IVF, while being a popular and largely successful fertility treatment, isn't foolproof. As with anything, there are some instances of IVF failure. Knowing the common causes of IVF failure and your options afterwards is a high priority if you're considering undergoing the treatment.
Common Causes of IVF Failure
One large risk factor of IVF failure is age. Patients over the age of 40 are often encouraged to use donor eggs, as the success rates for using eggs of women over the age of 40 are notoriously low. If you are infertile, knowing the exact cause of your infertility, and seeking treatment for it, will help prevent IVF failure. Some fertility issues like endometriosis, for example, will give you lower odds of success than unexplained infertility.
There are also lifestyle factors that can affect the chances of a successful IVF cycle. Smoking can lower the chances of a successful cycle by as much as 50% so it's very important to kick the habit now if you're considering IVF. In addition to tobacco, other substances like alcohol, caffeine, certain medication and recreational drugs all have been shown to have a negative impact on IVF success rates. Obesity is also a common cause of ovulatory dysfunction and lowers the odds of a successful IVF cycle.
What To Do After IVF Failure
If you have already experienced IVF failure, you'll need to have a conversation with your fertility specialist to determine the next steps. For some people, depending on their medical and financial situations, using an egg donor is the best option from this point on.
How To Find the Perfect Egg Donor
While it may not be viewed as an ideal situation, using an egg donor is often a way to dramatically increase your chances of IVF success. Many couples become concerned over the fact that they are using the eggs of an anonymous donor. But a qualified fertility specialist with an in-house donor program and a thorough pre-screening process can help you find the perfect egg donor.
The InVia screening process involves a comprehensive medical exam ensuring the donor's health and the health of your potential child. Beyond that, notes are made of important characteristics like personality and educational background.
While not every woman can have success with IVF, there are plenty of options available for those who experience IVF failure. While some may view using an egg donor as a less than ideal option, it's a great way to achieve IVF success when other routes have failed.
To see a fertility specialist with an in-house donor program and a thorough pre-screening process, make an appointment at one of InVia Fertility’s four Chicagoland locations.
Dr. Karande is Board Certified in the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the subspecialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.