IVF Difficulties: Next Steps
Dealing with IVF failure is never easy, no matter how many cycles you’ve tried. It is not uncommon to feel angry, frustrated, and sad when you realize that you’re still not pregnant. Though your first reaction to IVF failure might be one of hopelessness, there is no reason to give up hope.
Whether you would like to continue attempting IVF or not, there are still many options available to help you achieve your dreams of becoming a parent. Instead of focusing on the past, focus on the future and the joyful family moments that are still to come.
Reasons for IVF Failure
IVF can fail for many reasons, and if you’ve suffered from IVF failure, the most important fact to remember is that it is not your fault. Egg and sperm quality, stimulation medications and timing, endometrium growth, embryo growth, and laboratory processes can all affect the success IVF.
Because IVF is such a delicate process, even a slight error in timing or protocol can invalidate the entire procedure. While this might sound daunting at first, it works in your favor. Some people have to complete IVF several times to achieve a successful pregnancy. In fact, research indicates IVF success rates can still be as high as 40% for women who have had at least three IVF cycles.
Choosing to Repeat Treatment
If you can and would like to complete another cycle of IVF, your fertility doctor will carefully review your previous attempts to isolate factors that led to your last cycle’s failure. By carefully analyzing your case, your doctor will be better able to treat you going forward. Before you begin another cycle, sit down with your doctor and discuss your previous results and your hopes for this cycle.
Ensure all required testing is repeated so that your doctor can pinpoint any changes and alter your treatment accordingly. There are a number of IVF modifications which can be applied in repeat IVF cycles to increase the rate of success. In some cases, your doctor might ask if you would be willing to complete IVF using donor eggs. If your eggs are consistently causing IVF failure, this approach may lead to greater success.
Ask your doctor to be honest with you about whether or not he or she thinks you will be successful this time around. Request specific reasons and treatment methods. Your doctor wants to see you succeed, and if you and your partner team up with your doctor to discuss and attempt IVF with an open mind and a positive attitude, you’ll be more likely to achieve a successful pregnancy.
Alternatives to Additional Treatment
You or your doctor might decide not to continue IVF for medical, financial, or emotional reasons. Fortunately, deciding to stop IVF doesn’t mean putting an end to your dreams of starting a family. Thanks to the many different types of fertility treatments available, you can simply begin to consider other options.
If you’re concerned about completing any further invasive procedures, you still have two additional options for starting a family – using a gestational carrier and adoption. With a gestational carrier, an egg is taken from the mother, fertilized with the father’s sperm, and then implanted into the carrier so the couple experiencing fertility problems are the biological mother and father of the resulting child. Even if you’ve been through multiple unsuccessful cycles of IVF, you might be eligible for gestational surrogacy.
Finally, embryo or traditional adoption is an option for those who can’t or do not want to seek further medical intervention with their own genetic material. It is normal for couples who have tried to bear their own children to be hesitant when considering expanding their families through embryo or traditional adoption. However, a little information and guidance from a family counselor with experience in adoption can help you decide whether this is the right path for your family.
It is crucial to remain positive when dealing with a failed IVF cycle. Your options are open, and your future is bright. Now you’ll simply need to decide which path to take. Fortunately, you don’t have to make that decision alone. An experienced and compassionate team of fertility doctors will be there to help you make the right choice for your family.