IVF: An Intro & First Steps

IVF INTRO

What the heck is invitro-fertilization or better known as IVF? In the 80’s, this treatment was known as “test tube babies”. This is a unique fertility treatment that we couples are afford these days to {hopefully} grow our families. It is the most expensive treatment available to us and is also the most invasive. Double bummer. But, the good news is that it also has the highest success rates of any treatment.

In a nutshell, IVF is when eggs are retrieved from a woman and sperm from a man. A blind date is arranged for them at the laboratory and they have a private table all to themselves in a petri dish. Their date lasts a few days to allow for embryo creation and growth. Some of the eggs and embryos are of good quality and can be used. Others naturally die if something is a bit off with them.

This happens in nature, too. As some articles suggest, over the course of an embryo growing and maturing, if something is amiss, our body’s natural response is to rid itself of that embryo leading to a miscarriage. Things being amiss can be genetic dysfunctions, egg or sperm quality, uterine condition/environment, general inadequacies in our body condition, etc. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God was very specific in the details of Him forming our bodies and their functions, amen?!?!

Once the embryos are mature enough for transfer, one of two things can happen. The first is that they can be immediately transferred into the uterus. This is called a fresh embryo transfer. The second option would be to freeze them all as is and complete a transfer later. So, basically, the embryos are prepped and ready to go for whenever the couple is ready.

IVF with a fresh embryo transfer has a success rate of 40-50% and frozen embryo transfers, or FET, have a 50-60% success rate. For some reason, transfers are less traumatic for frozen embryos. They tend to work a little better that way.

The IVF protocol can vary from patient to patient. Some do fresh embryo transfers and some FET. Some take more meds and some less. Some have more than one egg retrieval. There are so many variables that are exclusive to each couple’s journey.

OUR FIRST STEPS

For us, the basics described above are applicable and we will be using frozen embryos. We have a general idea of the specifics but because things tend to change, I will divulge the steps as we closely approach them.

Step 1) A bunch of meds. We both are on antibiotics for the initial two weeks. The upcoming procedures carry a risk for infections in both myself and Brooks. Think foreign objects given access to our insides. Whenever that’s the case, precautions have to be made to protect from infection. So, antibiotics are administered to prevent infections.

The second drug is birth control. Sounds counter-productive doesn’t it? I mean hello! I’m trying to BE PREGNANT not PREVENT it! Taking these meds will help with timing everything else. This is also called the “suppression” phase of the protocol. It puts everything on hold so that we have more control of what happens next. Secondly, studies show that ovaries respond better to the stimulation injections from a suppressed state. We will talk about the stimulation phase in a couple of weeks.

Step 2) Tomorrow (Monday) I will have an ultrasound and trial transfer. A trial transfer is when the doctor will map out my uterus picking the best places for the embryos to be transferred. This saves some time on transfer day.

The chances of success are in our favor and our doctor is very optimistic given our current lifestyles and health. But, no amount of doctoral confidence or proven success rates will overpower the fact that God is still in control. We could go through all of this and He still says no. While this can be depressing to think about, the promise still remains that no amount of obedience is in vain. This too will not be for nothing. God has plans for this part of our journey no matter the outcome.

Other Links:

IVF: What I did in Phase One {BCP & Antibiotics}

IVF: What I did in Phase Two {STIMS}

IVF: Phase Three {Egg Retrieval}

Finding JOY in Miscarriage

Also, check out the IVF and miscarriage tags in the tag cloud!

8 thoughts on “IVF: An Intro & First Steps

  • April 22, 2016 at 5:03 PM
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    blessings & support from Grannie & Pa Pa

    Reply
  • April 18, 2016 at 10:37 AM
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    I don’t know why my comment didn’t publish last night but I just wanted to say that your faith in the Lord and trust in His will is a great testimony to me!

    Reply
    • April 18, 2016 at 4:21 PM
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      Thank you Jessica! I pray that His light will shine bright through this blog always! ♥

      Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 9:51 PM
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    Jil, I’m so thankful and encouraged by your faith in the Lord and trusting His will. It is a testimony to me. Also, I am amazed at science and what the Lord has allowed doctors to learn! I remember hearing “test tube babies” when I was young but I didn’t realize it was IVF! (I feel a little dumb but I’m glad I learned something new!). ?

    Reply
    • April 18, 2016 at 4:23 PM
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      Jessica, your comment for some reason went to my spam? Weird. Anyhow, thank you! Yep! Test tube babies were a little twinge in my ears when I was little but I had no idea that’s what it was either. 😀

      Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 7:12 PM
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    Let me know how you do tomorrow. Praying for success for you guys!!

    Reply

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