*How can I ask you to pray for me if you don't know what to pray for?!?*
At this point in our journey, it's obvious that Brandon and I cannot conceive on our own. A brief rundown of our IF diagnosis:
- Male Factor Infertility- poor morphology, low motility, and low count due to Testicular Cancer and Chemotherapy. We do not have enough swimmers to even get pregnant via IUI at this point
- Uterine Septum- mostly corrected, but my uterus will always have the characteristics of a septate uterus. It has a tiny curvature at the top that makes it unique.
- Annovulation- I do not ovulate without stimulation drugs (ex: Femara, Clomid, Follistim, Gonal F, Menopur, etc.) I believe that I've only had 5 or so cycles where I ovulated without stimming drugs in the past 2 years.
We are pursuing IVF with ICSI to have a child.IVF refers to the process, and there are many steps along the way.
IVF with ICSI
In Vitro Fertilization is commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. When the IVF procedure is successful, the process is combined with a procedure known as embryo transfer, which involves physically placing the embryo in the uterus. American Pregnancy Association
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves the direct injection of sperm into eggs obtained from IVF. American Pregnancy Association
Here is a brief explanation of how the process of IVF works (in our scenario):
- A new cycle begins
- A baseline u/s and bw appointment is scheduled to check hormones and the uterus and tubes.
- Suppression is started. In my case, we are beginning with BCP.
- After so many days of BCP, injectable medication is added as well.
- In my case, I am prescribed Lupron injections for 12 days in addition to taking my BCP.
- A suppression check is scheduled to ensure that there has been no follicle growth or thickening of the uterine lining.
- Begin stimulation drugs for ovulation induction.
- In my case, we are taking Follistim and Menopur for at least 10 days.
- Many office visits are scheduled to monitor and observe the follicles (that produce the egg).
- Once the follicles reach the desired measurement, the HCG trigger shot is administered, and the Egg Retrieval is scheduled.
- On average, 70% of follicles aspirated will provide one egg.
- There are no guarantees that every follicle will contain an egg, and that every egg will fertilize.
- After the retrieval, the eggs collected are then fertilized with Brandon's sperm
- This is where ICSI is performed.
- After fertilization takes place, the embryos are closely monitored.
- The plan is a 5-day transfer.
- When the embryos are five days old, they select the best, which are then transferred via vaginal catheter with ultrasound guidance.
- We are planning on transferring 2 embryos.
- If we have more good quality embryos remaining, we will freeze them for later use.
- At this point, I am PUPO!
- I will try and remain as calm and peaceful as possible while we wait.
- Nine days after my ET (14dpo) and (9dp5dt), we will go in for our beta to see if we are pregnant