4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

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DRobinson
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:49 pm

4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#1 Post by DRobinson » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:11 pm

Hi a
My partner and I have just gone through our 4th cycle of ICSI and are wondering what the next option should be. We have paid for the 2yr access cycle but obviously that doesn't include the cost of medication and anything else you want.

1) The first round we got 11 eggs but only 9 mature. 1 made it to blastocyst and i got a positive test but miscarried before the first scan. My partner had to have a surgical sperm retrival for this one.
2) The 2nd we had a few of my partners sperm left so we tried the same process again. This time they up'd my meds but we ended up with less eggs -9 with just 7 mature. We had 2 left on day 5 but both poor quality so they put both back in but told us to prepare for the worse. I started bleeding within a week.
3) We had no sperm left so decided on a donor sperm this time. My med doseage was kept the same but again we ended up with even less eggs - 7 this time with just 5 mature. The call on day 2 was awful and we were told just 1 remained so i went in for the transfer on day 3 as it was too risky to wait for day 5. Again I started bleeding within a week
4) We went for donor sperm again but this time via the Eurpoean Sperm bank as there appear to be so few available in the UK we were told we'd have to wait at least 6 months. We went back to a lower dose of meds - well 4 days of a higher dose then reduce (as this worked best on cycle 1) and we also decided to try OAO (the calcium activation which is meant to help development) We got our most eggs - 13 but just 10 mature. However when they rang day 1 only 3 were left. Day 2 they called and told us we still had 3 but 1 had hardly developed and 2 others whilst they had split they were doing so in a way which they didnt like. We were told to decide if we wanted to risk a day 3 transfer (if any still alive the following day) or risk the wait to day 5 in the hope 1 was still going and was stronger. We decided to wait as our only successful attempt has been from day 5 balstocyst but to no avail.

So now we are at a bit of a loss. I know I have low AMH levels, I am 35 in June and my partner is 54 (but we arent using his sperm anymore anyway as he has to have the retrival to get this which is expensive, painful and retrives very little) We have tried my eggs for all but his sperm for 2 and then 2 different donor. They say they dont know what the issue is but all I can think is that it must be my eggs that are of a poor quality. :cry:

They say on average it takes 3 attempts to have a successful birth so we are unsure how to proceed. Keep going this way and just hope (obviously saving for 3 months inbetween cycles to pay for it as we are not entitled to any NHS rounds) or do we try donor eggs, or do we admit defeat and look at alternative options?
We are conscious of my partners age so we dont want to keep waiting and hoping as otherwsie it will be too late and if we go down the route of adoption he will be seen as an older dad and I have always wanted to carry my own.
I have no info about donor eggs or how long it takes etc but doing this would mean it would be donor egg and sperm so nothing at all of it would be from us which is also upsetting.

Any advice? I feel like its just me that can't do what my body needs it to. How many goes have others had? Anyone tried donor eggs, if so whats the process?
I exercise lots so stop when having treatment so have gained 2.5stone and massively lost my fitness which is also a huge issue for me. I was running ultra marathons last year and now the thought of that is so far away. I still gym daily and run inbetween cycles but obviously the weight is gained from the meds and they generally make me crave everything naughty lol!

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Debs :)

Clairebear1984
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:16 am

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#2 Post by Clairebear1984 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:59 am

Morning debs

Hope you are well. We are in a similar boat, we were about to try our 4th round but was cancelled as someone in my household got a cough. On our 1st attempt we got 6 eggs 4 mature but when hubby done his bit no sperm so we freezes the eggs, hubby then had SSR but only one egg made the freeze and didn’t make it pay day 3. Our 2nd one we got 8 eggs 7 mature 3 survived today 3 and we had 2 put back but were both poor quality (grade 3&4) the other one didn’t make it. We then decided to have a 3 month break and change our diets etc my hubby had another ssr, the sperm was better quality but we only got 3 eggs, 1 fertilised so we had put that back in on day 3, that was good quality grade 2 but for whatever reason did not stick. We are now going for round 4, the docs have down a saliene scan to check my womb and it’s all fine I have also had a scratch and I will be having steroids after transfer as well as during treatment. I have also been prescribed tostan gel to put on one month before treatment, unfortunately we had to cancel but when we get going again I will have another scratch and the gel. Something for you to look into if they haven’t recommended anything.

Hope that help take care.

Claire x

DRobinson
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#3 Post by DRobinson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:27 am

Hi Claire,

Thanks for your response and sorry to hear your journey has been a challenging one too. We've never been able to get any to freeze, so it's the entire process everytime which is hard.
Good on your hubby for going through the SSR twice. We decided it was too painful and expensive with limited results to try that again. I think it really depends on the reason for neededing it in the first instance as to how successful it is. My partner had a vasectomy 17yrs when he was with his ex wife due to complications in their previous pregnancies so was told this was the safest option for her. So it's been a long time and they just really struggled getting much sperm.
We did have a reversal first on the off chance that might work but it didn't, hence the IVF route.

We did ask about the scratch but they said it wasn't something they did. Which clinic are you using? We are Manchester.

I've never been told about the tostan gel. Or steroids. What are they for?

They mentioned embryo glue but also said that there is no evidence at all that is improves the success rate so the consultants have all said to us it is pointless and a waste of money but they have to ask. We've decided never to have it based on that. If there was any evidence at all that it helped we'd consider it but without it, it's just something else to spend money on.

It really is a tricky one isn't it. How many goes do you have? When do you decide its just not working and actually look at other options because you have spent everything you have and gone through so much heartbreak.
People not going through IVF have no idea how complex and draining a process it is do they. TV shows tend to show people doing it and they always get pregnant first go lol. We wish eh!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you on your next round x

Clairebear1984
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:16 am

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#4 Post by Clairebear1984 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:23 am

Yes we had the reversal done as well and although it worked it closed up pretty quickly. Everyone is different on route they take and you need to take the one which is best for you.

We are at care in Tunbridge Wells, are you at care? I’m surprised they are saying they don’t do it. The tostan gel helps with the quality of eggs I believe, what medication are you on? I’m on fostimon and something else I can’t remember the name but that helps with the quality as well. The steroids are surpose to help implant, I think they use then in case you have any killer cells and that we haven’t used them before but will be on the next round. We have also used the glue on the last 2 transfers but did not work for us.

We are paying as we go, so not sure when we will say enough is enough we try not to think of that and just go with it each time. How many goes wil you give it? Did they recommend donar sperm? They haven’t recommended donar to us yet and our last embryo was good quality so we won’t go down this route yet.

It is such a tough journey and so hard a lot of people do not understand how draining it is. I am 36 this year and worry about my age, it’s such a difficult journey. Just try and stay positive, speak to the expert again and ask them about different options and see what they say. Try and do some research so you can approach them with this. Read other people’s stories and see what they have been recommended least you can ask them lots of questions. I always go with a book of questions lol.


Xxx

DRobinson
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#5 Post by DRobinson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:53 am

Hiya,

Yeah we are Care, but just Manchester.

I will definitely look into the gel because they are thinking that it's likely to be my eggs that aren't the best. It's just not something that has ever been mentioned and we've never heard of it.
I use Menopur and Cetrotide. Not heard of the one you mentioned. It's odd how people are on different things but they never mention why you are on what you are.

We have used donor sperm for the last 2 rounds because we ran out of my partners. It's been 2 different donors (1 we got through Care and the last one was from the European sperm Bank because there are so few donors in the UK)

I'm 35 in June and my partners 55 in July so age is a huge worry for us too. I'm definitely going to try and see if I can find out anything about the gel and steroid and we will be asking the consultant too x

Sofy36
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 10:15 am

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#6 Post by Sofy36 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:16 am

Hi,

I’m in a similar boat...many failed treatment cycles.

I’ve never heard of the gel. Sounds promising! I’ll be asking about it at my review!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813298/

Clairebear1984
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:16 am

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#7 Post by Clairebear1984 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:24 am

Hi Sofy welcome, are you at care as well? What’s your situation? Everyone is in so many different situations and it’s so nice to talk and get information on what others have been told in case it helps with our rounds.

It’s worth asking about I haven’t had a round with it as it for this cancelled round so can’t say if it’s worked but it’s worth looking into.

Also I take COq10, infolic and pregncare Max all recommended by my consultant, so if you don’t already ask about that. I also google a lot on what I should eat and I have really cut down on sugar and eat NO white carbs as that has an affect for fertility as well.

Wishing you both lots of luck let me know what your consultants say.

Xx

DRobinson
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: 4 failed ICSI attempts so what to do next

#8 Post by DRobinson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:12 pm

Sofy36 wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:16 am
Hi,

I’m in a similar boat...many failed treatment cycles.

I’ve never heard of the gel. Sounds promising! I’ll be asking about it at my review!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813298/
Hi Sofy,

I'm the same and will definitely be asking. We will all have to update back x

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