RBA: Unanswered questions

Here are a few unanswered questions I would like to ask Dr. Shapiro during my phone consult on the 30th. (The new patient coordinator no longer fields my questions, I guess because I was asking too many–imagine that. One thing I’ve never been accused of: being not thorough enough.)

Will you tell me how long the eggs have been frozen–the year they were vitrified?

Does the length of time the eggs were frozen affect survival and fertilization rates?

Have all the eggs in the bank been vitrified in the same way?

Is there any risk of choosing eggs that have been frozen in an outdated or little-practiced way?

Have all the donors relinquished their legal rights to offspring?

Can I ask if the donor is “proven” or is a mother—for each donor in the bank I am considering?

***Important question: I want to do a double embryo transfer because I want twins. Are you okay with this? Will you support this desire or try to persuade me not to?

What are the added risks when pregnant with twins? Can you please give me some statistical information concerning the risks?


***Another important question: The deal is: I want more than one child. Will you stop thawing and fertilizing once you have achieved one high-quality embryo? Because I want frozen backups. I want future siblings.

Would you say that there is a 50% chance I will have frozens leftover, and if so, what is the average # of embryos I will have leftover?


When do we pay the 30K?

What is the “Profile with $500 deposit,” and when do we pay the $500?

I think that about covers it. Let me know, cyberspace sisters, if you can think of anything I’m not thinking of. I greatly appreciate the input I’ve had from you so far (you’ve helped me come up with half of these questions!).







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  1. Good list! After you ask the question about the donor relinquishing rights, you also need to ask how they legally become yours! I doubt you and the donor will be able to sign the contract together, cause they are probably long gone. So what will you sign that makes them legally yours?

    Also, do they have a policy as far as contact? Even if it is anonymous, do they stay in touch with the clinic and notify them if they find out about significant health issues in their family?

    What are the hard stuff – discarding embryos, donating ones you don’t use, or even, god forbid, needing a termination if your health is at risk. Will you be able to make all of these choices?

    I know that these are not the most fun to think about .

    Good luck!

  2. AB

     /  April 4, 2013

    Thanks for this list – we are treading into this territory ourselves, and while I’m not sure if we’ll go for the guaranteed package, it’s been very useful reading your posts.
    I have read that embryos carried by you are considered yours, unlike embryos carried by a surrogate – once the eggs are relinquished, that’s it.
    Have you asked them how long you will have to wait between cycles if a cycle doesn’t work? I’m on Lupron now for what will be a one-time FET with my own embryos (the only set that were not PGD, and given my lousy rate of abnormal embryos, this is a shot in the dark), and the cycle is ~6 weeks before transfer. I have no idea how long it will be before my body is considered “back to normal” if this doesn’t work…

    • that’s a great question—i don’t know how long i would have to wait, but it would be good to know. good to know how much time it would take to actually do all 10 transfers, should it come to that. ah, the best of luck with that FET. let me know if your doc can tell you how long before you’ll be considered back to baseline.

  3. These are amazing questions. I need to get better about writing things down, because I always seem to freeze and forget everything when I walk into my RE’s office. Then I spend the walk out to the car cursing my brain.

  4. Thanks for this list! I borrowed some of your questions for my consult tomorrow :) I will report back afterwards.


     /  September 14, 2016

    How was your experience with the Dr. S’s admin during your treatment at the center?

    • I thought he was an excellent admin of his own stuff and that he had a great staff. The donor coordinator was a delight to correspond with. They were very organized in general at RBA and did not lose track of anything. Billing was pretty easy, too. Only problems I had were a) when the nurse didn’t notify the appropriate people that my mom was accompanying me to my transfer (both of us from out of town) and they almost didn’t allow her in, which was stress I didn’t need at that moment, and b) they didn’t call DH back to give his sample for fertilization during his time slot because they didn’t note that he was there for his appointment (!). They kept assuring me that it didn’t matter because they had not thawed the eggs yet, but the last thing I wanted was for our fertilization to be squeezed into another time slot. They assured me, but when so much is resting on these things you want everything to go perfectly!


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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