2 BFN after a fresh and frozen cycle,... - Fertility Network UK

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2 BFN after a fresh and frozen cycle, told unexplained infertility and no idea what to do next?

Leanne1230 profile image

We did our first IVF treatment the beginning of the year. We had a low fertilisation rate only 3 fertilised out of 8 mature eggs. My husband is 31 and I am 29 years old and keep getting told you are young its going to happen.

The only thing that has ever come up is low morphology at 2% however our consultant said that with IVF that shouldn't make any difference. My husband also has a varicele so we have decided to get DNA fragmentation test done. I just don't know what else we should get tested as I feel that before we go into our last NHS fresh round we should get more testing done and see if it brings anything up before putting my body and mind through torture again!

Any advice is so very welcomed!

10 Replies

Hi

Did anything show up on your husbands DNA fragmentation test?! Or was that where they discovered the low morphology?

My husbands morphology is slightly on the lower side so we had ICSI - I’m not sure if they offer that in the NHS, we’ve always been private patients

It really annoys me when consultants say you have ‘unexplained Infertility’ I actually challenged ours over that and said - I don’t believe it’s unexplained you just haven’t found the cause and she did actually agree.

We didn’t need to but there will be immunology tests you could have done - other ladies on here will have had those and tell you what you can have.

I’m assuming the 3 you were left with made it to either a day 3 or day 5 blast, if not you need to be asking your embryologist or doctor what has gone wrong as the answer may be there.

If you have had any put back and they’ve failed, you could look at doing ERA testing on your uterus lining, I think there are tests called Emma and Alice as well but I don’t know anything about these

Unfortunately being young means nothing these days!! And these hospitals are wasting peoples precious time

It’s taken us 6 years to get to where we are and I’m now 41 and my husbands 59

Leanne1230 profile image
Leanne1230 in reply to Running79

Hi! Thank you so much for your response.

We havent yet had the DNA fragmentation test done so it will be interesting to see what comes back from it.

The consultant said that this next fresh round they would use ICSI which should hopefully improve the fertilisation rate.

I have seen a lot about ERA testing and it is certainly something I am going to ask about.

The three we were left with got to Day 5 however one they disposed of due to the quality.

I really feel like they are wasting peoples time because we would have much rather paid to have more testing and then gone ahead with IVF instead of going through it and potentially getting nowhere because the tests haven't been done prior! I am really going to stress this point in my follow up appointment as it makes no sense!

It is interesting to hear that you did ICSI due to your husbands morphology, I feel like they should have done ICSI straight away if I'm honest. At the time and on the first round I was so naive and didn't push my thoughts and feelings enough so this time round it is going to be different.

Thanks again

Leanne

Running79 profile image
Running79 in reply to Leanne1230

I would say just because we are private paitients they are equally as lax, with tests.

My only advise to you is to utilise this forum to get as much information as you can from others and do your own homework research.

These doctors/consultants don’t like it when you don’t like it when you go in there with knowledge because they can’t fob you off!!

Knowledge is power!!

Leanne1230 profile image
Leanne1230 in reply to Running79

That is my exact plan. Thank you very much.

Knowledge really is power!

Hey,

My husband has 1% sperm morphology, and therefore we went straight to ICSI. Definitely push for that. We had 100% fertilisation (7 eggs, with 6 making it to blastocysts) so I wouldn’t do it another way when we do a new egg collection.

I have no known fertility issues, and also been told I’m “unexplained” which I don’t believe in. There is always an explanation, the doctors just haven’t found it yet. I’m stubborn, so I push and push.

We’ve had three transfers, the last was a double transfer and ended in a chemical pregnancy - I believe the fact I put two back in and this time we were on heparin and aspirin, helped us get a little further along.

The reason I took heparin is because I had a autoimmune testing done prior to my third transfer and it showed I had raised anti-cardiolipin antibodies.

I’ve also had the following tests following a failed transfer:

- HyCoSy to check for blockage in my tubes

- Hysteroscopy to check my womb

- Genetic testing on both me and my husband (karoytyping)

- Progesterone levels checked

- Thyroid level monitoring (my TSH & T4 fluctuate often, but it’s levelled out with thyroxine daily).

My new clinic is repeating all of my blood tests to re-check my hormone profile, and my husband is doing the DNA fragmentation test. I’m also having immunology testing done. My current clinic don’t believe immunology plays a role in fertility whereas this new clinic specialise in it. I agree it’s not worth doing if you don’t tick the criteria however I do. I’m under 35, had two miscarriages and two implantation failures, have a family member (my mum) with two autoimmune issues and I’ve no known fertility issues causing these problems so for me, it’s worth eliminating.

I personally haven’t done the ERA as I’ve been pregnant naturally (sadly ended in MMC) and had the CP so I don’t think my window of implantation is an issue. And I’m not doing the EMMA/ALICE but my doctor has told me to take a course of probiotics anyway.

Are you taking any supplements? My husband takes proxeed twice daily, and he’s taken that for almost a year now so I’m interested to see how much his sperm has improved - he repeats the test next week.

It’s such an exhausting process, I really wish you lots of luck xxx

Leanne1230 profile image
Leanne1230 in reply to XOXO13

Hello, thank you for your response. I'm sorry to see about your miscarriage and implantation failures.

It really is interesting to hear how different clinics believe in different things.

I have been wondering about the immune response. What test did you have done to show the initial auto immune problem? I asked about these and my clinic do not seem to believe it plays a role, which I think is nonsense!

I just don't know which way to turn at the moment, I feel like there are so many roads to follow but I'm just so lost!

I'm just ordering some new supplements and Symprove Probiotics. I think I am going to go with the Ultimate IVF kit by Zita West. My husband is ordering proxeed today as well so it will be interesting to see if it makes any difference!

Thanks again :)

XOXO13 profile image
XOXO13 in reply to Leanne1230

With each of my transfers, I’ve noticed my glands have swollen in my neck and I was having a persistent lump that made my neck really painful. Because I had the lump for 6+ weeks, I was referred to a specialist and they had a look at it and ran some tests. There’s nothing sinister there, but the blood panel they ran incl. tests for any autoimmune issues such as lupus and APS. That’s when they identified that my anti-cardiolipin was raised. He was an oncology doctor rather than a fertility doctor, but he knew my doctor and passed on my results to her and suggested I take blood thinners.

I think that test is included when you’ve had recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure as well, so you could ask for it. Did your doctor prescribe you with aspirin or heparin or some form of blood thinner? As some clinics do it as standard practice, whereas mine didn’t.

It is frustrating that all clinics have different processes and beliefs really - it makes all of this a minefield. Where I am now I like because they’re monitoring my natural cycle and repeating all my bloods and husband tests before they decide on a protocol for me. I like that I’m being monitored so they can really understand what’s going on.

That’s not to say my previous clinic weren’t great because they were, they’re experts in standard IVF where there isn’t much going on and standard practice should work, but I’ve surpassed that and now need further tests to rule more controversial issues out such as the immune testing. It may not be an issue for us, but I’m at a stage where I want them to throw the kitchen sink at me so that for my own peace of mind, I know I’ve done everything I can to make this work. It can take some ladies multiple goes and a lot of heartache, it’s so sad but I do believe it will work with perseverance and the right medical support.

I have Zita Wests IVF diet book which is quite good, check that out. And supplement wise I take methyfolate, omega 3, ubiquinol and vitamin D. My husband takes FertiltySmart and proxeed plus Vitamin D. These were recommended by our doctor and also in the book “this starts with the egg” - I can’t say if it’s helping but I feel like I’m doing something at home to help improve my situation.

It’s a complex journey with lots of emotions involved and so many hurdles, so look after yourself and ask your doctor as much as you want/can to help you understand the process and possible outcomes and to also help you feel like you have some control in this.

🍀 xx

Leanne1230 profile image
Leanne1230 in reply to XOXO13

Ah ok! Glad it wasn't anything sinister and it's good that they have found that as well!

My clinic haven't said anything about aspirin or herapin. I am on beta blockers as I have a heart condition and I've always wondered if that is having an impact but every doctor I've spoken to has said it shouldn't cause an issue with conceiving.

It is SO good that they are monitoring you fully before deciding on your next protocol. I just don't feel that my clinic will even recommend any bloods be done, that's me guessing but it wouldn't surprise me. I feel like if we do have to go private after our NHS rounds we will need to go to a more specialised clinic.

It starts with the egg is the best book I've ever read, I learnt so much from it! I will have a look at the Zita West IVF diet book, thank you.

I will continue to do my own research and will ask all the questions I need to at my next consultation.

Thank you for sharing everything with me

Hi Leanne. So sorry to hear that all has gone a bit pear-shaped so far. Good idea to try the DNA fragmentation test followed by ICSI. You might also like to ask about using low dose soluble aspirin or heparin if not already tried, to ensure good blood circulation to your womb lining and hopefully prevent any clot formation. Good luck! Diane

We had regular IVF cycle, even though they knew he had 2% morphology. They simply said his sperm looked good on the day. Only one egg fertilised out of 12 mature eggs 😑.

We did ICSI the second cycle, 100% fertilisation (12 mature eggs) and ended up with 3 excellent and 1 good quality blasts.

I took Vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc.

He took vitamin D and magnesium.

Push for ICSI if you can and wishing you all the best.

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