IVF #2: This is Not Going Well. At All.

We had egg retrieval yesterday. We got eight eggs. That’s two less than last time. Yeah, I was bummed, but I was trying to not be mopey about it and hope for good news this morning.

Well that didn’t happen. Of the eight, six were mature. And only three fertilized with ICSI  (this is where they inject one sperm into one egg instead of letting them do their thing in a petri dish) .

We didn’t do ICSI last time and had a much better fertilization rate. I asked the embryologist if that was the problem and she said that, no, she thinks the outcome would’ve been the same without ICSI. She thinks my egg quality just wasn’t as good this time. I asked her if it’s because I was a few months older this cycle, and she didn’t think so.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this on here, but we did ICSI because we wanted to genetically screen the embryos. ICSI is a requirement for genetic screening. Now I’m not sure if any embryos will make it to day five for screening. I’m going to talk to the embryologist tomorrow and figure out a plan based on how the embryos are doing then.

I am pretty gutted right now. I’ve had a bad feeling about this cycle from the get go, but I thought I was just being a weirdo. I guess it’s good to know I am actually not insane (at least not about this).

WTF? Why would my egg quality have plummeted in five months? I’ve been taking CoQ10 for four of those months, which was supposed to help with egg quality, but now I’m thinking it might have made it worse. Or maybe it was all the root canals I had this cycle or the Tylenol 3 or the stress. I don’t know. It’s really hard not to think that it was something I did.

This sucks, you guys. I know it only takes one and all that, but now I might not even end up with that much.

56 thoughts on “IVF #2: This is Not Going Well. At All.

  1. Buddy I’m so sorry to hear it didn’t go as you had hoped. I have no clue about this egg health shit and what the master recipe is. 3 is still a great place to be. I’m rooting for these little guys to pull through! I’ve been sending you as many good thoughts I can, and I won’t stop. Much love to you. Xx

  2. I am so sorry things didn’t go as well as you liked. I am praying that the ones you have stick around and grow! My thoughts are with you. 💖💖

  3. Shoot. I’m so sorry things aren’t going well this cycle. I’m still hoping for at least one to pull through. When you asked about the egg quality decline issue, did they indicate that egg quality can fluctuate with time, or will it just keep getting worse?

    I don’t have any experience with IVF, so I can’t say anything more than that I’m sorry things aren’t going well, and just to reassure you that you’re doing everything within your power to make things work out — when you think of all the terrible things people manage to do and still get pregnant, it seems highly unlikely that going to the dentist or taking a little Tylenol might have had such a dramatic effect. I really, completely understand the impulse to question every little thing that you do, but I want to encourage you not to blame yourself, and remind you that there’s absolutely no evidence that these little things matter. You’re doing the absolute best that you can, and it is more than good enough!

    1. Thank you so much. I really needed to read this now. Your caring comment brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes all you need is to have someone else tell you that you’re doing the best you can.

  4. I am so so sorry to hear this. It’s just crap to go through all the prep, the drugs, the retrieval and end up feeling like it’s not going to work. Stress is a massive factor. In fact, even though I tend to get pregnant and miscarry, when I was at my most stressed and depressed we didn’t have a BFP for the best part of a year. I thought my fertility had dropped off a cliff. However, once I got out of the bleak void I was in, the pregnancies started to happen again (even though I was over a year older). Yeah, they didn’t stick either, but it went from bad to worse when I was all strung out. I know it’s IMPOSSIBLE to relax when people tell you to (spent months hating anyone who said that), but meditation tapes, music, extra sleep, and even getting absorbed in decent telly or books all work to reduce the load. I’m no expert, and I know you probably know all this anyway, but please don’t think it’s because time is running out and your fertility is failing – there is time, and fertility ebbs and flows. There is time, and this will be okay. The next year will pass whether you are stressed or not. I understand (well) that rushed feeling that it has to happen ASAP. Thinking if you and hoping that despite a terrible time so far, you still get one good egg xxxxx

    1. Thank you. You are right. There is time and it’s not productive to be caught up in the fear of missing The Last Good Egg. I also like the point that fertility ebbs and flows, too. I think you’re onto something there!

      1. So often it’s portrayed as a downhill slope to nothing. I just can’t agree with that given my own experience. And your general health and fitness levels go up and down, so it makes sense to me that sometimes our fertility is better than at other times. Maybe the general trend is downward as we age, but it can’t be a straight line – nothing in nature ever is!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s so hard that this part of the cycle is out of our hands. I’ll send good wishes for your embryos to grow strong!

  6. After 6 IVF cycles and my one miracle baby I really think it is just a crapshoot each month. The month I didn’t even take my pre- natal vitamins and had caffeine I had my son ( only had three embryos that cycle transferred on day 3). The cycle before last was horrible then last cycle I had the most eggs fertilized yet. Unfortunately I really think each month/ cycle is just another shot to catch that one good egg. You still have three times the shot of trying ‘naturally’ so hold out hope. Thinking of you. Don’t move out of your place on hope street yet. Also- have you tried a mini or soft ivf cycle yet?

    1. This is good advice. I think you are likely so right although your vitamins from the cycles before probably helped the month you conceived I guess (if that whole 90 day egg cycle thing is true).

      1. That could be true- I think I had been taking them months prior. I waffle between trying everything I possibly can including tons of customs and just living my life and holding out hope. It’s hard to know what makes a difference and I don’t want to look back and see I wasted all the good I have in my life while waiting for something else I want. However- I also like to feel like I am being pro active and making progress. I think this line is a different one for everyone and very personal. BTW- thanks so much for heads up on the L-arginine

    2. That is true, I still have three times the shot as trying naturally! Good point. I have not tried mini IVF. So you found that it worked well for you? Will you be doing another one soon? It’s supposed to be good for DOR, right? I have not being officially diagnosed with DOR, as my AMH and FSH is normal, as is my antral follicle count. But my doctor threw it out there as a possibility after our last cycle. I mean, I feel like SOMETHING is going on. It doesn’t make sense to have good numbers and then a not-great response to meds and low fertilization.

      1. It works a lot better for me- I was overly suppressed by the Lupron and historically mini IVF has given me more mature eggs ( not saying a lot for me but still). I am going to do another mini IVF next month. It is a lot less expensive and less drugs. I would of course trust your docs who have your medical charts but it is so far better for me than full IVF. Xo

    3. Hmmm, that is interesting. I actually never tried lupron. I was on BCP my very first cycle, but it way over-supressed me, so my doc cancelled it before I even started stims. The last cycle and this one my doctor just did estrogen priming with no BCP or lupron. Is getting over-suppressed a sign of DOR?

      Good luck on your next round next month! I hope it brings miracle baby number two!

  7. I’m so sorry that things aren’t going as you’d wished. I know anecdotes are infuriating but I’ll risk it for some hope in the bank: one of my 3 year old daughter’s best friends is the result of a 3 egg retrieval (not even 3 fertilisations) – the lousiest number my mate had ever had – and she got two beautiful 5 day blasts from it, one of which is now her gorgeous boy and one is frozen. I hope you can find peace and some rest in the next few days and that those little cells are dividing like crazy. xx

  8. I’m a so sorry this cycle is not going well. I know you are looking for answers and sometimes there are no explanations which is very frustrating. I hope the ones that fertilize grow strong and make it to day 5.

  9. So sorry you are having a tough round. It would be so frustrating to have less successful results and no idea why. Know that you are doing everything possible and don’t blame yourself. I have my fingers crossed that your three fertilised eggs pull through!

  10. No doubt about it gorgeous lady, this result totally blows. But it ain’t over yet and there is still every chance you will get a beautiful baby from this batch. I was just thinking about all this on my walk back from the daycare drop off and I just don’t get it (for you, me and the zillion other women going through it). I am way healthier now than I was when I conceived Monkey but my body hasn’t seemed to have caught up with that at all. CoQ10 has been super well researched (it is the one supplement that my super conservative Dr DOES recommend) so I think it is unlikely that fucked you. I really like what Faye had to say – I think we need to realise that fertility ebbs and flows too like everything else in this ramshackle thing called life. Don’t move out of hope street yet. We are all still hanging out here with you. xx

    1. Ha, ok, good to know that the CoQ10 likely didn’t fuck me. And I agree with you — I do not get it AT ALL. I’m all settled in on Hope Street right now with my tea and Kindle, waiting for you to come on by with the barricade. 🙂

      1. I’m going to meditate on it today. I don’t know how good I am at it but I’m shit at actually building with real hammers and stuff so this has to be better 😉

  11. I know this is really hard to face and I know how tough it is not to blame ourselves but I truly do not believe that the lower quality or quantity resulted from any avoidable failing on your part. I’m a crappy producer too and by day two had only one normal left in my last OE IVF cycle. It was crushing. I went from 6 to 1 with ICSI. In my case I’m pretty sure immune issues played a part but of course I didn’t know that then. I had a chemical with that one. Which I am certain was at least in large part immunological (again, didn’t know that at the time). I have no way to know what will happen in this cycle but what I feel in my gut and believe to be true is that you *will* have another child. In the meantime I’m sending up prayers and sending hope and love your way. Hang in there and please go easy on yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong.

    1. Hmmmm, that’s interesting, so you think your immune issues played into you being a crappy producer? I never thought about that. I definitely have an immune red flag already with the elevated anticardiolipins. I wonder if there is more than that going on. It just doesn’t make sense to me that my FSH, AMH and antral follicle count are all great, but then I just don’t really respond to the meds — especially not this time. I know I’m of advanced maternal age, but I’m still only 37, which doesn’t seem crazy old to me.

      Thank you for your faith that we will have another child!

      1. I do believe untreated immune issues factor into fresh IVF outcomes, yes. 37 is not old and the disconnect between your afc/amh and the numbers of mature eggs is something I would question too. I agree with the PPs however that cycles really can be crap shoots but knowing you have the APS issue makes me wonder too.

  12. I’m sorry to read things aren’t turning out as you had hoped. I don’t have any personal experience with IVF, and don’t know much about egg quality other than what I’ve read online and in Rebecca Fett’s book. But I’m hoping that the three that are fertilized continue and thrive…. sending you a hug and well wishes. I’m crossing my fingers for you.

  13. Dammit! I’m so sorry to read this hun. But keep the faith my friend. You have three precious embabies that are fighting to be here. Praying for you and for them to grow and thrive in the days to come! xx

  14. Oh no, i can understand your frustration. This journey is so exhausting. I am so sorry you have had bad news today. You are right though, it only takes one and we just have to take every day as it comes. I wish it were so much easier for all of us. I look forward to your next update and i am so hoping it will have great news xx

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