Too Few Eggs in the Basket..

The Egg Retrieval (ER) yesterday was a huge disappointment. Even though I had shown at least 8-9 follicles (which is not terrible at my age) only 5 of them were able to be removed and only 4 were mature.  I was so disappointed when I woke up from anesthesia to that depressing news.

Even my Dr. was surprised and he called me yesterday afternoon to tell me so.  It means there were “empty” follicles as he put it. Which I realized after some research is actually a bit of a misnomer as no follicle can actually be empty, but what can happen is that the egg has not released itself from the follicle and is not ready or is too damaged at the time of retrieval to be flushed out and taken.

I read there are a few reasons this can happen, really crappy egg quality and that the HCG trigger that is supposed to make the eggs ready for retrieval just doesn’t work for some reason.  Although I certainly have reason to doubt my egg quality, I am now beginning to suspect that for some reason my body doesn’t respond to the HCG trigger like it should.  The reason I suspect this is that when we conceived Jasper via IUI 4+ years ago I was charting (taking my basal temperature religiously) and distinctly remember that my temperature did not rise (signaling ovulation) until AFTER the IUI which would also suggest a trigger delay.  I questioned my RE about that and he told me that there are very few certainties in reproductive medicine, but the fact that someone will ovulate 36 hours after an HCG trigger is one of them.

Well, turns out this is not entirely true according to my research.. some people require a different type of HCG or double the dose. It’s rare, but completely possible. It would be something to consider if we were going to be able to do this again – but, having exhausted our IF insurance coverage I don’t think it’s in the cards to do another cycle.

So, today I get the call to see if any of those 4 eggs actually fertilized.. and if any do, we get to wait on pins and needles hoping they live until tomorrow and are decent quality to transfer. I’m waiting until tonight to have Jeff do the dreaded progesterone shot because if none fertilize at least my butt won’t be sore!

On the plus side, the ER was pretty painless. A few mild tinges and cramps but nothing serious. The anesthesia caused no ill effects, not even the shakes like I got the last time I went under.

So, that’s all the news – hopefully we’ll have at least on survivor out of those 4 sad lonely eggs…thanks for all your well wishes, we will take every little bit of positive energy we can get!

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Mama Smith says:

Yay for three! I’ve only been following your blog for a few months but you are so talented and I know it will work out for you to have another child- and I look forward to seeing amazing pictures of the journey :) good luck!

Nina says:

Hope the transfer goes great this morning!Will be thinking of you! :)

Tala says:

I’m praying for a successful transfer! I can’t wait to hear the news! *fingers crossed*

SB says:

I think only people who have gone through infertility can truly understand what you are going through. As you go through it, you realize that so many people have issues with pregnancy…it doesn’t make it better, but misery loves company. I had four failed IUI’s, and for my fifth IUI, I had 0 follicles…they all miraculously disappeared. We gave up and finally did IVF. It cost a lot of dough but so worth it, as we were successful. Best wishes…truly.

Leena says:

3 of the 4 is great news! good luck tomorrow!

Tira J says:

Praying for you!!!!!

ariana says:

Thanks guys – I just got an email from my Dr. that 3 of the 4 fertilized.. so, now we just have to hope all three live until tomorrow’s transfer!!

Sarah – yes, this was my first IVF. I think most Drs move patients on to IVF after 4-5 failed IUIs precisely so they CAN determine and better control issues that aren’t as obvious during the IUI process. For example an IVF that fails because the sperm doesn’t fertilize the egg it would be clear that the next time you’d need to do ICSI and you wouldn’t have known that with IVF. Same thing here, maybe my problem all along is that my eggs stick to the follicle wall? I think that’s unlikely, but the point is that it DOES reveal more. Did you stop treatments altogether?

tamara says:

dear ariana,
i was following your blog already before I knew I would have to go the IVF-path to make our wish for a baby happen…

all my thumbs are pressed (german expression, for wishing good luck!) and allthoug you may be disappointet about the result of ‘only’ four, in my two-years-IVF career I never had more than two fertilized egg and still managed in 3 attempts to get two times pregnant…after losing the first baby early pregnancy in about 10 weeks we will hold our second baby in our arms!

so don’t give up too early…even bad quality fertilized eggs can be successful!

my best wishes for you

Sarah says:

I’m sorry it didn’t go as expected. Was it your first IVF? I’ve never had IVF but did 7 IUI cycles while TTC and I always wondered about the “absolutes.” Surely there are people who react differently and why are doctors (specifically mine!) not taking that into consideration? We had gorgeous IUIs — many follicles most times, gorgeous counts, etc. and nothing stuck. It made my head spin and I just wanted to get in there and see for myself what the problem was. We never did find out though.

I hope things look good and surprise you.

Nina says:

Sorry it didn’t go as expected! Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping for good news from the doctor!

mlwindc says:

It only takes one — fingers crossed!

FWIW, I have heard about delaying retrieval to allow additional time for egg maturation. If there is a next time, I’ll make sure to forward the link!

Michelle says:

i’ve got my fingers crossed for you all!! lots of love and baby wishes to you xoxoxoxoxo

Michele says:

Hey, it only takes one, right? Praying one of the 4 is that one. Fingers and toes all crossed!

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