Failed IVF cycles can be very disheartening for patients. They are quite aware that several factors can indeed cause failed IVF cycles that include maternal age, low ovarian reserve, and problems with implantation.
Failed IVF cycles most often do occur when a problem arises with the egg, sperm or uterus
In order to overcome failed IVF cycles, it is essential to understand what is required for a successful IVF cycle. A successful IVF cycle does require 3 key elements:
(1) a chromosomally normal egg,
(2) functional sperm and
(3) a uterus that can support a pregnancy.
If any of these building blocks are indeed missing, a patient can also experience failed IVF cycles.
Chromosomally abnormal eggs do often cause failed IVF cycles. As a woman does grow older, her ovarian reserve does decrease and the number of eggs with genetic abnormalities does increase. Genetically abnormal eggs usually result in genetically abnormal embryos, which cannot actually develop into healthy babies.
Nonfunctional sperm can indeed cause failed IVF cycles via fertilization failure. This does occur when the sperm does fail to penetrate and also fertilize the egg. Although this is a less common cause of failed IVF cycles, it is still important to be aware of it.
Failed implantation can also lead to failed IVF cycles, even if a the genetically normal embryo is actually involved. The uterine lining must also be ready when the eggs are released. If a woman experiences premature ovulation, her uterine lining, as well as her eggs, are out of sync. Basically, her eggs are indeed released when her uterus is not ready to receive a fertilized egg (embryo) and successful implantation cannot occur.
It is important to find a fertility doctor who does understand the causes of IVF failure; however, it is even more important to find one who does know how to manage them.
Chromosomally abnormal eggs can indeed be detected with pre-implantation genetic screening PGS, so one can only transfer embryos that are likely to develop into a healthy pregnancy.
Nonfunctional sperm that one identifies in male fertility testing will require intracytoplasmic sperm injection, ICSI if there are problems with fertilization.
Failed implantation can also be addressed with a freeze-all IVF cycle, allowing the uterus time to recover from ovulation induction prior to embryo transfer.