Discarding embryos


#1

Hi ladies,

Sorry if this is long but having a rough time of it at the moment. (I joined here last year but haven’t been on much as really struggling with my emotions).

We are still trying for number two after more than two years and many treatment cycles. I was 36 when we started and I’m now almost 39…so disappointing.

Anyway, we finally did our first IVF last year and after being told I would be lucky to get even two eggs with my low AMH we got 9 and 8 fertilized. On day 3 we still had all 8 but by day 5 they had discarded five of them and left us with three. One was transfered and didn’t implant and we are putting the last two back next week, though I’m not holding my breath.

My question is WHY would they discard any when it was such a trial to get them in the first place? Apparently they were all healthy but they decided that five wouldn’t freeze well. But no one asked US what we wanted and if they had, we would have said to freeze them all on day 3. Instead, when my husband quizzed the embryologist about how they decide this, she just said “it’s up to me” as though she was God or something!

My husband is still furious and they are refusing to give us any answers other than they only transfer day 5 embryos. This seems ridiculous if they don’t make it to day 5. Everything I’ve read suggests they can’t judge an embryo by how well it grows and a day 3 fragmented embryo can still become a baby.

I’m so cross with this clinic that I am actually dreading my upcoming transfer because I can’t help feeling that they threw my chances of pregnancy away and I just have a gut feeling this won’t work again. I’m actually suspicious they don’t want it to work!

So has anyone else encountered this before? Should I change clinics? I’m in Australia, if that helps. :frowning:


#2

I think your embriologist may need some help on her bedside manner. I went through a cycle and had 4 embroyos left that didn’t make it to freeze either.

I was told by my clinic that if by day 6 they make it to blast stage they will freeze them. Mine had all arrested and that is why they didn’t make it to freeze. They left them cultured until day 6 but none had made it to over 20 cells. I had a good embryo put back that was fragmented, but they told me that at that point, fragmentation didn’t matter, just if they had made it to blast stage. They told me that if they hadn’t made it to that point by then they wouldn’t and therefore wouldn’t make the freeze either.

I hope your able to get some answers! Good luck!


#3

Definitely, the embryologist needs a bedside manner adjustment.

I don’t know how it is at your clinic, but mine has very strict freezing criteria since the embryos not only have to be hardy enough to survive the freeze, but also the thaw. Only about 20% of embryos qualify for freezing.

I hope you get some answers. Good luck with your FET!


#4

Thanks for the answers…it’s nice to not feel so alone as I’m seriously in tears most days with all the hormones I’m taking and the general blah feeling of doing this again. Not one of my friends understands as they all fell pregnant easily. Guess I’m that 5% statistic or whatever :frowning:

Anyway, I didn’t know they only freeze blasts. I thought day 3 could also be frozen? I can’t help thinking they’d have been better off at least having a chance inside me instead of the embryologist tossing them down the sink. She really does have no bedside manner. She didn’t even give the day 3 embryos a second look…she just decided for us that we wanted day 5. If these embryos don’t implant I’ll be left thinking she chose the wrong ones! This makes me feel sick inside as fresh cycles are so hard on me as I need to take the highest drug dose to respond.

I definitely think if this transfer fails that I’ll change clinics as I need more communication than this. I’m currently with Genea and I really thought they were meant to be the best.I’m just so disappointed right now and wish I could feel more positive about next week but I don’t :frowning:

Thanks again for listening.


#5

from the start, my clinic told us they only freeze blasts. Out of 17 fertilized, we had 2 transferred and 6 froze.


#6

I don’t know about there but here (USA) some clinics do freeze day three embryos but the trend is to only freeze ones that make it to blastocyst stage (generally by day 5). I think they are moving toward that because if they weed out the embryos that arrest before day 5 they get higher success rates when they transfer those blastocysts. It might just be me being cynical, but a higher success rate is a selling point for a clinic.

I had a day 3 transfer and the three remaining embryos arrested in the lab before reaching blastocyst stage. They were the poorest graded of my six. My old doctor felt they were better off frozen or transferred on day 3, my new one doesn’t think it makes a difference that if they are going to make it they will.

I have heard that some of whether they implant or not is affected by our emotions. I know it is hard when you are pumped full of hormones but try to focus on the positive and that you might get pregnant. I hope it works out!!


#7

[QUOTE=LilyLady]Hi ladies,

Sorry if this is long but having a rough time of it at the moment. (I joined here last year but haven’t been on much as really struggling with my emotions).

We are still trying for number two after more than two years and many treatment cycles. I was 36 when we started and I’m now almost 39…so disappointing.

Anyway, we finally did our first IVF last year and after being told I would be lucky to get even two eggs with my low AMH we got 9 and 8 fertilized. On day 3 we still had all 8 but by day 5 they had discarded five of them and left us with three. One was transfered and didn’t implant and we are putting the last two back next week, though I’m not holding my breath.

My question is WHY would they discard any when it was such a trial to get them in the first place? Apparently they were all healthy but they decided that five wouldn’t freeze well. But no one asked US what we wanted and if they had, we would have said to freeze them all on day 3. Instead, when my husband quizzed the embryologist about how they decide this, she just said “it’s up to me” as though she was God or something!

My husband is still furious and they are refusing to give us any answers other than they only transfer day 5 embryos. This seems ridiculous if they don’t make it to day 5. Everything I’ve read suggests they can’t judge an embryo by how well it grows and a day 3 fragmented embryo can still become a baby.

I’m so cross with this clinic that I am actually dreading my upcoming transfer because I can’t help feeling that they threw my chances of pregnancy away and I just have a gut feeling this won’t work again. I’m actually suspicious they don’t want it to work!

So has anyone else encountered this before? Should I change clinics? I’m in Australia, if that helps. :([/QUOTE]

Lily, from my understanding, it’s best to implant day 5 embryos. When you are lucky enough to get 8 embryos to last to day 3, it’s prudent to let them all develop to day 5, even if it means you lose some. It’s debated in the literature whether day 3’s should even be transferred at all (but if you only end up with two 3-day embryos, then why not, right?)

If you were to try to implant poor quality embryos, it would ultimately cost you a lot more money because you would go through many more fruitless and expensive transfers. So in your case, the clinic didn’t use the 5 embryos that didn’t make it to day 5 because they really had no meaningful chance to implant. That, or they would have simply would have increased your chance to miscarry, which would subject you and your husband to undue heartache.

It’s unfortunate that your clinic didn’t explain this to you. I’ve seen this kind of patronizing attitude before, and it drives me bonkers!


#8

Thanks again ladies. I’m really trying to scrape together some semblance of optimism for this transfer as my RE is actually a big believer in attitude affecting outcome, however the clinic is who I spend the most time communicating with and they’re awful. They didn’t explain any of this to us and have had a ‘because we said so’ attitude from the start.

I guess I was so excited to actually have eight embryos after expecting zero, and after so many disappointing years, that I’d almost rather they’d put the lot back on day 3 and risked being Octomom the Sequel! Sad but true. I’m just so fed up with this not happening.

I’m also starting to question whether there is a problem with the embryos or even with me. There are many immune issues in my family but so far as I know my sisters etc haven’t had it affect their fertility. But perhaps I’m the exception? I seem to fall into the minority statistics all too often these days. Maybe pregnancy has created an autoimmune response in my body?

Anyway, I think the hormones for my transfer are really affecting my head. I’m still just so sad and cross the clinic doesn’t explain anything when I ask. You girls have been far more helpful in one day than they have in one year!

Think I’ll just ask my questions here instead :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=LilyLady]Thanks again ladies. I’m really trying to scrape together some semblance of optimism for this transfer as my RE is actually a big believer in attitude affecting outcome, however the clinic is who I spend the most time communicating with and they’re awful. They didn’t explain any of this to us and have had a ‘because we said so’ attitude from the start.

I guess I was so excited to actually have eight embryos after expecting zero, and after so many disappointing years, that I’d almost rather they’d put the lot back on day 3 and risked being Octomom the Sequel! Sad but true. I’m just so fed up with this not happening.

I’m also starting to question whether there is a problem with the embryos or even with me. There are many immune issues in my family but so far as I know my sisters etc haven’t had it affect their fertility. But perhaps I’m the exception? I seem to fall into the minority statistics all too often these days. Maybe pregnancy has created an autoimmune response in my body?

Anyway, I think the hormones for my transfer are really affecting my head. I’m still just so sad and cross the clinic doesn’t explain anything when I ask. You girls have been far more helpful in one day than they have in one year!

Think I’ll just ask my questions here instead :)[/quote]

I would not give up hope on your remaining embryos. However, I personally do not like the practice of discarding embryos when there are not many to chose from. As a poor responder myself (much poorer responder than you), I have never had a day 5 embryo. I have also been treated at 4 clinics, and none of them have encouraged me to push to day 5 (that being said, if I had responded as you did, I think they would have). I know you said you are finished after you use your remaining embryos, but if you decide to try again, I would encourage you as a poor responder to seek a clinic who will transfer and freeze day 3 embryos. CCRM froze day 3 embryos for me, so I know it is done.


#10

Thanks Houston. I actually had a quiet ponder this morning about our options and made an appointment with another clinic. I am exhausted and frustrated and ready to toss the whole thing in, but really I know I’ll regret doing that the rest of my life and if another clinic can help me then I’d like to give this everything I can.

I am very keen to question whether we can have day 3 transfers and freeze as if this really is a statistical lottery it’s only fair I have all the numbers to play with. They can’t throw away three quarters of my embryos and then tell me it was bad luck! Yep, that’s exactly what the clinic says whenever I question their methods. Very infuriating.

I also can’t guarantee I’ll respond as I did at the last cycle as my AMH is dropping rapidly. My next cycle might be much worse and I need the reassurance that they’re doing what’s best for the situation.

Guess I’ll find out more after my Monday transfer. I would love to not see another RE again!


#11

[quote=LilyLady]Thanks Houston. I actually had a quiet ponder this morning about our options and made an appointment with another clinic. I am exhausted and frustrated and ready to toss the whole thing in, but really I know I’ll regret doing that the rest of my life and if another clinic can help me then I’d like to give this everything I can.

I am very keen to question whether we can have day 3 transfers and freeze as if this really is a statistical lottery it’s only fair I have all the numbers to play with. They can’t throw away three quarters of my embryos and then tell me it was bad luck! Yep, that’s exactly what the clinic says whenever I question their methods. Very infuriating.

I also can’t guarantee I’ll respond as I did at the last cycle as my AMH is dropping rapidly. My next cycle might be much worse and I need the reassurance that they’re doing what’s best for the situation.

Guess I’ll find out more after my Monday transfer. I would love to not see another RE again![/quote]

I really hope this cycle works out for you!! I would be proactive and schedule appointments with other REs. You can always cancel them. Calling to cancel them would be awesome! Please make sure your REs you meet with also do advanced freezing (vitrification) and have good success rates for their labs.