Feelings after a failed IVF cycle

Hello everyone.

We had our first cycle of IVF last month (March) which unfortunately ended in a BFN. We are awaiting our follow up consultation to decide what we do next.

My main thoughts at the moment are about life without children & how that might be the better option...more money to buy the things you want in life, more chances to go on holidays, opportunities to go out without arranging babysitters & paying off the mortgage earlier in life & enjoying an early retirement. My question is....does this happen to other ladies after a failed IVF or should I be taking these thoughts a bit more seriously?

Just wanted some advice, thanks guys.

17 Replies

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  • Hi. I haven't had these thoughts yet (one bfn and one bfp which was a missed miscarriage at 6/7 weeks) but we all react differently. If you did decide not to go any further on your journey it sounds like you are having some positive and practical thoughts. However, as disheartening as it is to see a bfn it doesn't mean you're never going to get your bfp. Like you said, do your follow up appointment, take some time out, treat yourself, be yourself and perhaps revisit the ivf when you have had some more time to think. X

  • Thank you for the advice Tugsgirl. I just wasn't sure if my thoughts were a common occurrence during ivf.

    I'm so sorry that you had a bfn & mc. I really do hope that you get your bfp soon.

  • I think this is called 'looking on the bright side' glass half full etc. I tend to throw myself into the things you mentioned when I've had a big disappointment or set back. It's not a bad thing xx

  • Thank you for your comment WeeMrsH. I think you're absolutely right. I quite often 'talk myself round' when I'm unsure of things. It's nice to know that I'm not on my own.

  • I've had thoughts like this along the way. I think I was trying to convince myself the alternative was a positive option if things didn't work out. It was my way of trying to have some control when things were completely out of my control. However, when our last cycle failed, which at the time we had said would be our last, I felt completely heartbroken and not ready to give up. Somehow we've ended up with a surprise natural conception and couldn't be happier - though early days and have cautious head on (there's that thinking brain trying to protect me again!). You are close to a failed a cycle and feelings will still be muddled. Time will help you work out what you really want from here, but pretty much any thought process at your stage can be pretty normal! Best wishes for whatever you decide going forwards xx

  • Thank you Anna for commenting and congratulations on your bfp! The body can do amazing things at times ☺ I'm feeling quite reassured now from reading your responses that the feelings Im having are probably me still trying to get my head around everything that has happened in recent months & definitely that I'm persuading myself whatever the outcome in the end it will be OK. Which I guess isn't a bad thing after all. Best wishes for a healthy (& trouble free) pregnancy. Take care of yourself x

  • Hi StuLisa. Yes I felt exactly like this. I felt empty and just wondering whether I was in a game I had no chance of competing in. One of my worries has been about the stress hubby goes through as supporter. My words to him were I don't think I can do this again. He was great and just said ok but then we talked and he said he felt I was shutting myself off to more possible disappointment because I was at my max at that point. Since then we've signed up for round 2 but are having a short break. In fact, we're on a short holiday at the mo. We've also made a plan to do two more cycles one which will be funded and one we'll pay ourselves. After that, it's all about making the best of a career and enjoying our time together. I hope that helps. We're just 4 weeks past bfn. xxx

  • Hi MrsC. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am currently 3 weeks past bfn, so not far behind you. It's so reassuring to hear that others are experiencing the same kind of things as me. My husband is super supportive & has said he will support me whatever I decide because it's me that has to endure the injections, low mood etc of IVF. I wish you all the best for your next cycles of IVF & have a lovely holiday x

  • Thank you and same to you. I think from reading the other ladies' comments too that this is normal and sometimes we are just trying to protect ourselves. One of the things I've learned in the last few days is that there are some extraordinarily strong women on here who have been through so much pain already and if they can keep going, maybe I can too. Let's draw on each others' resilience to get us through. xxx

  • I thought I'd share this post by Alexandra Hemingsley - I think she describes the two sides of emotions you have to have really well; the-pool.com/health/wombs-e...

    Ps she went on to have a successful pregnancy after ivf number 3

  • Hey StuLisa really sorry about your bfn, I've had 3 IVF ones and it's tough isn't it. Since my first one my feelings have fluctuated between devastation and like yourself sometimes pondering the positives of a life without children..but mostly upset. I'm not entirely sure as I can be so indecisive in general (hmm the jacket with silver or gold zips..big decision 🤔🙈) but for me I think it's just trying to find the positives in a really crappy and emotional situation and wanting to convince myself that we would be fine, in case we have no choice about it.

    A month since a failed cycle is still really early days to make a final decision as you're probably still emotionally affected by it. I think your follow up appointment will help make more sense of things, especially if the doctors have any advice on what they would or wouldn't do next time. I also feel that, for me I have also contemplated these feelings but they never last long and even though I don't look forward to starting another cycle, something in my gut tells me to do it and that I'll regret it if I didn't take the opportunity. I'm very very lucky to have 3 nhs cycles though.

    I see a counsellor which has been really helpful, could you do this if you're not already? She has also told me that some ladies have the one cycle then go 'oh well we tried' but don't feel strongly enough about going through it again & again. That's great that they're so sure and I envy that, maybe you'll get to that point, maybe you'll be determined to carry on. I'd say give yourself a bit more time. Lots of luck whatever you decide xx

  • Thank you ever so much Georgina. I have thought about seeing a counsellor, which is free at our clinic, so maybe I will look into it. I'm so happy for you having 3 funded cycles. That was our one and only funded cycle, so at the moment it seems like the next cycle would be a hell of a lot of money for probably nothing (if we ended up with a bfn again). There is just so much to think about!

    PS I totally understand the indecisive part! Im like that too haha x

  • Hi StuLisa,

    I have definitely had these thoughts and I think they are quite normal. My first IVF cycle also failed in March and I have definitely gone through all scenarios in my head - trying again, being childless, adopting etc.

    I think thoughts like these are just your mind trying to work through the experience of infertility and the expectations you might have had about IVF and having children. Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself. You might feel differently in a bit or you might also feel the same. Whatever you choose to do, it will be the right thing for you and you will be fine.

    Sending you best wishes xx

  • Thank you ever so much for the words of reassurance. Unfortunately time is one of the things we don't have on our side because I'm heading for a very early menopause. Hopefully the follow up appointment will give me some answers.

    All the best for your journey x

  • I totally understand, this is what I say to my husband when I feel vulnerable or worried that its never going to happen. We have spoken about if it doesn't work that we would like to adopt so that's always a positive, if it doesn't happen we have a way forward and I just want to be a mum it doesn't have to be genetically mine id love it the same regardless. But It does cross my mind no kids would mean we could travel whenever and where ever we want and spend our money on anything we want but that's not what I want at the end of the day. But hey will cross that bridge if it comes x

  • This is exactly my thinking too. I'm definitely considering adopting.

  • Whatever your gut says, hunny. Thanks for sharing. I'm trying myself still. All the best!

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