Fertility Network UK
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Coping with the heartache of failed IVF?

Hi all, after a very emotional egg transfer (where they retrieved 16 high quality eggs) and there were no issues with my husband’s sperm sample, only 1 embryo was suitable for transfer. All 15 others were discarded within 3 days. The two week wait was very worrisome for both of us and although I read more - I found this more relaxing than watching the TV - and avoided heavy lifting, we unfortunately got a negative pregnancy result. I feel so stupid as I truly believed that IVF would work for us after trying naturally for over 4 years - as both our doctors continued to tell us we were ‘normal’ and that no fertility issues surround us. I think our IVF results have clearly proved that there is an issue. Any advice on how to cope with the heartbreak would be greatly appreciated. Thanks xx

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So sorry for your BFN. I think if we didn’t have hope even in a small way we wouldn’t do this process. Have you had blood clotting and NK Cells blood tests done? My clinic have done this. I believe if your levels are too high this can cause pregnancy not to work. I don’t know a lot about it but I’m sure lots of lovely ladies on here will know. I know my NK cells were slightly high and I have been given steroids. If you read my last post you will see that we all get exhausted and disheartened and disappointed with this process. It was your first IVF be strong and try to be kind to yourself xxx

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Thank you so much for your response. I read through your posts and I'm very sorry to hear about your journey. I will definitely find out about these tests as I doubt that I've had them. I simply feel so stupid as I had so much hope and positively that IVF would work for us. I wish I was more realistic and didn't avoid reading the heartbreaking side of this treatment. Thanks again xx

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Don’t feel stupid like I said without hope we wouldn’t do this. I think we have all been where you are. Be kind to you my lovely 😘😘😘

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If embryos fail from day 3 it is normally linked to a sperm issue. Have you had the sperm comet test? (Sperm DNA fragmentation test) it's a private test and not given on the NHS. My hubbys normal sperm test came back fine, but we had the comet test done when we went private of which showed medium fragmentation. This was cured by taking make fertility tablets for minimum of 3 months. If they have failed to develop at the below 3 day stage I believe it can then be an egg issue. I hope you find some answers x

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Thank you for the response. This is new information for us and it sounds like it could have been my eggs that were the issue in this case. Once I attend my follow-up appointment I hope I leave with some answers. Thank you xx

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You havent mentioned how old you are or your AMH results? I can only tell you that on my first cycle we retrieved 6 eggs and we had good fertilisation and all of our embryos died by day 3. I did a bit better on cycle 2 & 3 after taking DHEA to improve my egg quality but still we only ever had 1 or 2 blasotcysts to transfer....all others dropped off. We got told it was due to my egg quality (I was 38 when I started). We also wondered if it could be something to do with hubbys sperm (high fragmentation) and considered the "Comet" test but the Dr said it would be a waste of time as he was sure my eggs were the fail. Moving on we decided to try DE and it would seem the Dr was right, we got 6 top quality blastocysts on our first go. Have you had a review with your clinic to see if they think there was anything specific that went wrong or that they can improve?

As for the heartbreak, Im not really sure how to tell you to cope......everyone is different. I think for us the hardest thing was we had figured that IVF may not work but we never at any point knew that we could have such an epic fail before transfers. Just thought that eggs got fertilised, put back and then it was a lottery and the rest are frozen. Do what seems right for you, talk lots, hug lots, plan some nice things to do together. IVF takes over your lives (even if you try to not let it) so when you are in between treatments make the most of it. In time the heartbreak gets less and you can decide when and if you are ready to try again, its not for everyone!xx

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Thank you for the response. I think you are definitely right about the fact it is taking over our lives...its all we seem to talk about.

I'm 33 and husband is 42. Sorry, I'm not sure on the acronyms of AMH? DE? Our one embryo was listed as a category 2 when it was transferred into me. None of them reached blasotcyst stage. xxx

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You seem young so egg quality may not be a factor however you can check with your clinic if you can try taking supplements like DHEA & Ubiquinol which may help with your egg quality. AMH is a blood test that shows your egg reserves - mine was 7.19 (but again Im older than you). I think you need to ask your clinic what they think went wrong if you havent already had your review appt. We have moved onto donor eggs (DE) as mine were deemed rubbish. Have a read back my old posts at the start of my journey which will give you an idea of how we managed to do better in cycle 2 & 3. Also if you havent had any follow up yet, the nurse on here DianeArnold has a great set of questions you can take along to your appointment which may help if you get in touch with her directly. If I can help with anything else, dont hesitate to ask.

Yes, it does take ove your lives so why dont you plan a weekend away to just spend some fun and time together and no talking about treatment.....its the least you both deserve having gone through all of this fo what feels like very little....I can totally relate to that!xx

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Thank you for the great advice and for intordouciggme to Diane Arnold. Hubby and I are definitely mending our hearts already and looking at the positives instead of what happened today. Hubby and I are planning pub lunches as soon as he’s home xxx

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Ahhh I'm so happy to help....the support on this forum is amazing! Don't be scared to raise a post about anything, we are all in the same boat! Diane is a wealth of advice & knowledge!!

Enjoy those pub lunches! It's a difficult road but easier enjoying each other and the cheeky little time outs life has to offer!!😘😊xxx

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So sorry to hear about this; it is heart breaking. Personally I found it really difficult and took some time off work to recover and feel stronger. It’s a fine balance between having hope and believing it can work and not getting your hopes up too much. Tbh, I never got the balance right. I think you just have to feel how you are feeling and go with it. I also had some counselling which I found really helpful. Wishing you lots of love and a happy ending soon xxx

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Getting pregnant with IVF is hard. No magic way will work for 100%. My wife and I had multiple cycles , spent a fortune and she’s perfectly healthy. I was lucky my doctors through my company private health did me a favour and signed off 1000s of pounds treatment under urologist issues- testing my sperm dna, ultrasound of testes, test after test .

All fine.

We went down the immune issue route with expensive add on transfusions and injections. In the end baby aspirin seems as effective.

As I was over 40 we even tried sperm donor hoping this may work , nothing.

My wife was 38 when we started on ivf, we had been trying naturallly for 4 years.

Don’t “bank “ on ivf- I don’t mean this to be horrible or cruel but the odds are against us brave people.

If you accept that even as a healthy 33 year old the odds of it NOT working are over 70% - in one cycle . That’s why no Ivf is really worth it unless you can afford or are offered 3 goes.

Of course some people are lucky to hit that 30% chance first time.

Stay positive, but stay realistic.

Our story continues, we try DE next and have 8 eggs from a 23 year old that matches my wife.

I’m 100% sure you will get there, it may take just 1 cycle or another 3, if you can investigate nk cells, dna frag etc do it, but none of them are magic answers -there is only keeping hope and keep going. The best of luck to you!!

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Hi there, I’m so sorry to hear about your journey so far. I wish you every success in your next treatment as you both deserve this to happen. Thanks for your response xxx

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Your young , so try not to worry, it’s a marathon and you will win. Xxx

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