Click pause

It was another early wake-up call for me this morning, but a wake-up call that I did not want to hear. I had my blood work and ultrasound at NYU. An older, bearded man with a reassuring demeanor, Dr. Berkeley, worked with me today. As he manipulated the “wand,” I was able to see what was going on on the monitor, and could actually see my follicles myself. Sure enough, the previous doctor (a resident) was correct regarding the approximate number of follicles I had growing, but what the resident didn’t tell me 2 days ago was that almost all of the follicles were on one side. My left ovary was pretty much unstimulated with only 1 almost mature follicle there and 6 on the other. Dr. Berkeley explained that the situation was ambiguous. I could end up with about 7 eggs, or I could end up with less, but generally each follicle has no more than 1 egg. When I read stories online of people experiencing retrievals of eggs greater than the number of follicles, I suspect they are talking about situations where smaller follicles catch up to the big ones in time for retrieval, but there was no word of any other follicles on my radar. My heart sank. Dr. Berkeley said that it is hard to tell whether this was just a bad cycle or not because this was my first cycle. He said that Dr. Grifo would usually still go ahead with a retrieval as he is more aggressive in his approach, but Dr. Berkeley felt that it might be worth waiting to see if another cycle might be better, and if it happens to be the same, then a retrieval would make sense at that stage. So, I opted to cancel the cycle and I will try again in October. I will need to buy more medications, but most of my money that I paid to NYU will be saved for the next cycle.

When I got to work, it was hard to focus all day. I kept searching the internet for other people’s follicle:egg ratio and found a lot of variation in people’s stories. I’ve realized that the internet is truly confusing and anxiety-provoking. I need to find a way to manage that, but it’s hard when often it’s the best way to get information I need to make good decisions. I’m glad I made this decision though. It gives me another 6 weeks to really get my health back on track, to continue acupuncture, and to really work on my visualizations and meditation practice.

See you in October….

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7 Responses to Click pause

  1. Thank you so much for sharing — it means a lot to your readers.

  2. me too says:

    Hi, thank you for sharing this and please continue to do so in October. I wish you the best of luck. I’ll be doing the same thing in October for the first time and it’s very nerve wrecking. Glad to know I’m not alone.

    • msegg says:

      Thanks for your comment. The medical process is not so scary to me since I had been injecting myself for a number of days before the cancelation. It’s actually the least stressful part of the process. The most stressful part is the concern about numbers. But, fundamentally, this process has really taught me a lesson about the lack of control and uncertainty that pervades life. Good luck to you “me too” and keep me posted!

  3. Nay1027 says:

    Hi Msegg, thanks for sharing your story. I’m 31 and was a slow responder on my protocol (Follistim, Menopur, Ganerelix). We were hoping to use fresh embryos for my IVF cycle, but my husband could not produce a sample on the day of retrieval so we had to freeze my eggs. On Aug 16, 2012, my RE retrieved 7 eggs and only 5 made it through the freeze process (vitrification). The last 2 day of my stims were extremely difficult and I was in so much pain after the retrieval. I went to the ER 2 days after retrieval and the pain lasted about 6 days. My RE suggested I do another stimulation round to have more eggs but I refused. I’m starting my FET cycle (using my frozen egg and husband’s sperm) later this month, I’m praying to have a successful cycle.

  4. msegg says:

    Good luck with your FET Nay1027. I hope it works out for you! Keep me posted.

  5. T says:

    i had the same issue! 1 follicle on my right and 5 on my left. The one on the right was mature and was one of the 5 eggs that were successfully frozen. I was also 3 years younger at time of retrieval and producing less than you. You’re more than fine. I would agree with Dr. Grifo on his opinion just from a personal perspective.

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