A failed IVF cycle can unleash an overwhelming torrent of emotions. Going into the cycle, you felt anticipation and building excitement, hoping this will be when your family starts, and worry at the same time. Will it work? When a cycle fails, you and your partner may feel grief and even anger. What went wrong? Is it someone’s fault that IVF didn’t work? Should you try again?
It’s normal to grieve for this loss, but try not to blame yourself or your partner. Chances are the failure is not due to anything you could control. Your fertility specialist will explain what may have happened and what you can do next. Here are some common reasons why an IVF cycle fails.
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 are flawed in some way. Even embryos that look good in the lab may have 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.
Age of the Eggs
When it comes to IVF, the age of the eggs is more important than the age of the woman having IVF treatment. The quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs, known as her ovarian reserve, begin to get worse as she gets older. This affects her chances of success with IVF as well. On average, only about 25 percent of transferred embryos go on to result in live births of babies. But this greatly depends on the age of the woman’s eggs. Women under 35 using their own eggs for IVF have an implantation rate of about 45 percent. Women 40 to 42 years old using their own eggs have only about a 15 percent chance of implantation.
Older women who use donor eggs, which are donated by younger women, have success rates with IVF that are nearly the same as those of younger women. Egg quality is all-important to having healthy embryos, and younger eggs usually have better quality.
Sometimes a woman’s ovaries don’t respond to the fertility medications strongly enough to produce multiple eggs. Especially if a woman is over 37 or has higher FSH levels she may not produce enough eggs to result in a number of embryos for screening and potential implantation. Chances are higher that IVF will fail when this happens. Your reproductive endocrinologist will evaluate what happened and may make changes to your fertility medications for the next IVF cycle.
One of the major factors in IVF failure is chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo. This is true for all human embryos, whether naturally conceived or developed in the embryology lab. These abnormalities are the reason behind most miscarriages as well as failure to implant in an IVF cycle. Studies have shown that starting in their 30s, as women age, the incidence of choromosomal abnormalities in their eggs begins to increase. By the mid-40s as much as 75 percent of a woman’s eggs have chromosomal abnormalities. A man’s sperm develops more chromosomal abnormalities as he ages as well, but at a much lower rate than a woman’s eggs. It’s unfair, ladies, but it’s true.
If you’ve had a failed IVF cycle, your fertility specialist may recommend PGS, preimplantation genetic screening, for your next IVF cycle. PGS tests a few cells from an embryo to determine if the correct number of chromosomes are present. The Fertility Clinic’s Skills and IVF Lab Quality IVF is a science but it’s also an art. Are you better off with an experienced reproductive endocrinologist with a long track record, or a new young doctor just off fellowship training who may be at the cutting edge of practice? What are the practice’s success rates with women your age? Does the lab have a good reputation and experienced staff? Do you feel comfortable that your doctor is listening to you and is addressing your concerns? Before you commit to a second IVF cycle, assess how you and your partner feel.
Many fertility clinics require women to stop smoking at least three months before starting IVF treatment. Women who smoke need twice as many IVF cycles to conceive and are much more likely to miscarry than women who don’t smoke. Women who are overweight or underweight are less likely to have successful IVF treatment. The bottom line is, maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight,losing as little as 10 percent of your body weight can make a positive difference in your ability to get pregnant.
Ready to Start Your Family?
If you’re ready to pursue IVF treatment, WIN Fertility can help. WINFertility’s Nurse Care Managers or professionally-trained Patient Specialists can help you find an excellent reproductive endocrinologist in your area and get discounted treatment packages and financing options.
WINFertility provides lower than market-rate Treatment and Medication Bundles which combine medical services for a single IVF treatment and medications at a discounted “pay-as- you-go” price saving you up to 40% off the total cost of your treatment cycle. The bundle is tailored for your specific treatment plan, and you only pay for the treatment you need, unlike traditional multi-cycle discount plans in which you pay for up to 6 attempts that you may never need in order to receive a discount. For those patients who think they may need an additional IVF attempt to become pregnant, the
WINFertility 2nd Chance IVF Refund Program helps control costs, maximizes your chance of success and minimizes your risk of overpaying. Are you ready to take the next step? Visit www.WINFertility.com or call 1-855- 705-4483 (4IVF.)