Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why Our IVF Cycle Got Cancelled

Well this certainly isn't the update I was hoping to share! But two days ago, my husband and I decided to convert our IVF cycle to an IUI. This was not what we or our doctor expected to happen, and it's really not the outcome we were hoping for. But we have not lost hope for this cycle!

When I went in for my monitoring appointment after 4 nights of stims, I was very concerned after I saw my ultrasound. I just didn't see very many big follicles and the doctor who did my scan was very evasive and did not answer my questions, but assured me all was "perfect and normal". At this point, there were 4 measurable follicles (at 10-11mm). She also reported that there was only one follicle at all on my right ovary!

I've done 6 IUIs with Clomid, and for each of those I've had a 1-3 mature follicles, plus 2-3 smaller (10-13mm) follicles on each ovary, plus a bunch of smaller ones that are really easy to see. So why on earth would I have fewer follicles on an IVF cycle?! I was incredibly concerned and called my IVF nurse right when I got home. She agreed with all my concerns and didn't think it was at all "perfect or normal".

My RE reviewed the ultrasound report and was skeptical. He didn't believe the other doctor's report, especially the idea of me having only a single follicle on my right ovary! He wanted me to come back the next morning (after 5 nights of stims) so he could personally do my ultrasound. He was definitely correct, that there were a lot more follicles than just 4, and certainly not just one on my right ovary!

But... I had a group of 5 follicles that had seemed to have pulled away from the others. The largest was already 16mm! He gave us our options. We could add in Menopur which would hopefully force more of the smaller ones to catch up and give it all we could in order to get a few more eggs. Or we could convert to an IUI, and get a 25% discount on all services performed. If we proceeded with IVF, it very well could be a successful cycle. I am young, with a good chance at having excellent egg quality. But the chance of having any leftover for freezing was significantly reduced. Our RE thought we could do much better on another IVF attempt, especially since I had all the follicles there! They just didn't grow the way we wanted.

Our RE clearly didn't want to push us in either direction, and was really interested in what we wanted to do. They said we could have the night to think about it, but my husband and I had already decided ahead of time what we would do in this situation. So we already knew our answer would be to convert to an IUI cycle.

Why did this happen? Well we can't say for sure. But a few of the explanations we got were that I would just do better on different meds, and some people are just like that. Or that sometimes, it's just an off cycle. Or that there could even be some undetectable issue with me, and this could be our first hint that something isn't right. Maybe instead of mild male factor, there is something else too. We didn't have too long to discuss this with my RE, since we didn't have an appointment scheduled (and he had to do egg retrievals). But he really wanted to make sure we were given all the necessary information so we could make the best choice for us.

I know many other couples going through IVF might have made a different decision than us, and plenty of people have success with only a few follicles retrieved. But we feel like this was the right choice for us. I haven't done any injectable IUI cycles, or used a trigger, or any progesterone supplementation. But what if this works? What if it's what we need, but we just didn't know it? Something happened that we didn't anticipate and maybe there was a reason for it. We are certainly sad that we aren't doing IVF this cycle. But we feel confident that we can go through this process again if we need to. The injections and monitoring weren't bad. I didn't have any horrible side effects, or any real pain from the injections or blood draws. I know I could do it again!

We are remaining positive and hopeful that this IUI could really work for us! Even though we had wanted to do IVF, we are still trying something different than past cycles. I can't help but be hopeful that this could work!

Poke Count
Arms: 6     Belly: 8     Ultrasounds: 5

1 comment:

  1. Ovarian stimulation; Egg retrieval; Sperm collection/retrieval; Fertilization & embryo development; Embryo transfer. These are the 5 steps of the IVF Cycle. Depending on your treatment plan, each procedure may require additional assistance.