The IVF ladder, (warning, slightly dark humor)


#1

I am in the 2ww for my 6th IVF cycle at age 41.

While I’m sitting here worrying, wondering if this one will stick, I wrote this story for myself. I thought some others might enjoy it too. I hope my sense of humor doesn’t upset anyone. I’m very east coast. (The numbers are pulled from the research I’ve done over the last year, I don’t promise accuracy and it’s based on my own age)

Ivf ladder- odds of a live birth over 40:

The ‘ladder’ is starting at 0%. since doing nothing you will not have a baby.

First rung, taking the drugs. Developing follicles. Maybe now at 2%.

-not everyone makes enough follicles, the cycle is cancelled and they fall off the ladder.

Second rung, getting to egg retrieval. Now depending on the number of eggs they got, your odds are more like 5%.

-some people had follicles, but no mature eggs. They fall off the ladder.

Third rung, fertilization. Depending again on how many eggs were mature enough and fertilized, your odds are now ~10-15%.

  • some women’s eggs don’t fertilize. Off.

Fourth rung, *how well the embryos develop in the lab. At this stage some criteria for success are 2, 3, or 5 day transfer, and the number and quality of the embryos transferred. Odds are around 20-30% for a live birth at this point.

  • some people will have fertilized eggs that arrest in the lab, and have nothing to transfer back. Off the ladder.

Fifth rung, pregnancy (beta) test. Testing the hcg level in the blood to confirm clinical pregnancy. If yes, with a good level, odds are ~30-40%.

  • just because you transferred the embryos, doesn’t mean they implanted. Lots of negative pregnancy tests and the ladder is getting empty.

Sixth rung, a week later and another beta tests, blood level of hcg has to continue to rise, or the pregnancy isn’t viable. Assuming the numbers look good, odds of baby go up, 40-45%

  • chemical pregnancy or early miscarraige. Baby doesn’t stick. Mommy off the ladder.

Seventh rung, *first ultrasound. Can they find a heartbeat? Is the fetus growing well? Win this one and you’re at 50% chance of a baby in 9 months.

  • not all fetus’ are viable. Aneuploidy. Miscarraige.

Eigth rung, almost there. Get through the first trimester and graduate to the OB’s office. Pretty good odds now, 98% make it.

  • let’s not even talk about second trimester miscarraige or any of the other horrible crazy things that can happen during a pregnancy.

At the top! Natural birth or c-section, who cares! Hello baby/ies!


#2

I read this yesterday and found myself thinking about it throughout the day as it has applied to my own situation.

This is soooo accurate. Just when you think one hurdle is crossed, another presents itself. I felt like I wasn’t even able to approach the starting line, due to cysts. Once I finally got there, it was getting my E2 to raise properly (and lining and follies to grow), then it’s having a good retrieval, growing blasts, and now waiting for a BFP. Having been pregnant before, I know the BFP is not the last worry…there’s early miscarriage, late miscarriage, chromosomal issues, and childbirth. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it is not for the faint of heart!

Anyway, interesting post.


#3

[quote=terri8800]I am in the 2ww for my 6th IVF cycle at age 41.

While I’m sitting here worrying, wondering if this one will stick, I wrote this story for myself. I thought some others might enjoy it too. I hope my sense of humor doesn’t upset anyone. I’m very east coast. (The numbers are pulled from the research I’ve done over the last year, I don’t promise accuracy and it’s based on my own age)

Ivf ladder- odds of a live birth over 40:

The ‘ladder’ is starting at 0%. since doing nothing you will not have a baby.

First rung, taking the drugs. Developing follicles. Maybe now at 2%.

-not everyone makes enough follicles, the cycle is cancelled and they fall off the ladder.

Second rung, getting to egg retrieval. Now depending on the number of eggs they got, your odds are more like 5%.

-some people had follicles, but no mature eggs. They fall off the ladder.

Third rung, fertilization. Depending again on how many eggs were mature enough and fertilized, your odds are now ~10-15%.

  • some women’s eggs don’t fertilize. Off.

Fourth rung, *how well the embryos develop in the lab. At this stage some criteria for success are 2, 3, or 5 day transfer, and the number and quality of the embryos transferred. Odds are around 20-30% for a live birth at this point.

  • some people will have fertilized eggs that arrest in the lab, and have nothing to transfer back. Off the ladder.

Fifth rung, pregnancy (beta) test. Testing the hcg level in the blood to confirm clinical pregnancy. If yes, with a good level, odds are ~30-40%.

  • just because you transferred the embryos, doesn’t mean they implanted. Lots of negative pregnancy tests and the ladder is getting empty.

Sixth rung, a week later and another beta tests, blood level of hcg has to continue to rise, or the pregnancy isn’t viable. Assuming the numbers look good, odds of baby go up, 40-45%

  • chemical pregnancy or early miscarraige. Baby doesn’t stick. Mommy off the ladder.

Seventh rung, *first ultrasound. Can they find a heartbeat? Is the fetus growing well? Win this one and you’re at 50% chance of a baby in 9 months.

  • not all fetus’ are viable. Aneuploidy. Miscarraige.

Eigth rung, almost there. Get through the first trimester and graduate to the OB’s office. Pretty good odds now, 98% make it.

  • let’s not even talk about second trimester miscarraige or any of the other horrible crazy things that can happen during a pregnancy.

At the top! Natural birth or c-section, who cares! Hello baby/ies![/quote]

I’d probably keep thinking about the whatifs even after my baby is born. It would never stop with me, but I’d make the best of whatever time I’m given. I’d give it my all…knowing there’s no guarantees to anything in life.


#4

I totally understand how and why you would think like this. When we did finally get pregnant with our son (fourth pregnancy…first live baby) we did not even acknowledge we were really having a baby. We were just waiting to lose him. Looking back it is kind of sad that we did not enjoy the pregnancy. Honestly my hubby would not let us buy anything for the nursery for a long time. It wasn’t til we were about 7 months that we finally bought the crib. Even at that point we still didn’t believe we would have a baby to take home :frowning: But now we have two beautiful little boys, and are so grateful and blessed to have our family. Don’t give up!