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in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

Why does IVF Cycle fail?

  • 4.5 (1 Votes)

An IVF cycle may fail due to various reasons including hormonal problems, chromosomal abnormalities, implantation failures, usuage of inferior quality embryos and problems with the ovaries. Let us find out in detail, how these factors can impact an IVF cycle and its outcome.

In the modern times, In Vitro Fertilization procedure is a commonly utilized assisted reproductive technology (ART). Generally, you opt for IVF procedure, when it becomes almost impossible to conceive in a natural way. With great anticipation and hope you choose one of the latest scientific techniques i.e. IVF. It can be quite agonizing to undergo an IVF cycle that does not end up in a pregnancy. You start doubting yourself, your fertility specialists or even your partner. Although, it could mean trying once more, but in order to win, you may have to fight a battle more than once to win it!

No one has control over natural reasons that control an IVF cycle, yet it is good to know the possible reasons that could have caused the failure so that the same mistakes can be avoided in the next attempt. IVF cycle fails due to several reasons. To understand the failure of your IVF cycle we have put here some of the most common reasons.

1. Flawed Embryos

No one can understand the nature completely. In lab tests, doctors choose the healthy embryos, but the embryos which otherwise have looked healthier in the laboratory test tubes might have some flaws. Therefore, the resultant fertilization of egg and sperm fails. Flawed embryos do not implant into uterus. When embryos are not able to grow enough it is more likely that they die out.

This is one of the most common reasons, which lead to failure of IVF cycle in the recent times. You need to make sure that your gynecologist is an experienced doctor in the IVF treatment. This will help you to fetch the best results, thus avoiding the chances of failure of IVF cycle as much as possible.

2. Hormonal Responses

Hormones play a very significant role in human health. That too in fertility cycles hormonal responses can never be ignored. Women having stronger hormonal balance are more likely to have a successful IVF cycle in comparison to the women whose hormonal systems are less healthy. Women with higher Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) respond slowly to the fertility medications. Also, with higher age of female partner, fertility decreases and thus results in decreased egg production. Lower production of eggs can result in improper screening of the eggs and potential implantation.

3. Lifestyle Disorders

Some of the lifestyle changes that you ignore carelessly might have serious consequences on your IVF cycle. Most of the female are advised by doctors to quit smoking 3 months before IVF cycle starts. Obesity is also a great catalyst that plays important role in failed IVF cycles. So, maintain a healthy lifestyle, some sort of Yogasana/Meditation, staying away from stressful life and maintaining balanced diet are important to keep up with IVF cycle.

yogasana or meditation

4. Role of Ovaries

Sometimes, ovaries of a female do not respond strong enough to produce multiple eggs. With higher age and fluctuating hormonal levels, egg production reduces in women. This can cause fewer eggs and less chances of fertilization. You need to remember that the response of ovaries in IVF treatment is important for stimulating prescribed medications in the body of female patient. If they do not respond, it becomes difficult for females to have a successful pregnancy after the completion of IVF procedure. 

5. Chromosomal Abnormalities

Chromosomal abnormalities are a general cause of aborted fertility cycles whether in natural conception or IVF. Chromosomes play an important role in the conception both naturally or artificially. It is believed that with the advancement of age chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs of a woman increases in comparison to men. This can be the reason why women are said to grow older at a faster rate in comparison to men.

Your doctor may recommend you to opt for Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) test for the screening of the chromosomes before the IVF. It is also good to check whether your baby has any genetic disorders or not.

Many of the laboratories do not have proper techniques for successfully screening eggs. Therefore, before going for the second cycle of IVF after a failed attempt you should check the authenticity, reputation and reliability of laboratory of IVF specialist. Hurry makes furry. So, ponder well before venturing out on a second Mission of Bringing a New One. 

6. Age of the Egg is more important than the age of the Woman

It is believed that with advancing age fertility of women reduces. However, in IVF, age of the donor is less important than the age of the egg. Women under 35 years of age have healthier eggs and more number of eggs so they are more likely to have successful embryo implantation. Therefore, the women who use their own eggs for IVF and are under the age of 35 years have higher chances of getting pregnant through IVF technique. While women with higher than 35 years of age have fewer egg production and lower quality parameters according to fertility indicators. Here IVF failure chances are higher. In general, only 25% of the embryos result in successful delivery of a healthy baby after completion of gestation period.

7. Implantation Failures

Implantation of a fertilized egg and sperm is the last step of getting pregnant through IVF. A healthy implantation is possible in a healthy womb. If a uterus has some issues like reduced blood flow, cysts, polyps, thin lining of the uterus all result in unsuccessful implantation of the embryos. So, before opting for IVF make sure that you have prepared your uterus well for that purpose. Several techniques for proper blood flow in the uterus like Acupuncture, Yoga and Exercises are having a positive impact on fertility health of uterus. You can consult your gynecologist and know the chances of implantation failures in your case in order to take proper precautions for the same.

implantation failures

8. Unknown Reasons

An IVF cycle could still fail despite no known reasons like those that the ones mentioned above. In some cases, a couple may still experience failure in getting pregnant despite taking all the necessary steps. Here, a doctor too cannot explain the possible for the ivf cycle not being a success and may suggest the couple to try again. Both need to be healthy and mentally prepared for a procedure as challenging as IVF.

It is believed that men take around 90 days to produce a healthy mature sperm capable of fertilization. So does women, as each of their egg is released after almost a month. Both need to abstain from smoking, stressful life and unhealthy dietary habits, before they can go for the IVF.

Now that you have seen an IVF cycle can fail due to a number of reasons. Hence, it is essential to make sure that these are tackled smartly with the guidance of an ART expert. You need to take care of these reasons of IVF cycle failure and plan accordingly.

If you are looking for an expert in fertility treatment, IVF Treatment, or surrogacy, feel free to call us at +917899912611. For more updates, follow Elawoman blog.

Dr. Neeta Gupta

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist Dr. Neeta Gupta

Dr. Neeta Gupta is a famous infertility specialist in Noida having an overall experience of more than 2 decades of experience in the field of gynecology and infertility medicine. She did her MBBS from Madurai Medical College in the year 2000. Then, she completed MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Pt. BD Sharma Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak in the year 2002. Later, she pursued MRCOG from Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists in 2006. She also received Post Doctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine from CIMAR Edappal in 2013. Dr. Neeta has appreciating experience in Infertility Evaluation / Treatments, High-Risk Pregnancy Care, Laparoscopic Surgery and PCOD Treatment. She is currently practicing at Sneh Child and Infertility Clinic, Noida. She also practises at Fortis Hospital, Noida.


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1 Comment


Upendra Sivasubramaniam

Our 2 IVF cycles got failed and then we chose PGD for our next cycle. After PGD results, we got to know that our embryos have a genetic problem due to which our IVF failed twice. To proceed with, we opted egg donor this time and our IVF was successful.

Oct. 31, 2018, 12:26 p.m. 4.5

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