Is there hope after two failed blasto... - Fertility Network UK

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Is there hope after two failed blastocyst cycles?

Dear all,

I get my Day 5 results today from my second ICSI cycle and I am petrified I will have no blastocysts again.

The doctor said if we get no blastocysts during this cycle, it is game over. It will be almost impossible for me to have my own child. He said it would indicate intrinsic abnormalities with my eggs.

I am really panicking. Breathless. Petrified. I am so scared.

I need to prepare myself for the worst, so can anyone give me hope?

Is it possible to have two cycles of ICSI with no embryos getting to blastocyst and still get pregnant with another cycle? Did anyone have success with Day 3 transfer after failing to get any blastocysts previously?

I have done everything possible. No alcohol, lots of supplements etc.

Background:

I am 35 (nearly 36), my partner is 32.

1st cycle: 14 eggs, 6 fertilised, 4 progressing well on Day 3 ( 6 - 8 cells) then none of them make it to Day 5. Nothing to transfer.

2nd cycle: 13 eggs, 7 fertilised, 5 progressing well ( 6 - 8 cells) on Day 3. No news yet on Day 5.

Thank you so much xx

26 Replies
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Each cycle is different, I did 5 cycles and 3 of those cycles we got no blasts, one cycle we don’t know as we put the only two in on day 3, and the other cycle we got 5 blasts out of 6 eggs!!!! Crazy!!! The good cycle was my fourth. Same protocol as the others.

I feel for you, the anticipation and waiting is one of the most stressful parts, but I will be checking back later for your update and hope for some good news for you x

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This helps me a huge amount. Thank you so much Orla 💛

It gives me much needed hope. I am literally having panic attacks waiting because the doctor told me if this fails, that’s it.

Can I ask if all the cycles were using your own eggs and if you did anything differently on your fourth cycle (nutrition, stress)? Also, how long did you wait between cycles?

Thank you so much again. Your message is the hope I desperately need right now.

Xxxxxx

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Try to stay calm (I know that’s a silly thing to say) but remind yourself that getting worked up won’t help you in any way. Do anything you can to distract yourself waiting for the call, can you go out for fresh air and a nice walk?

I didn’t do much differently, no! My first two rounds were maximum dose rounds and my next three were milder rounds and I have low amh. The milder went better.

I have been taking dhea and high dose ubiquinol and inositol as well as lots of others when I finally actually got better results. I think it was when I increased the ubiquinol to 600mg daily and took the dhea and inositol consistently that I got slightly better results (also conceived naturally twice) so I think that helped me. But dhea is only right for some people so I can’t recommend it. But ubiquinol is widely used for egg quality.

All those rounds were with my own eggs.

I’m now finally moving to donor egg treatment and hoping to start in May. My friend is doing the tests to be my donor at the moment. Our plan is is it works, to then be happy to have one child and then try again with my eggs. But if we have spare embryos we may change our mind and go for full siblings I guess rather then try mine again.

Keep me updated and good luck xxx

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Thank you so much.

I thought I could relax after EC, but the waiting and fear is absolutely crippling. Unfortunately I work long hours and hardly have any annual leave, so I have been stuck in a windowless office suffering injections and anxiety without hardly anyone knowing...

I was actually thinking that a milder round might be a good third option. The protocol was so high last time that I am sure it is harming my body.

I see you have had five cycles - superwoman! How many months do you think women should wait in between cycles? I waited three months between cycle one and two...

I read your post about your friend donating her eggs. That is absolutely wonderful. In such a cruel world, there is always humanity to keep us going.

Thank you again 💛

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Could your clinic try IMSI next time? They would select the sperm under a microscope which allows them to select the best ones. It made a big difference for us - had 2 poor blastocysts in 1st ICSI cycle but 8 (top quality to very good and average) in our 2nd IMSI cycle. We were told that if the embryos don’t do well after day 3, it’s to do with DNA fragmentation in sperm. What supplements is your husband taking? I think there is definitely still hope xx

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Thank you so much Kari.

The embryologist thought that our first cycle failed because of high sperm fragmentation. My partners sperm has over 40% fragmentation, however, this time we used Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS). My partner has been religiously taking all the necessary supplements.

The doctor said if it fails again, it is because of the egg quality. He said he has never heard of the sperm being responsible for day 3 - day 5 failure....

I am too scared to go home and find out the result! 😥

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Why does he think your egg quality is poor? When embryo first develops, it uses mothers mitochondria and I think from day 4 or 5, it starts using fathers mitochondria, that’s why when embryos start to fragment at that stage, it can be associated with the sperm. Would it be worth of getting a 2nd opinion in another clinic? From my experience, every clinic can have very different approach. Good luck xx

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He basically said that the egg carries the sperm and that if this round - yet again - produces no blastocysts then there is something very wrong with my eggs (he even said it could be a genetic issue...but I have no history of this in my family....). He said Day 3 - Day 5 is when sperm and egg really mix and that whole embryo can fragment if egg isn’t good quality...x

Thank you so much Kari, we are definitely changing clinic if this cycle fails xx

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WOW thats a pretty strong statement from a consultant. Had you thought about getting a second opinion?

I am no medical expert but I know of loads of people who have had a baby after a day three transfer. My consultant was telling me a while ago that there is this new obsession with getting to blasto but a few years ago they didn't do that at all and most transfers were day 3 and there were thousands of babies born. He told me not to worry if we didn't get to blasto.. so it seems things vary

Good luck x

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If this fails, I am definitely changing clinic.

I burst out crying in front of the doctor and nurse, and he bumbled something about going to pick up his daughter....!!!!!

Oh, and he has his name engraved in a gold plaque under the title “Gold Wealth Elite Club”.....

I am having treatment abroad, so perhaps it is the culture. I have literally had zero empathy from any of the medical professionals over here. They freeze when I start crying...🤷‍♀️😂

Xx

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Hi Anna, I’m 33 and have pcos. Had three cycles and have produced only 3 blasts. All bfn. Doctor told me my eggs must have a genetic problem and I need to use donor. He was very matter of fact. I insisted on proof so had Karyotyping done and to his surprise my eggs do NOT have an inherent genetic problem! Despite me going to donor egg counselling for the past 4 weeks...!

I’ve not found the answer yet and he’s told me to use chlomid and metformin for the next 6 months (jury’s still out this suggestion) but I just wanted to share my experience so you know you’re not the only one in this position and it can be a lonely process.

Wishing you all the best xxx

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I would have thought three blastocysts is good as it means you can at least create a viable embryo? So surely the issue is implantation not creating a good embryo?

Do you know what grade they were?

I got one in the end! Even though we just have one, I am delighted! I was so petrified we wouldn’t get any...

Xx

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Oh I’m so pleased for you come on little emby! ❤️ Yes I’m not really happy with what he said and I do fear something else is going on re immunes or lining. I want the immunes testing but I feel like we should change clinics because I’m losing faith in them. My only concern is they have all our previous info and in theory they are best placed to treat going forward because they have our history.

I am reluctant to give up on my eggs given the results of the Karyotyping and my age. I have no idea how to bring up donor sperm with my hubby because I think he’d be dead against it 😞 The consultant said the only way to find out the problem would be to mix my eggs and hubbys sperm with donor both but he said that was academic (he said the same about Karyotyping). Are there clinics that will do half and half eggs or sperm? X

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I can imagine that is a difficult conversation to have...but if you are prepared to have donor eggs, he should also be prepared to try donor sperm...

...he must understand that you want your own biological child, as much as him. You should try both, especially if sperm fragmentation is an issue. Then it will be a decision which is equal and fair on both of you...

Then, perhaps, you could have one child with donor sperm and one child with donor eggs...so you have at least one child each that is genetically yours (not that it will feel that way when they are born as I am sure you will love them both the same!). You get what I mean...

Trying donor and your own eggs and sperm is possible in one cycle...sending you the clinic via a DM now.

❤️

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Pps. Just read your history. Would you not explore donor sperm first to see if it is fragmentation....you have so many eggs....you can do half donor, half yours? X

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Hi Anna have a bath relax your shoulders gather your thoughts and calm down. We had similar situation for our first waiting on our second hope all goes well for you 🙏🏻

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How did you get on Anna?xx

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I got one precious little fighter! I know most people would say it’s not enough, but I am delighted. I have my Fallopian tube removed in April and then wait for transfer (and then repeat if it doesn’t work!) xx

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That’s brilliant, it only takes one!! Good luck xxxx

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Thank you so much. It has given me much needed hope to continue x

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Just wanted to say best of luck. So glad there is still hope for you xxx

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Feel like I could’ve written this myself! (Apart from being told by a doctor that it’ll never work, they’ve always just umm and ahh and scratched their head at me!) I am same age as you & had similar number of eggs collected: 1st icsi cycle 1 very poor blastocyst, 2nd icsi cycle no blastocysts at all (all dropped off in lab like yours. Took 600mg ubiquinol for 3 monhs = 3rd icsi cycle 4 blastocysts straight in freezer. Haven’t done a fet yet. I recommend ubiquinol! It is worth trying, feel like it’s given us some hope....although haven’t quite got rid of the panic yet!! Sending you love 🤗 xxx

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Wow! Four! That’s brilliant! I am delighted for you ❤️

You are incredible for going through a third round - and look at the results! After last time with no blastocysts, my heart was in mouth. I couldn’t breathe yesterday. Literally crippled by fear.

Just one is the hope we need to keep going.

My doctor said waiting a few months before FET is actually a good move and with four blastocysts you have an incredible chance xx

Can I ask if you are still taking ubiquinol? Should we still take it before and during transfer?

Xx

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Thank you ❤️ I’m sure I’ve felt very similar to you with the panic and disbelief. Each cycle is such a learning curve, often quite an unpleasant trip! The quality of our blastocysts is average 😬 nothing great but ok to freeze so just focusing on that. I stopped ubiquinol just before egg collection, also ran out, it’s expensive but still cheaper from USA. Not taking it now; will see how first fet goes. It is just a vitamin I think, have read lots of good things about it but my doctors don’t / can’t comment on it 🤷‍♀️

Did you get one to freeze in end? Was reading your replies above. All the best 🙏 💖 🤗 xxx

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Four is brilliant! I am sure with so many knocks, you are cautious, but don’t forget to celebrate too 😊

Can I ask what an average grade is? I am still unsure about grades.

I did get one to freeze and we delighted. All we needed was one to feel hope again.

It’s interesting as most forums focus on the 2WW, which I am sure is petrifying, but so is the five day wait and hardly anyone talks about it so I thought I was the only person who finds it hard to get blastocysts. Maybe we need to create an acronym for it!

Xx

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Yay congratulations for your frozen one 😁 that is good news, hold on to hope 🙏 I’ve read a lot about fet success due to your body being more balanced with fewer hormones! Try & talk to your embryologist/ doctor about the grades, in simple terms blastocysts with A in are top quality, they grade the cells on what they look like in lab. Haha I’ve thought that about the 5 day wait! The phone call week is very stressful, too many agonising waits in IVF!!! Xxx 💖

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