Friday, January 7, 2011

Not-so-fun Online Predictor of IVF Success

Want to know if IVF will work for you? You like taking quizzes? Then this is for you. Some Brits created a handy little online quiz which will predict your success at IVF. You can find it here. I hate it.

I put in my stats for my first IVF, and it said I had a 29% chance. My second will have a 17.6% chance. I don’t like these numbers. I liked my doctor’s crazy optimism that I was an “easy case” – except after my IVF failed… Then I didn’t like it anymore. Apparently not so easy. According to the SART report, my clinic has 49% of retrievals resulting in live births, and 53% of transfers resulting in live births for my age group. I liked those numbers enough to go forward with IVF, but now I don’t – I don’t really believe any of it. Oh, and I just had the pleasure of seeing the percent of transfers of frozen embryos resulting in live births is 21% for my clinic. Fan-freakin-tastic. So what is it really? Slim to none?

Oh and will someone remind me to not talk to my husband about anything related to IVF unless it’s absolutely necessary? I knew this before, but things have been going really well with us lately so I just did something stupid. I sent the link above to him, and told him the 29% and 17.6% chance numbers. He responded via email, “Dumb – another thing you found to be pessimistic – good job.” And I responded, “Really? You converted this into insulting me? Unbelievable.” (which was dumb – I should have just ignored it) And he responded, “You are unbelievable. I think we should wait a year before we do anything else.” And then he declined the outlook invitation I had sent him for the WTF appointment with the doctor on Monday.

Before anyone (besides me) freaks out, please know – this isn’t real. He’s not really saying that we should wait a year. He’s throwing a temper tantrum. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again. I just talked with my therapist a couple days ago about communicating with the hubs. I know I can’t change him, but I can change how I respond to him. A year ago, I would have burst into tears (ok, I’ll admit, I just cried a little), and sent back an email continuing the fight, saying pissy things. Maybe something dramatic like “I can’t believe you immediately jump to calling everything off – don’t be ridiculous.” Or even, “I don’t need you anyway – we now have frozen embryos that I can use!” (Of course, he does have to sign consent forms… Don’t hate me because I’ve thought about this.) My therapist calls this being an adolescent. She tells me to stay in my adult. React in a rational adult way. I have to figure out how to do this. Right now, I don’t trust myself to respond. And so I don’t.

I know this will blow over – it always does – but I didn’t want this today. And so I move on with my life. I’m working like crazy, expecting a layoff, looking forward to Monday’s doctor appointment (I can go by myself – been to plenty by myself), and trying to make it through January without thinking too much of my sweet baby’s estimated due date coming up in a couple weeks. Other than that, now I have to figure out how to resolve this stupid husband thing…

42 comments:

  1. ugh. what a SHITTY day. I'm sorry you and your husband are having a rough time. who could blame you?

    Seriously, why do they even HAVE that calculator online? I went through and put all the most optimistic things in (including that I was 18 y/o) and it gave me a 39%. Bullshit.

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  2. What crap. I, personally, no longer believe in statistics at all. For me, everything that most people think of as a sure thing has been reduced to 50:50 odds (such as a live birth at the end of this pregnancy), and everything that other people rate even marginally probable (such as getting or staying pregnant) seems more like 1-2% chance...

    The stats were against me for a long time, so why not?

    However, I admit it is a uselessly pessimistic attitude. I just 'get' it, totally. I'm right there with you.

    I think one of your FET's will work. Try 2, and if those don't stick, just have them put the rest in there!! Then try another clinic with higher success rates. Honestly, they do learn something from your past failures, so it isn't like it's totally starting from scratch.

    And good luck patching things with your husband-- perhaps get some yummy cocktail fixings tonight ;). That would work on ME!!

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  3. I hate all pregnancy-related calculators! They are so off, from one to the next. I'm sure those statistics scare you, but don't put too much faith in them. Sorry about the email battle too - too much going on in your world right now to add to it.

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  4. I've noticed that my partner has a hard time dealing with my negative thoughts and insecurities also. I never realized how differently men and women tend to cope until infertility. I hope you and the hubs can work through this snag and go to the appointment together. Maybe there you can discuss with your doctor what s/he thinks your success at IVF #2 will be, given the specific info about you, the hubs and your diagnosis. I find success rates very confusing because most clinics don't publish them for individual diagnosis, just age. And, as you know, even some of the best clinics publish success rates at only 34%, 40%, etc. Anyway, I'm sending you a hug today because it sounds like you could use one.
    I hope your appointment gives you some answers and the knowledge to create a better protocol for the next round. xoxo

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  5. Good for you and all of your hard work in therapy. We can control our behaviors! Things may make us feel bad, but we don't need to act on them.

    I read an article about this calculator. I guess I should try it. Blech. I think your stats are higher really, but I am not a real doctor. I just play one on Tv. ;)

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  7. So for my first cycle it gave me a 33.1% chance of live birth. If I were to do another cycle now, it gave me a 24.1% chance. Weird. I am not sure how I feel about this calculator. I don't like how it didn't give an ectopic as an option because option is not the same as "pregnancy that didn't work."

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  8. 24.9% chance if I were to do IVF. Another reason to add to why I don't think I will ever be doing IVF. The amount of money vs. the chance. Ugh.(Totally not meant to sound negative toward others who do IVF - you all are my heros.)

    Marriage is such hard work. I'm sorry you both are having issues. R and I are good right now but we haven't always been and many times our fights stem from IF-related discussions.

    I hope he finds a better way to communicate with you than by throwing tantrums - communication and honesty are everything in a relationship (imo).

    Sending happy thoughts your way!

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  9. I took the quiz, it gave me a 29% success rate (assuming this is my first cycle). However, my first IVF cycle gave me my adorable little boy. Don't put much stock into this quiz. There are way too many factors involved to be covered by an online quiz.

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  10. Oh I am so sorry!! And that calculator is b.s., in my opinion. I did the same thing Lulu did...and yeah, never got great odds.

    I hope you and your DH work this out quickly! I know how hard it is to be going through all this stuff!

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  11. I think that calculator is kind of ridiculous. For one thing, from what I've read, second cycles are actually more likely to work than first because the doctors understand how you respond better than previously. Also, it is very likely that those estimates are for single embryo transfer because I believe that is what is recommended in the UK. And, your doctor knows you better than the ridiculously limited options on that survey. Of course, it is still hard not to get depressed by it, though.

    I'm sorry your DH is feeling stressed with all of it. It's hard when we respond differently to these things.

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  12. Man can suck. Mine does that too. I've been working on ignoring his immature behavior and trying to always respond positively. It blows being the adult one.

    I took the quiz and it gave me a 22.5% for my first one. I didn't even look at the second one. They can kiss my a**!!! I say we only listen to hopeful quizzes.

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  13. I am sorry you are having a rough day. I was floored when my results came back at 39%! Come on now! Then, I changed my age to 18 and my results were only 45%! We all know that's not true! These calculators are horse shit!
    Sorry you are hubs got into a fight. It is so easy to get into fights when you are going through this process. Last night I was complaining about doing all of my husband's dishes and he said "well, I am paying for ALL of your fertility!" I was like "I can't believe you just said that?" Then, I gave him the cold shoulder for the next hour until he apologized. I know they are just stressed out and say things they don't mean. Hang in there!!!

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  14. (((Hugs))) I am so sorry you and your hubs are having such a rough time. I'm proud of you for quitting fighting. That's something that is really hard to do--walking away from an unresolved argument. I hope things clear themselves up soon.

    As to the IVF success calculator, it must have really sucked to look at results like that. I'm sorry you found it so depressing and that your hubs was less than understanding. That must have really stung. More (((hugs))).

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  15. That calculator is bullshit. How exactly can a computer tell of a success where so many factors are at play? 9 silly questions cannot predict success for anything.

    BTW, mine says 20%. Bullcrap.

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  16. Ok, when did it become acceptable to put together an online quiz about one's odds of success with IF treatments?! I am so infuriated that I'm not even going to go on the site.

    I think I'm not alone when I say that in my relationship, I have always been the pessimistic one while DH has been the "wait and see" part of the duo. Maybe b/c we're the ones hopped up on hormones or the ones who have the bio need to have children, but for some reason men are able to take a back seat and act wise.

    I'm sure your DH was just as upset as you able those stupid odds on the quiz, but he's choosing not to let it deter him from pursuing IVF. And he wants you to be as strong willed as he. It's understandable and yet infuriating when you're in the heat of it.

    Hang in there. Keep us posted on Monday's appt.

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  17. Ick! What a website. I entered my stats from ivf #1 and it was 21%. Even though it was right, it's still a depressing site.

    Hope you have a fight-free weekend with your DH. Best wishes on Monday too.

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  18. IF takes its toll in the smallest of ways and Boyfriend and I used to argue over emails which we solved by only saying dirty fun stuff now at random. You have to try it, I promise you'll both laugh. Save the numbers and the IVF talks for face to face that way a massage can be thrown in to soften the blow.

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  19. I don't put much stock in stats anymore - like lesley, being on the crap side of stats for so many different times - and falling on the good side with IUIs ~ and then getting pregnant with no help - my conclusion is it's all a total crap shoot. Who the hell knows, right? I would feel the same way about the stat tracker and my husband would see the positive side of it, always the way we fell on the IF outlook.

    I'm sorry that your husband reacted like that - I know he's probably trying to get you to be more positive, but umm, this is not the right way to be supportive!

    Best of luck for Monday's appointment and I hope things get straightened up with hubs over the weekend. I'm sure it will.

    Hugs.

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  20. oh yea and i just took the quiz - piece of crap! So much info they don't account for. they didn't even have DOR as a factor, so, yea, I wouldn't think for two seconds about the result it gave you. Load of crap!

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  21. I didn't fare much better either. 32% chance of success. Stupid retarded useless survey. Gah! Personally, I don't think they asked enough questions in that poll. Whatev's.

    Here's hoping your hubby comes around and you don't have to go it alone to your WTF meeting. *hugs*

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  22. I think that so far, I have the least chance of success (20.5%) of other commenters. What do I win?! I have issues with my better half, but it usually involves no communication/response to yet another BFN. I sometimes get the impression that mine thinks that a) we have plenty of time and b) this will all work out in the end. Hope things go well at your appointment!

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  23. I so feel you on the immature husband front. Mine will actually break out the silent treatment and stomp around the house like a little baby. It's annoying and I hate having to talk him out of it, because if I don't keep talking to him, it will last for DAYS. It's obnoxious! Don't be bummed about statistics, there's a reason that they are averages, some people do really well, and others don't. I'm hoping that you will be one of the really good responders! It's okay to be negative every now and then too, it's how our minds process things, and if we didn't have negativity, we couldn't have hope and happiness :)

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  24. I just went through that test, just for the heck of it, based on if we had wanted to do IVF right before I got pregnant (with clomid). It only gave me a 30% chance. And I would think I would have about as high a chance as anyone, with no history of anything and only one diagnosed problem (irregular ovulation). So I'm guessing their stats are just on a different scale than most IVF clinics--maybe more realistic, maybe not. Just don't base too much on an online quiz.

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  25. I've tried that calculator too, and it gave me a 29.5% success on the 2nd IVF, booooo! It cannot predict anything, it doesn't even take into account how many embryos are going to be transferred, and that can increase the chances of live birth. I hope after reading all the comments you are feeling better.

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  26. That calculator can eat me. I can't even plug my stats into it, so I have to go with "unkown" and either leave off 3 miscarriages and a failed IVF, or leave off all 4 m/c but include a failed IVF, and it still gives me 26-28%. So, yeah. Let's just not believe it, whaddya say?

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  27. That calculator is a piece of shit. I got 29% odds. Whatever. I'm sorry about you and your hubby. Hopefully you guys make up quickly. Good for you for not responding though. That was good. =)

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  28. Oh man on the hubs...to be honest think this is some kind of male thing....My hubs acts like this when he is stressed at work or when we were going through treatment or sometimes when we get bad news during our pregnancy...I think n my husbands case he doesnt know how to react/process things properly so instead acts like this which makes the situation ten times worse...I will say he has tried to work on this a ton in last six months because I expressed how stressed out it makes me when he acts like a two yr old during really critical times when I need support and now if he starts in I just take myself out of the situation and tell him we will talk later and that usually helps...but I will admit sometimes I dont walk away and fight back but Ive found that just brings things to a a whole new level...not a good one so I try not to go there....anyways just thought I would let you know your not the only one with a hubs that acts out sometimes...Maybe its there man period?

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  29. I am pretty sure I am goIng to avoid that quiz. Sorry for the shitty exchange with your hubs but from what you said, good work. I have be down the road of being reactionary and irrational to something hubs say, way to recognize a trigger and not let it suck you in. It is hard to be positive after a bfn especially when you had such a rockin' cycle. Hubs just wants you to be positive. Being negative won't change the outcome but it will make life a little easier if you try to believe. I believe for you, really I do!

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  30. It's funny you posted that link. One of my friends shared it with me the other day. I did not have a very good outcome either.

    BIG HUGS. My DH gives me trouble, too. He thinks I talk about IVF and IF too much. How can I help it?! I can relate. I hope things become smoother between you guys. I think it's great that you could stay calm. I would have been pissed, too.

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  31. Hey Alex, I am so sorry you are having this issue with the hubs. It is so hard for the guy to understand that you are so invested in this working. No matter how you explain your feelings, I think it's different for us girls cos it's our body and our drive to have the baby. I have complete faith in you & your body-those odds are crap. You were able to get pregnant from IUI's! Something I was never able to do. I guess what I mean is that statistically IUI's are less succesful than IVF so for that to work, I truly believe IVF will work in the future too. Thinking of you and here if you ever need. Take care xxxooo

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  32. I am so sorry you're going through this with your husband. =( I hope things improve soon. And that quiz sucks, I got a 35% (which if they asked about my embryo quality from my 1st IVF would have been lower for sure) and somehow have quads ... so yeah, my money is on you having better odds than 17%. Stupid quiz! *hugs*

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  33. I really hope you had a good weekend despite the argue! I'm sorry you are struggling with the communication. My partner is very practical and I'm the one that reacts emotionally. You have been through a lot together. I so wish this will work out for you guys in the end.

    And for the quiz, I have seen it but don't really know what I think about it. Everyone is different and every time can be different as well due to the situation in the moment. I think you shouldn't take it as the truth, talk to your Doctors instead, and hear what they have to say about your chances. Good luck on Monday.

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  34. I did that IVF quiz a few days ago. IVF #2 worked for me, but I wanted to know what odds that quiz would have given me. It said 17%, same as for you. There are so many important factors that aren't even considered here!! I only have one ovary and got only 3 embryos to work with. I would think the odds for you are MUCH better than for me, since you seem to respond VERY well to the meds.

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  35. I hate who infertility makes us, and I hate what it does to our marriages. Even though we usually end up stronger for it in the end, the fights that erupt because of it are so much more painful than just a normal fight. They are so much more emotional, and they have so much more weight to them.

    I can promise you one thing, it will all be worth it.

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  36. Ugh, Alex. I'm sorry:( For what it's worth, I don't put much stock in those things. There are too many people who fall outside the curve, and those things can't account for every little variable at work in our situations. Your hubs' reaction was ungenerous. BUT this type of thing can also bring out the worst in everyone, and I am hoping that it has since blown over.

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  37. I just remembered this post and came back to see what other commenters were saying. I have been cracking up. I love it! "That calculator can eat me." "That calculator is a piece of shit." "That calculator is bullshit."

    Say what you want about us infertiles, but we could teach a class on SOLIDARITY!

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  38. I hate statistics...seriously, they suck! Just ignore that bogus calculator and go with the stats from your doc and co-worker!

    I'm SO sorry about the difficulties with hubs. I think men just deal with infertility so differently than we do, it's hard to see eye to eye. I know hubs and I had some doozies during treatments. He was always so practical and calm and I was super emotional.

    (((hugs)))

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  39. This calculator sucks. I think your better off going with your clinics stats.
    Sorry about the crappy husband fight, hopefully everything is back to normal. IF sucks.

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  40. Ugh. Both you and your husband are stressed (who wouldn't be?) and this just just makes everybody snappy and irritable...it sucks that anybody is put through the wringer like this.

    I'm a huge believer in destiny (since it greatly contributes to keeps me sane). So if your baby is meant to come out of the next try, it will, even if that stupid calculator told you there was only a 0.000001 % chance of it happening!

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    Replies
    1. I took the test and was given a 16% chance. Obnoxious!!! Thanx for making
      me feel like shite, causing stress and decreasing my odds even more. Might I suggest we all go to their "help us improve our test" link and tell them to stuff it up their insensitive arses! My hubs has been great so far, but men will be boys so I do most of my complaining to the dog :)

      Delete
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