The Protocol

There are various levels to IVF. Mrs Mango and I are on the “platinum-super-size- me- level-1” program. I am not sure of some of the earlier protocols as we jumped straight in at DEFCON 1, but I believe they go a little like this:

Level 5: some stimulant shots for your wife for (hopefully) some more eggs, add the Barry White CD, and hopefully kiddie

Level4: (IUI) stimulants again for the missus and this time dad is added manually via turkey baster <insert medical word sometime>, swims around for a while, does an Easter egg hunt, and hopefully kiddie

Level3: IVF – mum loaded up on stims, as we are now going to extract the eggs, and they will dance with dad in a dish somewhere. Growing kiddies are dropped back into mum 3 -5 days later  and 9 months later you have added to the human population

Level 2: IVF with ICSI. Same as level 3, but you have dopey tadpoles so they are injected into the eggs as they are too dumb to sort that out for themselves.

Level 1: IVF with ICSI and PGD. Same as level 2, but around the 3rd day after fertilization, they grab a cell out of jnr and test its genetic composition. Good ones are given back to mum to grow into healthy nuggets.

Our 1st cycle was at level 2. Our last 2 cycles were level 1

So for those out there who have no idea how this really works, he’s the cheat sheet. Think of drag racing. Your wife is put on a drug that acts like a hand brake, which shuts down her normal cycle. You then jab her full of stimulants for 7-10 days (hand brake still on, but you are now revving the engine, big time). Next step: you trigger (release the hand brake!!!) and you have a very tight window (36 hrs) to retrieve the eggs.  You then get into the counting game. Every step is an anxious hurdle you can trip on that kills your whole race (cycle): # eggs retrieved, # mature eggs, # fertilized eggs, # embryos that pass PGD, and then 3-4 days after retrieval (hopefully) # eggs transferred back. You then wait 2 weeks for a preg test and that’s about it.

The Players

Mr IVF and the Mango Princess are 2 “over 35” Australians who have been living largish (but sans alcohol these days) in NYC for the last 5-6 years. Mr IVF appears to have stupid tadpoles and busted nuts. He can grow a fair batch of little fellas (whats wrong with 5 million I ask you – how many frikkin taddies do you need?!?), but doesn’t seem to hit the bar of normal blokes who can clock up around 20 million. His tadpoles are also a bit stupid and don’t seem to like swimming and when they do swim they swim in circles or something. So, if my tadpoles had a car licence, they could park in the blue spot at the front of the supermarket.

From Mango’s point of view, she has passed every test they throw at her, well apart from the “carry a healthy baby full term” one, but thats not her fault, my dopey little fells could be behind this. For the uninitiated out there, the test women go though should qualify them to be astronauts, or as a min contenders on Its a Knockout (if that show was still on TV) or American Gladiator. She puts down her age (38th Birthday just passed in August) and potential lower egg quality as her rationale for being on the IVF tour of duty. Fair enough – we call it evens. It doesn’t really matter who between us “caused” this, we are both in this and it doesnt matter really what caused us to get here. We are lucky to have what science is available to help us.

Welcome to Mr IVF land!

Hello world,

This whole blogging world is new to me, but I thought I would give it a go to share with you a view of the IVF world from a blokes perspective.  My lovely wife (Mango Princess) and I have been married now for over 2 years and have just passed our 1st anniversary of riding  the IVF emotional roller coaster. We have renewed our season pass and are about to start our 4th cycle next week. We are excited to have another go, so thought I would blog it. It’s tough to find a lot of information around the male side of IVF and infertility so, to my brothers out there, I hope this post helps in your own quest. You are not alone.