Total Fertilization Failure in IVF ICSI — The Bump
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Total Fertilization Failure in IVF ICSI

hey all,

I'm super new to The Bump and still figuring out which boards are the right ones to post on, but I think I've finally got it down.  

A small intro - 
me 29
hubby 39 (2 kids prior marriage)
male factor (he just had the fragmention / DNA testing done - results coming)
ttc 3 years 
3 failed IUI 

heres where I'm hoping for some guidance or any advice. We went through our first round of IVF ICSI in November. I responded well, was on low meds (75 gonal, 75 menopur) triggered on day 10 of meds, retrieved 9 and all 9 were mature. 

The next morning we got the devastating call that none of the 9 fertilized. Doctors said they hadn't seen that before and both sperm and eggs looked good so they were confused. 

Has anyone been through this? Can this happen again if we try IVF again? Could this have been a clinic fault (human error)? 

I could be completely misinformed on egg health, but I'm pretty healthy and don't think that could be the issue--under 30, always been an athlete, workout regularly (though not too much), always regular periods, everything organic, never did drugs, Advil may be the strongest thing I've ever taken, no smoking, no drinking, no coffee, regular visits to acupuncture, taking CoQ10, melatonin, pre natal, probiotics, iron, vitamin D. 

Anyone heard of this, or been through this before?

many thank!!
hopelessly hopeful

Re: Total Fertilization Failure in IVF ICSI

  • I just wanted to reply to this bc I had a similar experience and really felt like it was uncommon.  Upfront apology, it's a long story. I am healthy 36 yrs old (35 when we did first round of IVF), no apparent issues with me, my husband was shot in the back which left him paralyzed from the waist down 4 years ago. For reasons that are completely unknown, spinal cord injury causes various issues with sperm, it's different for everyone, can be lower count, lower morphology, complete sterilization, no rhyme or reason.  So we had to start with IVF due to the low sperm quality (though it should be noted when they took his initial sample and froze it they thought it would be just fine and saw no reason it wouldn't work with ICSI).  I nearly overstimulated on the first round and produced 23 mature eggs, they told us after thawing the sperm that now it looked terrible and they didn't know why but they found enough "good" sperm to fertilize all 23 eggs, but only two actually fertilized after the first day, they scheduled me for a 3 day transfer at which time only one embryo had continued to develop.  I can tell you they were shocked by the response and had no explanation why.  My estrogen was very high at transfer and that pregnancy did not take. On our second round we tried to switch it up and my eggs were taken first and frozen, they were trying to stimulate me less though and I ended up with only 7 mature eggs, only 6 of which survived freeze and thaw. They used fresh sperm for ICSI and after the first day called to say that 4 of six had fertilized but on day three they called and said all 4 had arrested. So on our third round we went back to the fresh eggs, they got 13 mature and 6 fertilized when I went in for transfer on day 3 all 6 were still going with 3 rated "good" and 3 rated "fair" (my clinic only rates them as  good, fair or poor). They transferred two and then on day 6 called to tell me that 2 more had continued to develop but arrested just prior to being able to freeze. Fortunately one of the two from the transfer did take and I am currently 23 weeks pregnant.  I can't give you a reason for the low fertilization, I also had thoughts about possible lab errors (particularly regarding the sperm freezing since the quality seemed SO diminished compared to what we were originally told) but ultimately no one can give us an answer as to why it was so difficult but I wanted you to know that yes, that happens, and no, no one knows why but hang in there.  It was frustrating for me, even on these boards with so many ladies struggling to not see anyone else have such a poor initial fertilization response but it's not just you! It can happen but hang in there and talk to your doctor about changing up protocol, maybe trying something a little different that just might be the difference maker.  I've got my fingers crossed for you, don't give up!
  • @jhealey23 wow that's some story! I feel like u probably just have birth, hoping ur well with ur bundle of joy!!
    History of TTC in spoiler box
    TTC since 2014
    Unexplained Infertility - but I am 40...Low AMH .30
    7 - IUI (50mg-150mg Clomid) Feb - August 2016 all BFN 
    IVF#1 August 2016 (Antagonist protocol 4/5 eggs) Cancelled cycle :( RE thought I would get at least 10.
    IVF#2 Sept 2016 (microdose luporn pro - disappearing follies, ONLY ONE, convert to IUI) BFN
    IVF#3 November 2016 (4 ER, 3 F,  3DT)-BFP  with TWINS // MC both at almost 10wks  :'( 
    IVF#4 March 2017 //EPP  (10 ER (1 wonky so 9 ER) 7F, 3B (5AB, (2)5BB) PGS tested- ALL abnormal  :'( 
    IVF#5 April 2017 // EPP (7 ER, 7F yes! 6B) 2/5 day 4/6 day - 2 PGS normal! yes!! :)
    IVF#6 May 2017 // Antagonist didn't have time for Estrogen Priming...(4 ER, 3 F, 3B) (5AB, (2) 5BB) 2 PGS normal, yes!! :)
    IVF#7 June 2017 // EPP praying this is it and then on to an FET!

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  • kra6789kra6789
    First Anniversary First Comment Photogenic
    edited March 2018
    **TW---This is similar to what happened to us in Sept 2017. DH was diagnosed with low sperm (below 1 million). He gave a sample to freeze. On the day of the IVF ICSI, he gave a fresh sample. I had 26 eggs taken out, 8 were mature. They said his sperm looked alive and well, but none fertilized. We were devastated. We paid $18,000, all out of pocket, and it didn't work. We have since moved on to use DS and IUI (I have PCOS and hypothyroidism, but our RE still thinks we can get pregnant). 
    Me - 29 PCOS, Hypothyroidism, elevated Prolactin 
    DH - 30 Azoospermia 
    Dating since 2007, married since 2014

    TTC since 11/16
    IVF w/ICS I#1 9/17 - 0 eggs fertilized 
    IUI w/DS - 3/10/18
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