Fertility Network UK

How to cope with BFN

Dear Forum members

I am struggling to deal with our most recent BFN, following a negative test last Friday. I am on annual leave at the moment and feeling very low. I am glad I don't have to go to work until 3 January and I am dreading going back and returning to 'normality'.

I continue to ask 'why us', having got BFN twice - once after our self-funded fresh ICSI cycle in summer 2017 and second time last week, after FET. It was our only frozen embryo.

We all do so much in attempt to have a baby - we change our lifestyles, manage stress, overcome various hurdles, eat well, stop drinking alcohol, adjust our diets, research, ask questions, have complementary treatments such as acupunctur and reflexology, take medicinal herbs, exercise, try to stay positive and motivated, take expensive micronutrients and supplements, have scans, take hormonal injections and pessaries, juggle home life with work and, last but not least, invest so much emotionally and financially.

When going through IVF/ICSI treatment, we overcome under- or over response to injections; we get through egg collection; our partners/husbands produce sufficient sperm; our eggs fertilise; our embryos go through the early stage of development; we get through embryo replacement, even if some of us have problems with our uterus (though this was not an issue for me). Then we encounter the major hurdle - failure of implantation of our precious embryo (our issue). Though I have not been in this situation myself, many of your pregnancies fail due to early miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

We are women, designed to have children, programmed to be maternal. When our bodies do not deliver what is the most natural of all processes, we feel the sense of failure, shame, disappointment, deep sadness and grief over a few cells that have been implanted into our wombs that we have been unable to carry.

I am confused what to do next. Over the last week, I became very introverted and withdrawn. I cry a lot and don't communicate well with my husband. I've been lashing out at him, trying to find something or somebody to blame for our failure. I think back about years of trying to become pregnant, sacrificing so much (professional progression/career, including opportunities overseas; further training etc.).

I have so much questions on my mind: Should we put ourselves through a fresh cycle again? Should we go to a different clinic? Should we consider adoption? Should we remain childless?

Deep down, I know that we must move on positively on our individual fertility journeys and remain centered and steady.... though it is so hard to do during these dark times.

13 Replies

Awww dear I really understand your frustration and despair.its so frustrating and painful to not not know why it doesnt work out.i recently had my 4 th cycle and it worked.Every failed cycle was like a stab in the heart and all I could do was cry and hope for a better next day. I'm not out of the woods yet but im just holding on to hope and taking it one day at a time.

Don't give up hope. Try again and again. And hope for the best with every cycle. We are all so brave for doing this over and over again. But there are so many success stories of women who now have babies after such a long and painful struggle.

Cry if you have to, have a drink if you must ,ignore people and close yourself indoors if you feel like to. Just do what feels good to you. And believe eventually something wonderful will come out of all this. All we have is hope.

All the best.

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Hi Esme

I'm sorry to hear that you're so down, but it's understandable and all of us on here can definitely relate to all of the feelings you have.

We had 2 failed attempts, one fresh and one frozen. The first was around this time of year too and it was, to put it bluntly, pretty shit.

I, like you, changed my lifestyle etc.and on the last attempt I decided not to and to to just go with it. I continued doing what I'd normally do, gym, out with mates for drinks, no time off work....and I got a BFP! I couldn't believe it.

I'm due on Tuesday.

Please don't give up hope, look after yourself and do things that make you feel happy.

I wish you all the luck in the world x


Hi Esme,

So sorry you are feeling this way. I too have gone through 2 rounds this year. It’s hard trying to get back on that horse and doing it again. I told myself that we’d give it 3 go’s and if it doesn’t work we’d consider adoption. After 11yrs of TTC on and off it will be time to I guess.

Let yourself cry and heal but do be kind to your husband. He’s hurting as well - he may not express it but he does. He’s your partner and your friend through it all so lean on him don’t make him your enemy. I know it’s hard not to but do try.

I do wish the best for you and whatever path you choose to take on this journey.



I’m so sorry. Everything you’ve written sounds all too familiar, you describe it so clearly. My heart goes out to you and I fully understand how you are feeling right now having been there myself four times.

Give yourself this time to grieve and be angry, you’re entitled to. Would you consider some fertility counselling? I found it very helpful during a particularly dark time I went though this time last year.

Be kind to yourself and take care xx


Oh I really feel for you, it’s hard to keep picking yourself up after BFN’s - have you thought about speaking to a counsellor?

I think having the time off from work is a good thing but it’ll still take time for you to rebuild your strength. Allow yourself to grieve for all you’ve been through to! Unfortunately there are no answers to ‘why us’, I often wish the same thing think then it would at least make it a little easier somehow.

Hope your able to think things through or talk to your husband and clinic about your best next steps, thinking of you xx


I can understand your pain and the feeling of deprivation - struggling with it myself. But I guess it's just not our turn and we shouldn't give up. The success stories here are sort of hope and strength for me to go on and on. There's nothing like childless forever - there's always a way. It comes with some compromise and a lot of money (when you're self-financing your fertility treatment). The worst case scenario, you'll have to adopt but that's not living without a child but taking one than making one. There are lots of struggles ahead my dear friend but trust me there will be a happy ending for sure. I've haven't been there yet but I hope I will sometime soon - all I've got to do is move ahead. I did change the clinic though for my second IVF after my first one failed. So, if you're not okay with it switch it. I'll advise you not to strain your relationship over the whole infertility struggle - we just had a mini vacation to reconnect and get back the mainstream. Talk to him don't cut out and don't let the love and romance die down.


So sorry to hear you’re cycle hasnt worked again. Its heart breaking and so hard to deal with after all you’ve been through - which you describe so well. Just want to send you love and strength. I don’t have any answers but wish you all the best for the future and hope that 2018 is you’re year. Xxx


God your post resonated with me so much. What’s wrong with our stupid bodies? Why can’t we just get something right? Why us? Why now? Why can’t I answer everything now while I’m crying about it....?

You won’t. I got a BFP; but then at 7 weeks discovered there was nothing there. BFN or a BFP that goes wrong... it all hurts. One thing I know for sure is you won’t find the answers now. You’ll pass through phases of wanting them and then not. My single piece of advice is to just give yourself the time and space to not think about it. Sounds like a stupid thing to try and do now but when I got there; it helped.

Also; I can’t say it’s scientifically proven but a few glasses of gin help. Especially on a night out with the girls or a weekend away with your partner. Big hugs x


Your post brought tears to my eyes. This is exactly what I have been thinking and feeling all those years after each failure. Counselling helped me massively to be able to see that there are other joys in life and start believing in myself that I can become a mother one day, like other women. You can get free counselling through the NHS or work if you have it as a benefit.

Sending you a very big hug. Xxxx


Hi Esme, your recount of how we change our lives was exactly right. It’s so hard to keep picking ourselves up to find the hope to try again. I know you’ll do it though. I realised how close anger is to sadness when I had a miscarriage. Reading a bit about the grieving process helped me to understand my reactions a little more. But I agree with others that time and space of doing other things that will absorb you so you have some respite from thinking about fertility. As someone once said to me, I will hope for you when you can’t hope yourself. Xxx

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What you write is exactly how I feel and think (apart from that I don't have a husband as I'm doing this on my own).

I'm struggling massively at the moment after my bfn earlier this month. I just feel like it will never happen for me and my age is not on my side as well as my health.

I'm taking some time out and have arranged a counselling session at my clinic in January.

Always happy to talk if you want to pm me.

I feel like no one really understands but reading your post I know there are others who sadly are going through what I am.

Take care x


Hi Esme

I’m so sorry for you, I have just had the same frozen cycle ending up with a BFN last month and it is devastating, there is no other word. If you were anything like me you would have seen yourself with a healthy baby of your own, in my case I was hoping to tell my family over Christmas and be happy that after just hitting 40 I had finally fallen pregnant. But sadly it just wasn’t to be for us. We went to Barcelona and consulted with a clinic there about DE as the chances are far higher. Have you considered this? Thinking of you xxx


I’m so sorry, you’ve had lots of great advice on here.

Getting back to normality really helped me cope better with a BFN. Going back to work kept me from going insane and over thinking for example.

It’s also important you and your hubby stand by each other, they especially love you so much and also hurt. I didn’t even consider my hubby’s feelings when I had a BFN, but when I saw his face when I was crying, I could see the pain in his eyes and I knew he would do anything in the world to make me happy and was hurting just as bad.

It’s not easy, but it’s important to get up and move on as normal each day as you need normality and over thinking is not going to change the outcome.

As for changing lifestyle for IVF, I don’t! I do limit my alcohol intake only and generally eat healthy anyway, but I’m not changing my routine. I just do not believe that it is necessary.

If you don’t smoke, eat your greens, have a glass of wine with dinner or not, the outcome is not really going to change much!

I really hope you will feel better soon, but my best advice now on how to cope is to try to re establish normality and consider your follow up and next steps in due time...

Feel better 🤗


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