In IVF, bad news can come out of the blue: Sometimes a progress report is much worse than you expect and your dream of a baby seems to float out of reach. The kind of news you hope never to get includes
1 Your scan shows only one or two large follicles 1 Your hormone levels aren't 'right'
i You have nine large follicles but only two eggs are recovered 1 You have 11 eggs but only two fertilise normally and only one divides 1 You have six embryos but they're all poor quality i You have seven embryos but only one is good enough to be transferred and none pass the quality check for freezing
Receiving bad news about your IVF treatment when you don't have your partner with you adds to the injury. Whenever practically possible, make sure that your partner's with you at the clinic if you know you're getting a progress report. If your partner can't be with you, ask someone else you feel close to and trust to attend the clinic with you for moral support.
Treatment sometimes fails; you don't fail
The language used to describe infertility and bad IVF outcomes can make you feel even worse than you already feel, because the terms imply that you had something to do with the failure. For example:
i Your doctor may tell you that you have 'hostile mucus', which could make you wonder how to make it friendlier — as if you could do anything to change it.
i If you don't develop a lot of follicles after ovarian stimulation you may be called a 'poor responder' — as if you were doing it on purpose.
1 When your eggs don't fertilise or your embryos don't implant, you may be told it's because they were of 'poor quality' — as if you could have done something to produce better quality 'goods'.
1 Couples who have babies after IVF treatment are referred to as 'successful' — which implies that those who don't have babies are failed couples.
Whether IVF works or not is beyond your control and the fact that treatment fails is no reflection on you — it isn't the result of something you have, or haven't, done.
When a progress report is bad news you can easily start worrying whether IVF is ever going to help you to have a baby. After a disappointing cycle you may want to try again but dread the possibility that it'll all be for no gain.
Your doctor and the embryologist review all the information gathered about your hormone stimulation and the quality of your eggs, sperm and embryos to try to pinpoint why things didn't go to plan. Your doctor can advise whether the poor results are likely to happen again or if you were just unlucky. This should help you decide what to do next.
Was this article helpful?
Far too many people struggle to fall pregnant and conceive a child naturally. This book looks at the reasons for infertility and how using a natural, holistic approach can greatly improve your chances of conceiving a child of your own without surgery and without drugs!