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How to Prepare for and Cope with Failed IVF

How to Prepare for and Cope with Failed IVF

09:32 27th March 2018 | Fertility Treatment

Conception Fertility Treatments IVF PGD PGS IVF Procedure Failed IVF IVF Success Rate

Once a couple starts trying to conceive they are usually excited and filled with hope. They have dreams and plans... which do not include struggling or failing to fall pregnant.

However, for many couples, fertility treatments are the only option for conception and the physical procedures are only one part of the process.

Fertility treatments have helped millions of couples and individuals around the world, but not all treatments are successful.

Global IVF success rates are under 50%. More than ½ the IVF cycles fail and nobody knows exactly why.

Preparing for IVF Success and Failure

Before signing up for and undergoing fertility treatment, which usually involves IVF, you need to mentally and financially prepare for the physical procedures. You also need to prepare for the emotional challenges you will face during and possibly after the procedures.

Questions to ask your doctor in advance include: What’s my fertilisation rate? Do I have good or poor quality embryos? Do I need donor eggs? Should I consider PGD or PGS?


  • Enquire about success rates
  • Make sure you understand all the costs involved
  • Speak to a counsellor before undergoing treatment
  • Acknowledge and share your feelings of hope and fear
  • Ask your fertility specialists about positive AND negative outcomes
  • Remain as positive as possible, but start the cycle with realistic expectations
  • The better you are prepared, the better you will be able to deal with the outcome
  • Be proud of yourself for taking your fertility into your own hands and seeking help
  • Make sure you understand what will happen before, during and after the procedure
  • Try to determine and accept the maximum number of cycles you can endure and afford
  • Communicate with your partner before making decisions and before starting treatment
  • It is terrible to consider, but a successful fertility procedure could still end in miscarriage
  • If you don’t have a partner, ask loved ones for support before and throughout treatment
  • Talk to your partner (or a loved one) to decide what to do if the procedure is unsuccessful
  • If you would consider it, familiarise yourself with other options: donor eggs or donor sperm, surrogacy and adoption

Decide who you would like to tell about the procedure as these people will likely expect feedback. If the outcome is negative it might be difficult to inform a lot of people.

In 2015, we had a 49% success rate in women under the age of 34

and saw an increase in successful treatments of women over the age of 35.

Coping with Failed IVF

Only someone who has experienced failed fertility treatment can begin to explain the disappointment, anger, pain and feelings of hopelessness. It is through their bravery that we are able to learn about the experience and how to best support them and others going through the same difficult time.

Facing failure often seems impossible considering the costly procedures, physical stress and intense emotional struggles. Loss is not something that will just disappear. You can only try to make it manageable.

  • Do not blame yourself
  • Do not blame your partner
  • Keep communicating with your partner
  • Give yourself time before deciding what to do next
  • Ask your fertility specialists for coping mechanisms
  • Feelings of resentment, jealousy and fear are normal
  • Speak with a counsellor or seek psychological support
  • Release your emotions: cry and scream if you want to
  • Try to deal with the loss before starting a new treatment
  • Take time off, rest and maybe invest in relaxation therapies
  • Don’t be afraid or ashamed to rely on the support of others
  • It may help not to share the news with everyone immediately
  • Find and speak to others who have gone through the same thing
  • Expect overwhelming emotions: shock, anger, sadness and despair
  • Try to accept that many losses are spontaneous with many factors involved
  • Acknowledge and share your feelings of frustration, fear, anger and despair
  • Give yourself credit for trying to conceive with assisted reproduction treatment
  • If often helps to understand why the treatment failed, if the reason can be determined
  • Give yourself time to grieve and heal from this emotionally and physically challenging time
  • You may want to do things you had to give up during treatment (have a glass of wine, go out with friends, eat soft cheeses or a medium-rare steak)
  • Remind yourself that most of the time there are other treatments and options and that it often takes a few cycles to become pregnant

When you are ready and if you want to continue exploring treatment options, get in touch with your doctor. He or she will guide you and recommend a strategy for moving forward.

On 16 March 2018, Bridge Clinic celebrated 2 353 babies. That is 1 baby, every 3 days, since 1999.

Bridge Clinic Success Rates

As the most fertile fertility clinic in Nigeria, we pride ourselves on above average success rates and a growing number of happy families made possible through our treatments. Click here for information about our success rates.

We often receive incredible, heartwarming testimonials. If you need hope and motivation, it may be worth reading what others have experienced. READ TESTIMONIALS


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Call:    01 631 0092 / +234 (0)1 631 0092
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