As a leading IVF centre, we often come across patients who suffer from IVF failure, even if they have good embryos. We understand the mental and physical trauma of an IVF failure can impact the routine of families. But what are the reasons behind this failure?
Well, let’s have a candid conversation today about the topic so that you can be more prepared for your IVF journey. IVF failures are often shrouded in mystery and a whirlwind of emotions, but understanding it can make a world of difference.
Age and IVF: An Unavoidable Connection
To start off, let’s be clear about one thing: Age matters. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the fact is, as a woman ages, the success rate of IVF decreases. If you’re over 35, the success rate begins to dip. And if you’re under 35? Good news, your IVF success rate tends to be better, hovering around 35-40%.
Now, it’s essential to bear in mind that the average success rate of IVF is between 35-45%, irrespective of the quality of embryos. In essence, this is a game of odds, and age plays a significant role.
Quality Embryos: A Guarantee or Not?
“But wait!” you might say, “What if I have good-quality embryos? Surely that increases my chances?” Well, let’s break this down.
During IVF, two types of embryos develop – Day 3 embryos, made of about eight cells, and Blastocyst embryos, also known as Day 5 embryos, which contain roughly 100 cells. If you’ve got one Blastocyst embryo and two to three Day 3 embryos, your chances of success are similar for both.
Many clinics strive to produce Blastocyst embryos, but here’s the deal – the growth from Day 3 to Day 5 is super critical. Out of four embryos, maybe only one will make it to the Blastocyst stage, and the others might stop developing midway.
But here’s the fact: Even if you’ve got high-quality Blastocyst embryos, the success rate of IVF is still 35-40%. Tough, isn’t it? We understand that. But that’s the fact that you, as patient and we, as a IVF centre can’t run away from. We have to accept things the way they are.
Why Does IVF Fail Despite Good Embryos?
Let’s imagine you’ve got 100 patients, all with great embryos. On the first try, around 35-40 people will get pregnant. But what about the remaining 60? Despite having top-notch embryos, their IVF might fail, and they might not get pregnant.
This whole process hinges on the theory of natural selection. We don’t yet have the scientific capability to determine which embryo will stick to the uterus wall and lead to a successful pregnancy. There’s still so much research happening around this, especially on how we can enhance the implantation capability from 35% to 50%.
That’s why it’s often advised that patients might have to go through 2-3 rounds of IVF treatment. With age, the probability of pregnancy decreases, and it’s important to be mentally prepared for this journey.
IVF Failure Reasons
So why does IVF fail even with great embryos? Here are some potential reasons:
⇒ Quality of Embryos:
Even though an embryo might look perfect under a microscope, it might still have genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to IVF failure.
⇒ Implantation Issues:
It’s a bit of a hit-and-miss scenario when an embryo tries to implant itself into the uterus wall. We can’t yet fully control this process.
⇒ Hormonal Imbalance:
Hormonal imbalances can also play spoilsport, leading to a failed IVF cycle.
⇒ Lifestyle Factors:
Your lifestyle can impact IVF success. Things like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high levels of stress, and being overweight can all influence your chances.
While the road to parenthood via IVF can be rocky, remember that understanding the process, its pitfalls, and potential remedies can be empowering. Each IVF cycle, successful or not, provides crucial information to guide subsequent treatment options and strategies.
Don’t lose hope, keep the conversation going, and remember, you’re not alone in this journey. And when it gets tough, reach out for support – we’re here to help you navigate this path, one step at a time. Together, let’s unravel the mysteries of IVF and march towards a future filled with possibilities.
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Dr. Jay Mehta
Fertility and IVF Specialist
Dr. Jay Mehta is the Scientific Director of Shree IVF Clinic. He is a well-known Fertility and IVF Specialist and also among few doctors in the country who specializes in Embryology and Andrology.