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Friday, 18 December 2015
Failed IVF – What to do next
A failed IVF cycle can be a very distressing and painful experience for a woman and her partner. While a good fertility doctor would always discuss the possibility of a negative IVF outcome with the patient, it is still extremely difficult for a couple to cope with the anguish of losing a baby they could have had. There is an immense feeling of loss and both partners need tremendous support from family and friends, and from the fertility doctor.
Aside from the emotional setback, an unsuccessful IVF attempt can leave one confused about what to do next – whether to go for a new cycle, switch to a different clinic, or simply give up. The right guidance from the fertility clinic is crucial at this point as the patient may be feeling lost and disillusioned with fertility treatment.
The following information is an earnest attempt in this direction.
Why did my IVF treatment fail?
There can be a number of reasons as to why your IVF cycle did not result in pregnancy. Your fertility specialist would be able to explain the possible causes after reviewing your complete cycle step by step.
Some of the reasons for IVF failure are as follows:
Embryo implantation failure – after being placed in the uterus, the embryo fails to attach itself to the uterine wall.
Age of the female partner
Embryo quality and number of embryos transferred
The underlying cause of infertility – some cases of infertility have a lower rate of success compared to others.
Quality of treatment provided by your fertility clinic
Expertise and equipment handling skill of the fertility team
While in most cases the doctor is able to provide an explanation for IVF failure, patients need to understand that IVF cycles fail even when everything is done right. It happens even in cases where the patient received the best possible treatment, had good quality eggs and procedures were accurately followed.
Once the embryo has been transferred into the uterus, your doctor has no control over the fate of the embryo. For reasons still unknown to medical science, some embryos simply fail to attach to the uterine wall.
Patients who suffer from poor endometrial receptivity (a condition which results in the embryo being rejected by the uterine lining) are given treatment to improve the chances of successful implantation. However, an IVF cycle can still fail, sometimes for reasons that only nature understands.
A good fertility doctor would never commit cent percent success to a patient, and a knowledgeable and informed patient would have realistic expectations regarding the success of the IVF cycle.
Should I go for another IVF cycle?
For women who choose to preserve the extra embryos from the first IVF attempt, the second cycle becomes a lot simpler, as they don’t have to undergo another round of ovulation induction and egg retrieval.
Today many clinics offer package treatment plans which include up to 3 IVF cycles. This protects the patient against repeated expenses that come with a fresh IVF program.
However, before your IVF doctor suggests another round of IVF, they would need to carefully review the previous cycle to understand what can be improved, and discuss the process with you in detail.
If you feel the need for a second opinion before starting anew round of IVF, feel free to consult Dr. Manika Khanna, the award-winning IVF specialist with a creditable history of success with previously failed IVF cases.
How long can frozen embryos be stored?
Frozen (cryopreserved) eggs, sperm and embryos can be stored for an infinite length of time. You can find more information on embryo freezing here.
Can I wait a few years before I attempt another IVF cycle?
Advancing age is a key factor in the success or failure of your fertility treatment. For women in their thirties, we advise against waiting for more than a year after the first IVF attempt.
Ask your doctor if it is possible to delay further treatment and if it will impact your chances of success.
What are the chances of natural conception after a failed IVF cycle?
Patients undergo IVF only after the possibility of natural conception has been exhausted. However, a couple may try conceiving naturally if it gives them solace. It is important to inform your doctor aboutyour decision.
This will depend upon your overall experience at the present clinic. If you are satisfied that you received the best treatment, and if you feel that the clinic has been transparent and forthcoming in sharing details of the treatment at each step, you may want to continue your association.
Patients need to remember that no IVF clinic wants an IVF cycle to fail. The success of its fertility treatment is what earns a clinic credibility and patient trust. However, how an IVF cycle was carried out from start to finish, the infrastructure of the facility, the expertise of the fertility team, and whether the procedures were performed as per protocol – these are some of the factors that do play a role in the success of a treatment. As you would agree, this holds true for any type of medical treatment.
The only way to safeguard yourself against mediocre treatment by profit-oriented fertility clinics is to choose your fertility doctor with care. Find a good doctor and trust them to do their very best to help you become a parent.
If you need further guidance regarding the possibilities after unsuccessful IVF, contact award-winning IVF specialist Dr. Manika Khanna for a free second opinion. Dr. Khanna and her team of fertility super specialists have helped more than 6000 couples experience the joy of parenthood through IVF.