After the Retrieval

For those of you waiting who are waiting with bated breath to find out how many viable embryos we have:  I don’t have an update.  Sorry.

What I DO have is a transfer date.  It’s this Friday.

On Monday, I received an update from one of the MCRH nurses.  While she didn’t tell me how many growing embryos we had, she did tell me that we qualified for a day 5 transfer.

This is incredibly good news.  But before I get into how that happened, let me explain a little more about what happens post-retrieval.

Once the eggs have been retrieved, they meet the sperm.  Our doctor uses a procedure called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) in which the sperm is injected directly into the egg.  Once that has been done, the eggs are incubated for a period of 16-20 hours.  It’s after this incubation period when the embryologist will determine how many of the eggs have undergone normal fertilization.

If few eggs have started the fertilization process, the embryologist will opt to do a day 3 transfer, the idea being that a woman’s uterus is a better incubator than the one they have at the lab.  If quite a few eggs have started the fertilization process, the embryologist will schedule a day 5 transfer.  This allows the embryologist to monitor the embryos more closely, and allows for selection of the best quality embryos; the ones they think will culminate in a successful pregnancy and live birth.

Day 5 transfers also have a higher success rate than day 3 transfers, thereby increasing our chances for the positive we’ve been waiting for.

The fact that we had enough eggs start the fertilization process to qualify for a day 5 transfer is fantastic news.  It also lends to the idea that we might have extra embryos left over after transfer, so if, for some reason, this round of IVF doesn’t work, we’ll have options for trying to get pregnant again.  Or, if this round of IVF is successful, we’ll have the opportunity to give this baby a brother or sister in the future!

Rest assured, once I know how many embryos we have, you’ll all be the first to know.  Until then, we’ve definitely got a lot to be hopeful for.

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