We learned in January that Amy Schumer and her husband, Chris Fischer, were exploring IVF to expand their family. Amy chronicled part of her IVF experience on social media, both to let her fans in and to solicit advice on how to deal with the emotional and physical aspects of the treatment. Over the weekend, Amy gave an update on Instagram on her process. Next to the photo above of Amy excited to share her news, she wrote a caption in which she said they’d gotten one normal embryo from the 35 harvested, 26 of which had been fertilized.
Hey! So ivf went like this for us. They retrieved 35 eggs from me. Not bad for the old gal right? Then 26 fertilized! Whoah right? For all of those we got 1 normal embryo from that and 2 low level mosaic (mosaic means there are some abnormal cells but can still lead to a healthy baby) So we feel lucky we got 1! But what a drop off right? Anyway I have so appreciated everyone sharing their Ivf stories with me. They made me feel empowered and supported. So I wanted to tell you how mine went down. So many women go through many rounds of ivf which is painful and mentally grueling. I heard from hundreds of women about my their miscarriages and struggles and also many hopeful stories about how after rounds and rounds of ivf it worked!! It has been really encouraging. Thank you. Anyway I am so grateful for our son and that we have the resources to get help in this way. I just wanted to share and send love and strength to all of the warrior women who go through this process. 🎸💪🏾 my number is in my bio if you are open to text me your experience or whatever you feel like. I read them when I can’t sleep or have time 👻
Again, I applaud Amy for being so open about this. Her language is relatable and there’s a warmth to her posts that makes it feel like a girlfriend just called me with her news and not some high-profile person recounting their story. In addition to reaching out to those going through the same thing, she is teaching people about her journey. Like Amy, those numbers shock me. If they had pulled 35 viable eggs from me, I would assume those were 35 babies waiting for me. But straight off the bat, 25% were lost because they didn’t fertilize. And then just one shows no abnormal cells. I had no clue those were the numbers people going through IVF were looking at.
According to Refinery29, IVF can cost between $10,000-$15,000 for a single round (like what Amy just went through) and $17,000 for egg storage on top of that. Women under 35 have a 48% success rate per round (the percentage decreases with age). That is a huge leap of faith for anyone to make. Amy is 38 so, as she said, she’s quite lucky to have possibly three shots. Going off pure assumption, my guess is Amy will transfer the embryo and not freeze it. So we will probably not get another update until she passes the 12-week mark in her pregnancy. I’m sure it will be as honest as the rest of her posts. In the meantime, I’m sure Amy will continue to reach out for help as well as support those who have shared the experience with her. Good luck to her and to anyone else going through this.
Photo credit: Instagram, Getty Images and Backgrid
And how old is her husband? I read that men’s age is also quite important for these things, especially for men after 40. I gathered you’d have better chance to get knocked up with a young guy.
Men’s age doesn’t matter as long as sperm quality is fine. From my experience and several friends who have also done IVF, it’s generally an egg issue.
Not true at all: scientists found that men aged 40-42 were linked with a 46% lower chance of having a baby by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) than men aged 30-35, when the female partner was under 30.
Old men think they are still capable of having kids in their sixties with their young wives. Well how sure are they that the baby is theirs?
@Ann You are correct. I looked at that study and a follow up study in the same publication and there is a definite drop off of sperm quality, especially once a man gets to 51. I tried to find the entire study that you quoted as I was curious about sample size of the under 30 females. Just anecdotally, I know several fertility doctors who will not start IVF until a woman is over 30.
@Adrien My old man (52) had a baby with his young wife (32) and he can be pretty sure it was his because he was there while they did the IUI.
There is also a much higher chance of having a child with schizophrenia and/or autism with older FATHERS.
Yet somehow, all we hear about is an increase in the chance of Down’s due to a MOTHER’S “geriatric” pregnancy.
Funnily enough an article was posted to the Sydney Morning Herald just today about this…
I’ve read a study that showed significantly higher levels of downs syndrome in children born to older fathers (40+) irrespective of the age of the mother. It’s usually lumped as the mother’s ‘fault’ (not the right word but you know what I mean) as often in Western couples if the man is mid 40s, the woman is also likely to be at least 35+
IVF Vet here. I’ve appreciated her honesty and was appalled to read the Daily Mail’s slant and viewer’s comments on AS’ fertility journey. Infertility can be so isolating, good for Amy for her honesty.
I’m so happy celebrities like Amy are talking about the IVF process. Hopefully it starts to normalize it. A lot of people who have no idea what the IVF process is like feel the need to share their views, so this is good. Two years ago when I was going through the egg harvesting stage, I gained about 20 pounds. I’m a fairly slim person so it was noticeable. A partner at my old firm continually asked me if I was hitting up Baskin Robins on my way home, so I finally told him what I was doing hoping that it would shut him up. Instead he told everyone that my test tube baby and I were going to really drive up the company’s health insurance and that this is what I get for marrying “an old guy with dried up sperm”. Well thank god that I did marry that old guy, (whose sperm was just fine, BTW) because he could afford to pay $40k for IVF as our insurance covers no fertility treatment.
holy crap, your coworker sounds like a total ass – I’m sorry you had to deal with someone as mean spirited and shitty as him. I want to punch his smug face on your behalf
What. The. Did you report him to HR?
That’s the funny part. He and I both practice employment law, so he knows how to toe the line. I really wasn’t covered by a protected class as I wasn’t pregnant yet, which would be covered by ADA. Unfortunately, reporting something to HR when it isn’t discrimination or harassment based on being part of a protected class really does nothing.
@Maria, That’s what I was thinking. That sounds like harassment and totally inappropriate for the workplace. What a jerk.
But you are a protected class, flamingo! You are a woman. And this treatment violates the equal rights amendment, correct? If that had happened at my large tech company, that man would have been immediately walked out on the spot.
I’m really enjoying this era of Amy. I couldn’t stand her for the longest time, and I still think she’s said some really crap stuff over the years that she shouldn’t get a pass for. But this era of Amy seems to be… happy. Just a lot more content overall, and it’s warmed me up to her.
I think it’s fantastic that she’s talking so openly about all of this. Her husband seems wonderful, and they seem like a really solid family unit. I feel like it would be hard in some ways to be married to a comedian haha, but I’m sure it’s also amazing in other ways.
Her embryos are already frozen. To do genetic testing, they take a biopsy on day 5 or 6 depending on when it turns into a blastocsyt The biopsy is sent off for testing and the embryos are immediately frozen while waiting for the results. Whenever she’s ready to transfer, she’ll have a month long process getting her body ready for the embryo. Basically taking meds to shut down her natural cycle and have a medicated one instead. As someone who did ivf 5 times between ages 33-35, I’m glad to see her be so open about it. I only had 7 embryos over all those cycles, but luckily 6 of them were normal. But only two of them turned into babies.
Thank you- came here to post this!
-Fellow IVFer always looking to clarify the process
She did get a huge amount of eggs and fertilized embryos. That’s a shame she only ended up with 1 viable. My numbers were more like 12 harvested, 8 or 9 fertilized, and then 2-3 viable for implant, of which we would always put in 2 so there was a higher chance they would take off. There are so many things that can be the issue that’s it’s hard to say what the problem is without knowing more (not that it’s any of our business).
My dr said that high quantity of eggs usually means they are not all good quality. I was worried he was just reassuring me as I only had 6 eggs retrieved! But all 6 fertilizer and now 4 are being tested for defects.
It feels good to write about it here bc people don’t really talk about it and I’m so nervous/excited.
That’s great! Fingers crossed for you. I know it can be a crazy roller coaster of emotions.
Totally right on quality over quantity. I got a total of 97 eggs out of my egg retrievals but only 7 became blastocsyts. Of those, 3 were such crappy quality, we shouldn’t have even bothered transferring them. And the clinic you choose makes a huge difference. I did three cycles at one clinic that were awful and then switched to ccrm in Colorado where in one retrieval, I got more blastocsyts than I had in three previous retrievals. Now I have twins.
Guessing Amy has pcos with that high number of eggs. That’s what I have and it can definitely affect egg quality.
Fingers crossed for you too!! I ended up having to do 3 rounds. We did PGD IVF because my husband has a genetic condition that’s life threatening. I got 12 eggs each time, 36 total, 18 became blastocysts, but only 4 didn’t have his gene and were viable. It’s a 50% chance on the gene, but we ended up on one side of the bell curve… First two rounds only gave us 1 viable blastocyst, we decided to do one more round and we got 3! My friend only ended up with 3 from regular IVF, but all 3 were healthy!! My 4 blastocysts now equal two boys, age 1 and 3. The whole process is so so exhausting and emotionally draining and hard! I got an endocrinologist to help my body reset, I did not take well to all those hormones.
I don’t think most people realize that not all clinics/labs are created equal. I had a similar experience as you Reddy with the rate of blasts and ended up an IHR. PGS experience matters and CCRM and IHR are some of the best.
I truly appreciate her for sharing and being so open. I love that she has a number people can reach her at too. I really like her and find her relatable.
It’s great that she’s putting this out there, its great for the moms who are also going through it, and it’s great education for people who don’t know anything about it–all those people who just assume if you do IVF you’ll definitely get what you want–not always the case.
I’m not the biggest fan of Amy’s comedy, but I really, really love her for being so open and honest about her IVF experience. ❤️
One of my girlfriends underwent IVF for her son, and started the process again for another baby. I had no conception of the dedication the whole process requires, and how utterly horrible and taxing it is for women. The hormone shots, the egg extraction process, then the testing and implantation… it was all quite terrible for my friend, and in the end, she got one fertilized egg and she miscarried a few weeks later. I’m Fertile Myrtle and get pregnant just by walking past my husband, and my friend spent months in agonizing pain and discomfort, and in the end, wasn’t able to have the baby. It’s unfair and utterly heartbreaking for a lot of women and men.
Not sure why, but I thought Amy was going through egg retrieval for a surrogate? She had horrible HG during her last pregnancy…. but I might be projecting. If I had the $$ and had suffered HG with my last pregnancy that’s what I would do…
anyway best wishes to her! I’ve always liked Amy & wish her nothing but the best on this next chapter of parenthood.
Hmm I always wonder what makes women choose this grueling, expensive process over adoption. The idea of pregnancy/labour has always scared the living hell out of me, so I would personally jump at the option of being able to circumvent the whole thing and still have a beautiful child. Maybe there is something I’m missing/not understanding?
Who says adoption cannot be grueling and expensive? It can also be very personally invading when adoption agents nit pick every detail or your life to see if you are qualified to care for a child.
While I assume that you didn’t mean your comment in a hurtful way, it is a hurtful comment for one going through infertility. Maybe the first baby came easily, or one partner is against adoption, or the couple isn’t considered ideal candidates for adoption due to medical histories or age. Perhaps one of the parents is a carrier of a genetic disorder and they’re willing to pay for testing to be done on a biological embryo to ensure that a potential child does not have that disorder. Regardless of the circumstances as to why a person or couple has made the choice to go through IVF, it is their choice and shouldn’t be questioned on their choices, much like you wouldn’t want questions on why you don’t want to be pregnant. Also, adoption isn’t a guarantee and private adoptions cost nearly as much, if not more than one cycle of IVF. Adoptions through the state are not a guarantee, either and there are cases of birth parents/family receiving custody of the child up to a year after placement. One way to build your family is not easier than another and barring illegal actions, how someone chooses to build (or not build) their family really isn’t anyone’s business.
@steffereff Those are really valid points, and thank you for explaining that. I certainly didn’t intend for my comment to be hurtful, so I am sorry for that. I have to confess I don’t know an awful lot about how adoption works in the US (I’m in Europe), but I can see how IVF might be the best choice for someone’s family. I was just expressing curiosity in my original comment, but I 100% agree that it is nobody’s business and we all have to build our lives the best way we see fit.
I spent 8 years working (RN) with premature and critically ill infants in a tertiary level critical care facility.
I was always drawn to work with the families who were suffering the most, usually those older first-time moms who had gone through IVF hell to get pregnant, now to be spending months sitting next to the incubator as I tried to keep the little duffer’s heart going.
I would not wish that experience on anyone but how can you make a truly informed decision unless you see the hell that modern health care can deliver?
Mine is certainly a skewed perspective, in that I saw the sickest kids in the province, but it sure did leave a mark on my heart.
This reminds me of a story out of India of a couple in their 70’s who used IVF (egg donor) to have a child. The mother suffered horribly during the pregnancy and after. I don’t understand what kind of doctor would allow this. There needs to be age limits. Just because science call allow something to happen doesn’t mean it should. The elderly should NOT be allowed to do IVF.
I am an IVF mom of one living son and one deceased daughter, both birthed while I was in my mid 30s. My infant daughter spent a week in the NICU and I’m eternally grateful for the comfort and care they provided during her short life. Thanks for the work you did as a caregiver. But sometimes tragedy is out of our control and has nothing to do with age.
I’ll take your side here. Firstly though, adoption can be expensive and stressful. It is odd that ANYONE can have a bio child (financially insecure, criminal, old age…nothing matters) but with adoption they are super picky. Having said that, pregnancy, labor, and afterbirth seem brutal and I am not for it. Add to that the whole IVF process and it’s just insane what some women go through. I wouldn’t do it but that’s just me. I do however wonder how many parents end up doing the whole “do you know what we had to go through to have you ??!!” guilt trip whenever a child misbehaves…but I guess those that are born without IVF also get that guilt trip lol.
both IVF and adoption has pros and cons.
One consideration for adoption many do not consider is adopting then having the birth mother change their mind.
My close friend went through it. They were approved after years and lots of $$$, adopted a little girl, brought her home but then as the birth mother has the option to change her mind within a certain number of days, she did and the baby was returned to the birth mother. My friend was absolutely devastated and had bonded with the baby.
Honestly, my first gut reaction is always something like that, why put yourself through that agony and expense, why not adopt or foster?
But there are a lot of road blocks and expense to adopting too, and everyone should be able to have the family they want, how they choose.
As someone with no desire to have kids myself, I can’t really understand the feelings behind it, but to each their own.
One other scenario I don’t see anyone else mention, so I’ll go there: when you’re descended at least in part from a group of people who were the victims of genocide, there’s a often a strong desire to try to pass on that genetic lineage so that the genocidaires don’t succeed in their desire to see it wiped from the earth. That was a factor for me as someone who is part indigenous, and I know Jewish people for whom that is also a consideration. I’m sure it’s not unusual for members of other historically persecuted ethnic groups to share that concern.
Wow! Going by what I heard in the media, I always assumed that IVF was an issue of having lots of eggs to choose from with the struggle coming primarily from figuring out how to pay for it and dealing with the effects of the shots. I’m glad Amy (and every other woman on this site) shared this. You never know what you don’t know…
Yup, this is why IVF isn’t a cure all for infertility. So many factors are involved. That’s why with any IVF cycle you should be happy with just one good embryo. Of course, we all want more embryos because most people can’t keep doing multiple cycles.
I’m just here to say how adorable Amy’s doggie is in that second IG photo. What a sweet little face!
She’s pretty awesome to share her story like that. I just did two rounds of IVF myself (at age 38), and I got a lot fewer eggs, but got 2 chromosomally normal embryos and one mosaic in one cycle and 3 in the other. The egg storage is actually not that expensive (about 50$/month, which does add up, but nowhere near 17,000 unless you are storing for a really long time). The total cost for one cycle, including genetic testing, medication, and the embryo transfer was about $24,000. If you do the chromosome testing, they actually do freeze the eggs and transfer it in another cycle since the testing takes a couple of weeks. There are other advantages for delaying transfers if, like Amy, you created a ton of eggs. So she’ll likely wait a month or so. Good luck to her!!
She is 38 years old and it’s incredibly stupid to call oneself an old gal, especially when women well into their 40s are struggling with infertility and IVF. If she is so open, candid, whatever, she should also be careful about her language.