For couples struggling with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a promising infertility treatment option for achieving a successful pregnancy. Some couples experience IVF failure, and the causes can range from physical complications to unexplained issues and emotional or financial stressors. Here are some potential options for couples experiencing repeated IVF failure:
After IVF failure, consulting a reproductive endocrinologist can help couples identify underlying medical conditions, assess their current reproductive health, and receive guidance. Seeking professional advice helps couples clarify what can be done to improve their chances of successful conception. Couples can pursue emotional support for IVF failure by seeking out a professional fertility counselor.
Fertility Factor Assessment
During a fertility factor assessment, both partners are evaluated for potential fertility factors contributing to infertility. Semen analysis and ovarian reserve testing can provide data to help identify challenges that may be contributing to infertility. Fertility factor assessments can offer insight into infertility and help improve the successful outcome of artificial reproductive treatments.
Gestational Carrier or Surrogacy
A gestational carrier or surrogacy involves hiring a woman to carry the pregnancy for the couple. Fertility specialists implant the couple’s viable embryo into the surrogate mother’s uterus. The embryo does not contain the surrogate’s genetic material. This option is helpful if the woman in the couple has a health condition that makes carrying a pregnancy to term impossible or if previous IVF attempts have resulted in failed pregnancies.
Alternative Fertility Treatments
Work with your fertility specialist to explore alternative treatment options if IVF fails. Some alternative options could be donor eggs or sperm and embryo adoption. Using an egg or sperm donor involves fertility specialists finding a donor and selecting their eggs or sperm to create embryos instead of using the couple’s own. This option is beneficial if the IVF failures are due to poor egg or sperm quality.
The embryo adoption process involves adopting and implanting a donated, viable embryo into the intended mother’s uterus. This option is helpful if the couple cannot conceive due to a genetic condition or a fertility issue that cannot be resolved with IVF treatment.
Genetic testing can help identify potential fertility issues and help guide your fertility specialist toward the most effective treatment options. Some genetic testing options include carrier screening, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), and pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS). Carrier screening involves testing couples to determine if they carry specific genetic abnormalities. If both partners carry a genetic mutation, the risk of their baby being born with a genetic disorder can increase. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is a better option in such cases.
PGD screens embryos for genetic or chromosomal abnormalities before they are implanted in the uterus. This process involves removing a cell from each embryo created through IVF and examining it for genetic defects. PGD is used to identify genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and Huntington’s disease and make sure that only healthy embryos are implanted in the womb.
Pre-implantation genetic screening determines structural changes and the number of chromosomes in embryos. This type of genetic testing is helpful for couples experiencing multiple failed IVF attempts or miscarriages. PGS helps identify chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down’s Syndrome, that may have led to previous pregnancy losses.
Consider Other Options After IVF Failures
Potential options for couples experiencing repeated IVF failures include seeking professional help, alternative fertility treatments, genetic testing, and surrogacy. Consider getting your eggs and sperm analyzed to determine their health and viability. Talk to your fertility specialist today to explore the available options, and remember to prioritize your mental and physical health during your infertility treatment journey.