Feeling on top of the World

IVF is a numbers game and as you play the game you always look at the crucial numbers. These are

^ The number of follicles that develop ^ The number of eggs recovered

^ The number of eggs that fertilise normally and divide ^ The number of embryos available for transfer and freezing

And all along it's a case of 'the more, the merrier'. When you get your progress reports, you hope for something like this:

^ Your scan shows that you have 12 to 15 large follicles

^ Your hormone levels are 'just right'

^ You get 12 really mature-looking eggs at egg collection

^ Ten of your eggs fertilise normally and start to divide

^ You have one perfect-looking embryo ready for transfer

^ You have seven other perfect-looking embryos that can be frozen and kept for later

Such reports would make anyone on IVF feel on top of the world. But if you're over 38 years of age or have had a previous unsuccessful cycle with very few follicles and eggs and poor-quality embryos, your expectations will probably be pretty low when you try again. In that case, the following progress reports may make you feel very happy:

^ Your scan shows that you have four large follicles ^ Your oestradiol level is rising and indicates that the eggs are mature ^ You get four eggs at egg collection and they all look great ^ Three of your eggs fertilise normally and divide at the expected rate ^ You have a beautiful cleavage stage embryo ready for transfer ^ The remaining two embryos can be frozen and kept for later

It's fair to say that news about the progress of your IVF cycle is always good if it matches or is better than what you expect.

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Guide

A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.

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