Do slow dividing embryos have any chance?
3 Replies
MsBail - September 5

Do embryos that divide slowly (2 or 3 cells on day 3) ever result in a child? If so, how often and does it suggest the child might have some form of genetic deficiency?

Thank you for your insight Doctors.



Dr Smith - September 5

Embryos that are 2-3 cell on Day 3 have, in all likelyhood, arrested development. It is extremely unlikely that transferring these embryos will result in a viable pregnancy. However, should that happen, I am not aware of any correlation between miscarriage and the rate of embryo growth in vitro.


MsBail - September 6

Hello again,
It turns out we did not do a transfer of these embryos. By day 4, they had not divided and it was assumed they'd arrested.

This was only my first try at IVF. I am 35, 7.6 FSH, Estradiol 21. My RE implied yesterday that they've learned through this IVF that i have "bad eggs." A week ago, when I only had 5 follicles, he encouraged us to cancel this cycle and said he thought I'd have a better chance at "follicular recruitment" if I had a higher dosage of Gonal F during the first 5 days. (They upped my dosage this time on day 6 to 600iu per day when I wasn't producing enough follicles). I was stimmed for 13 days total and produced 6 follicles that grew to 21,19,19,15,14,7mm, two days before retrieval. My E2 at trigger (two days before retrieval) was 474. All this said, we decided not to cancel and see what we got in hopes we might learn something that, if anything, might improve our odds for next time. 4 eggs were retrieved, 3 mature. All 3 were poor quality with slightly dark cytoplasm and thick outer wall. 2 fertilized with ICSI, and as you saw, they divided much too slowly and did not make it. I was shocked to hear that the assumption is already being made that my eggs are bad after only one try at IVF... Especially when I was encouraged to cancel and that "the Microflare protocol would produce better results for us!"

My question to you is, how much of egg quality is controlled by the stimulation process itself (correct timing, # of days and dosage)? Do you think we have a chance at getting better eggs by changing the protocol or will my eggs always look like they did on this first IVF round? I am only 35 and again, my 3 day FSH is 7.6! I find it hard to believe that donor eggs is our next step.

I appreciate your feedback very, very much. Thank you,


Dr Smith - September 7

Try again. A single IVF cycle is not enough to make any conclusions. The stimulation protocol will not alter the genetics of the eggs, but it does affect the maturation process while the egg is still inside the follicle. The microdose flare protocol is used for "low responders". Although it will not, in all likelihood, significantly alter the number of follicles that develop, a new protocol may improve the maturation process which, in turn, may improve the developmental potential of the eggs. It is true that you had bad eggs on this particular cycle, but I think you should try another cycle before moving on to donor egg.

Best of luck



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