First off, I want to apologize for the lack of proper grammar, punctuation and generally poor writing style here. This blog has become something of a stream of consciousness and as such, I am not paying much attention to those things. I’ve never been a great writer. I somehow managed to graduate high school and get into college without the requisite four years of English. At college I “tested out” of intro to writing by virtue of my SAT scores. This is a fairly ridiculous policy if you ask me. I memorized a list of esoteric vocabulary words and that means I don’t need to learn to write??
Regardless, I write. You read. It’s all ok. Today was my final monitoring appointment for this IVF cycle. According to the nurse, I have had a “textbook stim.” I have 6 follicles over 20 mm (these are considered mature). I have 5 follicles in the 15-18 mm range and a bunch (10 or so) in the 13-15 mm range. There were so many follicles that they were squishing each other, making it hard to get an accurate measurement. But it all looks perfect. Tonight I trigger, Thursday we go get those suckers.
The clinic I am going to is fairly new. The University had their own fertility clinic years ago, but the whole department left en masse to form a private clinic. That clinic is now the biggest in town, and while much fancier than the UW, the size made it feel very impersonal. I am a demanding patient. I am paying a lot of money for this so I want a lot of attention. Thus, I am at the smaller, less fancy but more friendly clinic. It is cheaper too, which is a nice bonus (this entire IVF cycle including meds will have cost $10,700, which in the IVF world is a bargain). However, since they are fairly new, they didn’t have an embryology lab and for the last year have been contracting with the big fancy clinic to use their facilities. When we signed up for IVF, that was the plan. Last week, the UW opened their embryology lab so the plan has changed.
The big fancy clinic charges about $2500 for ICSI. Normally in IVF, they take the sperm and put them in a dish with the egg. The sperm are on their own to figure out how to get into the egg. With ICSI, you bypass that challenge and inject the sperm right into the egg. Normally this is done when you don’t have very many eggs or don’t have very many sperm. We should have plenty of both, so weren’t planning on doing ICSI. Especially for $2500. The new lab however, likes to do ICSI for everyone. It gives them a better idea of egg quality and improves fertilization rates. And in case we are among that 10% of couples with unexplained infertility who actually have a fertilization problem but don’t know it until none of their eggs fertilize resulting in a failed IVF cycle, well it avoids that problem. And the cost is included in our package deal. So ICSI is the new plan.
Assuming all looks good with my bloodwork today, I will do the trigger shot at 9:30 pm tonight. I will get bloodwork tomorrow to make sure the trigger is in my system, and Thursday morning they will suck out my eggs and fertilize them. Friday I will get the report on how many fertilized and if they all look pretty good, the embryo(s) will be transfered on Tuesday. We still haven’t decided how many to put back. That’s a discussion for another day.