How To Cope With Your First IVF Failure
Pregnancy can be an extremely emotional journey for any couple, irrespective of whether the outcome is positive or negative. It becomes more challenging for you when you’ve been trying to conceive for a while and have experienced failure every time. IVF is the ultimate go-to option to give your desire of becoming parents one last shot. But what if the IVF cycle fails too?
Well, it can. Yes, it can be devastating and painful all at once. And yes, it is natural to have attached more hopes with the IVF treatment than you did with trying to conceive naturally. But after your first IVF failure, is it time to give up this hope just yet? The answer is no.
First of all, you should know that IVF is not a guarantee to get pregnant. The chances of any healthy woman under the age of 35 years getting pregnant through IVF is about 50 - 60 percent. The chances drop when age and other factors come into play. Studies suggest that couples sometimes may need more than one IVF cycle to get pregnant.
If you’ve experienced failure in your first IVF cycle, do not give up. Allow your fertility specialist to understand what went wrong and determine the further course of action.
Possible Reasons For Failed IVF Cycles
After a failed IVF cycle, you’ll find yourself deep in wonder as to what could have gone wrong and why did this have to happen to you? IVF cycles can fail due to several factors. And rather than giving up your hopes just yet, with the help of your fertility specialist try to figure out why they could have failed in your case too.
1. Ovarian Response
Your ovaries play a crucial role in your pregnancy, as they are responsible for the number and quality of eggs growing within the ovary. If the ovaries cannot develop good-quality or enough eggs, fertilization and embryo development can become difficult. Such issues may result from low egg reserves due to age or poor egg production. During your IVF cycle, your fertility specialist may recommend hormonal injections best suited to you. After a first failed cycle your doctor may use a different group of hormones to get better results.
2. Age/ AMH
As mentioned earlier, your ovarian reserve and egg-producing capacity deteriorate with age. As you grow older, the eggs produced by your ovaries are either insufficient in number or of inadequate quality. Therefore, the resulting embryos from such eggs may also be of poor quality. After the age of 35, women usually start experiencing lower reserves. AMH or Anti-Mullerian Hormone is a blood test done to get an estimation of the woman’s ovarian reserve. As the age of the woman increases the AMH decreases.
3. Poor Embryo Quality
Your IVF cycle may have failed due to a poor-quality embryo. When individual gametes, that is the egg and sperm combine, it results in an embryo. The quality of the embryo is a big factor to determine the success of your IVF cycle.
A poor-quality embryo may not develop to blastocyst stage or not implant. In both cases, your IVF cycle will fail. Poor quality embryos are often seen in cases of low oocyte quality and poor quality sperm.
4. Implantation Failure
Sometimes, your cycle may fail in spite of transferring good embryos and having a good endometrium lining. Implantation failure is when the embryo cannot implant itself successfully to the uterine wall or endometrium, leading to a failed pregnancy. This is the reason success rates in IVF are never 100%.
In case of an implantation failure, your fertility specialist will evaluate further and suggest other treatments like ERA or hysteroscopy before attempting another embryo transfer.
5. Incompetence Of The Fertility Specialist And IVF Clinic
It is extremely important to do your research before selecting an IVF clinic and a fertility specialist. IVF is an extremely sensitive procedure and any lapse in judgment, ovum retrieval process, or embryo transfer may cost you your cycle.
6. Credentials Of The Embryologist And Embryo Selection
The qualification of the embryologist is another key element to understand the causes of the success or failure of your IVF cycle. The embryologist should have enough experience to able to make and select the best embryo for transfer. This could be a make or break in the success of your IVF cycle.
What Should You Do Next?
Your fertility specialist will ask you to get a few tests done to determine the cause of your first IVF failure. Once they have understood the underlying cause, they may suggest some corrective measures before you can again in the next cycle.
- If the issues are with the number and quality of eggs, altering your egg stimulation medication might improve the condition.
- If they find that the failed IVF is due to recurrent implantation failure, a preimplantation genetic test of the embryos could help before implanting them in the uterus.
- If there is no attributable cause for the failure of your IVF cycle, your fertility specialist may simply ask you to try again as no two cycles are similar.
- Your fertility specialist may also advise you to do a Hysteroscopy (check the uterus for any adhesions or inflammation) before another attempt.
Once you have your test results, you must ask your fertility specialist for their honest opinion about your chances of successful conception in the future.
You can also consider getting a second opinion from another trusted and reliable IVF center and fertility specialist.
How To Cope With Your First IVF Failure
Experiencing failed pregnancies are difficult to cope with mentally, physically, and most importantly, emotionally.
Here are some tips on how to help yourself deal with the failure and recuperate from it.
- Take time out for yourself and allow yourself to grieve. It is an unimaginably difficult time for you and most people around you may not be able to relate to it. If answering questions makes you uncomfortable, ask for their understanding of your situation.
- Take a vacation with your partner. Go to someplace away from your home and from people you know for some time. Maybe a visit to the hills or the beach.
- Once you feel better, sit down with your partner and chalk out a plan of action. Discuss the next steps you two must take. Whether it is to try for another IVF cycle, or opt for a donor egg/ sperm, or even considering surrogacy.
- Talk to anyone in your family or friends’ circles who has undergone a similar phase. Sometimes, knowing that you’re the only one and learning from people who’ve undergone similar experiences can help you in ways you can’t understand.
IVF is an assisted reproductive technique. It cannot guarantee pregnancy; it can only improve your chances of it. However, while opting for an IVF treatment, it is equally important to consult a trusted fertility specialist from a known and reliable IVF center like Archish IVF.
Archish IVF is one of the finest IVF centers in Bangalore. You can consult our team of doctors and fertility specialists for any fertility and related treatments. If you don’t feel confident just yet, why not book a consultation with us and see for yourself? The first one is absolutely free!