If you’ve gone through an unsuccessful IVF, you’re not alone. Processing the experience can be challenging. Moving forward can be very difficult, especially for couples who have experienced long-term fertility issues, believed IVF was their best solution, and hoped the procedure would help them achieve their dreams of becoming parents.
Having an unsuccessful IVF does not mean you will never conceive or have a child! It means more questions need to be asked, natural fertility support would be worth considering, or perhaps a completely different avenue may need to be explored. No matter where you are on this journey, having a solid plan and support can help you to get back on your feet and prepare for your next steps.
Here are our recommendations if you’ve gone through this experience. I’ll share with you natural therapies to consider, positive ways to support your emotional health and relieve stress, as well as discussions to consider having with your doctor.
Positive Steps To Take After An Unsuccessful IVF
1. Take a break! Give yourself time to regroup. IVF is a difficult process, and your mind and body deserve a break. Enjoy a few days of not taking anything (no supplements, no herbs or medications). Try not to even think about your fertility health. Have lunch or dinners out at your favorite places with friends or family. Treat yourself to relaxing massage or facial. Take a hot bath every day if possible with a few drops of essential oils like lavender to relax, or sandalwood to encourage a peaceful mood.
2. Ask yourself a few questions. After a nice break, think about the following…
- Have I fully addressed the issues that led me to try IVF?
- Do I need more support for a fertility issue – like uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis or PCOS – before trying to conceive again?
- Does my doctor have any theories or clear reason(s) for why IVF wasn’t successful?
- Are there issues with egg quality or were chromosomal abnormalities found?
- Should I be concerned with uterine lining health?
3. Prepare questions to ask your doctor. Important question may be about:
- Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) – PGS screens for healthy embryos with no chromosomal abnormalities, which are more likely to implant and develop normally. PGS is a good choice to consider before a follow-up IVF if you haven’t already had it.
- Immunological testing – Immunological testing with a reproductive immunologist (RI) is a good choice if you’re unsure what’s preventing conception. Learn more about testing and Immune Infertility here…
- Donor eggs – This is an option to at least learn more about if egg quality issues related to age or genetics are suspected and determined to be difficult to overcome.
4. Create and follow a natural fertility health program. Natural therapies can be extraordinarily helpful should you decide to try IVF again, or not. Take time to find the approach that works for you. Consider the following…
- Start with a Fertility Cleanse – Fertility Cleansing is a gentle way to help the body detoxify and begin to balance hormones after IVF, especially if you plan to try another. Fertility cleansing specifically works on the uterus and liver. It takes just 30 days and is a good starting point for women who feel overloaded with hormones and want a clean slate.
- Try Fertility Smoothies – The 10-Day Fertility Smoothie Challenge will help you get started. Fertility Smoothies taste great and are an excellent way to easily deliver fertility nutrients to the body. They can also help recharge your energy after the difficult process of IVF.
- Use herbs for stress relief – Herbal nervines encourage nervous system health, and help ease anxiety or tension related to fertility. Sipping Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) tea through the day works well to soothe stress for many women. Skullcap extract (Scutellaria lateriflora) is another option.
- Use Affirmations. Believe it! The power of your own mind and thoughts can boost your fertility. Create affirmations that work best for you and your specific situation. A few examples: I love myself. My body is healing. I trust in this process. I am strong and fertile.
- Try techniques to improve IVF success if you’re planning for a new cycle. Consider the following:
– A recent study shows eating more monounsaturated fats and avocado may improve IVF outcomes.
– Acupuncture and the supplement DHEA can improve IVF success rates for some women. Note: DHEA should be considered with your doctor’s guidance and recommendation.
– Our IVF Preparation Resources help you to stay organized and supported through the entire process with a full 90-day preparation plan, along with tips for your IVF treatment month.
- Reach Out for Support. Acknowledge your feelings about your fertility and reach out to people going through similar situations. A fertility team or support group can be a lifeline to get you through the tough times, and you might learn new techniques to achieve your fertility goals. Resolve and Path2Parenthood are two resources to check out.
This is not the end of the road!
If you have gone through an unsuccessful IVF cycle, be gentle on yourself and give yourself time to heal. Many couples go on to have children after an unsuccessful IVF. IVF success rates depend on many factors including: age, specific overall health or fertility health issues, and even the clinic where you are having the procedure done. Ask questions and explore all your options. Reach out for support and create a plan that best prepares you for the next steps to achieve your fertility goals.
- IVF Implantation Failure: Why Does In Vitro Fertilization Sometimes Fail (2016) Retrieved from: http://www.advancedfertility.com/ivf-implantation-failure.htm
- IVF: Chance for Success (n.d.) Retrieved from: https://www.hfea.gov.uk/media/2563/hfea-fertility-trends-and-figures-2017-v2.pdf
- Christensen, J. (2014) Record Number of Women Using IVF to Get Pregnant. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/17/health/record-ivf-use/
- Preimplantation Genetic Screening (2016) Retrieved from: https://genesisgenetics.org/preimplantation-genetic-screening/