Statistics Shmastistics (Tuesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. I feel that I was amusing yesterday. If you agree, please feel free to email your friends. If you disagree, let it be your own dirty little secret.) So what were we talking about? Oh right. How nobody at my first fertility clinic go-round bothered us with statistics.

We then proceeded to our second fertility clinic (it's like eating M & M's: You can't stop at just one) and found out how truly merciful that first joint had been.

We didn't know the success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) before I went through four cycles of it, but we suspected it might be a shot in the dark. Perhaps I should rephrase that.

The next step was IVF. My husband and I were thrown into a room with 4 or 5 other happy couples. Like most orientations, it was completely disorienting. (And the fluorescent lights didn't help any.)

We were all handed a stack of paperwork: Charts and percentage signs galore.

All I recall is that all roads led to: "We're screwed".

To refresh my memory, I just glanced a moment ago at the website of the clinic where I had my treatments. Happy to report, they are still in business.

It would be quite disconcerting to find I had put my money, trust, and family expansion in the hands of a prominent medical facility who, a few short years later, had sold out to Wal-Mart.

Needless to say, I'd likely never order anything from the deli counter... and would wonder obsessively whose future generations had previously been stored where the Ben & Jerry's now resided. (And where music icon Jerry Garcia has been cryogenized as a luscious dessert)

So, I went onto my clinic's website (I did pay for at least a wing or two of it) and there were those depressing numbers.

Those pesky digits are forever on the case of all of us old broads who have some nutty idea about conceiving. As if  having a baby is our last lucid thought before  Alzheimer's takes hold... Or maybe the first sign of its onset.

First I saw on the chart: "Under 35" Then: "1979"

I thought "Woo hoo! I was under 35 in 1979!"

Then I realized that "1979" was not meant to be a year, but rather how many immature eggs (oocytes) women under 35 had produced at that clinic during a six year period.

Using their own, non-donor, fresh embryos via IVF, 52% of them had resulted in live deliveries.

Women 35-37: 44 %  had resulted in live deliveries 

Women 38-40: 32%   

Women 40-41: 20%

So there I was, nestled between the 20% and "Lori, why don't you just give it up and learn how to play canasta?" percentile.

That was just the first path along the statistical road to "We're Screwed".

Listen, I gotta go: The U.S. Open tennis is on tonight. We used to go all the time when we lived in Queens. I miss the great players and the smell of $16 hamburgers wafting through the night air.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.