One Egg Does Not Equal a Baby

 One challenge I encountered with my friends and family was explaining that one egg does not equal a baby. I found that when I told people I had frozen 20 eggs they assumed my dreams of motherhood were all set. I had an insurance policy, my backup plan. But I knew that this “insurance policy” was far from a guarantee. Let’s break down how many eggs it can take to have one healthy baby.

  1. Let’s say you are 35 or younger, have a successful egg retrieval where you get 10 eggs.
  2. From there, you can only fertilize mature eggs. About 80% of eggs retrieved will be mature. Now you are down to 8 eggs to fertilize. 
  3. Next, fertilization happens. Again, about 80% of your mature eggs are expected to fertilize. That makes about 6 embryos.
  4. Now you wait a week to find out how many of those embryos grow to a day 5 blastocyst. Only 30%-50% of those embryos will make it this far. Say yours do well and now have 3 embryos. You can choose to implant these, or take it a step further to have them genetically tested to avoid future miscarriages or unhealthy babies.
  5. Now they have come back from genetic testing, where 40% of your blastocysts are deemed normal. That’s 1 to 2 embryos.
  6. But you’re not in the clear yet, there is still only a 60% chance of a healthy embryo implanting successfully. So from those 10 eggs, we started with, you are lucky if 1 embryo attaches and a pregnancy begins.

This information is not meant to scare you, but to help make you aware of just how many healthy eggs it can take. Of course, these numbers vary based on each person's fertility. The older you are, like in my case, the statistics are even lower. That's why it's so important to take the right supplements. The one supplement my RE recommended was COQ-10. I've done a lot of research and this is by far the best thing you can do to improve your egg quality. And if you are working with frozen eggs, that adds another step at the beginning where eggs need to thaw correctly. So, the next time someone thinks one egg equals a baby, send them this!

My personal results from my first round of IVF at 38 have started somewhat similar to this data. I did not have as many mature eggs as data suggests, which I attribute to being in my late 30's. I've made some changes for my second cycle, and have been taking COQ-10 (click here to add the brand I use to your amazon cart) for the full recommended 3 months now, so I am hoping for healthier embryos the 2nd time around. I will update my results as they come in!

Fresh eggs retrieved: 13

Mature eggs retrieved: 7

Day 1 embryos: 6

Day 5 blastocysts: 2

Chromosomally normal blastocysts: 1

Blastocysts implanted: going for IVF #2