Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Well that was a complete failure

Of the 13 eggs (or a baker's dozen as K called it), 10 were mature, 2 were immature, and 1 was clearly abnormal. Of the 10 mature, 8 fertilized. There were doing ok on day 3: 3 or 4 grade B and 3 or 4 grade C (I can't remember if each was 3 or 4 because I was so upset because I only heard this after they told me everything had failed). However, on day 5 none were blastocysts. When they rechecked on day 6 they all had died except one very poor quality blastocyst which "fell apart" when they touched it to try to biopsy. I am devastated. I was worried we might not have any genetically normal embryos on PGS, but I never thought we wouldn't even have any embryos to test. I am 26 and K is 28. His morphology increased from 0% to 4% and he has been taking supplements.

The clinic says they aren't sure what went wrong. I talked to both doctors and heard slightly different information. The first said that they sometimes see embryos go downhill after 4-5 days if it is a sperm problem. The second was worried my UC might have effected my egg quality.

There are only a few differences between this cycle and last:

1. UC
After E was born I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. My symptoms weren't horrible, but they weren't under control until about 2 weeks before starting IVF. I am taking Hum.ira. Maybe my UC effected my egg quality. Hopefully, now that my symptoms are under control my egg quality might improve. I am going to start taking supplements for egg quality. I searched the CCRM supplement list and am going to take:

DHEA – 25mg x 3/day
Myo Inositol 2gm (twice a day)
Melatonin 3mg (at bedtime)
Co Enzyme Q10 (200 mg x 2/day)
Omega-3 fatty acid 1000mg (once daily)
Vitamin C 500mg (once daily in the AM)
Vitamin E 200IU (once daily)
L-arginine 1000mg (twice a day)
Pycnogenol 100mg (once daily)

2. Met.formin
My last IVF cycle I had been on 1500 mg met.formin for ~4 months. This time I was only taking it inconsistently few 2-3 weeks. I was really really nauseous on the bcp for IVF, and I thought the met.formin might be contributing so I didn't take it as often. I had my hormones checked and they did not show a typical PCOS pattern, so I figured I didn't really need the met.formin. However, now I am back on the 1500 mg and will take it everyday.

3. Medications
The main difference in medications was 1st cycle I did follistim only for 3 days then added menopur. I took them both together at night. This time I started menopur and follistim on the same day and took menopur in the morning and follistim at night. I also took about twice the total amount of injections this time (150 follistim vs 75 per dose and used 11 total vials of menopur vs 5), since we were trying to get more eggs. We got 13 vs 11 last time. Also, I used 4 vials of ganirelix vs only 1. I felt they were on the fence on having me trigger on Friday vs Saturday. They had me wait (I think in hopes of having my estrogen rise more, since it still was only 800), where my first Drs had me trigger at a similar stage - part of me wonders if we waited one day too long to trigger (I forgot to ask the Dr this)? I asked the doctor if we used too much drug, and she said no because we still had a healthy total number of eggs and my estrogen was not too high. She says that I required more medications for only slightly more eggs may be a sign of decreasing egg quality, but still my overall dose isn't as high as some women use/need. However, one concern is that my estrogen was never very high and was somewhat low considering my follicle size. Because of this she wants to try a micro dose Lupron flare protocol to cause higher FSH/LH/estrogen and hopefully recruit more follicles and have healthier follicles.

Based on all these things my plan is to give my UC more time in remission before we try again and give the supplements and met.formin time to improve my egg quality. I have heard you need about 3 months. At this point based on my schedule I could work in another IVF try in between January 12 - February 8th (which would give me only 2- 2.5 months) or March 9 - May 3rd (which would give me 4-4.5 months.) The only problem till waiting till March is if we do have success in creating blastocysts that we can biopsy and freeze, based on K's translocation they estimate only 20% will be normal. We could have no normal embryos and would need to cycle again. However, we move out of state again at the end of June and my May schedule is not really amenable to another IVF cycle. We could possibly squeeze in another cycle in June, but then would have to return to the clinic at a later date to do the FET or have the embryos transferred to a different lab closer to where we move for the FET. I'm not really sure on what to do at this point. Do you think I can improve my egg quality enough in 2 - 2.5 months or should I wait 4 - 4.5 months?

Another thing to question is if we should do anymore testing on K. One doctor suggested testing for sperm DNA fragmentation, but even if it is fragmented there isn't much was can do. They can do a testicular aspiration to get sperm, but there is not much evidence on this improving outcomes. Plus, we were told that many of K's sperm with unbalanced mutations probably don't make it out of the testicle (this his lower concentration), so if we aspirate we could get an even higher percentage of abnormal sperm. If it was super fragmented I would still want to try again with his sperm, since we know it worked once. It's hard to give up on his sperm or my eggs at this point since our first IVF was successful. I hope we can figure things out.

We also have considered talking to our original clinic, but it would be incredibly difficult to get back there to cycle (as it is 6 hours away.) The only way it would work is if I could do monitoring here, which I'm not sure they would agree to, and only go back for retrieval. At this point I am willing to give this clinic one more try. If we have complete failure again we would not try at this clinic a third time. There is no other clinic other than the one I am at for several hundred miles, so we don't have another close option.

Any suggestions or opinions on what we should do?



  1. I didn't realIze how different this protocol was to the one that have your success. Why did they not try to replicate it, since it worked the first time?

  2. I don't have any suggestion, I just want to say that I'm sorry things didn't work out this time. I'm happy to see you blogging again!