Wednesday 4th August 2010
One year ago.
From heavy-hitting Section Five, they move to the big guns in Section Six: Statistics on Congenital Abnormalities.
Before you try this at home, you should know:
Of naturally conceived pregnancies,
- 1 in 6 end in miscarriage
- 1 in 14 will be premature
- 1 in 30 will have a birth defect of a moderate to serious nature
- 1 in 100 will die at or around birth
- 1 in 400 will have cerebral palsy
And with this fun-filled stat grab, know that IVF and introcytoplasmic sperm injection have a 30-40% higher rate of congenital abnormalities. That takes the numbers from 3-4% to 5-6%. Is this because of the subfertility or the IVF itself? It’s hard to know.
If you’ve take our broken parts and can’t make them work again, does that mean they’re bad mechanics? Or just that they’ve done the best they can with what they had?
But there are other conditions, like Beckwith-Wiedemann and Angelman syndromes that may well be switched on by the culture products in the lab.
That freaks me out.
That really does.
And there is a list of other chromosomal problems that come with the territory of ICSI, where the sperm haven’t worked properly in the first place. Thankfully, for me, this doesn’t apply.
Then there’s the risks that are inherent from multiple pregnancies, which occur more commonly with IVF. Twins occur in 1 in 80 in the general population. It’s 1 in 10 with IVF. That leads to smaller babies, premature babies, more cerebral palsy, more perinatal death. Not to mention the risks to mum’s physical health, let alone her mental health.
Twins would be Suse’s ultimate nightmare.
But regardless – regardless of everything we do right and what we eat right – IVF babies remain three times more likely to be premature, and of low birth weight. We’ve cut out the smoking, drinking, becoming fat, smoking pot, injecting poisons, eating ratsack, mainlining crystal meth.
We’ve stopped doing all of that. They’re no longer on our to-do list.
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And then there’s the risks for Suse. The risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. The theoretical risk of cancer due to IVF drugs. Breast cancer. Ovarian cancer. Cervical cancer. Take home message: Breast and ovary cancer are no higher in IVF women, but unexplained infertility can have a higher incidence of ovarian and uterine cancer. Just because.
If you’re unlucky in fertility, you’re just unlucky, it seems.
Oh, yeah, and also, cancer sucks. Don’t get it if you can avoid it.
And then, it launches into the final stinger:
The likely outcome of the whole thing.
Of all the eggs we get and fertilise, 2/3 will make it to day three, and only 1/4 will make it to day five.
Of those we freeze and rethaw, there is also a one-third attrition rate.
So, to use an example, if we get twelve to start with, and a quarter make it to day five, that’s three all up. We implant one of them, and freeze the other two. And there’s a chance that only one will re-thaw properly.
Shitbags. That’s way worse that I thought.
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So, like I said, this is our last month. In a few more days, Suse will ovulate from the good side. The egg and the sperm, should the twain both meet, could avoid this whole hullabaloo.
We should be so lucky.
If not, maybe I’ll read the IVF Friends newsletter and pretend I’m in the snowfields. Or I could try some of their distraction techniques. I’m already meditating, but they suggest massage, aromatherapy and low impact exercise. And apparently reading helps.
Maybe I do need to look at Suse’s wax-covered book.
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