One Egg Does Not Equal a Baby

Woman seeing positive pregnancy test.One challenge I encountered with my friends and family was explaining that one egg does not equal a baby. I found that when I told people I had frozen 20 eggs they assumed my dreams of motherhood were all set. I had an insurance policy, my back up plan. But I knew that this “insurance policy” was far from a guarantee. Let’s break down how many eggs it can takes to have one healthy baby.

  • Let’s say you are 35 or younger, have a successful egg retrieval where you get 10 eggs.
  • From there, you can only fertilize mature eggs. About 80% of eggs retrieved will be mature. Now you are down to 8 eggs to fertilize.
  • Next, fertilization happens. Again, about 80% of your mature eggs are expected to fertilize. That makes about 6 embryos.
  • Now you wait a week to find out how many of those embryos grow to a day 5 blastocyst. Only 30%-50% of those embryos will make it this far. Say yours do well and now have 3 embryos. You can choose to implant these, or take it a step further to have them genetically tested to avoid future miscarriages or unhealthy babies.
  • Now they have come back from genetic testing, where 40% of your blastocysts are deemed normal. That’s 1 to 2 embryos.
  • But you’re not in the clear yet, there is still only a 60% chance of a healthy embryo implanting successfully. So from those 10 eggs we started with, you are lucky if 1 embryo attaches and a pregnancy begins.
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