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Dear sherbear24,

I wanted to wish you the best of luck with your upcoming appointment. I'm not sure if your 2-year old tests will need to be repeated or not. I would guess they would want to redo some bloodwork (as things change as we age).

As for IVF, I just wanted to share my experience so far. I am diagnosed anovulatory (but don't know why). I am clomid resistant - I started three Clomid cycles but never ovulated. I then moved to injectibles, using Gonal F with intrauterine insemination. I overresponded (too many follicles and high blood estradiol levels) and was cancelled for 2 cycles in a row. So, we moved to IVF, figuring that "too many follicles" would not be as much of a problem for IVF.

I am in the middle of my first IVF cycle now. It has been an emotional rollercoaster so far! I have 6 different medications - birth control pills, Lupron, Gonal F, HCG, antibiotics and progesterone. Three of them are shots, so I feel like a pincushion. During the stimulation phase, I had blood and ultrasounds almost every day, because of my past overresponse. I think most women go every other day. The hardest part was waiting each day for the afternoon phonecall to get my results. I was told I might be cancelled due some issues with my blood results, but in the end I made it to the egg retrieval stage yesterday. I had 30 follicles, and they retrieved 14 eggs (some follicles were small and immature, so those didn't yeild anything). Today I found out 11 fertilized. Now I wait until saturday to see if we are doing a 3 day transfer, or if we qualify for 5 day.

It's been emotionally hard - I left work crying on Monday when I was told I *might* be cancelled, and I spend Tuesday night with a big smile all night since I wasn't cancelled. I have a flexible work schedule, and that has been great. The egg retrieval itself was much easier than I thought. The nurses were so supportive. I got a sedative a few minutes ahead of time, was wheeled into the operating room, and they started hooking up monitors and such. Next thing I know, I was awake and it was over. I haven't had much pain either - only took 1 Tylenol yesterday, and today I'm doing real well.

I know this is a lot of information! IVF is a lot to invest in, in so many ways - time, patience, emotions, shots, testing, and $ for most (I am lucky that my insurance covers it). But it has given me hope where everything else has just been disappointment.

If you want some information on success rates, check out the CDC at:

http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/art.htm

Most seem to run about 50% success for younger women, but it's hard to say just from those numbers. My doctor told me 60-70% for me personally based on my medical history - it all depends on why someone is doing IVF. And if a clinic has higher or lower numbers, it doesn't necessarily mean they are better or worse. They may have different criteria for what patients they accept.

I go to Brigham and Women's in Boston, and would recommend them.

Good luck and best wishes!
Raven





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