Last week, Dr Jon Aizpurua, founder of IVF Spain answered your questions in an hour-long Instagram Q&A. We wanted to highlight some of the questions, as you may be able to relate to them too. We have also included some related articles at the end of each question so that you can delve a bit deeper.
Q: I was told my embryo was ‘top quality’ but I miscarried. I’m utterly devastated. Why would a ‘top quality’ embryo not result in a successful pregnancy? My lining was perfect, everything seemed perfect, so why?!!! I’m 37
A: Most probably because it was a genetically abnormal embryo. And this is the controversy, since abnormal embryos may look morphologically perfect. This is why we recommend performing PGS for women over 35. Even normal embryos with the best morphology and further testing on immunology implant in over 75-80% of cases but never 100%. Without PGS and additional testing in women of 37, implantation is around 30%.
The cost for up to 8 embryos is around 3000 euros. If you compare this with the number of cycles required to obtain viable embryos, medication for those cycles, frozen embryo transfers in the meantime and time invested, frustration… this is overall more expensive, in my opinion.
Q: I just want to know how I can improve the quality of my eggs. Are there supplements that actually work? I need to know I’m not wasting precious time
A: Yes indeed there are some supplements although there is no magic formula. However, it is not easy to measure to what extent those supplements help. We can talk about DHEA, vitamin D, and anti prolactin supplements but all of them must be prescribed after being assessed by a fertility expert.
Q: My embryos had to be frozen as the coronavirus meant my cycle had to be put on hold. Does having a frozen embryo mean I have lowered my chances of success? What happens if it doesn’t thaw properly? Is this a valid concern?
A: It would be a valid concern if we were not aware of the protocols in place concerning the vitrification technique (rapid freezing as opposed so slow freezing protocols used in the last) with amazing survival rates after thawing. Further more studies have shown that the endometrium is more prepared for implantation when not affected by the stimulation during the IVF cycle. Some of the top clinics such as our clinic, follow the ‘freeze all strategy’ and perform embryo transfers with frozen embryos in subsequent natural or HRT cycles as opposed to stimulated cycles, with no harm and even better results.
Q: If we were to look into IVF abroad using donor eggs, how long would we need to spend in the country for our treatment? My husband and I are both teachers so we wouldn’t be able to take time off unless it was in our holidays.
A: Typically you would only need to fly twice: one trip for the first visit (1 day) and a second time for Embryo Transfer (1-2 days).
Q: Hello me and my partner have been trying nearly 5 years now for a baby. We had ICSI in 2018 but sadly it didn’t work and we did not make transfer. We have sperm antibodies and I have polycystic ovaries. We just feel it will never happen for us. I’m currently taking metformin. I’ve recently added two tablets. What do you suggest?
A: The use of metformin is OK. We would recommend using adapted antagonist/ agonist protocols and depending on your age, think about potential PGS and transfer of frozen embryos on a subsequent cycle (not the stimulated cycle) via natural cycle or HRT cycles. If possible, testing endometrial receptivity with Ermap testing would certainly help.
Q: I’ve started drinking most nights since my cycle was canceled. A glass of wine at the end of the day is the only thing keeping me sane. Is this really going to have an impact on my fertility?
A: A single glass of wine at night would not do any harm to your fertility but as you pointed out, it is helping you with your mood at the moment.
If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us and we will reach out to our experts. No question is a silly question. Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org