Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Failing, and Learning

They say that failure is your biggest teacher. And if you can learn from other's failures, all the more bravo! :)

Two of our IVF cycles have been unsuccessful, and i thought it might be good to write about some cause of IVF failures., ( Like every blogger, i imagine millions and millions of readers, who are simply waiting to read my blog :) ). Sometimes knowing about the reasons for being unsuccessful can help you cope with it better, at least in the case of an IVF. So Here goes.

An oft quoted reason for IVF Implantation Failure owing to poor egg quality. Implantation Failure occurs when pregnancy does not occur, even though fertilized embryos are formed in the test tube. What confuses here is, you would think that once the fertilization occur and embryos are formed, how can quality of eggs be blamed for failure? Here's how it works. You see, the egg performs two functions - first it enables formation of embryo after fusing with the sperm, and once embryo has  been formed, acts as the battery that powers the cell multiplication in the embryo. ( i love this battery analogy :) )  Something has to fuel the cell multiplication within the embryo - the egg is this "something". So if the egg Quality is bad, the egg would run out of battery power even before the cell multiplication within the embryo reaches the critical mass to cause a pregnancy. Imagine a line at which the group of cells in the embryo crosses over to becoming a small living organism. The egg has to provide external power at least till this line, at least. If the battery dies down before this line, well, we go back to square 1.

The easiest way to resolve this would be to undergo medication for making the egg quality better. As with our Dr, i think every Dr would have a standard set of medicines to get this effect. Generally this would take a cycle of 3 months.

Another oft mentioned reason is  "endometriosis" ( am a little lost here :), for generic aspect of this reason. ).  As the Drs say, we cant always pin point the reason, but we could analyze the data to find the most probable cause. Owing to endometriosis, our Dr said that that there was some amount of blood while doing the implantation ( which is a common symptom in endometriosis patients ) - But then, this is not a confirmed Villain. Apparently, endometriosis patients with indication of blood while embryo transfer have also had successful IVF. But it looks a "most probable cause". As the doc says, for a woman, there are only two things that matter for an IVF - The uterus and the egg quality.If the egg is of good quality (which will show up in the growth of the embryo, especially if you do the 5th day transfer) , it might be receptive environment of the uterus and the presence of blood that could cause an IVF failure. "Might have" :)

If Dr quotes this as the reason, the usual way to handle this  would be to give yourself time for couple of months with medically suppressed periods. This would remove this issue of having blood spots during the IVF cycle after this gap.