IVF options


#1

Hello, I had a couple of questions I was hoping to get answers about. My wife and I will be seeking fertility treatment shortly, and we are trying to learn as much as we can right now. I have male factor infertility, and getting pregnant naturally has not happened in the 5 yrs we have been trying.

Our main concern right now is with ending up with too many embryos. I know that this might be a good thing for many, but we are deeply conflicted due to our religious beliefs. We would struggle if we ended up with 8 embryos, because we could not afford to pursue IVF with all of them. This has led us to look into other options.

I recently came across information regarding “mini ivf”. It sounds like this treatment fertilizes fewer eggs (3-5) from what I have read. This would definitely be a number we would feel more comfortable with. Is there other options for people with similar concerns? Has anyone gone through Mini IVF in Texas? If anyone could suggest clinics in Texas that might be able to help us in our treatment while taking into consideration our concerns, that would be fantastic. Thanks for reading!


#2

Hey there. My dh and I are dealing with male factor as well and finally started IVF a few months ago. We had some of the same concerns as you in the beginning but soon learned that you do not usually end up with as many embryos as you think. You have to remember that not every follicle will have a mature egg, not every egg will fertilize, not every embryo will develop. However, mini IVF or natural IVF are great options as well. Mini IVF does not use as much stims and natural IVF uses not much of anything.

We are far from TX but hopefully someone else will be able to recommend a good RE in your area. Good luck in whatever you decide!


#3

What about the option of freezing any remaining embryos to try again later. We plan on freezing any viable embryos that are not transfered so we can try with them later. We didn’t have any left to freeze last cycle and were hoping we would because it is tons cheaper than doing a whole new fresh cycle, lots more affordable.


#4

While I can’t recommend any places in TX, you should read the mini-IVF information on New Hope Fertility Clinic’s website to get more information. They specialize in it as well as natural IVF (1 egg retrieved monthly). You will need ICSI so you should factor that into the cost. Just google “mini” or “minimal stimulation ivf” and Texas and you should get some hits. Good luck!


#5

This is something that you can definitly discuss with your RE, they should be able to help you figure something out.

I’ll give you the numbers from our cycle:

I had 20 eggs retrieved
18 were mature
13 fertilized
2 were transfered
none made it to freeze

I had the same concerns as you. While I was thrilled to have 13 embryos, I worried about having too many. As it turned out, I wish I had some to freeze! While it’s a valid concern, it may be something that is ever an issue.


#6

Another option that our clinic has is allowing the couple to decide how many eggs to fertilize. So if they retrieve 20 eggs but you only want them to fertilize 3, they will. Of course, that’s very risky as you can see from curlgurl’s numbers - not all the fertilized eggs will continue growing successfully and if you only fertilize 3, you may not have any to transfer. But I wanted to let you know that’s an option we have had.

Also there is the option of donating any unused embryos to couples who cannot have bio children for whatever reason. I know some people feel strongly that they could not do that. DH and I were one of those couples. But after having been through what we have and being involved on this forum and knowing others who’ve struggled with fertility we strongly believe in donating any embryos we may have left in future cycles, should we be fortunate enough.

Good luck!


#7

I agree with the earlier post, you may be surprised how many embryos you actually end up with, and how many tries it takes before actually getting pregnant, especially when dealing with male factor- we had 8 embryos, and we went through all 8 before getting pregnant. From what I hear, mini-IVF protocols aren’t necessarily recommended for male factor, but it probably depends on how severe/your issue- for us, since my husband is Azoospermic and we were using biopsy sperm, we wanted as many eggs as possible to work with because we knew our fert rate and embryo quality would be lower.


#8

I struggled with this very same issue. We have been saving up for a year to be able to afford IVF, and when we went to our first consult at the beginning of the year I was convinced I would not want any more eggs fertilized than I would want to have children. After doing my own research and following this forum over the past 10 months, I have changed my position to be that God will take care of it. I now understand that not every follicle has an egg; out of those eggs not all of them will be mature; out of the mature eggs not all of them will fertilize; out of those that fertilize not all of them will make it to transfer day; out of those that make it not all of them will make it to freeze–do you see where I’m going here? There is absolutely no way to predict where you are going to end up, how your wife will respond to stims, or how many eggs you will have to work with. I worried and stressed about it for a long time before I realized it was not my issue to worry about. Of course I am going to be reasonable in the number of eggs we ask to have fertilized, but I no longer worry that we will be in a position that we can’t handle, because I am confident God is in control of the whole process.

Pray about it and don’t feel bad about doing a little research. I have prayed about it many times over and even talked with our church pastor, and I am now very much at peace with fertilizing more than a couple eggs, because I know God ultimately controls how many actually will be fertilized and will become embryos. If you feel His will is for you to persue mini-ivf instead of traditional, just trust in His guidance.


#9

We have male factor too. I just have egg retrieval tuesday, I had 4 follicles, they were able to retrieve 3 eggs. As of today, 48 hrs from retrieval I have 1 2 cell embryo and 1 5 cell. My transfer is tomorrow and I’m praying that we will transfer the 2. One of my eggs didn’t mature. We did a mini ivf.


#10

We have struggled with this as well - our belief is that once an embryo is created then life is created and every life deserves an equal chance. My DH and I made it very clear with our RE that this was a concern of ours -so we first told our RE that we wanted to be conservative in our approach. And she did just that - didn’t stimulate me too much. We ended up with 7 eggs retrieved, 4 fertilized and only 2 transferred. The other 2 were frozen. Unfortunately we did not get pregnant and had to do it again.

But also consider if you do a frozen transfer (FET) it is considerably less money than a fresh cycle. A FET may cost $3000 whereas a fresh is $10-15K.

Good luck to you and your wife.


#11

Thank you everyone for your replies. I really appreciate all the advice and insight from everyone. Your advice has opened up our minds to the process, and what could or could not happen. It makes sense that just because you end up with eggs, does not necessarily mean that it will result in a pregnancy. There are lots of steps in between that have to happen. We will continue to pray about this and see where God leads us. We will post updates to let everyone know what we decide to do. If anyone has any other words of wisdom please reply, it is encouraging to read from those that have experience.


#12

it is a hard decision. Also, working with Male factor…i had 19 eggs retreved, 18 fertilized (1 was immature)…of those 18, we transfered 2 and have a total of 7 frozen. We are getting ready for our 1st FET in the next few weeks…so once we transfer those 2, we will have 5 left over…if 2 make the thaw, if they don’t, then we might have less then 5 left over or none at all. Even though i’ll never plan to have 7 children… IVF didn’t work for us the 1st time, i don’t know if the FET will work either…if it does great, then when we try for child number 2, i know we’ll have some embyros to work with. I agree with everyone who posted…every follie won’t produce a mature egg, every egg won’t fertlize, every fertilized embyro won’t make it to freeze, some might not make it to unfrozen(if doing an FET) and not every embyro results in a pregnancy… good luck with your decision…whatever you do, make your decision with the least amount of regret.


#13

I think this is a great way to look at it!