Poor turnout

The ultrasound today did not go well. You may recall that when we saw 7 antral follicles at the baseline u/s, Dr. Y was careful to point out that

“There’s no guarantee that everyone on the guest list will show up to the party.”

Well, at this point we’ve got two RSVPs – “Lefty,” the 14 mm lead follicle, and “Righty,” who is 11 mm. The other follicles are in there, but it seems they have other plans for Wednesday. So much for the virtues of estrogen- and androgen-priming…

Dr. Y said the chances of party crashers at this point is very very small. He said that he might be able to retrieve both big follicles…and that both might fertilize…and that both might grow into blasts.

He also said that there’s a good chance we could get nothing out in the end.

Our options, then, are to quit, convert to an IUI cycle (“so that at least you get something out of it”), or continue with IVF. It definitely seemed like Dr. Y thought the sensible thing would be to convert to an IUI. In that case, we would be refunded most of the $10K we paid last time, and could return the leftover meds for a restocking fee.


Since this was my first IVF appointment without C, I was trying to ask enough questions to be able to anticipate what C would want to know. Although I kept myself together, tears kept ‘leaking’ out of my eyes, and the poor nurse kept trying to pass me tissues.

I called C on my way out the door (he was on the way back from dropping friends at the airport) and we met a few minutes later at the beach. We sat on a bench and stared at the ocean and talked through the options. And we decided to move forward.

It’s probably stupid, but we thought we’d feel better knowing that we tried.

Will we feel ten thousand dollars better? I don’t know. But we both felt better knowing that we were moving ahead with the plan. We walked back to my car and I injected myself with my first dose of ganirelix. (No alcohol wipe or anything. Fuck it!) C also called Dr. Y and talked through our reasoning with him. He sounded good with it, once he was sufficiently convinced that we were informed and were comfortable with the cost.

So that’s where we are. The chances of success at this point are very slim. In the likely event that it doesn’t work out, we’ll probably pursue a second opinion and/or starting alternative therapy (acupuncture + supplements) to see if it helps with my responsiveness.


I hope you’ll forgive me, but I’m feeling a bit deflated at the moment and not really in the mood to write a chemistry post about ganirelix. I may feel like it Monday, or maybe not.

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  1. Big hugs to you! I am so sorry that the follicles don’t seem to want to join the party… That’s the dilemma that ran through my head before I said yes to IVF: do we convert to an IUI if there are only a few follicles or do we proceed with it. It’s a very tough decision, especially when you pay everything out of pocket. For myself, I would want to try IVF to see what happens: if the egg and sperm go well together, what kind of embryos we make, if any. Then we know what to do for the next step: natural IVF, mini-IVF, another conventional IVF but tweak the protocol, etc. I am hoping that a few others will decide to join those two. Sorry for having a rough day.

    • Thanks Isabelle. Our reasoning was much the same. If we quit, we won’t have answers to so many questions. And maybe these two are the best ones…

  2. Oh hunny I’m so sorry. I think you and C made the right decision for yourselves. The only thing we can do during this horrible journey is to try everything we feel is right so that we don’t have any regrets. If this step doesn’t work out (which I hope it does!) then perhaps your silver lining will be that you’ve learned more about how your body reacts to the medications. Maybe a failed cycle will help make the next one a success.

    Give yourselves some time to be deflated, it’s totally understandable. Just know that we’re here for you in the good times and the bad. I hope that this cycle will turn itself around and we’ll be celebrating with you at the end. ❤

  3. I don’t know if it helps to hear this, but I know of a woman who only had two follicles, which were retrieved, fertilised and resulted in twins, so don’t count yourself out yet. As others have mentioned, you can learn from a poor responding cycle. We all understand how much this hurts, so do what ever you need to do to be good to each other.

  4. Oh sweetie. I’m sorry. I was hoping it would go the other way, and more follies would show up as the cycle progressed. That just sucks. There’s no eloquent way to say that. I will say, though- it only takes one good egg, and one good sperm to make a baby. It’s not like it’s hopeless. I admire your strength in moving forward with this- it’s a gutsy move, and I sincerely hope your bravery is rewarded. Hugs…

  5. Ugh. So sorry to hear this. I had a cycle cancelled so I know all too well the heartache that comes along with your body not living up to all your expectations. We debated continuing with IVF with only a few follies but took the opposite road and converted to IUI to save the money. Either choice is hard. But like Jane said, maybe the eggs you DO have growing are great ones. There’s always a chance. And if it works for you, I’ll hate you forever. 😉 Just kidding about that last part.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely tricky. If C hadn’t been so on-board for continuing, then I probably would have caved and converted, then always wondered if it could have worked. It helps knowing that you had different levels of success with different protocols, though. Thank you.

  6. I was sad to read this BUT I pray that the odds are in your favour and it all turns around. You’re super amazing for pushing on. Fingers crossed.

  7. I am so sorry to read your update. I am part of an IVF forum where several of the ladies are poor responders and have had fertilised eggs that turned into embryos. One of them only got one egg on her first cycle, which fertilised, and she froze the embryo. She then cycled again and got six eggs the second time, four of which fertilised and she now has five embryos to choose from for her upcoming frozen tranfser. Another of the ladies on the board got pregnant on her latest cycle, after having her first cycle cancelled due to poor response. It is totally possible and I know it is a hideous set back but it might work out just fine. Wishing you all the best.

  8. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that these two will be retrieved and that science will reward you for believing in it. It just takes one, and *most* women get pregnant with a single egg being produced in a single cycle.

  9. Oh man, this sucks… I’m sorry you had to deal with such hard news, and on your own, too. I will echo everyone else in saying that by doing IVF you will at least have some more diagnostic evidence to work with. By focusing on these two follies, instead of seven, hopefully they will turn out to be great embryos — quality over quantity, after all. Try to keep your hopes up because you seriously never know. Twins is NOT out of the realm of possibility. 🙂

  10. I’m really sorry to hear the results aren’t great so far. But you never know. I had loads of eggs retrieved the first time. They were all crap and we had no embies. It’s really not quantity that matters and your two may just be the right ones. I’ll be thinking of you.

  11. I agree. It’s quality over quantity. I had two friends I met during our first IVF cycle – we met in the waiting room over the weeks of our protocols. I was lucky and they were not. The following year when the both tried, they were completely deflated because their numbers were low. I believe one had two and the other, three. And BOTH were pregnant from their result/s. They have very delicious and active toddlers now. The three of us may be exhausted but we never forgot … No infertile girl forgets. My point is, they were deflated and it worked out for them. I know you will be a GREAT mommy. Somehow you will be a GREAT mommy – something will work whether it is now or tomorrow. It WILL. I believe that to be true.

    You have a terrific blog by the way. Holy moly.

  12. I’m so sorry. I’ve been there, and it totally sucks. And I think you have to do what makes the most sense for you. We also keep moving forward, even as our chances at our own eggs (and our own sperm) dwindle. I’m not sure where the cut off is, but it’s different for each person. I’m thinking of you.

  13. rica flores

     /  June 27, 2013


  1. Antagonistic | the infertile chemist

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