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05/24/2004

Scorecard

I am largely ambivalent about this cycle because I'm not ultimately convinced it was any better than the ones I've done locally.

Let's run the numbers comparing it to my last local attempt.

Eggs retrieved
Locally: 9
Cornell: 11

Appropriate for ICSI
Locally: 3
Cornell: 4

Fertilized
Locally: 2
Cornell: 3

Available for transfer
Locally: 2 (8 cells, good quality; 4 cells, poor quality)
Cornell: 2 (8 cells, good quality; 6 cells, good quality)

Now, that single additional good one represents a 100% increase in the number of quality embryos we were able to transfer. But when we're talking about such small numbers, is the increase really significant? If I'd gone from, say, six embryos to a dozen, I'd say that was impressive, and surely the result of a change in protocol. But going from one to two seems just as likely to be happenstance.

Was it protocol or chance?

Is a single additional embryo — possibly a fluke, not to be repeated — enough to justify a future attempt?

Is that increase of one embryo worth the increased expenditure of approximately $8,500?

If I do get pregnant, of course I'll say it was. If I don't, I suspect I'll believe it was not. That's why it seems important to think about the question before my perception gets colored by either euphoria or despair.

Yet I realize that the proof is in the pudding, or rather in the melting cherry Jello that might or might not dribble down my legs come the middle of next week. While it's true that it only takes one, it takes a good one, the right one, and with numbers like these I'm just not sure I like the odds.

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