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Hi Stacey,

The blood test is for estradiol. I think it is produced by the follicles as they grow, so it keeps climbing as you stay on the stimulation medication. Mine started in the 100-200 range after 5 days of Gonal-f, an goes up to ~2000 after about 12 days of Gonal-f. I've read that it should roughly double every 48 hours.

They start with the blood work only because the follicles are too small at that point to bother, but the blood level can confirm that you are responding.
Sounds like you are on your way!

My retrieval has been scheduled for the 3rd so I'm very excited. Never thought I would be happy about having surgery! :D It went really smoothly for me last time, so I have no worries.

We will be transferring more embryos this time. My RE wants to do 2, which I think is a good idea. He doesn't want to do 3 because of my age (33) and embryo quality (high) - he is too concerned with triplets. I'm a conservative person by nature, so I tend to agree with him. Two gives me an increased chance of pregnancy, but still keeps me with a singleton or twins. Triplets is very scary to me.

On your question about freezing. I had 14 embryos retrieved and 11 fertilized. By day three, all were dividing and 8 were good quality (6 cells or more). We decided on a day 5 transfer. By day 5, 2 had made it to the blastocyst stage (I was told this was normal - 25% make it, so if you count our 8 good ones, 25% of them did make it). We transferred one and one was frozen. But, you need several to do a frozen cycle so it sits in the lab for now. We did have a choice to transfer on day 3, in which 7 would have likely been frozen, but we decided on the day 5 b/c the implantation rates are higher on that day.

My clinic will always freeze embryos, but they said only about 10-20% of patients actually have good quality leftovers to freeze. I wasn't quite sure I believed it at first, but since I had 28 follicles and 14 retrieved, and only 1 in the freezer, I believe it now!

Best of luck and keep in touch,
Raven





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