Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I hate statistics

My hate for statistics is not a new one. I failed my statistics class in college. Eeek. I just didn't get it...and the second time around I didn't get it much better but at least I passed since it was a required course. Now being a computer science major with a minor in mathematics and failing stats is just downright embarassing. but it, stats, just doesn't make sense to my logical mind. Now some might say that stats are very logical....I disagree.

Today I hate stats just as much as I did back then but for a different reason. Although I am failing miserably at a whole new type of testing now.

I have a bunch of stats swirling around my head today...maybe if I spit them out here I can stop thinking about them.

Here's one I am struggling with. My risk of miscarriage is about 50% or more. That's ugly.

Here's another one. The chances of a woman concieving through IUI after age 40 is anywhere from 1.2% to 20% I've read. The upper end is with more follicles. Still not great.

At sart dot org it says that in a woman age 41 - 42 (which I will be at the time we do IVF) the Percentage of cycles resulting in live births is
12.3%. I am not sure what that means...12.3% of cycles or I have a 12.3% chance per cycle.

Genetic adverse outcomes risks with IVF are almost 5% if I am reading the chart correctly...

Downs Syndrome risks at age 42 (which I would be at birth of child which is how this is measured) 1 in 60 or 65 depending on where I read it.

It just all seems so futile. I started to do the hopeful thing last night, the "If I get a positive test next Wed, I can call and get bloodwork on Thursday and then get the second set on Saturday." and "It will be so fun to tell my mom we are pregnant over Thanksgiving" The hopefulness was short lived. It sort of hit me like a brick today.

I have a better chance of not being pregnant, and a better chance, if I do get pregnant, of miscarrying than the infinitely better outcome and it's so disheartening. I hate to be so negative and feel so helpless but it really will be a miracle if I get pregnant and give birth to a living child and I am not feeling miracles lately.


Kim said...

Unfortunately I relate all too well with the age factor....and those darn statistics. It seems to me the women who dont pay attention to the stats have better outcomes. Perhaps all this knowledge is just self-defeating?! I want to be naive again, not know so much- be afraid of getting pregnant from unprotected sex!!!! (ha! - remember those days?)

Miracles happen every day Jennifer and there is no reason you or I can't have a miracle happen for us. I know it's hard to believe that, I know those numbers can get you down.. but just think about the flip side of those numbers. Somebody has to be on the "right" side of them...might as well be us. xoxoxox

Adele said...

I hate those statistics. And I tend to drive myself crazy with them. Also, the fact that nobody can seem to agree on them doesn't help, either.

I can really empathize with being hopeful one moment (I've had the same thought about Thanksgiving) only to have hopes squarely dashed in the next. But I'll be crossing fingers and toes for you.

(And thank you for your words of kindness on my blog - I really appreciated them).

DM said...

Hi I am Dee, 41.9 years old and 6w2d pregnant with, I think, my 20th IUI 2 prior m/c and an u/s today. I cant afford IVF, this is why so many IUI with DS - did get to see the fetal pole and heart beat at 5w5d but anything can still happen. Hang in there. Its a numbers game for sure at our age.

cgd said...

Stats can kiss my ass. I, unlike you, am terrible in math (I really mean it), but great in stats (go figure). Stats was always something I could do and do well, now all those lovely stats can just kiss my ass. Sometimes I try to flip the stats like saying there is a 50% of not miscarrying or something like that, this only works part of the time.
The best advice I can give is to tell you to toss the stats out, they suck anyway.
Hang in there

bunny said...

You have every right to be demoralized by these damn numbers. They are scary and saddening. But like the others say, the thing that keeps it from being futile is that it does all depend on random variability that you have no control over. That's what I like about the statistical nature of this business. There's always a chance that the next time is the one. Jeez, this really doesn't sound very encouraging, but from what I've read from women who have gone through repeated losses, it's all about trying till you can't try no more. Like you're doing! Anyway, I will hope for you.

Misfits said...

I am good at math and logic, but stats can throw me for a loop. I look at those same numbers and feel the cold sweat of a pop quiz coming on. I take comfort knowing that things can work and that there needs to be one miracle left and you deserve to get it.

I know it's a cliche, but the saying goes "in order to win big, you have to bet more than you can afford to lose." And I'll be here to cheer you on, kick the card dealer, or stop that godamn roulette wheel on a dime.

AmyG said...

The problem is that statistics are about populations, but we want individual prognoses. Of all the IVF cycles with women 41-42, about 12.3% of them will result in a live birth. OK, but that's putting together many thousands of women with very different physical and hormonal characteristics. It doesn't tell you ANYTHING about what YOUR chances are, given YOUR unique characteristics.

When I started this journey I wanted a summary diagram. Like, for every 1000 women between 35-39 who get the IF diagnosis, how many conceive on a first IUI, how many on a second, how many miscarry, how many switch to focusing on adoption, how many try IVF, how many have each outcome there, how many opt for child-free living, how many find themselves with no other option, etc.

I can picture this diagram that starts as a single thick band on the left and then branches out more and more as it goes from left to right with the thickness of each branch representing the proportion of women in that category. And then maybe separate diagrams for different diagnoses. That still wouldn't provide any one individual with a complete picture that represents her, but it would be a big help.

linda said...

Statistics suck so bad because they don't really explain on those sites what exact data went into their calculations. I bang my head against the wall trying to understand SART's stats and I actually did well in stats class!

It's not you. Trust me.

The stats are horrible for those of us that are in our 40's but there are those that are in that group. I wish they would describe the characteristics, clearly, of the women who do find success in their 40's to give us a better idea of where we all fall in their damned stats.

I have to tell you that this is the first time by your blog - so cool to see that you've got chickens. I had a flock of 6 up til a year and a half ago when we moved to the east coast. I miss them terribly. I was so bonded to mine. I have my two cats now...and they're nearly flat from all emotional hugs I inflict on them.