We had our consult with Dr. Amols today to discuss other options if the next (and final) IUI fails. We got more information about our IVF options. There is the option that most people think of when they think of IVF, and that is to retrieve many eggs and fertilize them creating many embryos. These embryos are then frozen after they have grown 5 days and then thawed out 2 at a time when my uterine lining is optimal and transplanted in the hopes of one or both implanting resulting in pregnancy. The other option is retrieve many eggs and then freeze the eggs. We would then thaw 2-3 eggs and fertilize them then freeze the 5 days embryos and thaw them out for transfer when my uterine lining is optimal. Both options would start with me being on birth control for 21 days to basically get a fresh start with my ovaries and uterine lining then 10-12 days of daily injections to stimulate multiple follicles to grow. The stimulation period would also include regular blood work and ultrasounds to track my hormone progress. After the follicles are at the correct size we would do the trigger shot to stimulate ovulation, then 36 hours later retrieve the eggs. The egg retrieval is one of the parts that had me the most nervous since it would involve putting a probe inside my vagina and then using a needle to go through the vaginal wall and into the ovary to collect the eggs. Thankfully Dr. Amols uses full sedation for the egg retrieval, which I will definitely need. Dr. Amols does offer PGS testing, but this is an option that we have already decided that we will not do. PGS testing is doing a biopsy of the 5 day old embryo to see if it has any genetic markers for genetic disorders such as Downs Syndrome or cystic fibrosis. The reason we would opt to not do this testing is the clinic we are going to will not transfer embryos that show markers for having these conditions because of the lower live birth rate and the additional liability involved (apparently people will and have sued fertility clinics for transferring embryos with these genetic markers when the child was born with a disability). As Matthew and I do not consider it ethical to not transfer an embryo because of these markers there is no reason for us to test for them. IVF could also show why the IUIs are not working as it could be that there is something wrong with either my eggs or Mathew’s sperm that is preventing the eggs from being fertilized naturally. We are hoping that this last IUI cycle is what does it for us, but if it doesn’t it is nice to know we have other options as well.
We will also be spending this cycle praying to see where God leads us in regards to this. I have had some reservations regarding IVF because I am pro life and it does bother me that we may lose embryos in this process. I do understand that it is hard to compare IVF with natural pregnancy because with IVF we have more information. It is possible that we have lost multiple embryos doing the IUIs but just didn’t know about it. For this reason we will be praying to see if this is where God wants us to go should the IUI not work. We do want to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers throughout this journey and know God has a plan for us and our family.