Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis-Baby's Beginning

My experiences of concieving our first child using preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The procedure

Well, I've read over the procedure, and there seems to be just one scary part - the egg extraction. Eeeww... I was worried about that. I thought to myself, "Self, how are they going to get the eggs out of there? They must have to stick something in me to get them out!" And yep, I was right. They'll pump drugs into me intreveniously (Ei yi yi yi yi), so that I'll be in a "light sleep", but not totally out like general anethesia, then they send in, through my precious vagina, an ultrasonically guided big needle (well actually I don't know how big the needle is), and the needle goes THROUGH the vaginal wall and in to extract the eggs.

Ahhhhh!! Please no! That sounds most unpleasant! I don't even like to think about it. So let's not. But the rest of the procedure sounds pretty okay. The other part I don't like is having to take hormones. For the first step,
  1. Ovulation Induction,
they give you some drugs so that you output a bunch of eggs at once, because multiple eggs are needed in order to ensure that enough disease-free eggs survive throughout the procedure to have at least one successfully implant for pregnancy. At first I thought that maybe we could just take it slow and just give them one egg per month, so I wouldn't have to take the drugs. But then when I think about the egg extraction procedure... eeee... nevermind! Give me the drugs! Also they give you hormones later to ensure that your uterus lining is thick for implantation. However, since I'm pretty young and healthy (I'm 24), I'm hoping I won't have to take those later hormones. I think many women that go through this procedure are older and might need extra stimulation. I'm really hoping I won't.

Step 2 I already talked about and won't go into that again -

2. Oocytes Aspiration (Egg extraction)

Step 3, oh here! My husband has to do something now! Isn't rather unfair, I have to go through so many procedures, nasty ones too, and finally when he has to do something, it's just so pleasurefull for him? Oh well, I'm still happy to be the one who gets to carry the baby inside me and help it grow.

3. Fertilization and culture of the embryo

Of course, they don't have to put a big needle into HIM and extract his sperm. He just provides it for them on call. I wish I could do the same for my eggs!! Culturing the embryo just means letting it grow. They let it grow to 4-8 cells large before step 4.

4. Polar Body Removal/Blastomere Biopsy

This is when they remove one of the cells from the embryo for testing. It doesn't hurt the embryo to remove it at this stage, because the cells are all alike and it'll just keep making more cells until it has enough. For the Polar Body case, they actually remove only part of the egg (before step 3) and just test the egg. This also doesn't hurt the egg. The Polar Body can only be done for diseases the mother has, obviously.

5. Genetic testing (of the embryo)

6. Embryo transfer and implantation

They put in back into me. Luckily, unlike taking the egg out, this procedure is very easy. They say it only takes a few minutes, no drugs or anethesia is used, and they say it doesn't feel any more uncomfortable than a pap smear. Good news to me. Only thing is, they usually put in more that one embryo, in case one doesn't want to implant for some reason. If they both implant, you'll get twins.

So, that's the procedure. And voila! I'll be pregnant! But not with twins I hope... just one at a time please.

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