Poor fertilisation rate - Bad luck or... - Fertility Network UK

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Poor fertilisation rate - Bad luck or something else?


Any advice or experience? I’m really struggling emotionally...

I am a healthy 27year old with an AMH of 52.4. I have mild PCO but not PCOS as all of my hormonal tests have come back normal and I have confirmed ovulation every month naturally. My husband and I have unexplained infertility.

Of the 8 eggs collected during first IVF round only 3 of those eggs fertilised. Thats less than half 😞 im devastated. Currently waiting to find out if any of those 3 are still viable, and why the others failed to fertilise.

Is this just bad luck? Could there be an issue with egg quality? Im really struggling to cope with the fact I may be falling at the final hurdle 😭 xx

10 Replies

I’m sorry it’s a tough journey IVF. Hopefully one of the three you do have is the one, it’s quite normal for not all eggs to fertilise. You mention you’ve had tests, has your partner had his sperm tested? Xx

Sunshine92 in reply to Missl73

He’s had 2 sperm tests. Both have been great .. above and beyond the ‘normal’ limits 😕 xx

Oh no. I know this seems like the worst possible news but they do expect a 50% fall off but it’s a big shock isn’t it. I lost 80% on day 1 and was left with 1.

There was no reason, they said in retrospect I should have had ICSI as eggs and sperm looked good. Hang in there for the next update, you still have 3 xx

Im so sorry to hear that! Its horrible waiting on those calls. Did they say if you had IVF (where the eggs and sperm as put into a dish to fertilise naturally) or ICSI (where they physically inject the sperm into the egg)? If there is a low fertilisation rate it may be worth considering ICSI for future cycles. The embryologist should be able to have a chat about their thoughts on fertilisation....whether they think it was a sperm issue etc. Wishing you all the best for those 3 embryos, Im really hoping you get good news and dont need to delve in any further! Hugs.xx

Easy said than done but try not to worry, firstly, 3 is still a great chance, however it could just be a poor cycle and things can be changed for next time. I can’t comment my self but Stephybivf may be able to give you some good advice xxx

I’m sorry you’ve had this devastating news. I really do think the stats the clinics give you can be really misleading about fertilisation rates because it’s complete pot luck - one round you can have a good number fertilised and the next it can be totally different. On average, 2 out of every 5 eggs is abnormal, and that’s completely normal for any women who doesn’t have any other underlying issues (diminished ovarian reserve for example). And then that’s before you add in the sperm, I believe the average amount of normal sperm is around 4% even where a guy has no identified issues. so when you consider that plus the fact that no one can control which of your follicles will mature during a stims cycle - it could be a batch which has mostly normal eggs or it could be a batch which has a lot of abnormal ones in - it’s complete pot luck unfortunately.

All my tests have come back total normal so far and we collected 5 eggs first cycle of which 2 fertilised, and then 8 eggs second cycle with 1 which fertilised. We’ve been given no explanation for that other than ‘it can happen’ 😕

We have been having ICSI as we’re using frozen sperm which is always pretty immobile once it’s defrosted (that’s normal) so they always recommend ICSI to get over that issue when using frozen sperm. Otherwise, there are no issues with the sperm we are aware of.

ICSI should help with fertilisation rates if you didn’t have that done already. Another thing to ask your doctor about is calcium ionophore (also known as AOA or Assisted Oocyte Activation, I think!) which is a formula they add to the culture in which your embryo is stored and it’s meant to help activate the eggs into accepting the sperm. You can also have IMSI which is where the lab use a higher resolution microscope to select the sperm they choose to inject into the gg - it’s meant to give them more information to pick the best ones. I don’t know however whether these additional treatments are available on the NHS, were having treatment privately and they've recommended these if we need another fresh cycle.

Sorry for the long post and information overwhelm! It’s devastating when you don’t get the outcome you expected and no matter how much you read up on just how many issues can occur naturally with fertilisation rates and embryos being abnormal etc, it’s still really hard not to be disappointed.

Wishing you all the very best of luck and remember it does only take one!! Xxxx

Hey dear

You know what this whole thing call life actually is mysterious and how much ever we try in the end nature wins it and future is so uncertain dear .

But the best we can do is try try try till we succeed with all your heart ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️...

In this journey they always feel women are always blamed for it ...

I have been through this journey for blame games and now what I do is try try try till I can✌️


And darling your embryo which ever has made it must be the strongest prince charming from those eggs....it survived and am sure you will be pregnant soon before Christmas...am sending my life be them💕💕💕.

Please take care of your self.. you must must have been tired ...sending my warm hugs and love ...💕💕💕Do update us

Praying you...

Sunshine92 in reply to Sayusayme

Thank you so much!

Call from clinic this morning, all 3 still going strong! Had a top grade embryo transferred earlier on day 2, they are going to keep an eye on the others until Monday so see if they can be frozen.

Feeling beyond blessed to have got to this point. Lots of rest now & prayers for a sticky one xx

Good luck.xx

Sayusayme in reply to Sunshine92

Tolddd youuu🤗🤗🤗

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