How to bounce back after a failed IVF cycle?

The most important thing to cope with during this failure is your emotional and mental health and the best way to cope is to let yourself be loved and be under proper care and definitely professional care if needed.

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IVF failure can happen if the basic requirements to start the cycle aren’t fulfilled. (File)

By Dr. Gunjan Gupta Govil

Knowing that you cannot become a parent, is one of the biggest pain that life can inflict upon you. All your dreams and hopes of having a happy beautiful family come crashing down and you feel as if you have lost all belief and hope but then owing to the technological advances in the medical field you come to know of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and all the shattered hopes start to build again. You consult your fertility specialist and connect with a fertility clinic to start the process of your first IVF cycle. The fact that it is finally happening leaves you immensely positive, excited and hopeful. But you are again thrown back to the same space and this time in a more pathetic way when you realize that your IVF cycle failed.

IVF failure hurts a lot as you are not just financially invested but also emotionally. It is the emotional loss that hurts the most. It is important to get over it soon and prepare for the next steps.

Know the reason – not to worry

IVF is a complex and artful procedure. There can be many reasons behind a failed IVF cycle but some of the major ones can be as follows:-

  1. Failure in achieving proper endometrium lining – IVF failure can happen if the basic requirements to start the cycle aren’t fulfilled. Sometimes even after usage of pills and hormonal supplements, the female reproductive organ isn’t able to reach the required form. When the endometrial lining does not reach the desired thickness or the blood supply is not upto the desired zone, it might lead to implantation failure. In such cases hysteroscopy and endometrial tissue biopsy for MTBC should be done to find out the underlying pathology,if any, like dormant tuberculosis. In the same sitting PRP i.e platelet rich plasma which are the growth factors from patients own blood can be injected in the uterus which has shown to be of benefit in improving the endometrial thickness and vascularity improving the IVF success rates.
  2. Failure in producing enough eggs – in some cases even after use of FSH and another stimulating hormone the ovary isn’t able to produce multiple follicles or even if multiple follicles are produced not all of them contain eggs.
  3. Quality of Egg – the reason to produce multiple follicles is to produce multiple eggs that can increase the chance of a healthy fertilized egg to be transferred. Not every egg retrieved is alive and even if all of them are alive, they aren’t mature enough or are fertilized to become embryos. If multiple failures occur with self eggs/sperms, the alternative is to change the gamete at fault by using donor eggs/sperms
  4. Implantation failure – even if the experts are successful in producing fertilized eggs and are able to keep them safe until they multiply and reach the stage to be transferred into the uterus, the process of implantation is still risky. The failure of implantation mainly occurs due to fertilized egg having any chromosomal or unhealthy endometrium lining.
  5. Immunological causes as to why body of female is rejecting the foreign antigen of embryo( Which does not happen normally) should be ruled out by doing certain immunological markers such as LAC, acl, TNF alpha and if positive should be treated accordingly by LMWH or i.v immunoglobulin or intralipid therapy.
  6. The other major factors leading to a failed attempt at IVF are the ones associated with the lifestyle of the patients. Among these factors, age of the female partner matters the most. The females under 35 years of age have more chances of successful IVF than the ones above 35 years. Patients involved in smoking have higher chances of a failed IVF cycle. The weight (overweight/underweight) of the female patient also influences the success of an IVF cycle.

Any of the above-mentioned reasons or reasons specific to a particular couple can lead to failure of a first IVF cycle. It has to be accepted that an IVF cycle has as much of a chance of failure as of success and that the 1st IVF cycle always has higher chances of failure than the following attempts. The question that arises now is how to cope with this failure?

What needs to be done – Hope

The first and foremost thing to do after your first failed IVF cycle is to give yourself and your partner some time to sit back, accept it and deal with it rather than denying its emotional and psychological effects and rushing into another process. Even your body requires time to deal with it and rushing into another process without a break would increase the chances of its failure. The second most important step is to talk with your doctor and find out where the process failed.

One needs to realize that the failure of the first IVF cycle isn’t the end of your dreams even though it seems like. While thinking of what one must do after a failed IVF attempt, the most feasible and appropriate solution that appears is to try again. Once indulging in the process of IVF requires multiple attempts to lead to a successful cycle. One needs to trust the process and the experts involved in it. In case of a failed IVF cycle, the doctors examine the entire process and conclude where it went wrong and find solutions so that it can be corrected in the later attempt.

The most important thing to cope with during this failure is your emotional and mental health and the best way to cope is to let yourself be loved and be under proper care and definitely professional care if needed.

(The author is Founder & Chairman, Gunjan IVF World Group. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of

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