A dozen blastocysts!

Sorry for the late response after my egg retrieval, I have been having pain due to the constipation. Word of advance: follow all directions from your doctor even if the next line reads suppository or enema just do it. It’s worse to wait just trust me, still learning all of the effects. I rode my bike Saturday which may have adjusted my swollen ovaries and begin giving me these very sharp pains in my ovaries and lower intestine area. My doctor has further banned biking for a couple of weeks. Constipation can be embarrassing, but regardless, you have to deal with it or yes, all hell will break loose.

Besides all that, I feel fine, retrieval went very well. They were able to retrieve 19 eggs. I woke up feeling super sleepy and drunk-like. After consuming a couple packs of crackers to feed the hunger of my 15 hour fast, we were on our way. I took one of the pain killers I was prescribed and slept till dinner time. I woke up feeling like a champ – that was – until Friday when I gave into the list when those not so  nice hiney words.

TUESDAY: Doctor called to confirmed that 16 of the 19 retrieved eggs were mature enough to be fertilized. Weird even to type that because at this moment we had 16 little little babies. Exciting!

THURSDAY: Doctor called to confirm 14 of the 16 fertilized eggs had made it today 3.

SUNDAY: Doctor called to confirm 12 retrieved eggs had become blastocysts and were being frozen to use for a future transfer. Hearing this number was amazing. I know I was planning for 20 but, hey, one dozen sounds good to me too.

The Gardner blastocyst grading system assigns 3 separate quality scores to each blastocyst embryo:

  1. Blastocyst development stage – expansion and hatching status
  2. Inner cell mass (ICM) score, or quality
  3. Trophectoderm (TE) score, or quality
Blastocyst development and stage status

Blastocoel cavity less than half the volume of the embryo


Blastocoel cavity more than half the volume of the embryo


Full blastocyst, cavity completely filling the embryo


Expanded blastocyst, cavity larger than the embryo, with thinning of the shell


Hatching out of the shell


Hatched out of the shell

ICM grade

Inner cell mass quality


Many cells, tightly packed


Several cells, loosely grouped


Very few cells

TE grade

Trophectoderm quality


Many cells, forming a cohesive layer


Few cells, forming a loose epithelium


Very few large cells

Our 12 blastocysts include 7 that are grade 4AA, which means they are in very good shape for transfer!!!

It is only a matter of a month or so now!  We are so excited!

Till next time,

♦ Kay




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