When IVF Failure Is Not An Option

Although IVF success rates are improving all the time it can often take a number of cycles before a patient will see a successful outcome, if at all. As someone who has experienced a failed IVF treatment cycle, as well as a cycle that ended in an early miscarriage, I know how devastating both outcomes can be. In contrast to the minefield of information that exists on how to prepare for IVF treatment there is very little to advise patients how to deal with a cycle that is not successful, and as a result, it can be a frightening and hopeless time for many people. Many people find themselves at a complete dead end. They are frightened to pursue further treatment, yet unable to accept that this could be the end of the road.

Some of the coping strategies I’ve outlined here are more relevant to those who do wish to pursue further treatment, but others are applicable to everyone, regardless of the next steps.

Avoid the blame game: While some degree of anger is expected in the aftermath of a failed IVF cycle try not to let it take over or it can be destructive.

Focus on the follow-up appointment

In the first few days, and possibly weeks, following a failed cycle it can be difficult to contemplate another IVF cycle, especially a fresh one. The grief can be so overwhelming that it’s impossible to fathom putting yourself in such a situation again.

Understand why the IVF treatment failed

Try not to leave your follow up an appointment without ensuring you fully understand why your treatment may have failed. Many of the IVF patients I spoke to who experienced failed cycles didn’t realize that there were signs throughout the cycle that their odds of success were low. For example, if the fertilization rates were very low, or the quality of the embryos on transfer day was poor.

Don’t rush into anything

When IVF fails it can feel as though you are back at square one. The back-up plan has failed and it can feel like you’ve run out of options and there is no hope left. Having probably spent many years trying to get pregnant naturally prior to attempting IVF treatment, many people feel as though they need to move on without wasting more time. Some will decide to close the door on IVF completely, and others leap straight into another cycle. In my experience, the immediate aftermath of a failed cycle is not the best time to make big decisions.

Try to focus on what did go well

Even if the ultimate outcome is negative, there will probably be plenty of aspects of the cycle that did go well. Try to focus on these as much as possible, especially if considering another IVF cycle in future.

Take time out

In the aftermath of a failed cycle, it is important to try and take as much time out to grieve and heal as you possibly can. If you haven’t taken time off work during treatment then you should try and take some time out afterward.

Find a new distraction

After months of researching treatment options and preparing body and mind, not to mention constant appointments and tests at a fertility clinic, IVF may have started to feel like a full-time job.

Consider all your options

Before plunging ahead with a similar treatment plan, convincing yourself it was just bad luck that the first one failed, or before rejecting a new treatment plan that may seem extreme, spend time researching as much as you can. Many people make uninformed decisions about treatment only to regret it afterward. Talking openly to your doctors and to other patients who have been in your shoes can provide a new perspective.


Just as counselling can offer invaluable help to ART patients before and during treatment, it can also offer support when it fails. A number people who have experienced IVF failure told me that they gained huge strength from attending counselling sessions. Counselling will be particularly helpful for those who are unsure of whether to pursue further treatment or not.

Look after your relationship

A failed IVF cycle can take a huge toll on those who are in relationships. Like all forms of grief the way each individual deals with the loss may be very different; this can lead to tension and even feelings of resentment between a couple. Having gone through three IVF treatment cycles I can understand why so many relationships do not survive IVF failure.

And Lastly come to Dr.Malagaonkars Progenesis Fertility center where we give solutions to the childless couples who are not able to conceive many years of their marriage. Our Core competencies are to fulfill dreams of the couples who have undergone multiple IVF failure. We assure you best results and happy parenthood.

For more details,

Dr.Narahari Malagaonkar

Fertility Consultant

 MD, DNB, FCPS, DFP ( Mumbai),

Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine (Singapore)

Contact@+919403932404,0253-2347721, E-Mail: drmalagaonkar@progenesisivf.com

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