After a failed IVF, it’s only natural to feel sadness, frustration, or even, anger. These emotions are completely normal. At the same time, you may be wondering what comes after a failed IVF. Where can you go from here?
The good news is that there are various options available, including finding the right avenues to grieve your loss. In this article, we’ll examine grieving after IVF failure, additional IVF cycles, and other options you may want to consider.
Grieving After IVF Failure
IVF takes energy, time, and money. You may feel that you’ve invested a lot and all you’re left with is grief. There is still hope.
At the same, you want to ensure you take care of your own mental well-being throughout your fertility journey. This may mean taking time for yourself, attending fertility counseling, or finding a support group. Learning how to cope with IVF failure can help you move forward, allowing you to continue to pursue your baby dreams.
Infertility counseling offers a safe space where you can express your emotions and feelings. In this situation, you don’t have to worry about hurting your partner’s feelings or anyone else involved. It can help you let these emotions out, as opposed to suppressing them and having them escalate further on down the road. You and your counsellor can also determine methods and techniques to help you cope throughout this process.
Alternatively, if you are in a relationship, you may want to attend couples counselling. This can help you and your partner learn how to support each other through this difficult time. It can also help you learn to listen to each other as you navigate your fertility journey. This way, you can come out stronger than before.
IVF Support Group
Many individuals and couples are facing similar hurdles in their fertility journey. Connecting with these groups of people can help you feel a little less alone as you continue to pursue your dreams of having a family. Consider researching IVF support groups within your local community. Hearing others’ stories can offer inspiration, as well as provide an outlet to help you cope. You don’t have to do this alone.
Additional IVF Cycles
After a failed IVF, many individuals and couples continue to try further IVF cycles. Usually, for a successful IVF cycle to take place, multiple cycles are required. Below, we dive into how many IVF cycles are usually required, the chances of success in second IVF cycles, and the reasons why IVF failed, which can help you and your fertility team lower the chances of them happening again.
How Many Cycles of IVF Does the Average Person Need?
On average, it takes approximately three IVF cycles to conceive when using your own eggs (known as “conventional IVF”). However, the success of IVF and the number of IVF cycles required depends on your age, ovarian reserves, fallopian tubes, and lifestyle. With egg donation, at ELITE IVF, it can take as little as one attempt to achieve a pregnancy.
Generally, women under 35 have the highest success rate when it comes to IVF. Your ovarian reserve refers to how many quality eggs you have, which often depends on age (quality and quantity of eggs naturally decline with age). The health of your fallopian tubes further matters since the egg must travel through these structures to implant within the uterus. If there is a blockage, it will be more difficult to become pregnant. Lastly, your lifestyle greatly impacts your success. If you are a smoker or are overweight, your chances of success with IVF may be affected.
Chances of Success in a Second IVF Cycle
There is no exact answer when it comes to each couple or individual’s chance of success in a second IVF cycle. The chances of success happening involves many factors, including age, egg quality, egg quantity, sperm quality, quality of IVF procedures, the cause of infertility, uterine issues, and more. Usually, your chances will go up since most couples or individuals require multiple IVF cycles. However, there is no guarantee.
Review With Your Doctor Reasons Why IVF Failed
There are various reasons why IVF failed. It’s important to have a discussion with your doctor regarding these reasons and how you can lower the chances of them happening again. Some common reasons why an IVF cycle can fail include:
- Embryo implantation failure
- Low-quality eggs
- Female age
- Low ovarian response
- Quality of sperm
- Genetic/chromosome abnormalities
Additional Options After Failed IVF
There are a few other options after failed IVF that you may want to explore, including natural pregnancy after failed IVF, preimplantation genetic screening, IVF with donor eggs, and gestational surrogacy.
Natural Pregnancy After Failed IVF
Many people quickly assume that a natural pregnancy isn’t possible after seeking out IVF or other infertility options. However, approximately 1 in every 6 couples may conceive naturally after unsuccessful IVF cycles within five years. This offers real hope to some couples who may not be able to afford further IVF cycles at this time or that may feel they are losing hope after facing the discouragement of failed IVF procedures. Just because IVF didn’t work, it doesn’t mean that a future pregnancy can’t take place.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening
Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS), also referred to as Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), is optional testing that analyzes embryos before implantation for genetic or chromosomal abnormalities.
A common genetic issue that occurs with IVF procedures, leading to failed IVF or pregnancy loss, is a condition known as aneuploidy. Aneuploidy happens when an embryo has too few chromosomes. Ensuring the embryo does not have these issues can lead to a higher rate of success at the implantation and pregnancy stages. This may further help individuals or couples have success after repeated implantation failure.
IVF With Donor Eggs
If quality eggs or quantity of eggs is a continued issue with IVF, you may want to consider using donor eggs. While this is not a decision you want to rush into, it can increase your chances of success. IVF with donor eggs involves the placement of an embryo, created via an egg donor, into the intended mother’s uterus.
This option may be best for individuals or couples who:
- Are experiencing premature ovarian failure
- Have a lower ovarian reserve
- Have a genetic disease that may pass on
- Have had failed IVF cycles where the quality of eggs is suspected to be the issue
Gestational surrogacy involves the creation of an embryo by using the intended mother’s eggs and the intended father’s sperm. This embryo is then transferred into a gestational surrogate, a woman who is able to carry the pregnancy to term, but has no genetic relation to the baby.
Gestational surrogacy is also possible with the use of donor eggs. Surrogacy may be an ideal option in the following circumstances:
- Limited success with IVF or assisted reproductive technology (ART)
- Medical problems or illness that affect the health of the uterus
- Previous surgeries or hysterectomy that removed the uterus
- Conditions that either make pregnancy too much of a risk or prevent pregnancy altogether
- Same-sex couples (primarily males, in conjunction with an egg donor)
- Unexplained infertility
- Advanced maternal age
- Personal choice
A failed IVF isn’t the end of the line. Most couples and individuals require multiple IVF cycles. Further, there are many other options available. At ELITE IVF, our experienced team is here to help you navigate through every step of your fertility journey with a number of leading-edge programs offering egg donation, surrogacy, and the latest reproductive technologies from around the world. After a failed IVF, it is possible to have the baby of your dreams. Contact us today. Together, we can make your baby dreams come true.