Approaching Fertility After Previous IVF Failure

Posted .

The frustration of infertility can feel  more daunting if you have experienced IVF failure in the past.  Don’t get discouraged.  A failed IVF cycle does not mean a future cycle will not be successful, and going through the IVF process itself provides additional information that is unseen in natural conception.   The IVF process allows for eggs to be examined,  the fertilization process to be viewed, and the embryo quality to be ascertained.  This information is extremely valuable and can help guide you to the most successful options for you.

Every step on your journey provides helpful information and although failed treatment certainly adds to the frustration, it can help move you closer to reaching your goal.  Your physician, along with the laboratory staff and clinical team continually review your medical records to make the best recommendations moving forward.   There are countless variables and because every situation is unique, recommendations are made for your individualized needs.  Here are a few procedures that may be mentioned in a consultation following a failed IVF cycle.  Your physician will advise you on the best options and not all of these listed below will fit your particular situation:

– Additional IVF cycle  Sometimes luck simply doesn’t fall in your favor.   If there are no indications that lead to altering treatment, an additional IVF cycle can bring the success you desire. 

– Assisted embryo hatching is an IVF technique that involves creating a small opening in the shell (zona pellucida) of an embryo to weaken the wall of the embryo and thus help the embryo to successfully hatch and implant into the endometrium (lining of the uterus).

– Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can help treat cases of male factor infertility and fertilization failure. This procedure directly injects the sperm into eggs that were obtained via IVF to help improve fertilization rates. 

– Minimal Stimulation protocols may be recommended in an attempt to produce a lower number of eggs but with higher quality.  Less medication is used for Min Stim IVF which reduces the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation OHSS.  These protocols do result in less eggs being produced which may limit the number of viable embryos you have to work with for transfer and freezing.  

– Genetic Testing (PGD and PGS)  Preimplantation Genetic Screen PGS is a procedure used to screen embryos and evaluate for the number of chromosomes present in the embryo.  Embryos that are  viable and compatible with life are then chosen for transfer.  PGS reduces the risk of miscarriage and is particularly helpful for those who have had multiple miscarriages.   Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis PGD can be utilized for those with a known high risk of having offspring with genetic abnormalities.   The embryos are tested for those specific disorders.

– Donor egg or  donor sperm IVF may be suggested for women with no or low egg reserve,  poor egg quality or men with severe male factor infertility .   A family member or friend can donate eggs, or anonymous donor eggs can be chosen.  Utah Fertility Center has a large egg donor database and our third party team will walk you seamlessly through the process.  The donor undergoes screening and testing to ensure they are highly qualified.  Donor sperm can also be used for IV and your IVF coordinator will help with those arrangements.

– Supplements  Certain vitamins, nutrients and supplements may be added as adjuncts to your treatment protocol.   If your physician feels a supplement may be beneficial to you,  they may recommend you add it to your treatment calendar.  Here are some that are commonly used.  Coenzyme Q10 is thought to improve egg and sperm quality.  Vitamin D is believed to help regulate hormones.  Omega3’s may help increase blood flow to the uterus and healthy iron levels can help with ovulation.  

If you have experienced a failed IVF cycle, we invite you to contact our team of reproductive endocrinologists at 801-785-5100 today to schedule a consultation in one of our four locations.  Our experienced physicians have treated the most complex cases of infertility.   Our customized approach provides you individualized solutions and ensures you with every possible opportunity for parenthood.