For those trying to become pregnant through assisted reproduction methods like IVF, there comes the risk of a failed procedure. While needing a few IVF rounds to conceive is common, IVF failure may discourage individuals and their partners from trying again. Here is how to cope with IVF failure and remain hopeful throughout the process:
Acknowledge Pain and Allow Time for Healing
Couples may experience anger over their loss and direct it at their doctor or themselves. Some couples may feel the urge to pick apart everything that happened before the failed results trying to find reasons why the IVF did not work. Other couples may be in denial after a failed IVF, and some may experience feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.
No matter what you and your partner may feel after a failed IVF treatment, try to understand your feelings, recognize that those feelings are valid, and allow yourselves time to heal. Grieving is a deeply personal journey, and it looks different for everyone. Take time to cry if it helps, or try journaling, taking long walks to reconnect with nature, or talking to a grief counselor. Give yourselves all the time you need to process your grief before trying another round of fertility treatments.
The feelings you experience after an IVF failure can be overwhelming, and it may be difficult to cope on your own. Consider seeking support from a licensed therapist or grief counselor to help you and your partner navigate the grieving process. A mental health professional can give you tips for handling different emotions as they come up. They may also help you better understand the root of those feelings and provide guidance for moving past them.
If you and your partner aren’t interested in therapy sessions, consider joining a support group. Look for a group with people who have gone through similar experiences and may resonate with your grief. Try to avoid being alone during your time of grieving. Spend time with your partner, trusted friends, and family members who can provide you with emotional support.
Avoid Casting Blame
After an IVF failure, avoid trying to find something or someone to blame for the loss. Instead, try to focus on what is next and how you can establish healthy coping methods. Take note of what went well during the treatment despite the negative outcome. This can help you develop a positive mindset for when or if you choose to start another round of IVF.
If you have concerns about the failed treatment process, speak to your doctor and ask questions that may help ease your worries. This may help you gain insight into why they think the IVF treatment failed. It can also give you an opportunity to ask what you can expect going forward. Some reasons for IVF failure may include the following:
- Egg and sperm quality issues
- Implantation failure
- Not producing enough eggs
- A problem during egg retrieval
Practice Self Care
Some individuals and couples may not have time to process their feelings as they still have to work and care for their current families. In these cases, individuals and couples should set time aside to experience their feelings and give their bodies what they need. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, exercise, and nourishing food. Try taking a break from thinking about reproduction and your future family, and spend time doing things that bring you joy. Consider going on a trip, spending time outside, watching movies, or just snuggling on the couch with your partner.
Be kind to yourself and focus on the positive things in your life. Regularly check in with yourself and your partner to assess your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Try to be honest with yourself and the people in your life about where you are in your grieving journey. Let your partner, friends, and family members know what they can do to ease your burden.
IVF Failure Doesn’t Have To Be the End of Your Journey
The emotional aftermath of a failed IVF treatment can be difficult to navigate, but try not to lose hope. One IVF failure does not always mean you and your partner won’t achieve your dream of parenthood. Take the time to fully grieve and work through your emotions. Talk to your fertility doctor when you’re ready to determine the next steps in your fertility journey.