I’ve had a lot of guest posters on this blog, especially through Squawk Box, but I was approached recently to run this story about how to cope with a failed IVF round and I jumped at the chance. I haven’t had much on here about what to do when you wind up BFN after all the rigamarole of an IVF cycle and it’s really important that I put something up on here for the 50% of patients that go through this.
Yep, that’s right. 50. Percent.
Each IVF round is around a 50-50% chance at success. If you are a part of the half that didn’t get what they were paying and hoping for it can be a really emotional road to navigate. So, I thought Infertility Aide‘s post was perfect to help address some of the things that might come up if your IVF round is unsuccessful.
If you are walking through this right now I hope this post helps.
How to cope with IVF failure?
Written by: Infertility Aide
Published with the author’s permission.
A negative pregnancy test is hard for people who are trying to conceive, but even harder for
those who have undergone IVF.
Modern medicine is the answer to a lot of our problems and even after spending thousands of
dollars on infertility treatments, when you see the negative on a pregnancy test stick, it can be
devastating. It is a worrisome and extremely anxious time for many people and
unfortunately, nobody really tells you how to cope with IVF failure.
While it can be true that time heals all wounds, there are a few things you can do to immediately to
calm the aftermath that follows a failed IVF cycle.
1. Release your emotions
Each IVF cycle builds a mound of hope and optimism and it is extremely frustrating to have
those hopes quashed. Allow yourself to cry and sob and take time off to clear your head
before you figure the next step.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to rush into the next cycle immediately, so they
do not have to deal with the pain of failure. IVF takes a toll on your physical and emotional
health and it is imperative that you rejuvenate yourself before you resume your treatments.
2. Talk to your partner
You are in this together. One of you might be taking it harder than the other but you have
both taken the hit. It is important to talk about your fears and uncertainties with your partner
even if all you want to do is close off for a while.
3. Don’t blame anyone
It is always easy to have someone to blame for anything that goes wrong. So you start
thinking the clinic might have faltered or the doctor might not have been careful enough and
then probably obsess over the whole process trying to look for any signs of incompetency on
The global success rates of IVF are under 50%, which means over half the IVF cycles fail
and nobody really can point out why. Unless there is really something questionable on their
end, do not try to hold the clinic responsible for your IVF failure.
A lot of women blame themselves and their bodies too, which makes the recovery process
worse. Blame games will only bring you down and hamper future progress. You have to
accept the truth and resume building your life.
4. Take a break
Go to spa, have a glass or two of your favorite wine, party, take a trip, meet your friends and
family, and do all the fun things that you would not have done if your IVF had actually been
successful. Heal yourself before you plan to start treatment again.
5. Follow up with your doctor
It is difficult to go back and put yourself in the same situation again, but once you have
processed all your emotions and are ready for it, make an appointment with your doctor.
He/she will definitely empathize with you and help you understand what could have possibly
been the reason for your failed IVF.
A change in strategy may help your situation and it is best discussed with the doctor who has
already handled your case once.
6. Understand the reason for IVF failure
There are so many reasons why IVF fails but no particular way of finding out the exact
reason why it failed for a particular patient. It could be the quality of eggs or sperm, the
quality of the embryo, genetic problems, your womb lining, or something else.
Each IVF cycle is also a learning step and if the doctor can get you closer to finding what the
problem was, you could have better chances of success in the next cycle.
Some things to consider are:
-What was your fertilization rate?
-What was the quality of embryos?
-Will you need donor eggs?
-Do you need to analyze the genetic content of your embryos with PGD testing?
7. Figure out where you go from here
You have to be realistic about your situation and see what is working and what is not. You
cannot keep draining your savings into IVF, chasing a pipe dream. Be honest about how
much you can spend on this without having to jeopardize other aspects of your life and how
long can you keep going.
Be open to the fact that you might have to consider options which you were not willing to do
before. It might help to talk to other people who have been in similar situations.
8. Distract yourself a little
It is hard to not obsess over IVF and its results when you have invested so much into it, but
you have to maintain your sanity. Shake up your routine, focus on your work, and stay away
from baby-focused activities for while. Once you get your mojo back, you can resume with a
fresh mind and a positive approach again.
The decision to pursue IVF treatment is not an easy one—it comes with a lot of emotional,
financial, and physical pressures, and after going through it all if you have to deal with
failure, it can be a hard blow to your hopes.
A failed IVF cycle is like being in a blind alley for most people who don’t know what to do
next, unless they have several good-quality embryos frozen from the first cycle. You are
scared to pursue further treatment but you also don’t want to accept the current outcome.
1 in every 8 couples faces infertility, according to the CDC. Remember you are not alone in
this. You have to move forward after a failed IVF cycle and you must do what it takes to feel