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Hi Peter

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.

Over the past 18 months we have had 2 IUIs, 1 IVF, and 2 ICSIs - all of which failed (I am 42 so this could have something to do with it). Our major problem is failed fertilisation which came to light in the IVF. 6 good eggs were collected but when put with the sperm nothing happened. The clinic told us that it was a chemical problem between the egg and the sperm. We were able to see them on the screen and the sperm just ran around the egg not even trying to penetrate - it was like it did not even recognise the egg.

This meant that we had no choice but to move onto ICSI. On both ICSI cycles we had good fertilisation once the sperm was injected into the egg. On our last attempt I decided to sacrifice one of the eggs and have it fertilised by IVF just to see what would happen. Because the embryolygist did not know until the last minute which egg she would use all were prepared for ICSI (meaning that the outer layer was removed). I and the clinic were very happy to discover that the chosen egg actually did fertilise on its own. However, the clinic told me not to get too excited because the outer layer would have been removed and this could be the reason that it fertilised by IVF.

My little miracle embryo developed slowly but ended up being my best embryo. However we were not able to put it back because they are prohibited from mixing ICSI and IVF embryos when you have produced more than 3 embryos. We went ahead and froze it and hope to put it back some time in the new year.

Could you please tell me more about failed fertilisation and what may explain this chemical reaction between the egg and sperm? My understanding is that it is quite rare. Also what are your thoughts on the embryo that was produced by IVF. Do you also think that it was only achieved becaused of the stripping? Is there anything that we could do to overcome this situation and maybe conceive naturally.

Again many thanks for your assistance.

Lesley
 

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Dear Lesley,

The are are many possible causes of failed fertilisation. Sperm produce a chemical which 'strips' the eggs and this may not be being produced in large enough amounts in your case. This would explain the fertilisation of the previously 'stripped' egg. From what you have said it sounds like ICSI is your only option unless you are willing to risk IVF using stripped eggs.

Hope this helps

Peter

Lesley said:
Hi Peter

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.

Over the past 18 months we have had 2 IUIs, 1 IVF, and 2 ICSIs - all of which failed (I am 42 so this could have something to do with it). Our major problem is failed fertilisation which came to light in the IVF. 6 good eggs were collected but when put with the sperm nothing happened. The clinic told us that it was a chemical problem between the egg and the sperm. We were able to see them on the screen and the sperm just ran around the egg not even trying to penetrate - it was like it did not even recognise the egg.

This meant that we had no choice but to move onto ICSI. On both ICSI cycles we had good fertilisation once the sperm was injected into the egg. On our last attempt I decided to sacrifice one of the eggs and have it fertilised by IVF just to see what would happen. Because the embryolygist did not know until the last minute which egg she would use all were prepared for ICSI (meaning that the outer layer was removed). I and the clinic were very happy to discover that the chosen egg actually did fertilise on its own. However, the clinic told me not to get too excited because the outer layer would have been removed and this could be the reason that it fertilised by IVF.

My little miracle embryo developed slowly but ended up being my best embryo. However we were not able to put it back because they are prohibited from mixing ICSI and IVF embryos when you have produced more than 3 embryos. We went ahead and froze it and hope to put it back some time in the new year.

Could you please tell me more about failed fertilisation and what may explain this chemical reaction between the egg and sperm? My understanding is that it is quite rare. Also what are your thoughts on the embryo that was produced by IVF. Do you also think that it was only achieved becaused of the stripping? Is there anything that we could do to overcome this situation and maybe conceive naturally.

Again many thanks for your assistance.

Lesley
 
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