Fertility Network UK
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A small win! Also this is for anyone needing Assisted Oocyte Activation

So a little background... we did IVF the first round(since we were unexplained and my husband semen analysis always came back with good numbers) and had zero fertilization on 8 mature eggs. The sperm was able to find the egg and bind to it but couldn’t fertilise. Next step would be ICSI but my clinic said that based on what they saw, even ICSI would likely fail. Failed fert with ICSI still happens about 1-2% of the time.

So they suggested using a calcium ionophore to activate the egg also known as Assisted Oocyte Activation. In the meantime, we contacted a researcher at Oxford who is studying PLCzeta which is a protein that the sperm have that is needed to activate the egg and kickstart fertilisation. My husband gave a sample plus blood and saliva to participate in this study and they tested for this protein. Turns out my husband has almost none meaning his sperm can’t fertilise eggs even if they are injected inside. It’s a super complex process and I’ve been reading through research papers since last October when our first round failed. It’s new-ish research and the solution using calcium is also fairly new.

Well we went into our 2nd round and things started bad as I started my meds early, and my clinic seemed to always be on the verge of screwing something up like giving me the wrong meds and I was constantly correcting them. I haven’t had a good feeling about anything this whole time.

I went into egg collection yesterday and out of 26 follicles, they got 18 eggs. I cried because for us this didn’t mean anything because I was so scared they wouldn’t fertilise.

15 were mature so they injected them and dipped them in a calcium solution for 15 min, washed them and put in incubation to wait and see if they could fertilise.

This morning was torture as we waited for the call. I couldn’t stop crying and since they said they’d call between 9-11 by the time it got to 10:30 we assumed it was bad news (since that’s how it all unfolded last time!)

Well finally we called and made sure they had the right phone number (they didn’t) and they called back to say 12 fertilised.

So this is a win for us. We are further than last cycle and now we have a chance to get to transfer. So if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation after failed fertilization with IVF or ICSi, please don’t hesitate to message me.

I know there are still many more hurdles and lots that can go wrong but have to take it step by step and this has renewed a little bit of hope in us that we’ve been struggling to find in the past few months.

Hope to see more good news here and hope things keep looking up for us. Now next step, let’s get to at least a day 3 transfer. 🙏🙏🙏

15 Replies
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Wow that is brilliant! Well done on your tenacity in researching for answers, you've truly done a fabulous job and given yourself and hubby a great chance now. Massive pat on the back to you! Best of luck for your next update!xx

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Thank you! I really believe we have to advocate for ourselves and ask the questions. Of course the doctors and nurses are professionals but they are only human and can make mistakes. I’m proud I have come this far.

I can’t imagine if I hadn’t done the research and didn’t insist on getting the AOA, we’d be facing another failed/cancelled cycle right now. I’m grateful for the clinic to be so open and hear me out as well

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Yes Im all for that! Ive done my own research etc when necessary and Im still on this god forsaken journey but at least I know Ive optimised my own chances pushing for things which in itself is reassuring to know! Good on ya girl cause your research and convincing your clinic to listen to you is all your hard work....it would be you that convinced your clinic to give it a try! Whoop whoop massive victory even if it is just one hardle, massive one for you both!xx

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That's fascinating, thanks very much for the post

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Aww abcgirl, in so happy for you. I'm glad things are starting to move on. Pleaae keep hopibg for the best. Let's hope you have many blastocysts to freeze. Your numbers seem so similar to mine. I had 17 eggs collected and 13 fertilized and 7 blastocyst while I he like 56 follicles.

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Wow that’s a lot of follicles. Was surprised I didn’t have more from the 26. Last time They went into 9 follicles and for 8 eggs. I think then they were being quite selective. Was a different doctor this time so many he went into some smaller ones that the previous doctor wouldn’t have gone into.

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The doctor that did my egg collection too didn't touch all the follicles. She just selected the ones she thought will be good. So I felt a bit disappointed then, but looking back it's all good.

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Oh wow, so pleased for you that things are certainly looking up! I remember feeling so sad when you got your news but you sure did your homework! Well done for getting this far and fingers crossed you get your happy ending!💕 xx

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Thank you!! 😚

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That’s amazing! So pleased for you 💕 xx

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Wow that’s brilliant news xx

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I love this. Well done. Keep going embies xx

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This is absolutely fantastic news. I’m so pleased for you both. Hoping your little embies all grow well and you have good news over the coming days. Xx

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oh this is such good news and may likely be what I need!

Our 1st cycle ended when we received the call that the only fertilized embryo did not divide as expected, do you think the calcium dip could have helped?

We are on to the 2nd IVF in April and I honestly would like to do everything possible to make this work, happy to DM.

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Sorry to hear your first cycle failed. From the scientific studies i’ve read, the calcium is used only to achieve fertilization. We had zero fertilization before and with the calcium we got fertilization. It Isn’t meant to help with anything after that.

I’m anxious myself to hear how many survive to day 3.

You could Google embryo arrest rate... There are many reasons why embryos don’t develop. Or ask the clinic what they thought the problem was. Good luck for your next round.

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