Low-quality embryos and poor fertilisation rate

My husband and I recently completed an unsuccessful cycle of ICSi, our first. We were told our icsi was 'difficult' and that the fertilisation rate (4 out of 11 mature eggs) was poor. Subsequently we had a three day transfer of two poor quality embryos (6 and 7 cell with quite a bit of fragmentation). We were told at transfer that if it failed and we wanted to try again that my husband who has severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia would have to have genetic chromosome testing because that might be responsible for the poor outcome. I am 34, he is 45. I responded well to stimulation. I've been given the impression this might never work for us - a nurse said miscarriage could occur even if I did get pregnant. I'm naturally very upset. Please can you give us any advice? If there turned out to be genetic problems, is there no chance for us?

Our Expert's Answer

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Please note that all the answers we give are on a generic basis only, as we cannot provide more in-depth answers without access to your medical history. If you need a more detailed response, tailored to you, we would recommend a consultation with one of our Fertility Specialists for more comprehensive medical advice.

The advice you have been given is correct and it would be wise for your husband to have genetic testing before you attempt another ICSI treatment. Once you have this result then, together with your doctor, you can decide the best option to help you conceive. I can understand how upset you are. Have you been offered any counselling? It may be a good time to talk to a specialised fertility counsellor about what happened during your treatment cycle.