Heartbreak. Hopelessness.

No matter how long you’ve been pursuing parenthood, how many methods you’ve tried, a failed embryo transfer can be devastating.

You’ve invested a small fortune, monetarily and in hope. In an instant, it’s all gone.

You knew that failure was a possibility. The success of IVF depends on multiple factors including the quality of the eggs used, sperm quality, embryo quality, and just plain luck. That doesn’t change the gut wrenching pain that comes from a negative beta test.

You are allowed to cry, weep, sob, scream, even all at the same time. You are allowed to grieve.

But then what?

Schedule a follow up appointment or phone call with your fertility doctor.

They can give you guidance on what may have gone wrong and help you make decisions to have a more successful embryo transfer next time. Your fertility doctor may consider:

  • What the fertilization rates were when creating your embryos
  • What percentage of your embryos appear to be healthy
  • Whether or not your embryos have been genetically tested (Preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD)

Do not feel that you need to make any decisions at your follow up appointment or in the coming weeks. Allow yourself as much time as you need. You may have options to consider, including Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis testing if you have not had it done previously.

You may feel like you can’t endure any more heartache. I know this feeling well. After each loss on my journey I was certain I could not go on. It’s okay to need time to heal and process. Remember that most people experience at least one failed IVF cycle, and often more, before achieving pregnancy and ultimately the child they have been longing for.

It’s no easy task to keep going, to keep trying, to keep facing the pain of failed embryo transfers. You will need to implement a strong support system and plan coping strategies.

Consider seeking fertility counselling.

We can help connect you with a counselor or therapist that specializes in working with people experiencing infertility and loss. Our network is extensive and the fertility counselors we work with have been carefully vetted. While family and friends can be exceptional, having professional and objective support from some one who is knowledgeable and experienced is beneficial.

Many therapists are covered by health care insurance plans or are available on a sliding scale.

You will find coping with losses and frustration on your journey to parenthood takes a smaller toll with proper guidance. If you are in a relationship, you will also benefit from professional techniques for strengthening you bond and improving communication during the challenges of infertility.

Connect with your Surrogate.

Your surrogate will be feeling a sense of loss and failure, too. You do not need to reassure her or be a support system for you her but you can share in the loss together, and in the hope for your next transfer, if you decide to try again. She may need support from a fertility counselor, as well.

When is enough, enough?

Only you can decide when you are ready to walk away from the IVF process. If you’re struggling with a desire to start pursuing other options, a fertility counselor may be able to help you work through your feelings and make a decision.

There is nothing wrong with taking a break and regrouping. If you’re overwhelmed by your loss, or struggling financially, now may be the right time to take a break.

From all of us at Proud Fertility, we deeply and personally know the pain, frustration, anger, and sadness of loss. We are here for you to provide referrals, and support. We’re sorry for your loss.