Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Trouble or Double Blessing?

Last week I briefly mentioned the prospect of a two embryo transfer. Essentially, instead of picking one of our mature embryos for transfer, we could opt for two. Question of the year is: Is this a double blessing or double trouble?

At our last visit at SGFC, Dr. Sasson really cautioned us against choosing a two embryo transfer. He said many times, people outside of the IVF world see multiple births as being the hugely successful outcome. In reality, Dr. Sasson said that if a patient becomes pregnant with three or more babies, he views the IVF process as a complete failure. His ultimate goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby. This becomes harder to achieve with more babies in utero. Even only two embryos (and I use the word only lightly) can cause problems.

He said it is his job to give us his best medical advice: a two embryo transfer is not out of the question, but a one embryo transfer is the safest choice.

 A two embryo transfer is an option for us, but he really put on the brakes and made us think a bit about the health risks that two embryos could entail:

- complications during pregnancy for me (possible bedrest)
- preterm labor
- delivery complications
- low birth weight/incomplete development of the babies
- risk of significant time in NICU after delivery

Are the aforementioned risks possible outcomes for a one embryo transfer? Yes, but the statistics are not nearly as high.

Then, there are the realistic, day-to-day consequences of two embryos to consider:

- financial impact (two kids at the same time)
- physical and emotional strain during first months (Can you say exhaustion?)
- time and attention split between two newborns

I will admit, the above two embryo outcomes do seem daunting. However, I am not completely ruling it out.

We have about three weeks until we have to make this choice.

To help with this decision, I asked for more statistics. (Shocking, I know).

One would think that two embryos being placed in the uterus would increase the odds for at least one successful pregnancy. In reality, mothers ages 30 and under, who had two embryos transferred instead of one had only a tenth of one percent higher chance for a pregnancy to result.

We have a 43% chance that we would have twins with a two embryo transfer. It's not like if we do two embryos that we are guaranteed that I will be pregnant with twins.

This afternoon, Chris and I went for a walk; it was the perfect fall day: 55 degrees, sunny, crisp leaves crunched below our feet. As we strolled, we talked about everything I've just outlined above. 

Our conclusion (for today): We are going to try for two. Complications and extra stress possibly included, we want to do a two embryo transfer. 

It's Chris's job to bring this up to Dr. Sasson at our next appointment. We'll see where we are at that point. 

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