My DE coordinator sent me my schedule of meds for this cycle. It's pretty exciting to be moving ahead or at least doing something. Also, I'm not stressing out about this. It may be because I've changed my diet and no longer eat sugar (which can affect freaky out nerves), but also, I just feel intuitively that this is the right thing to do whether or not we actually get pregnant. I'm sure many veterans feel the same way at the beginning of a cycle when they don't know what will happen. But I do feel like we're on the right path.
I have to also admit that sometimes I get surprised when I read about other people's protocols at their clinics. I'm a research academic in the social sciences at a research intensive university. I don't make decisions to do things without thoroughly researching what I am doing. In fact, a friend and I were talking yesterday about how annoying it was to (think we) know more than our doctor does about our own particular fertility issues.
In any case, it worries me that clinics vary so much in their IVF or DE protocols. I'm less concerned about medical protocls (which already, I see differences between the two clinics in the number of estrogen patches they want me to use and when to change them as well as the amount of lupron they want me to use), but more on basic things like regularly scheduling 3 day instead of 5 day embryo transfer. The research solidly shows that 5 day transfers are more likely to be successful. Yet most of the folks I'm following in the blogosphere have clinics who routinely do a 3 day transfer. Both of the clinics I've worked with only do a 3 day transfer when things look really crappy, a sort of Hail Mary pass to your uterus. And they all grow the embryos out past 5 days before they freeze them to get the best ones possible.
This freaks me the freak out. Why are so many clinics not following the "best" practices for successful IVF and DE outcomes? 5 day transfers have double the success rates of 3 day transfers, no matter what the age of the mother. Why do some clinics continue to use 3 day transfers as their default? It also makes me a little angry, too, that other women who want a child just as much as I do are not getting the best chance they can. And I blame the doctors.