When IVF Fails… What Next?
When IVF Fails… What next?
Why Did My IVF Cycle Fail? What Should I Do Next?
Whether it’s your first or fourth cycle – a failed fertility treatment cycle feels terrible. Any cycle that doesn’t lead to pregnancy can feel bad. That said, when you’ve invested emotional energy, time, and money, your hopes are bound to be higher; and higher hopes mean more frustration when things don’t go as planned. Allow yourself to feel all these emotions and grieve a little before you decide what to do next.
The good news is that the science of reproductive medicine has advanced so much, that with persistence and the right treatment plan, most couples can eventually get a baby.
You may also be wondering – Can you get pregnant on your first try? Yes, some patients do, some do not. Keep in mind, though, that even people with naturally good fertility aren’t guaranteed a quickly conceived pregnancy. Hence depending on your prognosis and which fertility treatments are suggested, going through more than one cycle may be necessary.
So the big question to be addressed is – What should you do after a failed fertility treatment cycle? How do you know if you should move onto another treatment or when to keep trying with the same protocol? Here’s what the research and experience of Dr Gautam Allahbadia and Mrs Goral Gandhi has to say.
Age of the Woman
The most important factor affecting IVF success is the age of the female patient. The egg quality as well as quantity starts declining with age. Unfortunately, this age related declines begin in your thirties and the decline is extremely rapid once you hit age 37. There is little we can do about the age of our patients undergoing an IVF cycle. However, at Indo Nippon IVF, we specialize in treating older women and women with poor ovarian reserve with a treatment called IVF Lite or Mini IVF. We have seen success in women who had multiple failed IVF cycles but go on to have success and healthy children with the IVF Lite treatment at Indo Nippon IVF.
The major reason why an IVF cycle is not successful is embryo quality. Many embryos are not able to implant after transfer to the uterus because they have some chromosomal or genetic defects. Even embryos that look good in the lab may have genetic defects that cause them to die instead of growing. In nearly all cases, it’s not that your uterus has something wrong with it so you can’t carry a baby. The embryo doesn’t implant because it is not healthy enough to grow.
Poor Ovarian Response
A healthy woman should respond well producing many eggs during the stimulation phase of an IVF. Unfortunately some women may not respond well to IVF medications producing minimal or in some cases no eggs. This would be called a poor ovarian response. It is very common in women who have high FSH levels or low Antral Follicle Counts and in women over 37 years of age.
At Indo Nippon IVF, we specialize in treating older women and women with poor ovarian reserve with a treatment called IVF Lite or Mini IVF. We have seen success in women who had multiple failed IVF cycles but go on to have success and healthy children with the IVF Lite treatment at Indo Nippon IVF.
This is the last stage of achieving a pregnancy. After a healthy egg is retrieved, the sperm and egg are fertilized to create an embryo and that is then transferred into the uterus. Now only the implantation process needs to happen. Unfortunately implantation may be one of the most common factors causing IVF failure. Polyps, cysts, poor blood flow, or thin uterine wall lining, may all contribute to an embryo not implanting after an IVF transfer.
Steps You Can Take Before the Next Cycle
Our fertility specialist at Indo Nippon IVF will review the records of your cycle very carefully before your next visit to possibly learn reasons the cycle failed, including the results of the ovarian stimulation, any issues with egg quality or quantity, embryo development, or transfer of the embryos to your uterus. If there were difficulties with ovarian stimulation or egg quantity, we may consider changing the drugs used in the stimulation process. If there weren’t problems with the eggs or the embryos, you may be successful with a second IVF cycle. If there were problems with embryo quality and the female partner is older, we at Indo Nippon IVF may recommend pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) to screen the embryos in your next IVF cycle before implantation. This process requires taking a biopsy from the embryo and testing the cells for their chromosome number. This allows the specialist to choose healthy embryos without the genetic problems which can stop them from growing.
If the eggs and embryos were healthy and no other issues are apparent, you may get the results you want with your second IVF cycle. We at Indo Nippon IVF believe in giving you an honest appraisal of your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby.
Coping with a failed fertility treatment cycle is not easy and failed treatments take an emotional and financial toll. So it’s normal to feel frustration and sadness. Be sure to seek out support from a counseling professional, a support group, or your friends and family while you navigate the fertility treatment arena. Above all, do not lose hope, be kind and gentle with yourself as well as your partner. Remember, however hard the journey may be, the goal at the end is worth every effort that you put in.
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