With the developing technology, the chances of getting pregnant increase. What is ‘Empty Follicle Syndrome’ in IVF treatment? Why do the eggs come out empty?
Success rates in IVF treatment are increasing day by day. In the IVF method, where conception rates increase with the developing technology, sometimes undesirable situations are encountered during the treatment process. One of them is that although there are no problems during the treatment, the fact that the collected eggs are empty, which is noticed in the egg collection process, causes the couples to worry.
What is Empty Follicle Syndrome in IVF treatment?
Obstetricians and Gynecologists shared the following information:
Due to the early rise of hormones, misuse of drugs, and premature failure to perform cracking needles, eggs can come out empty. However, even if all goes well, 1-3% of women can be diagnosed with what we call ‘Empty Follicle Syndrome’. Since Empty Follicle Syndrome is a difficult condition to notice in advance, the IVF process (IVF) should be carefully and accurately monitored.
Careful use of drugs during IVF treatment, emphasis on timing is of great importance for treatment. Therefore, due to the errors in treatment and timing problems, the eggs can come out empty. Sometimes, even if much attention is paid to everything, unforeseen imbalances of hormones can also negatively affect egg development. Therefore, sometimes even under the most favorable conditions, all your eggs can come out empty. This problem in IVF is called Empty Follicle Syndrome.
This syndrome occurs in 1-3% of women. Although the eggs are developed follicles in the ovaries after being stimulated with drugs during the IVF stages, sometimes eggs cannot be obtained from them on the day of egg collection. Everything was done correctly, and if the cracking needle was applied correctly in a timely manner, it is necessary to turn to other reasons. The underlying causes may be a problem in the production phase of ovarian tissue or a genetic background or a shortage of hormonal reserves.
What happens during IVF
According to United Kingdom National Health Services (NHS), IVF involves 6 main stages:
Suppressing your natural cycle – your menstrual cycle is suppressed with medicine
Helping your ovaries produce extra eggs – medicine is used to encourage your ovaries to produce more than 1 egg at a time
Monitoring your progress and maturing your eggs – an ultrasound scan is carried out to check the development of the eggs, and medicine is used to help them mature
Collecting the eggs – a needle is inserted through your vagina and into your ovaries to remove the eggs
Fertilising the eggs – the eggs are mixed with the sperm for a few days to allow them to be fertilised
Transferring the embryo(s) – 1 or 2 fertilised eggs (embryos) are placed into your womb
Once the embryo(s) has been transferred into your womb, you’ll need to wait 2 weeks before taking a pregnancy test to see if the treatment has worked.
Chances of success in IVF
The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman having treatment, as well as the cause of the infertility (if it’s known).
Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy. IVF isn’t usually recommended for women over the age of 42 because the chances of a successful pregnancy are thought to be too low.
In 2019, the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was:
32% for women under 35
25% for women aged 35 to 37
19% for women aged 38 to 39
11% for women aged 40 to 42
5% for women aged 43 to 44
4% for women aged over 44
If the eggs come out empty, there’s a cure.
Empty Follicle Syndrome can sometimes be a recurrent process. Therefore, it is important to question the person’s past IVF treatments before starting IVF treatment.
In this context, partners need to be told that this is a fixable process in some cases. In these cases, it is very important that the cracking needle is made at the right dose at the right time. Apart from this, very close monitoring, daily monitoring of hormones, hormone monitoring before and after cracking, implementation of special cracking protocols are among the measures we take. Proceeding with the planned process of collecting eggs also increases the success of the treatment.
Can those who come up empty-egg get pregnant?
In women whose eggs come up empty, there may not be a possibility of pregnancy in that cycle. However, in the following months, it is possible for them to become pregnant with various treatments. In the patient with Empty Follicle Syndrome, it is quite likely that the eggs will be full in subsequent treatments. Especially if mature eggs are obtained after close follow-up and careful treatments, pregnancy can be obtained.