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Embryos Going Backwards?

embryo fragmentation icsi male factor poor egg quality ivf

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#1 Teach44

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:44 AM

I am SO confused and am hoping that someone out there can help me out. My husband and I just finished out first IVF with ICSI which was for severe male factor.  At our retrieval we had 7 eggs retrieved, 5 of which were mature and 4 fertilized using ICSI.  When we got our first call on Day 2, they said that we had a 2 cell, 3 cell, 6 cell and 7 cell.  She said that there was more fragmentation than they would like to see so they were going to do a day 3 transfer.  When we went in the next day, the lab hit us with some devastating news.  The doctor said that something "strange" happened in the lab.  The 7 cell was now a 5 cell, the 6 cell was now a 4 cell and the 3 cell was now a 2 cell.  The 2 cell had grown to a 3 cell, but was far behind so wasn't being transferred.  They said that there clearly is an egg quality issue in addition to male factor.  They didn't have an answer as to why the embryos were DECLINING though? Can anyone offer any advice?  I talked with one embryologist on a forum and she said that what most likely happened is that the cell fragmented away, which could make sense as I know they were quite fragmented.  Needless to say, they transferred a 4 cell and 5 cell, Grade 2 and Grade 3 quality. We obviously have little faith and will be booking an appointment with our doctor to discuss what our second round will look like, how we can improve egg quality, how we can change protocol as I was a poor responder.  I am 29 years old, have high FSH (14.3 was highest) but a "Beautiful" AMH.  My husband has a low sperm count, but they say it's a great number for ICSI.  Any suggestions or advice out there?  Thanks in advance :)

#2 s00n

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  • Interests:Him- Potential SA issues Me- PCOS like crazy/anovulation/long cycles. Started TTC before 30.TTC/Secondary Infertility(2008-2015) - Adopted from public system in Ontario 2012.Freeze-All IVF after OHSS, and successful FET 2015 @ 36Yrs Old.
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Posted 25 March 2015 - 09:48 AM

Hi there, I don't have experience but wanted to say that I hope this transfer works for you - there have been transfers with little hope that made it, so keep hoping!  :)

See my about me page for details on our IF journey including adoption and other avenues.

#3 smurfette_w

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 11:21 AM

Egg quality can be enhanced with acupuncture and supplements.  You will need to talk to your RE about this.  I believe you need to be on the supplements and acupuncture for at least 2-3 months though.  Good luck!


Me: genetic issues
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#4 BourneErin

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 11:36 AM

Hi Teach44, 

      I can't say I have had the exact thing happen but wanted to say good luck and hope you get some answers or good news! IF you get a negative outcome and move on to cycle again I can tell you what myself and my clinic did to try and help. I have underlying egg issue that was causing my eggs to arrest around day 2-3 each time. The second time to improve egg quality I was on supplements (CoQ10) but know there is more they can put you on. They also changed my protocol up to see if a longer protocol and different medications would help with egg quality. I had to be on the CoQ10 for 3 months prior to starting to cycle again so in the mean time I also did acupuncture and was put on some vitamins through my nautropath. Wish you all the best! 

#5 breezyboo

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 01:35 PM

Start taking high doses of CoQ10 Ubiquinol (NOT Ubiquinone). Take 600mg per day and start ASAP! 90 days is best! Good luck!

Me: 30Hypothyroid,Endo, MTHFR, elevated Cytokines,TNF 36.8 (13.2-30.6) IFN 27.5(5.8-20.5). 2006-Twin m/c @ 8wks w/ex BF followed by 22 BFN's ... 6 months on clomid & 4 IUI's.Married for 5yrs to the love of my life. We want to make that love childDH: 31 Azoospermia (NOA) FSH 28.3, LH & testosterone levels normal Normal genetics. NOA possibly due to injury when younger.IVF/ICSI Barbados 201312/3-ER! 18 eggs, 12 mature & 10 fertilized!12/8-ET! 2 beautiful beans snuggled into place! 7 snowflakes!12/13- BFP12/17- Beta 9dp5dt 255!12/19 Beta 11dp5dt 392, 13dp5dt 585???12/26 Beta 3,388!1/2 U/S TWINS!! HB's 122& 1211/20 U/S Lost Baby B @ 7-8 weeks. Baby A doing great!IT'S A BOY!!!4/29 @ 6 months our sweet boy became an angel ABSOLUTELY HEARTBROKENFET January 2015 CANCELLED thin lining WTF?FET September 2015 CANCELLED due to a cyst/delayed period...You gotta be kidding me?!FET October 2015 BFNICSI/PGS Banking @ MCRM Feb & May 2016Feb & May 2016= 3 girls & 4 boys
FET October 13 2016 1 PGS normal girl = BFP!!!!! :D

#6 Dr. Dan Nayot

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 03:25 PM

Hi Teach44,


Some good suggestions on this thread - supplements, acupuncture, different stimulation protocols.


As you had mentioned, I think speaking to the embryologist at your clinic (or at least getting their opinion via your RE) would be beneficial. There are also many lab factors that can contribute. For example, perhaps you can suggest that the most senior embryologist perform the ICSI next time around? There is a real skill level involved.


Also wanted to add that perhaps helping improve overall sperm quality (even though you will be doing ICSI) is equally as important.


Again, the details of your cycle are critical to review with your RE - they hold a lot of important information.


Best of luck moving forward,


-D. Nayot

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER  - Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) 
Twitter: @DrDanNayot

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: embryo, fragmentation, icsi, male factor, poor egg quality, ivf