12 frozen blastocysts dead
1 Replies
otmamaboy - August 14

Dear Dr. Smith,

My husband and I used ED with IVF in January of 2003 with a proven 20 year old egg donor. At the time we had 14 textbook perfect blastocysts (the embryologists words not mine). Two were transferred with a fresh cycle resulting in my son. We recently went back to do a frozen cycle and they ended up thawing our remaining twelve blastocysts and all are dead. I was wondering what would cause such a horrific loss, considering this clinic, and most clinics have a success rate of 75% of embryos making the thaw. Also please note they have a new embryologist. Could lab error be the culprit? What are your thoughts on this and what should I ask the doctor/embryologist.
Thank you

 

Dr Smith - August 14

Yup, somethin' smells rotten here. When all the embryos are dead at thawing, there can be two causes.

First, something may have gone wrong in the freezing process (i.e. technical difficulties, placed in the wrong cryopretectant solution, etc.). That means the embryos were killed by the freezing process and were dead the whole time they were frozen. It happens, not frequently, but it does happen. No lab is perfect. This would finger the previous embryologist or his staff.

Alternatively, something went wrong in the thawing process. Thawing embryos is far less technically demanding and its pretty hard (although not impossible) to screw up here. Once thawed, the embryo goes through a series of solutions that remove the cryoprotectant and re-hydrate the embryo. As long as you get the order of the solutions right, most of the embryos (i.e. 75%) should survive.

Anyway, the whole thing stinks of "lab error". It is highly unusual for all the blastocyst stage embryos (especially from a donor cycle) to be dead upon thawing. You need to follw up for a more complete explanation from the doc/lab.

 

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