IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) can be really tough and often challenging. It is possible that you might not get the expected result in the first or second try. As it is, getting the IVF treatment is a difficult decision to take, both emotionally and physically. And when you fail multiple times, you almost lose hope. However, even after a lot of bad luck, there are still some chances that you might succeed in building the family you have dreamed of.
One of the most difficult things for an infertile couple to deal with is the failure of an IVF cycle. In fact, it is the fear of failure that often deters many infertile couples from even attempting an IVF cycle. They are petrified that if they try and fail, they won’t have anything to turn to, which is why they refuse to try in the first place!
IVF is one of the most successful forms of assisted reproduction technology. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology the rate of live births from an IVF cycle is around 55.6% for people under 35 and 40.8% for people aged 35 to 37. According to SART, the rate of live births drops to 4.1% for people over 42 and even for those who undergo treatment and become parents, it takes an average of 3.6 cycles of IVF to achieve pregnancy, according to the National Institutes of Health.
According to the NIH, 11% of American women of childbearing age have experienced fertility problems. Apart from that black women are twice as likely to experience infertility as white women. Of course, the numbers are encouraging, but this does not assure that IVF can be successful.
Lessons To Learn From An Unsuccessful IVF Cycle
Marissa Nelson, L.M.F.T., a licensed marriage and family therapist in Washington, D.C., who specializes in couples and infertility, told SELF. “The biggest problem with infertility is dealing with feelings of uncertainty. Because you don’t know what the next steps are. Where do we go from here? How do we deal with this? Should we adopt? We should not? Should we stop? Everything becomes very overwhelming.”
No two people or cycles are the same, but there are some lessons every couple can learn from an unsuccessful IVF cycle.
1. Common Reasons For An Unsuccessful IVF:
Chromosomal abnormalities are common (both in embryos and live births) and can contribute to the failure of the IVF cycle. These anomalies are numerical or structural. With a digital defect, there are too many or too few chromosomes in a cell. With a structural abnormality, the structure of the chromosome has been altered.
There is mixed evidence on the impact of chromosomal abnormalities on IVF success rates, but they are a factor (unfortunately impossible to control). Another important reason why IVF cycles can fail is related to the receptivity of the endometrium. As noted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the endometrium (the membrane that lines the uterus) plays a central role during the implantation window, when its lining is at its most optimal condition to properly receive an embryo.
2. Genetic Testing:
Since chromosomal abnormalities are a factor, you can opt for what is called a pre-implant genetic test (PGT) if you are comfortable, available, and within your means.
During this procedure, technicians take a sample of cells from five embryos each day and send them to a lab to check for chromosomal abnormalities. Embryos considered abnormal are not transferred. It is important to note that PGT does not necessarily guarantee successful implantation or a newborn without genetic abnormalities. PGT is usually not covered by insurance and can be quite expensive (exact numbers vary, but can go up to $ 200 or more per embryo).
3. Plan The IVF Schedules Properly:
A failed IVF can be distressing and before trying for another cycle you should take a little break and give yourself little time to recover from the loss. IVF is extremely unpredictable, so it’s best to empty your schedule as much as possible to accommodate appointments and procedures.
After all, it all depends on how your body reacts to the medicine. Everybody and every cycle is different. What worked for your friend or what worked for you the last time may not work this time. If possible, take the day of the transfer and the next two days to relax. Your body has been through a lot – hormones, planning, and preparation and you could probably take advantage of this time to rest. You can also take a day off for your pregnancy test so you can process the results without worrying about any other work if possible.
4. Expect Emotional Triggers And Prepare Yourself For It:
There’s a trauma around infertility and everything that goes with it. There is that feeling of injustice, but there is also a certain trauma around the parenting process. It’s almost a PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) response to everything that’s happened so far. As a result, you may experience a lot of anxiety or depression, racing thoughts, hypervigilance, hopelessness and perhaps helplessness, the feeling of helplessness in the face of the situation.
Your mix of emotions is valid. You may think you’re taking everything into your own hands until you curse everyone within a 10ft radius once you scroll through other belly photos. Remember, you can decline the invitation to a baby shower. There is nothing wrong with “muting” your pregnant friends on social media. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You can still support them without having to send daily reminders of what you don’t have. This will double for Mother’s Day or any other holiday that might be triggering.
Tests That Can Help Identify the Cause of IVF Failure
Failure of an IVF implantation can be really frustrating and intimidating, but there are several tests and exams available that can help identify the problem.
1. Uterine assessment/Hysterosalpingography (HSG)
The uterine evaluation should be done before the first cycle of IVF. HSG is the test of choice because it is the only one that adequately examines the uterus and fallopian tubes. A hydrosalpinx (blocked fallopian tube filled with fluid) reduces implantation by 50 percent, so knowing the condition of the tubes is necessary even during IVF.
2. Semen DNA Fragmentation Test
Another test that has generated interest is the sperm DNA fragmentation test, which examines the integrity of DNA in semen. Some evidence suggests that if the test is abnormally high (a high level of DNA fragmentation), could lead to lower fertilization rates, lower implantation rates and higher miscarriage rates. Men with normal semen test results may have abnormal DNA fragmentation results.
3. Endometrial Receptivity Assay (ERA)
Since the 1990s, a series of tests have been performed on cells that line the uterine cavity (endometrium) to determine if there are certain chemical or genetic markers that predict endometrial receptivity for implantation. One of these tests is the endometrial receptivity test, a test in which an endometrial biopsy is taken (usually on a cycle without treatment), and the expression of hundreds of genes is studied. to determine the receptivity of the uterus. to implantation.
4. Preimplantation Genetic Testing For Aneuploidy (PGT-A)
For many couples, many, if not most, of the embryos created during an IVF cycle have an abnormal number of chromosomes. Abnormal embryo transfer causes conception failure or increases miscarriages and abnormal birth rates. PGT-A is a procedure in which cells are taken from a developing embryo and analyzed for their chromosomal content. Embryos that have normal chromosome complement are selected for embryo transfer, which improves pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriage rates.
5. Immunological Tests
Tests for immune cells or circulating proteins are controversial, as data are lacking to indicate that detection of these factors and proposed treatments for immune “abnormalities” improve clinical outcomes for patients with recurrent implantation failure. In addition, these tests are often expensive and are not covered by insurance. Therefore, there is no consensus on the performance of these tests.
IVF, like bereavement, is not always linear. And it is certainly not for the faint of heart. There are ups and downs and a lot of downs. Things that you should keep in mind while going for an IVF treatment and how to deal with the trauma if the cycle fails: you are not alone, you are strong but you can have some moments of weakness, and do not give up, you need to have faith and keep going.
If you are facing an infertility problem and are desperately planning to welcome a new member in the family, IVF treatment can be the best option for you. And it is not just the treatment, you also need to be very careful about selecting your doctor. If you are looking for an IVF specialist, book your appointment now with the best IVF treatment expert Dr. A.K. Jain- the IVF specialist in India who has successfully brought happiness to the lives of more than 10,000 couples fighting with infertility issues.