Has anyone had success with less than average looking embryos for Donor eggs?


Hi, I’m new to the forum and was wondering if anyone has had a successful pregnancy having used less than great looking embryos from donor eggs?

This has been a harrowing journey to say the least.
After a long search we chose a 29 year old egg donor, who from every angle appeared to be very healthy, and according to all tests looked great. We also used donor sperm from a proven 24 year old.

She had 15 resting follicles, retrieved 11, 4 fertilized.
We were shocked, these results were as bad as my 42 year old eggs!

We were moved up to a day three transfer because they were afraid the four would not make it to blastocyst.

We put all four embryos in, RE said that if we were open to twins (which we are) that this was the best choice for a successful pregnancy.

We had one 6 cell w/ no fragmentation, one 7 cell with slight fragmentation, one 7 cell compacted with considerable fragmentation, one 8 cell compacted with moderate fragmentation and the acronym “i”?

I realize that even though the embryos aren’t great looking, and the donor didn’t respond well, that they are 29 year old eggs, and that has to account for something.

Just hoping that there is someone out there that had positive results from not so positive embryos.

Thanks so much,


Our first donor was proven 4x but she had her worst response with us. Something like 20 eggs retrieved but only 8 were mature and 6 fertilized. They put back 2 and one stuck. None of the other 4 embies made it to freeze, which was true for her other 4 cycles as well.

Unfortunately the baby had a terrible birth defect but it wasn’t genetic, so I don’t blame the donor. What I’m trying to say is that it’s likely your donor’s embies were rock stars and you will be just fine. :slight_smile:


HI Jen,

I think the grading system has its flaws, otherwise all ‘perfect’ blasts would make it and they wouldnt bother with others. But its the only system we’ve got , so.
I have heard of the worst of the batch of embies (saved till last of the frozens) being the ones that make it eventually. My clinic in Australia had a donor info evening, and the couple who came in went for two cycles with their 27yo donor. First one had three high quality 5 day embies, put back one at a time (ie fresh, then 2 frozen cycles). All failed. They did a second cycle, same result, but the last frozen one , the most dodgy looking (cant remember grade) was the one that ended in a healthy prgnancy and healthy baby boy born at term (mum 48yo).
So, there you go.
Dont give up hope.

When do you find out?


Hopeful: My donor who produced 19 eggs of which 17 fertilized and looked great at day three, ended in all but two expiring by day five. The remaining two did not even make it to blast stage on day five, one of which had not even started compacting. We transferred both and now we have a beautiful son. My Dr. said he has seen the most beautiful perfect blasts yield nothing while not so good looking embies turn out to be the ones that stick. My donor by the way was proven, resulting in twin births and many frozen embryos, so you never know! Sending you lots of :bsv:


sorry that was for jenspot, trying to type and play with baby at the same time!


This list (version 1) was started by Shelly (Babysteps). She did DE IVF and wound up with 3 not so nice looking embryos. While they had initially planned to transfer only 2, they didn’t look very good, and the RE didn’t feel that they would survive freezing. Well, needless to say 35 or 36 weeks later she had nice sized fraternal triplets. What was particularly notable was that they didn’t think any of them looked good…and they were very plesantly surprised. Our RE doesn’t grade the embryos. We transferred 2 8-cell embryos. One was compacting. The difference in the rate was that we did ICSI on half of the embryos and that gave some of them a headstart.

Best of luck!


Goldenmom and Hopeful Mummi, I’m so sorry for your losses. If you decide to continue, I wish you wonderful success. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Ladies, thanks for sharing the great stories, I am feeling very encouraged at this point. When I wrote the original post, I was feeling quite upset about the situation. I had created this story in my mind that there would a lot of perfect eggs, and then embryos from a young donor, and when that fairy tale failed me I really wanted to be mad at the donor (besides the fact that my RE had convinced me that she must not have followed the protocol, or was taking birth control throughout the cycle.)

The truth is that it doesn’t matter, this will happen the way that it was meant to. And hopefully, a baby (or babies) are part of the master plan, and my job at this point is to remain as hopeful and open to receiving this blessing as possible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write and for for your wonderful words of encouragement.

My PT is on November 8th. I’ll keep you posted.

Love and light,


Sending:babydust::bsv::babydust:, good luck.