I have unexplained infertility.
Dear Professor Winston,

I have been trying to get pregnant for two and a half years and started IVF last July. I have unexplained infertility.

First round didn’t go very well, clinic had me on low dose medication and only had one 3 day embryo to transfer. This took but ended in miscarriage at about five weeks.

Second round the clinic put me on same protocol I got two 5 day blasts that were both top quality. One was put back but didn’t take and I bled early after transfer. One left in freezer.

After this I moved to an NHS clinic, had a higher dose of medication and got 4 top quality 5 day blasts frozen just before lockdown started. On the 28th July I had two top quality blasts put back, again I got pregnant and had a HCG of 131 at 14 days passed transfer. I then tested 2 weeks later and had a negative so something went wrong and the embryo arrested. I didn’t have any bleeding but was on lubion aswell as cyclogest due to previous early bleed.

I am 33 years old, have a AMH of 26 and partners sperm seems ok apart from slightly low morphology so did ICSI all three times. I also had a miscarriage at age 26 but this was later on at around 9 weeks and I didn’t know I was pregnant until 7 weeks.

What would you advise doing next? we have 3 top quality embryos frozen at day 5 but im terrified to put them in incase I miscarry again?

The NHS doesn’t seem to be very into checking out NK Cells so thinking of going for these tests privately.

My main questions are:

  • What tests would you recommend for both of us?
  • What supplements do you recommend for egg and sperm quailty? (We’ve just started Impryl)
  • Would it be silly to use another embryo without more tests or could this be just bad luck?
  • Should I start another fresh round asap given my age and leave others in freezer for now?

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Any advice is most appreciated

Stacey

 

Dear Stacey,

You seem to have had treatment before you have had a diagnosis. My argument would be that if you follow this website it is axiomatic that to have a drug, operation, procedure or any treatment without finding out what is wrong is often a sure route to failure.

What tests have you had done?  Why did the doctors think you needed IVF? These are two crucial questions.  If you can give me more information it is possible I could offer helpful advice.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME:

  1. You cannot improve egg or sperm quality by taking untested and unproven drugs or nature cures. This includes unproven antioxidants. It’s a great market, but it does not help you if you are have a normal diet and are of normal wait.
  2. There is no clear evidence that NK cell tests or treatments are valuable or even helpful in your situation
  3. There is no such thing as a “top quality embryo” – a simple examination down the microscope is not quite, but almost meaningless.

And while you are doing all this – i.e. repeated IVF etc you are reducing your natural fertility.

I do not wish to be unkind – your situation is a horrible one but very common – often unnecessarily.  But some private clinics are extremely happy to offer treatments which are dubious or unscientific.

Genuinely – my best wishes but if you read many answers on this website that here I am largely repeating myself.  I am so sorry if you feel this is an unsympathetic or useless answer.  It is not meant like that.

Wishing you all the best,

Robert Winston

 

Please help us to continue our vital research by making a donation today.