Today, we met with my RE to discuss our next step in the event this FET fails, which is IVF with PGS/PGD.
The appointment was both fascinating and terrifying.
One of the greatest fears, I had when deciding to move on to IVF was that we would go to the last resort of fertility treatments and it wouldn’t work. I discussed the what-ifs at length with my therapist and in the end (obviously) decided it was the right thing to do. Now I’m a few steps away from my ultimate fear becoming realized. Once we start IVF with PGS/PGD, that’s it. We will have gone as far as we can go with fertility treatments. And if it fails, well it will most certainly be the end of the road for us.
A little background on PGS/PGD for those are not familiar with the process:
Up until egg retrieval, the IVF process is identical to a normal IVF cycle. The eggs are fertilized and watched. Those who make it to day 3 will have their zonas (shell) punctured by a laser to create a tiny hole. As the embryos continue to expand, the cells will press against the zona. Those that make it to day 5 and 6 will be start leaking out a few cells through that small hole (see picture above). Those cells will be collected and sent out to a lab. The DNA will be extracted and replicated. Then it will be tested for aneuploidy (1 set of chromosomes) or triploidy (3 sets of chromosomes). A normal embryo should have 2 sets of chromosomes. Once it has been determined which embryos are chromosomally (apparently I’m making up this word) normal, one will be transferred in an FET cycle the following month.
75% of early miscarriages in IVF are due to chromosomal issues. When that issue has been ruled out, if the embryo implants, you have less than a 5% chance of miscarriage. I’ve been on the wrong end of those statistics before, so that’s not quite as reassuring as it may seem.
Here’s the awesome part: a chromosomally (I like this word and I’m going to keep using it… screw you spellcheck) normal embryo transfer has a 65% chance of resulting in a clinical pregnancy! That’s an incredible number.
Now, here comes to scary part.
If after 3 (typically) transfers of chromosomally normal embryos no pregnancy is achieved, it is recommended the woman move on to a gestational carrier as the odds of achieving a clinical pregnancy greatly decrease.
My husband and I have discussed surrogacy as a possible next step should we lose another child in the 2nd/3rd trimester due to the same condition that resulted in us losing Zeke. So the idea itself is not foreign. But the idea that my body could reject pregnancy to the extent that in order to even try to have a baby we would need a gestational carrier… well it’s all very overwhelming. I’m not sure what to think, and to be honest, I’m absolutely terrified.
Please keep sending hope, luck, prayers, good thoughts, baby dust (basically whatever you like best) my way that this FET works and I don’t have to go any deeper into the IVF with PGS process. Thank you all!