What leads to implantation failure?

Many couple have to face the distressing news of implantation failure. Each couple silently questions why they were the ones singled out to face this failure when there are hundreds of people around them with healthy children.

What leads to implantation failure?

It is usually a weakness in the embryo that leads to failed implantation. If the embryo did not hatch or was not strong enough to latch itself onto the uterine wall, we have a situation of implantation failure.

The problem is rarely the sperm through some doctors just to pin the blame will have the couple believe that the poor quality sperm was responsible. Many doctors say that the uterus has a problem and is not able to support the embryo. Yes the receptivity of the uterine lining does matter.

It is not unusual for many embryos to arrest before they are even five days old. During the IVF procedure the embryologist selects the healthiest embryo for the transfer. It is not always easy to make the decision as to which one is the healthiest and there is no way to ascertain for sure. However, after monitoring the embryos for a few days the embryologist is able to decipher which embryo is doing slightly better than the others in the way of development. One needs to be clear that the embryologist is not at fault for implantation failure. In a receptive uterus even a weak embryo would have survived.

Tests to identify the cause of failure

There are some tests which doctors recommend after implantation failure. These tests help to identify the possible cause of why the implantation failed.

  • Uterine Evaluation Test – This test should ideally be done before the IVF transfer.
  • Sperm DNA fragmentation test – rather than blaming the quality of sperm for the implantation failure this test will check the integrity of the sperm DNA.
  • Endometrial Receptivity Assay (ERA) biopsy – It checks how receptive the uterus lining is to the implantation. Uterine wall receptivity is an important factor for IVF success.
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) – Many embryos are abnormal and will arrest. This test will help to find the normal embryos which will have a higher percentage of implantation success.

Rather than facing failure and then looking for the reason of implantation failure, many couples would prefer to spend some extra money undergoing some tests that will assure them of IVF success from the start. The PGD test is not very common but there are some places where this is conducted and it is worth having it done prior to the IVF transfer

What is the solution for me after several implantation failures?

If the reason behind the implantation failure is weak embryo the best advice may be donor sperm, donor egg or even donor embryo. The other cause of implantation failure could be unreceptive uterine lining. In this case doctors may even suggest using a surrogate mother.

What can I do to prevent implantation failure?

Strictly following the dos and don’ts prescribed by the doctors is essential for IVF success. This does not guarantee 100% success but it eliminates the risk of implantation failure through careless activity by the patient. Under these circumstances if the patient still faces implantation failure is due to inexplicable reasons.

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