If IVF is unsuccessful, how will I cope?


If you and your partner have been trying for years to conceive naturally without success, IVF treatment can feel like your last hope. The problem is, just like with other areas of medicine, that there are no guarantees that it will be successful. Unfortunately, this can be heartbreaking for many couples who have undergone numerous scans, hormone treatments and blood tests as well as spending hundreds of thousands of baht in the process.

As one of Southeast Asia’s leading fertility clinics, we always stress to couples from the outset that potentially any treatment may not be successful. We try to prepare them both physically and emotionally for any such upset, but we also understand that every couple is different. To try and prepare you for such an eventuality, here are some of our tips regarding coping if IVF treatment is unsuccessful.

  1. It is no one’s fault

Guilt and blaming yourself are some of the most frequently experienced emotions if IVF treatment fails. All too often, you over analyse every aspect of the treatment, remembering the day you drank too much coffee or forgot to take supplements. Sometimes you want to blame the doctors for not telling you something or doing something incorrectly. However, in reality, in almost every case, no one is to blame, and it is just down to nature. Punishing yourself or others won’t achieve anything and may worsen your emotional wellbeing.

  1. Take your time before deciding the next step

Another common emotion that is felt when IVF fails is grief and a sense of “loss and emptiness”. It is understandable, and it will inevitably be a distressing time, and you will already have been through an unpleasant ordeal. Grieving is natural, and you should always ignore anyone who tells you otherwise. However, as your emotions and hormones will be going haywire, it is advisable to take some time out before deciding your next step. These are crucial decisions that you will be making, and they should only be taken with a clear mind.

  1. Enjoy not being pregnant!

Although this may not be one of the things that immediately spring to mind, it is worth letting your hair down and going on a binge – after all, you will have been living a restricted life for the last few months. Assuming you plan to try again, this a time to have some “me time” and enjoy doing some of the things which you (hopefully) won’t be able to do once you are pregnant. Naturally, you will need to be more cautious once it starts approaching the beginning of your next course of treatment, but put that to the back of your mind and relax!

  1. Try to find if there was a reason why your treatment was unsuccessful

Just for your peace of mind as well as planning for the future, it is worth trying to find out why your last treatment didn’t work. Was it because you were slightly older or because egg retrieval wasn’t successful? IVF can go wrong at any stage, and there are numerous reasons why this might happen. Whatever concerns you may have, or any questions you want answering, they should be discussed with your doctor and those in the clinic. Keeping things to yourself won’t help you relax and may increase your levels of anxiety which will do nothing to improve your chances of being successful next time.

  1. Do you have a plan B?

Before you commence your first course of treatment, it is well worth considering a plan B and not placing all your eggs in one basket. Having a plan about what happens next should IVF treatment fail is not being negative, it is being pragmatic and will undoubtedly help you to cope should things not work out. At First Fertility, we try to do all we can to help you prepare practically and emotionally, whatever the outcome.

You could think about undergoing another course of IVF treatment if your budget allows it, considering alternative forms of fertility treatment or perhaps even adopting a child. You would be surprised how common it is for couples to be relieved that they have decided to press ahead with plan B instead of continuing on their original planned track. Whatever course you plan to take, it is advisable to wait until you have a clear mind. You and your partner need to support each other through what is naturally a very testing time.

  1. Counselling

There is no escaping the fact that when IVF fails, it will be traumatic. Fortunately, in Bangkok, several excellent trained counsellors can help you get through this. You will be able to talk to someone who is independent and can see things clearly while you are perhaps feeling overwhelmed. They will not be able to help you to get through this challenging period but also be able to help you think clearly about the future.

We will be happy to discuss your needs and recommend some people who we have worked with previously. Remember, you not alone, and there will be friends, family and professionals available. Bottling up your emotions is one of the worst ways of getting through this period, and talking to someone at the earliest opportunity will help you to get your life back on track.

  1. Is a childless life so bad?

It is a question that only you can answer, but if you and your partner are happy, do you need a child to make your life together complete? We like to stress to couples that it is essential that they don’t destroy other aspects of their lives in pursuit of having a child, which, unfortunately, may never happen. Again, this is about balance, and we understand that all couples are different.

More information

If you would like more information about fertility treatments and how you would cope if the treatment were unsuccessful, you can call us on +66 (0)2 652 0150-4, email center@firstfertility.co.th or contact us directly via our website. Our friendly, helpful and professional team will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and, of course, will be treated with the strictest confidence.