What do "bad" eggs do?


#1

I know that as we get older we will have less eggs and that there will be a higher amount of abnormal eggs. But how do these abnormal or “bad” eggs typically respond to IVF.

Specifically, I am almost 39 years old and had my first IVF try which resulted in a :bfn: There were 13 eggs retrieved, 9 were mature and 8 fertilized. All 8 were doing well at day 3 but one was “a little behind” At Day 5, we transferred a 4BC and 1BB. The lagging one had stopped growing and they left the other embryos until Day 6 were 2 more stopped growing and 3 were too immature/small to freeze. So does this point to poor egg quality? I have read that after Day 3 the sperm kicks in and can be responsible for poor results, but I used donor sperm so it should be good. I just can’t make any sense of it since there was such a high fertilization rate and they all made it to Day 3. It seemed to be going great until Day 5 then disaster. I have my WTH appt next week but would like to be a little more educated going to it.


#2

‘bad’ or ‘old’ eggs can beaneuploid - in other words, chromosomally abnormal. The older you get, the fewer normal eggs you have. Eggs with the incorrect number of chromosomes can make embryos with severe issues, and most of them will not attach. Some of them will attach and can cause early miscarriages and/or blighted ovums. the quality of your embryos is definitely an indication that something may be wrong with your eggs, but every month you have another batch. It’s a matter of finding a good one.

So sorry about your BFN. :grouphug:


#3

Sorry about your BFN, I know how much it hurts. A couple things to think about… 1) you say all 8 were doing “well” on day 3. Did they tell you the number of cells, fragementation % and overall grade given by the lab? That should give you a better indication of how good they looked at that point 2) It’s not uncommon to see a big drop off from day 3 to day 5, your 2 blasts by day 5 is actually not bad. 3) As you probably already know, poor quality eggs are eggs which are chromosomally abnornal, and unfortunatley they can look perfect on day 3 or day 5. 4) although your fertilization rate was good I wouldn’t expect that to be highly indicative of chromosomally normal eggs. 5) At age 39 you most likely have a lot of abnormal eggs and it may take a few cycles to find a normal one. However you have a good AMH level so you are in much better shape than someone like me (40 and low AMH).


#4

thanks for the replies. I will have to get more details on the embryos at my WTH appt. The embryologist was kinda vague, just that they were “where we want them” on day 3


#5

Your numbers (and confusion!) sound very similar to my IVF cycle!

We had 10 eggs retrieved. All 10 fertilized, but two of them did so a bit late. At day 3, all of them were still growing…but I think 6 of the 10 were right where they want to see them. Then, at day 5, I had a 4AB and 1 “early blast” which would’ve been a 1 or 2, but my clinic doesn’t grade them until they are a 3. We ONLY transfered the 4AB and are currently 13 weeks along with that one. The early blast grew to a 4CC on day 6, which they did not freeze due to not meeting criteria. I think 3 of the other ones were also still growing at day 6…somewhere around a stage 1 or 2, but my clinic only freezes 3BBs or higher.

So, of 10 eggs retrieved and fertilized, only ONE was really “good”. I had the same question as you afterwards. Is something wrong with my eggs? We used my DH’s sperm, and I also read what you did about a big dropoff between day 3 and day 5 being a “guy problem.” My clinic, however, said our response is very normal. They were HAPPY that we only had one good follicle because the true cream of the crop really did expose itself.

And, here’s the main point of this post: I really do believe that a few of those other eggs I had would’ve made wonderful babies, as well. They just didn’t respond as well to life in a petri dish, or didn’t measure up to my clinic’s standards for freezing. Making them grow for 6 days outside the womb doesn’t work for all eggs…I’m guessing if they had been transferred as 3-day embryos, we would’ve had a chance with them. But, they can’t tell as much at day 3, so it makes sense to wait until day 5 to really find the champion. But, your response was sooo similar to mine, and a lot of other women I read about on here. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your eggs…the blasts you got were good, and just didn’t take.

Best wishes!!


#6

The lab plays a huge role.i have seen it personally. Then, how do you know the spern you used was compleyely ok?


#7

[QUOTE=Francesca13]Your numbers (and confusion!) sound very similar to my IVF cycle!

We had 10 eggs retrieved. All 10 fertilized, but two of them did so a bit late. At day 3, all of them were still growing…but I think 6 of the 10 were right where they want to see them. Then, at day 5, I had a 4AB and 1 “early blast” which would’ve been a 1 or 2, but my clinic doesn’t grade them until they are a 3. We ONLY transfered the 4AB and are currently 13 weeks along with that one. The early blast grew to a 4CC on day 6, which they did not freeze due to not meeting criteria. I think 3 of the other ones were also still growing at day 6…somewhere around a stage 1 or 2, but my clinic only freezes 3BBs or higher.

So, of 10 eggs retrieved and fertilized, only ONE was really “good”. I had the same question as you afterwards. Is something wrong with my eggs? We used my DH’s sperm, and I also read what you did about a big dropoff between day 3 and day 5 being a “guy problem.” My clinic, however, said our response is very normal. They were HAPPY that we only had one good follicle because the true cream of the crop really did expose itself.

And, here’s the main point of this post: I really do believe that a few of those other eggs I had would’ve made wonderful babies, as well. They just didn’t respond as well to life in a petri dish, or didn’t measure up to my clinic’s standards for freezing. Making them grow for 6 days outside the womb doesn’t work for all eggs…I’m guessing if they had been transferred as 3-day embryos, we would’ve had a chance with them. But, they can’t tell as much at day 3, so it makes sense to wait until day 5 to really find the champion. But, your response was sooo similar to mine, and a lot of other women I read about on here. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your eggs…the blasts you got were good, and just didn’t take.

Best wishes!![/QUOTE]

I had some of the same thoughts - that maybe some of the embryos that they discarded could have made it. Makes me sad to think about.


#8

[QUOTE=cosmopolitan4112008]The lab plays a huge role.i have seen it personally. Then, how do you know the spern you used was compleyely ok?[/QUOTE]

I am just assuming the sperm was ok since it was from a donor. Also if there were sperm issues, wouldn’t the fertilization rate be lower? I didn’t use ICSI.


#9

With all the advances in this field, unless you have a lousy lab I would say the odds of discarded embryos making it are very slim. That’s just my opinion based on all my own experiences and research…


#10

I’m sorry your cycle failed. :frowning:

As others have said, most of your eggs at your age have chromosome issues – in fact, only 30% or so are genetically viable. So it will almost certainly take multiple cycles in order to produce some good embryos. Also remember that nonviable embryos can and do grow for a few days and can even implant, but wouldn’t ever result in a full term pregnancy. So unless you do CCS testing, you have no way of knowing how “good” they are.

Case in point – my 39 year old cousin just did two back to back retrievals and harvested 20+ eggs. Most fertilized, however only 5 made it to day 5 and CCS testing revealed that NONE were viable. :frowning:

Keep trying if you can and hopefully you will get lucky!


#11

This is a very interesting thread! Thanks Hlaine for starting it. I am 38 and like you my AMH is very good for my age 2.2. I never even considered that I may have poor quality eggs. I had 31 eggs retrieved, 25 of which were mature and 23 that fertilized via ICSI. We transferred 1 and luckily froze 7, however, with reading all of this I am concerned that even though our embies made it to the freezer, they may not be good.

The CCS testing you mention- can this be done on our frozen embies or is it too late? I’m thinking it would have had to been done before they were frozen but I’m not able to find an answer online about this. I’m wondering why my RE would not have suggested this to us b/c of my age???

So feasibly all 7 of my frosties could be abnormal and there was a way for me to know this in advance instead of going through multiple FET’s?


#12

I feel I can contribute here with my story, since I had similar fears and questions through my both cycles.
We went for the first time to our RE when I was 37. We passed through all the tests and RE suggested a bit of waiting and trying on our own. After almost a year we came back and repeated the tests, RE said that my all numbers look great (even though I was 38) and we even got accepted into “shared risk program” that is usually for younger people than us. My RE had no concerns about my egg quality that could be related to age and which may not be detectable through the tests (which I guess someone here suggested).

Last year we have done our first cycle and I got pregnant and lost our baby. After D&C we learned it was due to trisomy. This made me feel better in sense that it was not due to my thyroid levels that were off or something else I’ve done. RE also said that this may be result of our age (see my signature) but also young people can have the same issue so he believed it will not happen again.
He said not to worry about it especially since it is not something that we have as a genetic deformation.

So you can be 39 and have good quality eggs, you will still lose most of them between days 3 and 5 and that is normal, nothing to blame yourself for.
I have asked him also about male factor that can influence reduction of eggs between days 3 and 5 and he said that is not true and it is a pure speculation. I guess I wanted a bit to blame something on my DH, but RE stopped me at the start. :wink:
I guess this is how natural selection works, by going through ivf we got lucky (or unlucky) enough to see it, and it is likely working the same way inside our bodies when you get pregnant naturally - we just don’t know about it because there is no way to monitor and count the cells.

Your RE will tell you if you need to worry about your egg or semen quality or anything else. Try to trust in your body and your RE.

Good luck and wish you :bsv: for the next cycle!


#13

[QUOTE=mimiglam]I feel I can contribute here with my story, since I had similar fears and questions through my both cycles.
We went for the first time to our RE when I was 37. We passed through all the tests and RE suggested a bit of waiting and trying on our own. After almost a year we came back and repeated the tests, RE said that my all numbers look great (even though I was 38) and we even got accepted into “shared risk program” that is usually for younger people than us. My RE had no concerns about my egg quality that could be related to age and which may not be detectable through the tests (which I guess someone here suggested).

Last year we have done our first cycle and I got pregnant and lost our baby. After D&C we learned it was due to trisomy. This made me feel better in sense that it was not due to my thyroid levels that were off or something else I’ve done. RE also said that this may be result of our age (see my signature) but also young people can have the same issue so he believed it will not happen again.
He said not to worry about it especially since it is not something that we have as a genetic deformation.

So you can be 39 and have good quality eggs, you will still lose most of them between days 3 and 5 and that is normal, nothing to blame yourself for.
I have asked him also about male factor that can influence reduction of eggs between days 3 and 5 and he said that is not true and it is a pure speculation. I guess I wanted a bit to blame something on my DH, but RE stopped me at the start. :wink:
I guess this is how natural selection works, by going through ivf we got lucky (or unlucky) enough to see it, and it is likely working the same way inside our bodies when you get pregnant naturally - we just don’t know about it because there is no way to monitor and count the cells.

Your RE will tell you if you need to worry about your egg or semen quality or anything else. Try to trust in your body and your RE.

Good luck and wish you :bsv: for the next cycle![/QUOTE]
Thanks mimiglam for the great explanation. Yesterday was just a bad day and I’m feeling much better today! I too got in the shared risk program even at my age, so my RE apparently didn’t think I had bad eggs, so I will just wait and see how this time goes but I will mention it to my RE if our Beta is negative. Thanks again!


#14

[QUOTE=weimlover1127]Thanks mimiglam for the great explanation. Yesterday was just a bad day and I’m feeling much better today! I too got in the shared risk program even at my age, so my RE apparently didn’t think I had bad eggs, so I will just wait and see how this time goes but I will mention it to my RE if our Beta is negative. Thanks again![/QUOTE]

weimlover, my GP told me that the clinics are very picky who they accept to shared risks, because we can seriously damage their success statistics … so I took that as the reassurance since the council of REs at our clinic were willing to bet in our success.
31 eggs is a LOT! Having 7 frozen is also a fantastic number, you are really lucky that you don’t have to do fresh cycle again! Try to relax and let your body recover from this egg hyperproduction and you’ll do great in FET.

:bsv: :bsv: :bsv: for your embies!


#15

[QUOTE=mimiglam]weimlover, my GP told me that the clinics are very picky who they accept to shared risks, because we can seriously damage their success statistics … so I took that as the reassurance since the council of REs at our clinic were willing to bet in our success.
31 eggs is a LOT! Having 7 frozen is also a fantastic number, you are really lucky that you don’t have to do fresh cycle again! Try to relax and let your body recover from this egg hyperproduction and you’ll do great in FET.

:bsv: :bsv: :bsv: for your embies![/QUOTE]
Thanks again! I had a negative HPT today (12DPO) so while I’m crushed it is sooooooo reassuring to know I have my 7 frosties! I am hoping we pick out the right embie for our FET so we can start our family! Thanks again and congrats on your pregnancy!


#16

Although, I agree that aneuploidy is an issue that all women over 35 have to deal with, I think diet can absolutely impact blastocyst quality.

I never qualified for either shared risk program at either clinic. The RE was a little gloom and doom given my age and AMH. Then the day of transfer for my first cycle, the RE came and said that this pretty much never happens…8 or 9 mature eggs fertilized, all made it to day 5 and all are high quality. He was pretty stunned. We discussed my diet and the supplements I was taking at which point he asked to borrow my pen to take notes as to what I was doing. See my sig for details. I will also point out that I was the highest dose of all the medications which some believe helps you get more eggs but can compromise quality.

All that said, fresh transfer ended in miscarriage at 6 weeks most likely due to aneuploidy. I froze 4 and then 2 arrested on day 6.

I share this to create hope that you can follow a mediterranean diet (this does not mean pasta) and take nutritional supplements which might improve blastocyst quality.

I ate almonds, berries, veggies (especially broccoli and beets), quinoa, salmon, eggs, avocado and some chicken.

I am in the middle of second cycle using an estrogen priming protocol and so far I am having a better response. Hopefully, the quality will be good.