Trying Again After An Unsuccessful IVF Cycle

Lauren Haring, RN, IVF Coach


IVF success rates are continuing to improve with medical advances, but there are still no guarantees. Even with the best care and technology, sometimes it just doesn’t work.


A failed IVF cycle is devastating.


The roller coaster of emotions doesn’t end with the cycle officially completing. It will continue as you process and consider your next steps.


First, you will meet with your fertility doctor to discuss what may have caused the IVF cycle to be unsuccessful. This is your chance to ask questions and understand how the cycle went from beginning to end. If you are a good candidate to try again, your doctor will provide recommendations to achieve a positive outcome including any adjustments to your medication protocol.


So, how do you know when to try again?

From a medical standpoint, the minimum time required to wait is usually one full menstrual cycle before starting the next IVF treatment. There is no statistical difference between the rate of pregnancy or live birth with IVF cycles done back to back vs. delayed.


For anyone who is eager to try again, waiting an entire menstrual cycle can feel like an eternity. Your physical, emotional, and financial well-being all need to be considered before deciding when to start another round of IVF:


Physical

  • The stimulation medications used for IVF may cause some degree of inflammation in the body. A month of “rest” is beneficial to allow things to calm down in the reproductive system and the body.

  • There may be leftover cysts from the IVF stimulation which typically resolve on their own. If persistent, they can cause further delays by interfering with the next stimulation phase.

  • Any additional tests or medical treatment ordered by your fertility doctor can also delay things as you wait on results to confirm your cycle plans.

Emotional

  • Good mental health and a positive mindset are vital for success, but IVF treatment can wreak havoc on your emotions and increase already high stress levels.

  • Instead of powering through, it is important to take time off to address the array of emotions and begin healing before going into the next cycle.

  • Emotional healing is variable and while some are ready to jump back in, it is a time others choose to seek additional fertility support before starting again. Reproductive mental health professionals are an invaluable resource in the fertility community.

Financial

  • Without good insurance coverage, IVF is expensive. For some, a pause is necessary to get finances together for further treatment and medication expenses.

  • For those lucky enough to have insurance coverage, it may take some time for proper authorization to come through and medications to be ordered and received.

Is it okay to wait longer than the month recommended? Listen to your body and emotions so you are comfortable and confident when you decide it’s time to begin. One cycle is not likely to make a difference but taking several months off could have an impact on overall success rates depending on age and diagnostic testing. If you are concerned, discuss the best course of action for you with your doctor.


After an unsuccessful IVF cycle, no one else can tell you when to try again. Starting another round is 100% your own personal choice, only you can know when you are ready!

Embrace Fertility offers IVF Cycle Coaching, 1:1 Fertility Support, and Fertility Wellness Programs for your complete fertility and IVF journey. Click here to learn more.


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