Friday, March 16, 2012

Retrospect - ICSI

There are some decisions we made in the infertility process that I have been thinking about in retrospect and since vision is always 20/20 after the tincture of time I thought I would start to comment on them over a few posts. (Plus I needed something to distract me from my current nausea and vomiting.)

None of this is meant to be medical advice (remember I am not an infertility specialist) - just the decisions we made in our journey and how I feel about that now.

ICSI - this is the biggest one I have been thinking about lately.  Husband has great sperm - I was very lucky for that.  We were dealing with so many issues on the female side it was nice to actually have his stuff working.  So ICSI was initially completely optional for us.  We got lots of eggs retrieved and we probably would have had more than enough with normal insemination and the ICSI.   We really wanted this to be as minimally invasive to the embryo as possible (a crazy thought in retrospect) so we initially were not going to do it. . .  EXCEPT that we found the presence of anti-sperm antibodies.  So we decided to just pay the extra to do ICSI.

Boy was that a good decision.   It was piece of mind that we were giving every egg the best chance for fertilization but the thing I didn't appreciate at the time was the possible increase in number of embryos.  Now I will be the first to admit we had an incredible amount of luck in getting all the embryos we did but ICSI most likely played a role in that.   There is nothing that has made me feel better about this infertility process thank to think about the next pregnancy knowing that a) my children are frozen with the downs risk of a 34 year old b) that I (likely) will never have to stimulate these ovaries again.  Also, on the financial side - the money we will save by getting pregnant through frozen cycle(s) in the future far exceeds the cost of the ICSI

We always had the goal to keep things as "natural" as possible.  We are both believers in science but we are also believers in 'if it ain't broke don't fix it".  While science can approximate a natural process, there are limitations and long term unknowns.  Still because of the above reasons I am happy we chose to do ICSI.  Its also funny now that people ask me if I am planning a "natural birth" -I figure there has been nothing natural about the way she got in the uterus - I don't care about how natural it is when she comes out.  Poke me with needles, give me meds, cut me open if needed - healthy is all I am going for.


  1. I actually have a post waiting to be finished on the topic of 'natural birth' post IVF. I agree with you 100%!!

  2. Amen!! Can't wait to hear about the little one.

  3. Hope your n/v is better! is that pregnancy related? I did ICSI and am glad I didn't take a gamble on just letting the sperm do their thing. My husband takes zyrtec and also the morphology was low, so it was recommended for us. I'm hoping for a natural birth, but am going to just roll with whatever happens if epidural and/or c-section are necessary. I just want healthy live baby too!

  4. I agree with you 100% on the natural birth part. I have told my DH numerous times that I am going to be growing (hopefully) a human being inside me and one way or the other it's coming out. I figure that is big enough, I don't need to be superman and do it all "naturally". Besides, I figure that unless you're going to drop the baby in the middle of a field and keep going, it's not truly natural. Medicine and science are here for a reason. And I actually said to DH the other day that "it is taking so much science and unnatural stuff to get a pregnancy, if I'll go to any extent to get that baby in there, I don't care what has to happen to get it out". I think your attitude is awesome!