Finite Incantatem! (or, the end of egg retrievals)


A whole phase of my life has just concluded - our third and last egg retrieval is done, and I will never do one again. It feels really good to have a whole phase of this process completed and to be 100% confident that I will never go back to it. Here's where we ended up:

1) Total number of eggs retrieved: 11

2) Total number of eggs fertilized: 7

3) Total number of embryos that made it to Day 5 blastocyst: 5 - that's pretty great, given my very low expectations!

Today the biopsies of those embryos are being shipped off for PGS testing and we will find out on Valentine's Day (if not before) how many are "normal".

In the meantime, I am trapped in a cyclical phase of infertility that will seemingly never be over - what to do with my fibroid. As I mentioned in my last post, yet another medical expert gave me yet another differing opinion on this. The surgeon they referred me to spoke with me over the phone and he was all in on surgery - of course! That's his job! And then at my egg retrieval I asked my actual RE and he said, "nah, let's try leaving it in - if isn't broken, why fix it?" So now the tally is 2 REs for surgery to remove it, and 2 REs and one OBGYN against surgery to remove it (and one super-genius-doctor-friend against removing it). I have no idea what to do. The surgeon who did my laparoscopy in 2016 saw the fibroid, measured it, noted its location (subserosal), and decided to LEAVE IT THERE. Even though I was already in surgery! So that's an opinion that holds a lot of weight for me. It has grown 7mm since then (to 5.7cm), but I doubt that is enough that he would have changed his mind. 

I've been doing my own research on the interwebs and the Facebook groups I'm part of, and I've learned more from them than from any doctor. For instance, I learned that there are three types of uterine fibroids (based on location): subserosal, intramural, and submucosal. Subserosals are always identified as NOT causing fertility problems. From my research, I gathered that the location really matters, so I emailed my nurse and asked if the doctor who performed my SIS noted where the fibroid was - he did not! He says, upon glancing at the images he took, that it may be transmural. TRANSMURAL IS NOT ONE OF THE TYPES OF FIBROIDS LISTED ON THE INTERWEBS. In fact, a Google search for "transmural uterine fibroids" yields SIX results. And one of them is an ad! Since I already know from my previous surgery that mine is subserosal, I followed up with the question - can fibroids move? (or will it always be subserosal). Still waiting on a response.

Anyway, I'm at a crossroads. I either schedule surgery, heal for three months, and then do an FET (forzen embryo transfer) or I skip surgery and do an FET next month. It seems that the risks of surgery include the usual bleeding, infection, etc. (low likelihood) and scar tissue that could also cause fertility issues (surgeon says only a 10% risk of this with robotic surgery). Finally, depending on how far he has to cut, surgery may result in my needing to deliver by C-section (not the end of the world, but also not ideal). The risk of keeping the fibroid is that it will grow during the pregnancy and ultimately cause either miscarriage or premature birth. So which do I choose? Which would you choose? Should I flip a coin?

Time Turner #2 (or Chapter 2 of our Infertility Journey)

Crucio! (or, traveling for and during IVF is torture)