Unfortunately, couples may encounter failure in the first IVF treatment. However, the chance of success in the second IVF treatment is higher.
What to do after a failed IVF treatment?
Give yourself a week or two to get over the disappointment of failing your first IVF attempt.
When you feel ready, you should visit your IVF specialist again to review the results from the failed IVF attempt.
The first thing that should happen after a failed IVF attempt is a careful review of the treatment
so that any problems can be detected from the results of the IVF ovarian stimulation process or with the egg retrieval, egg quality and/or quantity, fertilization results, embryo development or embryo transfer procedure. Usually in one or more of these areas there are more than one problem. A plan for a second IVF treatment can then be formulated.
Many of the problems seen in a failed first IVF attempt can be addressed to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of the same problem occurring in a second attempt with IVF.
What is the reason for IVF failure?
If embryo transfer is performed, the reason for IVF failure is failure of embryo implantation. However, that doesn’t help much.
When IVF fails, implantation also fails, but it must be determined whether the failure of the implant is due to a problem with the embryo or a problem with the uterus.
The problem is usually caused by chromosomal or other genetic abnormalities.
Preimplantation genetic screening, PGS, for the chromosomal status of the embryos prior to transfer helps identify the problem.
Blastocyst transfer is an IVF culture technique that allows high IVF pregnancy rates to be maintained while transferring only 1 or (usually) 2 embryos to the mother.
What is the success rate in the second IVF treatment?
Many couples are more successful in their second IVF attempt. Success differs depending on many criteria. These criteria include:
- Woman’s age
- Egg quality and egg quantity
- Sperm quality
- Quality of IVF ovarian stimulation
- Quality of IVF laboratory
- The doctor’s egg collection skills and the overall efficiency of the egg collection process
- Embryo transfer skills of your IVF doctor and ultrasound equipment and technician
- Number of eggs collected
- The reason for your infertility uterine problems
- Genetic and chromosomal adequacy of embryos
A successful IVF program requires diligence and consistent practice.
What does the second IVF treatment include?
If there are difficulties with ovarian stimulation or a low number of eggs, a change of medication may be made.
If there are significant egg and/or embryo quality issues, it is most likely due to an egg issue or IVF laboratory quality issues. Therefore, give yourself and your doctor time to determine whether these problems are due to egg quality, a problem with ovarian stimulation, or a problem in the IVF lab.
There may be a problem with the uterus, but this is rare. Implantation failure is almost always due to the transferred embryos being too weak to implant and maintain normal development. The uterus is almost always open to embryo implantation.
Couples with good egg quality are more likely to get pregnant on their first try, but this is offset to some extent by potentially learning from the first failed treatment and making adjustments to maximize success for the second IVF attempt.