Is it normal to have some eggs fertilise abnormally?

Usually out of the eggs retrieved, we expect approximately 80% to be mature, and of those, between 60 to 80% will fertilise normally. This is perfectly normal, the reason being is that we are simply all human and humans are not perfect.

If you were to think about the definition of “infertility” by the World Health Organisation as the “inability of a couple to achieve conception after a 12 month period of unprotected intercourse”, this is essentially 12 eggs your body is producing over the course of a year that have either not matured, not fertilised, not developed or not implanted.

Not all of the eggs we produce will be mature and not all the eggs will be viable; therefore, some will not fertilise or they will fertilise abnormally.

This is all a part of a normal, healthy selection process. The quantity and quality of mature eggs and the rate of fertilisation will of course vary from patient-to-patient. This is one of the benefits of undertaking IVF and having experienced Doctors, Nurses and Scientists to help determine the potential cause of the problem and help circumvent it, and depending on the outcome, may lead to healthy eggs from the patient, or alternatively accessing Fertility First’s donor egg program.

Author

Nic Stark

Nic Stark is Fertility First's Senior Research Embryologist. She holds a Masters of Reproductive Health Sciences and Human Genetics, a Bachelor in Medical Science, and is completing her PhD in Medicine (Reproductive Physiology). She has been an embryologist for over 15 years.

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