I’ve been posting a lot of doom and gloom lately so I thought I’d give y’all a break. Break’s over.
My donor only produced 12 eggs. And while 12 isn’t awful, it isn’t great, especially with a young donor. And certainly it was lower than my expectations. Especially since the girls on my board were coming back with numbers like 21 and 25. But, ok, it’s not quantity it’s quality right? And donors have good quality eggs, that’s why we choose them. And a good way to assess quality is fertilization rate with ICSI (according to many papers in different journals). Average fertilization rate with ICSI is 70-80%. Anything below 50% seems to be an indicator of poor egg quality. In fact, I found a study by Rinaudo et al., 2010 (Fertilization rate is an independent predictor of implantation rate) that shows that fertilization rate is a robust indictor of implantation potential. If less than 50% of your eggs fertilize (using ICSI) there is a 65% decrease in the chances of implantation.
6 eggs fertilized. 6 out of 12. That would be 50%.
For fun, lets continue our little math tutorial. If we assume I originally had a 50% of conceiving during this cycle but that the fertilization rate indicates sub-par egg quality and thus my odds are decreased by a further 65% that gives me a 17.5% chance of pregnancy. That’s about $2000 per percent, in case you’re keeping track. However, not only are the eggs (apparently) not of the highest quality, there aren’t that many of them, which further decreases the odds of a positive outcome. Grrrrrrrr…..
I’m holding on to the hope that the embryologist can answer some of my questions (he’s supposed to call today), because they didn’t tell me how many eggs were mature, which makes a difference. For example, if only 8 of the 12 were mature, and if 6 of those 8 fertilized there may not be a quality problem. That would be more of a protocol issue – why weren’t there more mature eggs? Which means there would be much more hope for the few we have left.
In any case, they’ve scheduled me for 2 transfers – one for tomorrow at 12:30 and one for Sunday at 10:30, because, why the hell not make things even MORE complicated!? If they don’t call it means I have to report tomorrow, which means most of the embryos didn’t progress and they are afraid to wait to put the other/s back in (make the patient feel like they get their money’s worth, I guess). If they do call that means all of them are progressing and we’ll wait to do a 5dt.
I’ll keep you updated.
**A sincere thank you to everyone who has been commenting on my blog lately. Your humor, understanding and support have been truly incredible and I am humbled and grateful.**
I am sorry that you had a less than perfect donor cycle. If you want to be bummed, totally give yourself time for that. I always needed it. If you want to feel optimistic, try to remember that even with donor eggs (which are supposed to be young and perfect) the stim process stops the natural selection process. All of them are told to grow grow grow, even the ones that never would have made it to ovulation. So they can’t all be great. When we did DE I hoping that we would have 30 eggs like people who I have seem on the PVED boards. But that didn’t happen. And it was ok, because we didn’t want to over stim the donor and cause her to have issues. I thought that once we switched to DE everything would be a piece of cake. It was not. fresh cycle didnt work. FET #1 didnt work. But FET #2 DID! I just learned the hard way that even young donor eggs mixed with my husband 550 million sperm did not result in 100% perfect embryos. In fact, we had no “excellent” embryos. Just some “good”, 2 of which are now finally growing inside me. My point is don’t be discouraged even if you didn’t get 40 eggs! It only takes one – which is a huge cliche – but with DE you are very likely to get at least one good quality one! I will be interested to hear what they say about fertilization rate. Will they be able to attribute that to egg, sperm, or both? I will be thinking of you and hoping that they make it for a day 5 transfer!
The infernal infertile said:
Why, just once, can’t it be easy for one of us?
Thinking of you… and wishing so hard for those little guys to grow and be good viable embies xxx
Wow. That study is…depressing. I’ve never had more than 50% fertilization rate, but I have admittedly old and crappy eggs. I’m sorry that you’re encountering this in a donor cycle. Sending you positive thoughts for strong embryos and implantation!
I’m sorry for the disappointing results, but this cycle isn’t over yet. I hope those 6 embryos grow, grow, grow, and that at least one of them is your baby!
I am sorry for the disappointing results. I really really hope this works for you.
I had a few thoughts if you are talking to the RE and embryologist:
1) 12 eggs retrived is not bad if they didn’t hyper stim the domor. Do you know her doses. I would feel good about 12 eggs if they did a mild stim and be worried if they had to really up the doses to get those 12.
2) Do you know how many eggs were mature? In my case, of the DE eggs that were retrevied (I got 15 so not too many more), the majority that did not fertilize were immature. They tried to fertilize these immature eggs b/c why not. But, they never had much hope for them in the first place. In which case, this isn’t so much a judgement on egg quality as they they mistimed when they did the egg retrevial. It is bad news in the sense you still have only 6 eggs but maybe they are 6 blockbuster eggs.
3) And make sure you talk to the embryologist. In my experience news from the embryologist that was passed to the IVF nurse then passed to me or passed to my RE then passed to me was very different from what I heard when talking directly with the embryologist. But, my experience (and this seems pretty typical) is that getting the embryologist to take your call is not always easy. But, i strongly encourage you to keep insisting. The decision between a 3-day and 5-day transfer is yours to make.
I hope you get better news today! Grow embryos grow!
Bachelor's Button said:
I hope that things have progressed more positively for you! 6 eggs is okay – and as you say maybe they weren’t all mature, so it could be that your odds are higher. And odds are only odds you know. Hx