immature eggs
18 Replies
ali-d - February 15

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for five years and have been diagnosed 'unexplained infertility'. Three attempts at IUI have failed and we have just failed on our first cycle of IVF. 11 eggs were collected but none fertilsed. We were so shocked. A phonecall the day after to our clinic mentioned something about immature eggs - could this have been avoided? They scanned me twice and tested my blood on the friday and said I should be ready by Tuesday...i clearly wasn't. Is there anything I can do to boost the speed with which my eggs mature? Is it possible that they made a mistake? Is it possible that my eggs don't mature at the same rate as my follicles? Is it possible that some of them were released already? What does all this mean?


Dr Smith - February 15

First, you try to get a straight answer out of your doctor. I can only suggest what might have happened.

The hCG shot induces the final phase of egg maturation and renders them "fertilizable" (not necessarily developmental competent, but at least they can be fertilized). When an embryologist says the eggs didn't fertilize because they were imature, it is usually related to the timing of the hCG shot, the hCG dose or the way the shot was administered. Go over exactly how you did your hCG shot with your doctor to see if that's where the problem occurred.

If the stimulation phase was less than 9 days, or the follicles were too small (i.e. <16mm in diameter), that could be a problem as well. If the eggs have not been allowed to mature in the follicles for a sufficient period, they do not respond to the hCG shot. The result is the same, immature eggs that fail to fertilize.

You can't (and don't want to) try to speed up the maturation prcess of the eggs. You can't hurry love. Some patients need extra time for the eggs to mature and the doc should wait until the follicles are a bit bigger before giving the hCG shot.

If your egg retrieval was within 35-37 hours after the hCG shot, it is extremely unlikely that you ovulated prior to the egg retrieval.

Finally, you should seriously consider treatment at a program that is willing to perform blood tests and ultrasounds on the weekend. When you reach the end of the stimulation, it is crucial that your progress be evaluate every day. They dropped the ball by not seeing you on the weekend.


ali-d - March 21

We have now had a follow up appointment where it has been explained to us that my eggs were ready to be released from the follicles, so all follicles were ready etc etc, but the eggs were still immature. Apparently this can happen but is very rare and is not related to the HCG injection...otherwise they wouldn't have been able to get the eggs out so easily. Is there anything I can do to help my eggs mature? Can this be stress related? Is it possible that they can be immature this time and be okay the next? They seem to be saying that my eggs may never be mature enough and that might be why I'm not getting pregnant. Any advice? please....


Dr Smith - March 22

We take blood sample the day before the egg retrieval to determine the level of hCG in the patient's blood. Values under 100 mI.U./ml usually indicate a problem with the administration of the hCG. Was your hCG level evaluate the day before the retrieval? If it wasn't, there's no way to know for sure if low hCG was the cause.

Although it is very rare (I've seen 1 case in almost 20 years), some patient's follicles/eggs do not respond to hCG. To troubleshoot this, a different type of hCG can be used (a urinary derived product versus a recombinant protein product) or by using true LH (the naturally occurring hormone that hCG immitates). Don't give up yet. Get a second opinion from another RE about how the stimulation was managed. The answers that you were given clearly put the blame on you (and away from the doc and lab), but I think there is more to the story. A second opinion may shed some light on what happened.


wendyhubbert - March 22

Hi - I am having this same problem. Have had a retrieval 3 times. All three times, I did the HCG shot exactly as instructed; retrieval was exactly 36 hours later. Of 10 follicles sized 18 - 22 mm, there were only 3 that were mature. My levels were evaluated every day before the retrieval, and everything looked absolutely perfect. I am trying, as a layperson, to learn more about this problem with immature eggs which doesn't seem to have anything to do with a failure in the stimulation process. My doctor said something about "poor blood supply to the follicles" which is not fixable. I understand that - but I need to understand more about the science of this in order to feel resolved. Is this a syndrome? Is it an autoimmune problem? What is it????


Michele - June 29

I just had my first failed IVF. I responed extremely well to all meds and E2 levels were great. Follicles were all between 16 to 22. I gave my HCG 35 hours prior to retrieval. They were able to retrieve 11 eggs. All of them were immature. I was told this is not very common but could not seem to get any answers as to why this would happen. Were you able to get any further information?


skifny - November 29

My wife and I just had a similar issue twice. The first time we had 20 eggs retrieved, all levels were set for retrieval and none of them matured. We just went for a second IVF from a different fertility center and 13 were retrieved and again none matured. It was explained to us as something very rare and not seen that often. To fix this problem, usually the meds are stretched out one more day to give more time for maturing but they did that the second time and still no luck. Has anyone had similar issues and then eventually was able to produce some mature eggs? This is getting very frustrating and we are worried that none of her eggs can ever mature. Any help would be greatly appreciated. What other options are there?


egd - December 18

Hi there, just wanted to say this happened to us on first IVF. My wife had 12 follicles and they only retrieved 4 eggs, two fertislised and neither made it to day 3.

Our clinic said it was a problem with the hcg shot and that she was resistant to it. The solution was to change it to pregnyl from ovitrel and up the dose significantly ... next cycle we got 13 eggs from 13 follicles and 5 blasts.

hope that helps - would suggest changing the shot/dosage if you can.


oceanview - February 19

Hi edg

I am trying this technique after two cycles failed from too many immature eggs. Can you tell me what dosage you had for your pregnyl trigger shot?? I would love to hear?

Thankyou and congrats!


saddy - April 23

Hi, since married, my hubby and I have been trying to conceive for about 2 years. we went for a check up, doc said I'm ok, but my hubby has morphology problem and the sperm can't really stick to the egg to fertilized.
we just had our 1st IVF but failed, 10 follicles collected, but only got 9 eggs, 4 immatured, 3 abnormal.... end up with 2 fertilized and became embryos. unfortunately, I started to bleed on 11 days after egg transfer.
through this IVF treatment, then i realized that my egg quality might have problem....
I'm so sad now as I always hope to have our own baby asap.
is there anybody having the same problem and any good advice?


amber - May 10


I have had two failed IVF cycles. First time I had 5 eggs taken and all immature, second time I did not respond very well and only had 2 eggs taken and all immature. They have said I only have one more shot at it then I have to look at egg donor. I would love to know how you are all doing and if anyone has any success stories.
Please help.


mariline - June 25

how can immature egg get matured in the case of adenomyosis


ttclou - April 12

We have been ttc for 5 years with unexplained infertility, well it was unexplained until last week. We have been going through the down regging and stimming spot on, my last scan before egg retreval was at 28 follies (was on burselin and Menopur injections). Egg collection day I was amazed we had 17 eggs taken, the dr was so was confident he'd see me for blasto, but on the next day the phone call came to say only 2 had fertilised. 9 were immature and 6 were unviable and i would need day 2 embryo transfer. One was a good 2 cell and the other was a not good 6 cell. I feel like this cycle hasnt worked and im left worrying that no cycle ever will if the majority were immature. From what I have read though it can be down to bad circulation and the eggs not getting enough nutrients from the blood, so accpuncture throughtout the cycle can greatly improve things. Also if you are in the same situation ask if any did eventually mature. I asked and was told 2 more matured the next day but it was too late by then.


ttclou - April 19

Just an update of last post - dont give up - with only 2 mature eggs fertilised and of them werent best quality we did get a bfp!


ttclou - April 19

Just an update of last post - dont give up - with only 2 mature eggs fertilised and of them werent best quality we did get a bfp!


chrisrau - January 14

hai my sister having some infertility problem..she has issues with late period...and immatured egg...she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant since 6years you have any idea what we should do???


A-La - April 26

Have any of you that had all immature eggs at retrieval ever eventually get pregnant with your own egg? I had 19 eggs retrieved and also all were immature and I know this is very rare and can not find any positive information regarding success later on. I am really struggling with this.



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