When IVF fails what happens next?

21st June 2017 in IVF

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

If your IVF cycle has failed it can be hard to come to terms with, and to understand why. At Manchester Fertility we want to help give guidance on what to do if your IVF treatment fails, so we have pulled together this post.

At Manchester Fertility we welcome many patients into our care who’ve had failed IVF cycles at other clinics, and we also support our own patients in those instances when fertility treatment fails.

The main question we’re always asked is this: What can be done differently next time?

It’s important to remember that although some couples are successful first time, it’s not unusual to need more than one treatment cycle to conceive.

Here’s what happens if your IVF or fertility treatment has failed, and how we approach a negative outcome. We recommend the following:

Counselling support: For you and your partner if IVF fails

It can be devastating to learn your treatment has failed this time, and it’s natural to wonder if it’s somehow ‘your fault’. But you won’t be going through it alone. We all share your sense of disappointment at Manchester Fertility, as a team we build such strong bonds with our patients and it affects us all to hear of a negative result.

Our first concern is to ensure you’re supported. IVF and fertility treatment success can never be guaranteed at any clinic, no matter what you may be told. So follow-up support for the instances when treatment doesn’t work is vital.

We’ll support you if you choose to undergo professional help from our fertility counsellors, who are there to listen and help you cope with your outcome. All the emotions and frustrations you’ll be feeling are natural, our counsellors are there to ensure you can both process it and continue with positivity in your journey towards parenthood together.

IVF or ICSI Cycle review with the consultant team

Our consultant team carefully and thoroughly reviews every failed IVF or ICSI cycle. In cases of Intrauterine Insemination failure, treatment is reviewed after three consecutive negative cycles.

Our specialists share their collective expertise to identify if there are any reasons why, on this occasion, your treatment didn’t work. Sometimes there isn’t one specific obvious cause.

We will look to see if there are any changes to your treatment protocol we can make. You can be reassured that any existing issues which could have affected IVF outcome – such as your age, or your lifestyle - would have been identified and taken into account when first planning treatment.

We’ll arrange any additional tests if IVF fails that we feel may be necessary before any further cycles are attempted. These may include analysing sperm for DNA damage or checking for chromosome abnormalities in any remaining embryos.

Consider Advanced techniques and technologies

Your age, your lifestyle – such as weight, smoking and alcohol intake – and how well you respond to stimulation, sperm quality, egg quality, embryo quality and embryo transfer all have bearing on if IVF fails.

The good news is that there is a lot we can do to influence all these factors. We can choose only the best sperm, best embryos, and even help to boost chances of implantation, using various techniques and technologies:

Extended embryo culture:  If you have suitable embryos they will be developed to an advanced Blastocyst stage, at no additional cost to you. Only embryos that reach Blastocyst stage will be selected for transfer.

Time-lapse embryo selection:  An option for all cycles involving embryo development, our time-lapse EmbryoScope incubators produce a video of every crucial stage of each embryo’s growth, giving us vital additional information about which of your embryos are the most viable for pregnancy.

Pre-implantation Genetic Screening:  Pre-implantation Genetic Screening (PGS) identifies which of your embryos have normal chromosome numbers, to increase your chances of successful pregnancy.

ICSI:  Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is where we take a single healthy sperm and inject it directly into the egg for fertilisation. ICSI prevents the egg being fertilised by sperm that isn’t viable for healthy pregnancy.

Sperm DNA damage test:  DNA damage in sperm is a hidden cause of failed IVF cycles and miscarriage. TheSpermComet test analyses the level of DNA damage in every individual sperm. The results may dictate that ICSI has a higher chance of success for you than IVF.

EmbryoGlue:  EmbryoGlue is a special solution that helps your embryo to adhere to your uterus after transfer, helping to increase the chance of successful implantation.

Any additional techniques or tests we recommend for a future cycle will be clearly explained at the outset, so you understand the benefits for you with a full outline of any costs.

Trying IVF again in the future

Having one failed cycle doesn’t mean you’ll never have a family. At Manchester Fertility you can be assured that we’ll always examine if a different approach is called for, whether you’ve had treatment with us or elsewhere.

We are confident in our ability to help you have a baby, but will always be honest with you about your chances of success. If you want to know more about our tailored and transparent patient-focused approach, read some of our patients’ stories – many of whom attempted treatment elsewhere before having a baby with us.

What are my funding options if IVF fails?

If you’re worried about the risk of cycle failure, we offer Access Fertility’s treatment cycle packages for IVF, ICSI and treatment with donor eggs. The pre-paid plans give you more multiple attempts at treatment at a single, fixed discounted cost, some even offer a money-back guarantee. We’re also the only clinic in our region to offer a multi-cycle discounted package for donor sperm insemination.

Find our more abour private IVF treatment

Find out why so many people across the North – from Liverpool to Manchester, Yorkshire, Staffordshire and beyond – choose to travel to us to help them have a baby.

Book in for a free,no obligation one-to-one with a Patient Advisor and discover the Manchester Fertility difference. Or self-refer here, we have no waiting list for any treatments including if you need donor eggs or donor sperm.

Last updated: 20th January 2020