IVF & egg freezing??
DH and I had our initial IVF consult today and all went well. We have unexplained IF so I didn't expect any curveballs, just had a few questions for the RE about the entire process. BUT we did get a curveball at the end of the meeting and I'm not sure what to think about it. I would appreciate you input!
So my clinic is beginning to experiment with egg freezing. They have been looking for candidates to volunteer to have their eggs frozen then thawed for an IVF cycle. Apparently, this is newish technology for our lab and there isn't a lot of research as to success rates with achieving pregnancy from frozen eggs. I meet the long list of criteria to volunteer for this. Key point is they pay for everything, possibly even the meds but this is the major one up in the air right now, and considering we are paying OOP this is a big deal.
From the little reading I've done online since we got home, I know eggs are much more delicate to freeze and thaw than embryos so it probably wouldn't give me as good odds as a fresh IVF cycle- but that is what they want to find out. It would be nice to save money, and indirectly help others as I know this is a good option for women who want to save their eggs for various reasons, but still scary because it is not as straightforward as a regular IVF cycle. I would hate to go through all the shots, scans, ER then to have none of my eggs survive the thawing. But then I think- without the women who went through initial IVF cycles as experiments- where would we be now??? Why does IF have to have so many decisions?????!!!!
That's very interesting. I, too, agree that eggs are much more delicate and have a harder time surviving the thawing process. I guess it depends on how soon you want a family. Obviously you have good ovarian reserve if you meet criteria for the trial so it's not like you'd be taking your few good eggs. If you are in a place in your life where you are ok having to wait if the egg freezing doesn't work out, then I'd do it esp. since you are paying with it all OOP. If it were me, I'd do it. I would make sure they paid for meds though if you do it. I wouldn't do it without the meds being paid for since that is the major expense of IVF.
Glad the consult went well, even though sounds like you got handed a big decision to make. There are definitely pros, and some cons. Since you are paying out of pocket, that is huge.
When we were deciding how many embryos to implant, my doctor said that with embryos now, you really don't lose anything by freezing them, but 5 years ago things were a lot different. So the technique has improved a lot in just 5 years. It would be great for the medical world to figure out how to improve freezing of eggs to that extent too. In that respect, it would be pretty neat to be part of the learning/research process. For that reason, I would want to do it.
However, this is so completely personal of a process, with it's ups and downs, I can also see not doing it, just for the sake of the emotions of it all. On the other hand, if you don't mind taking the chance that it will take longer....if it doesn't work with the frozen eggs, you can try again the conventional route, and you aren't out any money (I agree with Meg-make sure they pay for the meds).
You are right. There are lots of decisions to make with IF that most people never, ever encounter. It's difficult, no doubt. Best of luck on your decision. Would be interested to hear what you decide!
We are considering DE with frozen eggs. I did a lot of reading on it and it seems that, when done by an expert, that the new vitrification techniques developed the last few years are having as good results as the fresh cycles. The cost advantage to us means that we'd not be hanging all our hopes and heartbreaks on one cycle, as with traditional results that's all we can afford. *fingers crossed* that we're making the right decision.
I think going though the ivf process is very hard. This may increase the likelihood you would have to do additional fresh cycles. If you are not in a huge rush and think you could handle a higher chance of failure, I would go for it. What would we do if other couples hadnt allowed research along the way? That said going through a fresh cycle was hard for me. I have a demanding job and all the appts were getting to me.
But I also think you should think about who will chiefly benefit from this. Young female cancer patients and women who want kids but know they havent met Mr Right. Good luck to you and your husband with this decision.
Hi. My clinic does it and when we went to IVF class they told me that frozen embryo cycles have produced many successful pregnancies. I signed a waiver allowing them to freeze any good embryos I had. However, since my quality is so poor there was nothing to freeze. :( I was totally up to doing it, and I will sign off on it again this cycle when the time comes as well.
IVF is a very very difficult process, and you are stuck making all these decisions on a very short amount of time. I'm sure you will make the best decision for yourself. Good luck and KUP!
Thanks for all your kind thoughts, ladies. So here's the update.
Last night, DH and I decided we wouldn't do it unless the did cover the meds, as many of you also noted, they are the biggest expense for OOP cycles. Welllll then I got a call today that they won't cover the meds, but the nurse is going to help us out a little bit. She has samples of bravelle (sp?) that she will give me and it will take away $700 in med cost. A small amount but still something.
The biggest thing she told me, though, is that she didn't have all the info correct yesterday. Initially, we thought they would freeze ALL my eggs from the ER then thaw and fertilize. She spoke with the Dr. in charge of the study and he said they only will freeze half of the eggs from the ER and the other half will go through normal fresh IVF fertilization. So this is great news because if the frozen eggs don't make it, I will still potentially have fresh embryos. I know this limits our options as far as numbers, we most likely won't have the number of embryos we would have if doing a completely fresh cycle, but still sounds a lot better than I initially thought.
So we are leaning towards doing it. The Dr. in charge is ready to begin with my next cycle so I will begin BCP around 8/1, making for a mid-September ER and ET. DH and I still have to look through all the paperwork they are faxing over today.
We want to make sure they still transfer the highest quality embryos, even if they come from the fresh eggs...
Also, they will do ICSI on all the eggs, and this isn't something we would of had to do with a reg. IVF cycle. I know this is safe, but I also liked the idea of a little bit of "natural selection" going on in the lab with which ever of DH's "winners" would fertilize the egg. It kind of blows my mind to think the embryologist will pick which sperm will go with which egg. Not sure how I feel about this??? I don't have some major moral issue or anything with it, just didn't think we would do it.... It ICSI pretty common? Anyone use it?
Sounds like you and DH have discussed things. Just when you feel you made the right decision, you get a call saying things have changed a bit. I still think I'd do it even though all the meds aren't covered. It's also good that they will fertilize some of your eggs right away. DH and I did ICSI since at the time we thought our IF was MFI. Turns out we both have IF issues. This whole issue of IVF is a little strange if you think about it too much. Did you know ICSI was discovered by accident? An embryologist accidently injected an egg with the sperm. Lots of things are discovered by accident. Just thought I'd share that tidbit of info.
Well in my clinic ICSI is used when the male has issues to, as in our case. They shy away from it if the sperm count and motility is good. If it's average I think they sometimes do half and half but from what I understood they only do it when it's necessary.
I think it's amazing what they can do. So it sounds like you have a plan!!! Best of luck!!!
My clinic does ICSI on everyone.....unless you ask them not to, which I did for my first cycle. We do not have male IF at all, and I didn't think it was necessary. My doctor really encouraged me to do it, but I didn't want to. I wanted the least amount of intervention needed and I also liked the idea of "natural selection".
We had 5 mature eggs, and only 1 fertilized with regular IVF. We did a 3 day transfer which didn't work. At my follow up, the doctor said definitely we should do ICSI for round 2, which I agreed to. We had 7 eggs, 6 fertilized with ICSI, and we made it to day 5 with 5 embryos. I think the issues were my eggs (old) because my husband had way over average SA. So maybe if I'd agreed to ICSI the first time, we wouldn't have had to go to round 2. Who really knows. But I struggled with the decision a lot with round 1.
Another one of the tough decisions of IF/IVF. That is really good though that you can have 1/2 the eggs fertilized right away!