Support After Unsuccessful IVF
There are many reasons why IVF can prove unsuccessful, ranging from low AMH or low egg reserve, to infections and immune issues, or inability of the endometrium to receive the embryo. Male fertility issues and genetic causes also need to be considered. Statistics relating to treatment are well-reported. After repeated IVF attempts, the chances of success may not be high for many couples (in particular for older women) but it can still feel devastating when hopes are dashed.
We pride ourselves in the support we provide during our IVF follow-up consultations. Careful consideration is given to all possible of causes of unsuccessful treatment and we will advise you on what the next steps are, as well as on what further testing can be done, and whether there are any further immune tests that should be carried out.
IVF is a challenging process physically, emotionally and often financially. After the ups and downs of an IVF cycle, an unsuccessful outcome can result in a huge sense of loss and a complex mix of negative and exhausting emotions in many women (and men). Guilt and blame directed at yourself or your partner; anger towards doctors, the clinic, your partner, women who have children or are pregnant; the ‘wasted’ money; the sense of shame at letting people down and fear of a possible future without children.
Research shows that women’s self-confidence and self-esteem can be very low after an unsuccessful IVF cycle. They often report a sense of panic, tension, irritability and inability to relax. . The sense of isolation can be very strong – feeling ‘left behind’ by friends and family. Some women may become depressed; particularly if they feel unsupported or have suffered from depression in the past. Although some couples will become emotionally closer through fertility treatments, others report difficulties in close relationships – from the early stages of trying to conceive right through to starting to contemplate ending treatment. The challenges of dealing with the highs and lows of failed treatments can be immense and no two people will deal with the grief and loss associated with failed cycles or miscarriages in the same way.
We really understand what a difficult time it can be when a cycle fails and offer specific post-IVF consultations. As well as provideing our own ground-breaking IVF programme, we work closely with many of the top IVF clinics as well, aiming to combine the best of medical care with psychological and emotional support. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) provides a comprehensive list of clinics and success rates, but choosing the most appropriate clinic to your individual needs is not always easy. There may be advantages to staying with your current clinic, but sometimes a change of clinic may be more appropriate. Our specialist counsellors work independently and will help you to consider your next steps, without giving false hopes. We will help you to consider ways to try and improve your chances for the next time, ensuring that you are in the best health physically and nutritionally. We can also support you emotionally to help you get into the right mind-set – literally helping you to manage your mind for fertility – to help you feel positive with a renewed sense of hope.