While IVF can help couples struggling to conceive, the treatment’s success rate can be affected by factors like poor lifestyle and low egg or sperm quality. You shouldn’t give up on becoming a parent if you experience an IVF failure. Your fertility specialist can help you conceive by repeating IVF or recommending an alternative solution.
Reasons for IVF Failure
Your specialist will assess the causes of unsuccessful in vitro fertilization to determine the best cause of action. Here are factors that may contribute to the treatment’s failure:
Poor Ovarian Response
Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) are injected at the beginning of IVF treatment to stimulate egg production. Some women, especially the older ones, may not experience increased egg production because the quantity and quality of their eggs reduce with age. Their low ovarian reserve may cause a poor ovarian response, leading to IVF treatment failure.
Your specialist can assess your ovarian reserve by testing for the Anti-Mullerian Hormone. This can help them determine the appropriate FSH dosage, improving your chances of conceiving during the second IVF treatment.
Leading a poor lifestyle increases the possibility of your IVF treatment failing. Women who smoke, don’t get enough sleep, aren’t physically active, or don’t maintain healthy diets are less likely to have a successful IVF treatment.
Your specialist can ask you about your lifestyle to determine if it can be the cause of the treatment’s failure. If you smoke, they’ll likely advise you to stop for a few months before trying the treatment again. They may also create a diet plan and ask you to lose weight or develop a better sleep routine before trying for a child.
Poor Embryo Quality
Failed IVF may result from low-quality eggs and sperm. Your specialist may recommend doing the following to improve the quality of your eggs and your partner’s sperm:
- Maintain an active lifestyle
- Eat a healthy diet
- Take vitamins and supplements
- Manage sources of stress
- Avoid exposure to toxins like pesticides
The specialist may recommend regular egg and sperm quality tests before getting a second IVF treatment. They’ll only recommend a second treatment if your egg and sperm quality improves.
Silent endometriosis rarely shows symptoms, so you may not know you have the condition when undergoing IVF treatment. Endometriosis can limit IVF’s success as it can increase the risk of impaired embryo implantation and affect your egg quality.
Your doctor can recommend hormone therapy or laparoscopic surgery if you test positive for endometriosis. Hormone therapy can limit the growth of implants and surgery can eliminate already existing implants. If treatment is successful, you can try to conceive again through IVF.
What Options Do You Have?
Your specialist can recommend another IVF treatment if they identify the cause of the first one’s failure and treat it. They can advise you to use third-party eggs or sperm during your second treatment if your eggs and partner’s sperm quality doesn’t improve. Since some fertility clinics partner with donor clinics, so you can ask for recommendations to save time.
Gestational surrogacy may be recommended if you undergo repeated miscarriages or have a uterus infection that may cause implantation issues. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate only acts as the carrier—they don’t have a biological relationship with the child since a specialist uses your eggs and your partner’s sperm to create an embryo. They then implant the embryo in the surrogate’s uterus.
IVF Failure Isn’t the End
You can try to conceive again after IVF failure. Your fertility specialist will determine the cause of the treatment’s failure before moving on to the second one. IVF treatment may fail because of a poor ovarian response, low embryo quality, poor lifestyle choices, or endometriosis.
A fertility specialist can increase the dose of your ovarian stimulation drug or recommend lifestyle changes and treatments to prevent future failures. You can then undergo another IVF treatment, use third-party donors or choose gestational surrogacy, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.