IVF Update: Fertilization, The Good and the Bad

On Saturday (Day 1 after retrieval) we got some really great news. Our RE called to tell us that all 11 of the eggs that they retrieved were mature. Amazing! We had requested a 50/50 split between ICSI and traditional IVF. Five of the 6 ICSI eggs fertilized and 3 of the 5 IVF eggs fertilized, for a total of 8 embryos! He said with that many embryos, we would shoot for a Day 5 transfer, as long as everything continued to progress. It was very exciting to get this news and we were flying high.

Today (Day 2) brought us back down to reality. After waiting almost the whole day with bated breath, we finally got a call at 3pm from a nurse. Weekends are tough with our clinic because you don’t typically get to talk to your doctor or nurse. She said that she was calling to schedule our Day 3 transfer because our embryos were behind and not looking like good candidates for Day 5 transfer. Specifically, she said that all of them were two-cell embryos, and on Day 2 they like to see at least a few be 3 or 4-cell. She also said that three of them have some fragmentation. In retrospect, I should have asked her if they were graded so I had some more specific information, but my head was spinning and it was hard to think clearly. She said if they catch up, they would call us in the morning to cancel the Day 3 transfer and wait for a Day 5.

I’m really hoping to get a call from our RE tomorrow morning with some more specifics about the quality of our embryos. I have a lot of questions and I’m scared to go into the transfer without all the information I need. My biggest concern right now is that they will not have progressed at all by tomorrow – and if we can even do a transfer if that is the case. I’m guessing no? My second concern is that we’re going to face a very tough decision of how many embryos to transfer at this stage. Our preference is for a single embryo transfer, but we were hoping that by having a Day 5 transfer, we wouldn’t have to think twice about that decision. And lastly, what does this tell us? Are my eggs poor quality? With so many that fertilized, why aren’t at least some of them dividing as they should?

Infertility really is a rough ride. Every time you think you’re finally making progress, it seems there is a setback. Hoping and praying for some good news tomorrow.

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19 thoughts on “IVF Update: Fertilization, The Good and the Bad

  1. It is a really tough go. I am so sorry that you have to go through. Positive thoughts coming your way for the best outcome possible.

  2. it’s definitely a roller coaster ride. what was your AMH, i don’t recall seeing you post that before? when the embryologist talked to me before transfer, explaining why even though we had the large majority fertilize (! with male factor at that), that for a woman age 35-37, they expect 30% to make it to blastocyst stage. hopefully they will catch up and you’ll have better news tomorrow. it sounds like possibly more testing will be in order if this round doesn’t succeed, but i’m keeping all my fingers crossed for you!

    • Thank you! My AMH was 1.1 when I had the test done last year. My RE said it was normal, but I know it is on the low normal side, especially for being 31. We actually got some great news this morning that they are pushing to a Day 5 transfer because we had a lot of growth over night. Still waiting for the report but feeling more optimistic!

  3. Thinking of you and hoping the embryos have a really strong 24 hours. You said it right – It can be such a rollercoaster ride, hopefully you will have more news to go on tomorrow.

  4. Lifting you in prayer, hun. Im sorry this has been such a roller coaster. A mere 24 hours can make a big difference in the growth of an embie. Keep the faith! And if tomorrow results in a 3 day transfer, what better place for your little ones to be than inside the warm comfort of their mommy’s womb. Big hugs!

    • Thank you for your sweet and wise words! We had a great night last night and found out this morning that we’re changing to a Day 5 transfer. Really, really appreciate the prayers and thoughts! Sending them right back to you!

      • Eeeek!! This made me squeal! I am so happy to hear that you’re being moved to a day 5 transfer! Way to go embabies! Now just hang in there mama. Only a couple of more days before your sweet little one cozies up inside of you 🙂

  5. I know how nerve wracking and heart wrenching it can be. Our embryologist told us that fragmentation actually occurs to some degree in most embryos. Up to 20% fragmentation is what she considered acceptable per embryo. As for the cell division, mine were all slow growers. For IVF#2, the RE waited them out til day 5 and 6 and sure enough, they came around and made it to blastocysts. Day 4 is always a major changing today so don’t be too surprised if you see 40%-50% cease in growth. It’s normal. Wishing you lots of success for you Day 5!!

  6. This part of IVF is so hard. I wish there was a one size fits all answer. Sometimes IVF leads to more questions than answers. I hope you are able to find some clarity.

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