Monday, April 5, 2010

Statistics

I saw a survey on a message board I frequent about which IVF cycle resulted in a BFP, and about 50% said it was IVF #1, 30% said IVF #2, and then a decreasing percentage for each subsequent IVF. This makes sense and I knew this fact on some level, but I felt like I got punched in the gut reading it. Like I already missed my "big chance" on IVF #1 and have now moved into the "lower odds" neighborhood.

The feeling is very similar to when we first started TTC. I read that, roughly, 25% of couples conceive the first month of TTC, 40% within the first 3 months, 70% within the first 6 months, and 85% within the first year. With each passing month I felt the likelihood that I would conceive decreased, while the likelihood that I would face infertility increased. I could have still ended up "normal" and pregnant at any point in that year...but the further away I got from the first month the closer I got to being in that feared 15% who are infertile.

And, now, I feel like I am starting a similar game of statistics with IVF, only the stakes are higher. Now it is not just a fear of "what will it take to conceive" with a little "will I ever conceive mixed in," but a full blown realization that I could be facing never having a biological child.

Statistics are such funny things - they are comforting on the front end, but become rather oppressive as you move inside of them. I have to remind myself that God does not always work within statistics (hello, that's a miracle!), but as my mathematical DH said proudly, "God is the creator of statistics!" (He believes that is yet another amazing quality of God). But I don't know which way God will operate with ME and MY LIFE.

And I am so thankful I am not just a statistic to him.

22 comments:

Ami said...

Hillary, I have to comment on this one to remind you how unimportant statistics can be...I got pregnant with triplets on my 5th IVF...

I was once where you are, playing the same mind games...and I sincerely hope you find it in yourself to remain positive and hopeful...I'm pretty sure that's how I finally got pregnant, despite the bleak statistics. :) Hang in there.

:) Ami

Aussie Girl said...

My FS said the odds of achieving a pregnancy go up with every IVF cycle, with 80% odds of success for the fourth attempt. I don't know where she got the info from, but I like it! She has also said it may take longer for us because we are fertilizing only two eggs each time and can't choose "the pick of the bunch" of embryos.

babygaga said...

Over 80% (I think it was more like 90%) of women who undergo IVF end up with baby after 5 treatments.
The odds are therefore really good that it will work in the end.

Rosie said...

It's hard not to get caught up in the numbers game. But you have something much more important than statistics, you have FAITH. It is your faith that has gotten you this far and it will continue to carry through your journey to become parents. I'll be praying for you! Don't give up.

Leah said...

Statistics always scared me. I know so many women who IVF did not work the first time, but ended up pregnant after subsequent IVF tries. I guess my logic tells me that the more times you try, the more chance you have it working. I still think you and your hubby have something wonderful going. His sperm fertilizes your eggs. That really is half the battle.

Thinking of you Hillary.

Jessica said...

Hey Hillary.
I might have been the one who posted that poll:) We got our results from our first IVF this week-BFN. So I know exactly how you feel. I also get so caught up in the numbers game. My husband and I laugh at the fact that we have beaten almost all the odds to get pregnant. But then last night I opened my Bible and randomly opened to Luke and the story of Elizabeth...It just helps remind me that miracles do happen and not to give up Hope. Good Luck.
Jessica

Elle said...

You can't dwell on that though! My friend's boss is finally pregnant after her fourth IVF, it will happen!

Hannah said...

Oh, I heard some of those same statistics with IF and wondered what's wrong with me. But like you said, God's not limited by statistics.
Hugs!

A said...

So many statistics can be skewed, but it is still hard to hear them and picture yourself overcoming the negative ones!! You have been at the forefront of my prayers lately (hug)

Anonymous said...

don't let the numbers get you down. I was told by a fertility specialist at a well known and respected fertility clinic that I had about a 3% chance of getting pregnant without IVF. 3 months later I was pregnant without drugs or doctors. Miracles do happen!

Rach said...

I read a stat that said 60% of couples need multiple IVF's. Which scares me because we only have the $$ for one.

It's so hard not to get bogged down with the numbers. I think you faith is better than a statistic any day!!

Al said...

*Hugs*

Don't focus on the numbers, and you haven't lost your opportunity...you still have a great chance. Your time is coming. :-)

Nichole said...

Ughhhh statistics I hated the college course, and I still don't like them today. Each one of us are individuals and I am certain you have not missed your chance!

((hugs))

kdactyl said...

Hillary...the way I see this statistic is this way...of all the couple who try IVF...80% achieve pregnancy within 2. 50% on the first try and 30% on the 2nd. It isn't that you only have a 30% chance on the next round...it is that you are part of the 30% who need two tries! Those are pretty good odds to me. I would take them. I was 40 years old, using my old eggs and battling my husband's severe male factor....We got pregnant with a healthy baby on the 2nd try. Our odds were much lower due to age alone....so don't get lost in the numbers...there are too many outside factors and each case is different.

Karaleen

Andrea said...

Hang in there sweet girl :)

I agree with "my statistics" from life observances. Every individual I know who has undergone IVF has achieved pregnancy...so that's not a bad statistic :) Although, they did not all achieve it on try #1 they stayed the course and were successful, just as you will be.

Keep the FAITH and don't put much stock in those statistics, as my OB said "they rarely poll enough people in a test group, therefore the results are skewed" I liked her ananolgy :)

Hugs and know that your miracle awaits you :)
xo

andreajennine said...

Oh, it's so hard to walk the right line in thinking about statistics. Yes, God is bigger than the numbers... but the numbers tell us something about the world God has created and how it works. It's helpful information... but it can wrongly make us anxious or fearful or doubting. I hated when people just dismissed the statistics as if they didn't matter... but I knew I needed to exercise faith to look past the numbers.
Then I conceived my baby on our fourth IVF (during our fifth year of trying), which we did despite 2 doctors telling us the odds were totally against us. Talk about beating the statistics!

addingtothepack said...

Statistics are not individuals. And you are definitely taking a different track from the typical IVF with your limited fertilization which must bring with it a whole new set of statistics.

Also, remember with the poll that 50% stopped trying after the first (because they were pg) -- so 30% getting pregnant on the 2nd is a greater than 50% success rate for those who kept going because only half were still trying. 60% of those who did a 2nd IVF got pregnant on that try. And so on down the line... (unless the question was worded weirdly or you could answer more than once and you have people responding for multiple pregnancies -- i.e. saying they got pg from #1 and #2)

stillwaitingformysunshine said...

I always try to remember the statistics I like and forget the ones I don't...or that i'll be an exception to the rule (in a good way). I'm hoping that things just get better and better for you!

AplusB said...

The statistics can be brutal. I am so glad your faith is sustaining you through this.

One Who Understands said...

Oh aren't we all drowning in a sea of statistics. You are totally right, we are not statistics to God. Thank goodness for that! Hang in there friend. Your time will come.

Jenifer Hope said...

You are not a statistic! And keep in mind ( I am a therapist with a background in clinical therapy as well as research) studies are skewed. You do not always know how many people were sampled, where they found those people, what their medical issues are, etc. I pray for you and hope you do get to conceive. You are so strong and I envy your faith and how it gets you through!

Amy said...

Hang in there girl. I love what your DH said "God is the creator of statistics!" Your faith is an inspiration and I truly wish for your dreams to come true.