MYTH: People think IVF always works. Everyone who uses it is successful and has a baby.
We had started our testing and were hopeful for results that showed we just needed a little assistance.
I remember getting the semen analysis results, sitting in an exam room, nervous as can be. Being told by his urologist that we had somewhere between a 0% and 3% chance of getting pregnant on our own.
I was NOT prepared for that news. When we took that information back to our reproductive endocrinologist, he informed us that the results of the SA, paired with my own test results definitively meant that IVF was our only real chance at getting pregnant.
We knew we could not afford to do IVF right away. We had no insurance coverage for anything fertility related and were struggling to pay for office visits and ultrasounds. We switched insurances, waiting 6 months for a waiting period and doing the IUI’s that were covered under the plan. We still had to pay out-of-pocket for the drugs, but it was far reduced from the full cost. Meanwhile we saved for IVF, knowing we may only be able to afford one go at it. We saved, borrowed from friends and got a partial grant to move forward.
It didn’t work.
First I overstimulated and the cycle was canceled. We started again next cycle once I was recovered from the OHSS. I had 21 follicles removed during a painful egg removal where I woke from the anesthetic. We had 12 viable embryos after our pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. We put back two, left the rest to freeze.
The 10 we meant to freeze didn’t make it that far. Neither did the two we put back. I was not pregnant.
It didn’t work.
I was young, with “good” eggs, we had enough of a sample to pull sperm from (a miracle for us) and I did everything I was supposed to as far as aftercare and resting. I went in for my beta, holding out hope, clinging to it desperately.
It was a negative, a failed cycle.
IVF may increase your chances, but it is not a guarantee. As a patient, we know this, but the general public loves to perpetuate the idea that it’s a sure thing.
We continued the process, over and over. All failed. It is not a sure thing. Let me tell you what it is. It is an expensive process. It is physically exhausting. It is emotionally taxing.
IVF may give a patient a chance at attaining pregnancy at a rate higher than they would have by trying to conceive at home, in private, but it’s still just a chance. I’ve done IVF and I have no children to show for it. I was unsuccessful, and while many people have taken this road to parenthood, there are a number of people like me, who did IVF and didn’t get a baby.