Fertility Network UK
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Dark/brown eggs post EC

Hi all,

I had EC on Thursday and was told 15 eggs were collected but of these, 10 were “viable and mature”.

They told me however that some of these eggs were a little dark and that they sometimes see this in people with endometriosis (I have both endo and PCOS). I was assured however that this is no reflection on egg quality which is what I am really worried about as I am only 29 and thought this was a sign of aged eggs. This said, the embryologist I spoke to was a trainee that didn’t seem completely sure of what she was saying and had to put me on hold a couple of times. Have you had dark/brown eggs or do you know what these can be caused by, other than endo? Is there anything I can do to improve the appearance of the eggs in my remaining egg pool? I haven’t been able to find much information out there about it. I guess my worry is that these eggs will never take because they are slightly darker and not quite “normal”, even though the clinic said that what qualifies as a viable egg is that they are mature eggs with a single cell structure which these 10 were. I already follow a strict gluten/dairy free diet and take a variety of vitamins.

They also told me that of the 10 eggs that were viable, 9 were mature and 1 “went on”. What does this mean? I felt too silly to ask at the time and now wishing I had..

Thank you for reading. Sending all of you positivity and well wishes. Laura x

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Hi, I don't wanna sound scary but brown eggs are mostly concluded as poor quality eggs. Since my IVFs were not really successful and I'm suggested to for DE, I have been spending days reading anything I could lay my hands on related to egg quality, DHEA and what not. Though there's not much information available on it from experts, I happened to come across a few posts with the same issue. Sadly, all of them seems to complain about IVF failures and straight away linked it to cytoplasm related poor egg quality. Though I did also found some success stories in responses. The brown eggs may not have worked as expected but vitamin D supplements and a good portion of royal jelly in daily diet could reverse the problem. Hope this gives you some comfort! However, there's a first time for everything, who knows maybe this cycle will work out for you. Wish you all the luck in the world dear one! :)

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I had one darker egg in my first cycle. The embryologist said from this they knew it was poor quality so didn't even try injection it with a sperm. It may just be that you have a couple of duds. You sound like you've got really good numbers though! Best of luck!xx

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Thanks so much for sharing your experiences girls. Even if it’s hard to hear, I would much rather the clinic didn’t try to “sugarcoat” it so I know exactly what I’m dealing with and I can take proactive steps to at least try to change it. I am seeing a different consultant tomorrow and will put the same questions to him seeing as the embryologist wasn’t much help. I will update you all in due course with his response xx

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There's a chance that the clinic might actually sugarcoat it - some clinic does that. One of the ladies said she wasn't ever warned and went for it, but it was futile anyway. A second opinion from expert sounds sensible, you made the right choice. Hope everything goes well tomorrow! Will look forward to your update then. God Bless you! XOXO

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Hi all,

So as promised, I have an update to share with you all which I hope some might find reassuring/useful. As we’ve established, there’s not much information out there about this so wanted to share with you what I can in case someone has the same query. I might even create a new post separately for more exposure.

So today I saw a different consultant (different clinic) who quite honestly was as helpful as a chocolate teapot when I asked about dark eggs. She seemed more interested in prescribing me Dianette to treat the endo/PCOS.

Anyway, last night, I emailed the clinic where I had my EC last week and they got the senior embryologist to call me to discuss my concerns. She started by confirming that 15 eggs were collected with 10 being mature. She went on to explain that the 10th, was initially immature but as she continued to strip the others, this egg continued to mature and by the time she had finished, this also had reached a state of maturity. I asked how common this is as I was still a little unsure and she said it’s not unusual and they see this quite a lot once the egg is stripped.

As for the dark eggs, she explained that what the consultant could see when the eggs were collected was the cumulus cells which encases each egg and not the eggs themselves. This “shell”, for use of a better word, protects the egg. The fluid collected is then passed on to the embryologist who “strips” the cumulus cell to reveal the egg and they are then able to see if the egg is mature or not (they only work with mature eggs). Although the cumulus shell of a few was a little tainted, maybe from the endo, she assured me that the eggs themselves were perfectly normal once stripped, as it was her that personally tended to my eggs.

So the take home message is that if you are told that some of your eggs are dark, ask them if it’s the eggs themselves or the cumulus cell surrounding the egg! They should of course be using the right terminology in the first place(!) of course but for the avoidance of doubt and to avoid a great deal of unnecessary stress and worry in what is already a difficult time, make sure you check this.

I hope this helps in some way and thank you again for sharing your experiences - it’s comforting to know we’re not alone even though it sometimes may feel that way xxx

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