In vitro fertilization (IVF) offers hope to people facing fertility issues. However, it isn’t a treatment that comes with guarantees. Success rates for this complex process can vary for several reasons — and unsuccessful IVF treatments can leave a person feeling emotionally drained.
Dr. Tony Tsai and his team at The New York Fertility Center have extensive experience in IVF treatment. Part of this involves determining who is a good candidate for in vitro fertilization and clearly explaining the process and potential outcomes of the treatment.
In this blog, Dr. Tsai offers some explanations for why IVF may not result in a successful pregnancy.
You may have a basic understanding of in vitro fertilization. It involves collecting mature eggs from the ovaries to fertilize with sperm in a lab. The embryos — or fertilized eggs — then get placed in the uterus. When successful, the embryos continue to develop, resulting in pregnancy.
This straightforward description makes the process seem simple. In reality, it’s quite complex and requires numerous tests to ensure you’re a good candidate. But even then, there’s no guarantee of success.
Screenings for IVF treatment often include:
- Ovarian reserve testing to determine egg supply in the body
- Semen analysis to analyze the quantity and quality of sperm
- Infectious disease screening to check for sexually transmitted diseases
- Uterine examination to assess the lining of the uterus
- Embryo transfer practice to evaluate the depth of the uterus
Based on these assessments, our team can determine who is a good candidate for IVF and whether the process can use a couple’s eggs and sperm or those from a donor.
When IVF doesn’t result in pregnancy
Undergoing an IVF cycle itself is an involved process that can last 2-3 weeks. It is the most effective form of fertility treatment involving the handling of eggs, embryos, and sperm, and it can be heartbreaking for people to undergo an IVF cycle that doesn’t result in pregnancy.
For starters, your chances of a successful IVF cycle can vary significantly based on your age. Success rates are around 46% in people under age 35. However, these numbers drop to 10.6% by ages 41 and 42 and 3.2% for those age 43 and older.
Other reasons IVF may not result in pregnancy include:
- Status of development for the embryo
- The cause of the infertility
- Poor egg, embryo, or sperm quality
- Using tobacco products, alcohol, drugs, certain medications, or too much caffeine
- Being obese
Your chances of a successful IVF cycle increase if you’ve given birth in the past.
If IVF doesn’t result in pregnancy, Dr. Tsai and his team can work with you to determine whether to try another cycle. He can also offer personalized recommendations to improve your chances of success if you decide to try again.
Given the complex nature of IVF, it’s essential to work with experts you can trust to ensure the best outcomes. Dr. Tsai and his team can help guide you through the process so you know what to expect every step of the way.
Have you had in vitro fertilization that hasn’t worked? Contact The New York Fertility Center to learn more about IVF by calling or booking a consultation online at our office in downtown Flushing Queens or Flatiron in Manhattan, New York, today.