
This is everything I expected her to say, except for two things slightly different.
- First, I need to go for a hydrosonogram. This procedure will produce a 3D ultrasound of my uterus. I will have this last test because I have a severely retroverted uterus they could not see it very well on the HSG X-ray, they want to double check that there is nothing preventing the implantation stage.
I have been promised this does not hurt quite as bad as the HSG. THANKFULLY!!!!
- Secondly, she thinks it would be a good idea to do Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) because we are ‘unexplained’. This is a procedure where a single sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg rather than normal IVF where the sperm is placed near the egg. This procedure is an extra $2,420 so we need to check whether our insurance would cover this or not.
Talking of costs….it is going to cost $9,075 for the IVF which includes office visits, endocrine monitoring, ultrasounds, retrieval, transfer and first pregnancy test. Plus, it is an additional $400 for the anaesthesia. Medication will be approximately $4,000 to $6,000. Then the ICSI procedure is $2,420. Cryopreservation is $1000 then $60 a month for any embryos frozen. Yikes!!!! But we roughly knew this anyway, it’s just a bit scary seeing it listed out like this.
So for now, we start the negotiating with our insurance and the diary planning. It’s looking like a late June start.
Ultimately, today I walked away with this one key figure she gave: for us – a 50% chance of success. In my mind that is pretty amazing. I’ll take that. I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl, lately it’s been half empty, today I think I’ve been topped back up 🙂
Thank you for all your support and kind thoughts so far, I’m feeling pretty encouraged this will work!