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Playing the Lottery: Egg Count

We’ve all been there before: lying in bed, listening to the local newscaster call out the Powerball numbers, hoping this may be your night! And while you may be a lottery regular, most of us hold out on playing until the pot is big. Really big. And if it gets super big, you might not only buy one ticket, but go in with your officemates for a bunch of them, because the more tickets you have, the better your chance of hitting the jackpot. The same can be said for egg number and good-quality embryos—the more eggs that are retrieved, the better your chance of having a baby!

Whether you’re an IVF newbie or have been through many retrievals, you know that numbers matter. Whether it’s from your fertility Facebook group or your fertility doctor, the numbers are a big deal in the land of fertility treatment. Not only does lower egg count reduce your chances, but also for many women, lower egg quantity is often linked to lower egg quality. For most women, both decline with age, and when low, make having a baby much harder.

Therefore, the more eggs that are produced during an IVF cycle (thank you, hormone shots!), the more embryos that can be created in the lab. The more embryos, the better the chance of having a baby. In many ways, it’s no more complicated than simple math. More leads to more leads to best leads to BABY!

And while the daily shots are no one’s idea of fun, they’re actually pretty essential to the process. The fertility medications serve as the “multiplier” in this mathematical equation—they take what’s already there and make them grow! Without this stimulus, it’s nearly impossible for the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.

So, although it’s fairly unlikely that any of us will even come close to winning the lottery, for many, it’s pretty likely that we’ll win the baby lottery. Because in the egg Powerball, even when you buy only a few tickets, with the right fertility clinic and fertility doctor, you have a serious chance of winning! And while we never encourage cheating, this is one place where a little help counting your cards (a.k.a. your doctor) is strongly recommended. Winning this game requires a strong and supportive team!