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Old 08-28-2005, 02:56 PM   #1
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micheleandsean HB User
Question How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

Hi,
I'm 39 y.o. and just went thru IVF and had my eggs harvested yesterday. I'm waiting to hear if any fertilized. They retrieved 7 of them. Is this a normal amount? I have to call tomorrow and find out if any fertilized.

Nervous,
Michele
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Last edited by moderator2; 08-29-2005 at 02:39 PM.

 
Old 08-29-2005, 09:34 AM   #2
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Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

I'm 38 and this year had one cycle with 6 retrieved and one cycle with 7 retrieved. It really does seem like a small number, especially when you consider that fertilization is a very preliminary step. In my local paper (The Chicago Tribune) as story ran recently in connection with the religious right's war on IVF. This story said that 1 out of 16 eggs harvested turns into a take-home baby. My 13 eggs resulted in two miscarriages to this sounds very plausible to me. I'm sorry if this doesn't sound encouraging, but I believe we don't get enough honesty around this topic.

Obesity also is thought to decrease the number of eggs harvested.

 
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

When you arrive you'll be told what quality the eggs are and decide how many to transfer. At this point some eggs get discarded because of fragmentation of slow cell division. At 39 you'll probably use all of them. Then the 2ww starts.

RESIST the temptation to test early with an HPT -- in case you haven't been told, the trigger shot contains actual pregnancy hormone and this can take two weeks to leave your system. You DON'T want a false positive.

Again, I don't want to be discouraging (and some people think it's a big sin to tell it like it is) but if you get good news, prepare for the rude awakening that this is NOT the finish line! After years of IF, where getting a positive result is treated as the Holy Grail, this can be hard to accept. But you now have to double your beta every 2-3 days, see gestational sac(s) at five weeks WITHOUT getting higher-order multiples, see heartbeat(s) at 6-7 weeks, decide on prenatal testing at 10-16 weeks, and then avoid miscarriage, abnormalities, and higher-order multiples. All the while some people will be telling you to think positive (because if you let yourself think bad thoughts you'll jinx the pregnancy). And others will be cautioning you not to get your hopes up (because if you let yourself get attached you'll jinx the pregnancy).

 
Old 08-29-2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

And in the face of the "think positive"/"be realistic" dilemma I say listen to nobody and just adopt the emotional coping strategy that will best get you through the day. I myself am absolutely in the pessimistic crowd and I resent being chastened for this, especially after knowing how it feels to miscarry. I'm horrified at the thought of how much worse it would have been had I been skipping around with happy news, setting up the nursery, etc. But if you're happier on the other side of the fence, calling everyone you know the second you're positive, shopping for baby stuff from the first week, etc. -- go for it!

 
Old 08-29-2005, 02:25 PM   #5
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qt314 HB User
Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

MicheleandSean...

I too went through IVF. I'm 41 so I understand the age issue. When I when for retrieval I was told I was very lucky in that they got 17 eggs. To me this was very low. But reading lots of postings and other sites, I know that indeed I was lucky. Of my 17, only 12 fertilized and on transfer day only 4 were viable for transfer. But of the 4, one did take. I was only given a 40% success rate, but I guess I beat the odds.....at that time.

For me, due to my age, the egg that took had a chromosonal problem and stopped developing at 6 weeks. I'm headed for my 2nd IVF at the end of next month.

Our age and our size (as Sharon points out) are big factors here. The older we are the fewer eggs we produce, and the heath and quality go down. I'm hopeful for you that tomorrow you are told that all 4 eggs are transferable. But yes, we should prepare for other answers too. BUT...it only takes one.

My personal view was to wait until I had hit 13 or so weeks to tell closer family members who weren't already in the loop, and wait until week 18 or so for the rest of the freinds and family. I am optimistic by nature, but I didn't want to spread false hope to others (nore did I want to have to explain myself if something happened) I also didn't want to buy bigger clothes until it was absolutley neccesary, or nursery items until well into 30 weeks. I guess for me...my age is what's keeping me back. I know there are many many things that can happen along the way when you're our age. Call me a pessimist then if you must, but I was more concerned about the health and outcome. I couldn't allow myself too much joy ......I'm too scared to.

Prepare yourself for the worst, but relish in (and welcome....) the best! A well informed person is someone who is prepared. I WILL tell you to relax for tomorrow. Your calm and relaxed body/uterus are what the eggs need. Do whatever you can to do this. Accupressure before transfer, lower back massage......and if they offer the valium when you get to the office...take it!!!

Again......I wish you all the best for tomorrow! May your dreams come true!
Much baby dust coming your way! (you can find me in the Sept/Oct IVF cycle thread)

 
Old 08-30-2005, 09:44 AM   #6
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sharon6 HB User
Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

I wouldn't even tell you to relax! That's just adding to the pressure in my view! The thought that I am hurting my baby by not being RELAXED enough... is not exactly conducive to relaxation.

 
Old 08-31-2005, 12:39 PM   #7
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qt314 HB User
Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

From the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "STRESS AND INFERTILITY
Stress is defined as any event that a person perceives as threatening or harmful. Stress can result in the heightened activity of many body organs. This increased activity is offset by hormones secreted by the adrenal glands and through the nervous system. Acute stress can result in increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, as well as sweaty palms and cool, clammy skin. Chronic stress can also cause depression and result in changes in the immune system and sleep patterns."

There is a reason that during a transfer the doctors whisper or talk softly, there is a reason they give you a valium before hand (it is a muscle relaxant and relaxes the uterus), there is a reason some woman are encouraged to get acccupressure before transfer, there is a reason that we are bed ridden for 4 days. It's called relaxing. By telling someone NOT to relax, you tell them to stress. Not helpful. Sharon...You may feel that advising someone to TRY and relax is is not condusive to relaxation and adds more pressure, but others may view it as helpful advice. I never said that if she wasn't relaxed enough that she would be "hurting my baby". I merely said that a relaxed uterus is what your doctor wants you to have so the implantation has a better chance (blood flow, hormones....etc). And I'm all for any extra advantage I can get! Certainly having high blood pressure from stress is not only harmful for you, but harmful for the baby.

Infertility is stressful, going through IVF is stressful, ........but for the sake of our bodies, we must do all that we can to try and release the stress.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 10:36 AM   #8
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micheleandsean HB User
Re: How many eggs/follicles are a normal harvest?

Just wanted to update everyone. I had my blood pregnancy test yesterday and it was POSITIVE. I know not to get too excited and that this is only half the battle.

Michele
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