What are your options after repeated IVF failure?

Summary: Why does the IVF cycle keep failing? Is it because of the doctor? Is there some other problem that the doctor has not been able to figure out? Is the patient doing something that she should not? There are many questions that haunt the infertile couple.


Repeated IVF failure is quite common. Many patients who are trying to get pregnant find that their IVF cycles are not successful. If the first few cycles are not successful there is no need to lose hope. Even with the natural method of conception the success rate is only about 20% and couples need to try multiple times in perfect conditions, which is during ovulation.

Sometimes the doctor may suggest a lifestyle change or a vacation to improve the chances of pregnancy. This has helped in to some cases where the patient is quite stressed leading to repeated IVF failure. When undergoing an IVF procedure maintaining a calm disposition is crucial. Very often stress is the main reason behind infertility.

What to do with repeated IVF failure? Frustrated couples usually seek the doctor’s advice on what they should do after repeated IVF failure. Should they try IVF again, one more time or is there another option for them

Is the doctor at fault?

Some patients end up feeling that the doctor may not be good enough and start questioning the IVF doctor’s competence. This is a normal reaction when you are faced with repeated IVF failure. In looking for reasons and justification you may also feel that maybe it is because of the doctor.

Some patients decide to change the doctor and seek fertility help elsewhere. This is quite understandable considering the frustration the couple would be undergoing with the IVF failure. Failure in any area of life is not easy for a person to deal with.

The inability to conceive in itself is a depressing fact and repeated IVF failure just adds to the dejection. Seeking a second opinion can help a couple get some peace of mind. Some IVF specialists even recommend their patients to other doctors for a change of perspective and in the hope that a change may help their situation. It is a shot in the dark but occasionally it has worked.

Alternate options

When faced with repeated IVF failure many couples feel that this is the end and there is no other hope. There are other options available that the doctor may suggest as alternate treatments for IVF. Donor sperm or donor egg is some of the possibilities if the doctor feels that the IVF failure is due to poor quality eggs or sperm. Surrogacy is another option that is available.

Some FAQ’s

What is the reason for IVF failure?
Most of the time the reason behind IVF failure is inexplicable and doctors do not have the answer.

If the IVF cycle keeps failing is it because of the doctor’s incompetence?
A doctor is not responsible for IVF failure.

Should I change the doctor if the IVF procedure is not working with my doctor?
Changing the doctors will not change the result of the treatment, but a second opinion reassures the mind. So if you feel that your current doctor is not good enough then try another doctor for your personal satisfaction.

How many IVF cycles should I try?
There is no specifically defined number of times that one should try IVF. Some women have seen success after 6 tries and some after 10 cycles.

Is there any other option after repeated IVF failure?
There are a few other options that the doctor may suggest like donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryo or surrogacy.

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