Thursday, April 10, 2014

MiM Mail: Banking for the future?

Hi Mothers in Medicine,

I am writing to ask for advice. I am a 28-year-old 2nd year medical student about to take Step 1. I got married last year. I don't want to have children until I am done with residency but I'm not sure how long residency will last because I'm not sure what I want to go into. I recently became aware of an opportunity to participate in a research study of natural IVF that would offer me a free cycle. I love the idea of having my eggs (or maybe an embryo) stored away for future use and not having to worry about my fertility anymore. I hate procedures though and I have a lot of anxiety about pain-inducing procedures (like egg retrieval). Can anybody give me some perspective on this?

Thanks!

6 comments:

  1. I was your age when I started med school, and after all that training now I'm finally trying to have a child. Only I got dx'd with a pituitary tumor during residency, which has left me infertile. Now I'm not only old (40) but can't conceive naturally. I did my first IVF cycle this winter, and although I got pregnant, I had a miscarriage. So I'm still on the path...

    Anyway, my point to you is that you never know what could happen. I'd do it. The only reason I got dx'd with the tumor was because, like you, I thought maybe I'd like to get pregnant after residency but didn't know when that would be... so I went to a doc to discuss fertility and possible egg freezing. I hadn't hd a period in a year so that sparked the diagnostic train.

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  2. (Continued) As far as the procedure goes, it's not that bad. You get IV sedation, and I don't remember a thing. There are of course risks of OHSS etc, but overall I tolerated the whole process well. You do have to inject yourself with hormones prior to the egg retrieval, but they are also not as bad as people would lead you to believe. It's just a short 30g needle you inject into your belly fat every night for about 1-2 weeks.

    If you read about IVF online you'll get all sorts of people saying how awful it is; I didn't find that at all. Take a look at my website (practicebalance.com) - I have a few posts about my experience there. Good luck!

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  3. I used IVF for my daughter, then easily conceived my son the old-fashioned way(!! - it happens a lot, it seems). Anyway, you'll have to deal with a lot of blood draws and self-injection, which to me was no big deal. Like the previous poster, I was under deep sedation during the egg retrieval and I don't remember a thing. I think I have heard that some places don't do conscious sedation, though, so you may want to inquire. I did get OHSS which is HORRID, but from what I understand, this usually only occurs (or is much worse) if you get pregnant. I had to have a paracentesis and had to cancel an overseas trip. I would have no hesitation doing it again if I needed to, but I'm not 100% sure that I would do it in the circumstance you describe. I was 33 at the time and got something like 17 eggs. 8 embryos made it to day 5 and I did a single embryo transfer -- that is now my daughter. Now I have 7 embryos in the freezer and probably will never use them. I'm paying over $100/month for embryo strorage. Yet I can't bear to give the order to thaw them. And for you, frozen embryo transfer is by no means a guarantee. Without knowing your situation, I think you should consider having a child by your early 30s...maybe 4th year med school, 3rd year residency, etc. I am posting this under my ancient IVF blog. The relevant part for you would be April-May 2008.

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    1. Sorry... the blog, if you are interested, is http://destinationbaby.blogspot.com

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  4. Are there any risks in birth or health defects for frozen embryos vs natural conception?

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    1. Statistically there is a higher rate of miscarriage and/or complication with frozen embryo/IVF, but this is a factor of the population pool that mainly uses IVF. They tend to be older women who have medical problems, so the relationship is correlative and not necessarily causative.

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