Her Own View: A Patient’s Journey Through IVF (Day 12-25) Adventures in Egg Retrieval

Her Own View: A Patient’s Journey Through IVF (Day 12-25) Adventures in Egg Retrieval

Hi everyone!

I’ve had loads of activity since the last time I updated! Since my last post, I had a third and fourth ultrasound, an egg retrieval and had my embryos shipped to the lab for genetic testing! Yes, a lot can happen in just a few days! Let me break it down…

During my third ultrasound, they saw 12 follicles in my left ovary and 14 follicles in my right ovary. I’ve included a picture so you can see they were still small that day. The size is in the “mean d mm” column. For a follicle to be considered mature, they must be between 16-22mm.

Follicle measurements

Follicle measurements

Dr. Miller requested I come back the next day after he increased my Menopur and Follistim to see if I was ready to pull the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) trigger. The HCG trigger shot gives your follicles one last push before the egg retrieval. The shot happens exactly 35 hours before the retrieval. The next day, I had an ultrasound, and I was ready to pull the trigger at exactly 8:30 PM because I was scheduled for my egg retrieval 35 hours later at 7:30 AM. The shots during this time period were not too bad, but by the end, I was very bloated, which is a normal side effect of the medications. Yoga pants, loose tops and layers were my wardrobe staples!

Ultrasound images

Ultrasound images

So here we are, the day of the retrieval! I had to be at the office at 7 AM, for my 7:30 AM egg retrieval procedure. The staff took me in at exactly 7 AM, where they had me change into a hospital gown and gave me discharge instructions. The Anesthetist then hooked up what she needed to, and told me what to expect. The Embryologist also came in and went over the plan (egg retrieval/ freezing embryos, and Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). She mentioned that there would be one update the next day, and we would not get another update until 5 days after that. The staff then took me into the procedure room where I was injected with the anesthesia. The next thing I knew, I was up and with Dan! I think the actual procedure only took 15 minutes. The first thing I heard was, “they got 30 eggs!” The staff was extremely attentive during recovery (about an hour) and Dr. Miller paid me a visit and said he was very pleased with the retrieval.  After the procedure, I took it very easy and napped the rest of the day. I did take a drive with Dan that night to run an errand, which did not go well. I threw up when I got home, probably from the anesthesia and motion sickness from the car! And that is why it’s important to have a driver the day of the retrieval! The procedure was on a Sunday, and I managed to go to work on Monday, although I had to leave early.  I felt uncomfortable for the next few days, but that is a normal side effect.

The next day, I received a call saying, out of the 30 eggs, 26 were mature, and 22 fertilized with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). Since I had so many eggs, Dr. Miller put me on a few medications to minimize the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

Often times once the retrieval takes place a transfer can be done on Day 3 or Day 5 after the embryos have matured under the care of the embryologist. This is called a fresh cycle because the embryos are “fresh out of the oven.”

However, because we chose to do the PGS testing our transfer turnaround time is a little longer. On Day 5, the lab was happy to report that I had 10 normally developed embryos that could go on to be tested for genetic normalcy.  Those results should be back any day and we will then know how many viable embryos we have. After that, we will also be going through a frozen cycle. This means the embryo(s) will be thawed and then placed into their new home (aka my uterus).

To be honest, I’m enjoying this time where everything is basically out of my control. Let’s see what happens. Stay tuned!

-Katie