How fertile are you after failed IVF?

How fertile are you after failed IVF?

It’s normal to experience sadness, despair, or even rage following a failed IVF. These feelings are very normal. You could be asking what happens after an unsuccessful IVF at the same time. What is the next step for you? 

The good news is that there are many choices, including locating the appropriate channels for grieving your loss. This post will discuss subsequent IVF cycles, grief after IVF failure, and other choices you might want to think about.

How many IVF cycles does the average person need?

On average, it typically takes about three rounds of IVF using one’s own eggs to achieve a pregnancy. However, success rates and the number of cycles needed can vary based on factors such as age, ovarian reserve, fallopian tube health, and lifestyle. Women under 35 tend to have the highest success rates with IVF, as ovarian reserves tend to decrease with age. The health of one’s fallopian tubes is also important since the egg must travel through them to implant in the uterus. Lifestyle factors such as smoking or being overweight can also impact the success of IVF. Alternatively, with egg donation, it may only take one attempt to achieve pregnancy.  (1)

What are the chances of success in additional IVF cycles?

Determining the likelihood of success in a second IVF cycle is not straightforward and varies depending on individual circumstances and numerous factors, including age, egg and sperm quality and quantity, and quality of IVF procedures.

Following an unsuccessful attempt at IVF, many individuals and couples persist in pursuing additional IVF cycles. Typically, a successful IVF cycle necessitates numerous attempts. In the subsequent discussion, your doctor examines the number of IVF cycles usually needed, the probability of success in a second IVF cycle, and the reasons for the failure of IVF, which can aid you and your fertility team in reducing the likelihood of future failures. (2)

What do fertility researchers say?

Around 17% of couples who were unsuccessful with IVF or ICSI were able to conceive naturally in a population-based retrospective cohort study of over 2,000 British women having ART at a single center. The study also found that the chance of a natural conception was slightly lower (15%) but similar for those whose fertility treatment had previously been successful. The likelihood of a post-IVF birth was found to be reduced in cases of tubal factor in unsuccessfully treated women, and for three or more previous IVF/ICSI transfers for those in the successful group. Younger female age and a shorter duration of infertility were associated with a higher chance of a naturally-conceived baby. The researchers suggest that these findings will help clinicians counsel infertile couples on their chances of parenthood after fertility treatment. (3)

What are the causes of IVF failure?

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a complex medical procedure, and the success of the procedure depends on many factors. There are multiple factors that can lead to IVF failure, including age, poor egg or sperm quality, uterine abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, failed fertilization, genetic abnormalities, and lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being overweight. While success rates can vary, careful management and proper patient selection can increase the likelihood of success.

It is important to note that IVF success rates vary depending on individual factors such as age, medical history, and fertility issues, and success cannot be guaranteed. However, with careful management and proper selection of patients, many couples can achieve a successful outcome with IVF.

Is there an emotional toll associated with multiple IVF cycles?

Undergoing multiple IVF cycles often imposes a significant emotional burden. The journey, marred by physical demands from hormonal medications and procedures, escalates into an emotionally taxing ordeal. Consequently, individuals grapple with an array of distressing emotions.

  • Firstly, repeated cycles that do not yield the desired outcome introduce a cycle of grief and frustration. The accumulation of these feelings often leads to a profound sense of despair.
  • Secondly, the economic implications of IVF cannot be overlooked. The treatment, notorious for its high costs, places an additional layer of stress on individuals, exacerbating their emotional strain.
  • Thirdly, the pressure and emotional turmoil stemming from IVF can strain personal relationships. Partners, family, and friends may all be affected, altering the dynamics of these connections.
  • Lastly, a sense of isolation may emerge as individuals undergoing IVF feel detached from peers who conceive without assistance. This isolation can intensify feelings of alienation and loneliness.

In sum, the emotional toll of multiple IVF cycles is multifaceted. It encompasses a spectrum of negative emotions, financial stress, relational tensions, and social isolation, all contributing to the overall challenge of the IVF process.


Levitas, E., Lunenfeld, E., Har-Vardi, I., Albotiano, S., Sonin, Y., Hackmon-Ram, R., & Potashnik, G. (2004). Blastocyst-stage embryo transfer in patients who failed to conceive in three or more day 2–3 embryo transfer cycles: a prospective, randomized study. Fertility and sterility81(3), 567-571.

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2nd Opinion
2nd Opinion