embryo arrest/ extreme exercise
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hope594 - January 23

Dear Doctor,

I am 35 and my husband is 30. We were diagnosed with "unexplained infertility." All tests have been normal, except for my husband's semen analysis, which have varied from 'low-normal' to counts of 18 million, along with some morphology and motility issues.

We just completed our first IVF cycle after two years TTC and a few IUI's. I had 19 eggs. Unfortunately, on the day of retrieval, my husband's semen analysis had a count of [15million, and they told us we would need ICSI. Interestingly, my husband signed up for an Iron Man triathalon three months ago, and has been training very hard for it.

Of those 19 eggs, 10 fertilized. On Day 3, most were "good quality" per the embryologist, and dividing normally. We actually did a Day 4 transfer of the three best-looking embryos (I believe they were 12 cells), due to a serious scheduling issue.

The embryologist continued to watch the embryos. By day 5, there were no blasts, only one morula and one compacting. By day 6, there were three blasts, but we were told they were poor quality and could not be frozen.

My questions are this:

1. What does it mean to have embryos which slow-down or arrest at day 5? I have read that it is a problem with the male sperm at this point? Is this true? Or is it just that the embryos did not do well in the culture? (This is a large center with good success rates)

2. Could my husband's training for the triathalon have affected his sperm? If spermatogenesis takes three months, then this certainly seems suggestive.

 

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