What are the causes of IVF failure?
Going through an IVF procedure and not having a successful healthy pregnancy (have IVF failure) is a devastating event in a woman and her partner’s life.
By understanding the main causes for IVF failure and how you can prevent these is a motivating way to begin another cycle.
The Quality of an Embryo
The major reason why an IVF failure accu, is embryo quality. Many embryos are not able to implant after transfer to the uterus because they are flawed in some way. Even embryos that look good in the lab may have defects that cause them to die instead of growing.
Poor Ovarian Response
Sometimes a woman’s ovaries don’t respond to the fertility medications strongly enough to produce multiple eggs. Especially if a woman is over 37 she may not produce enough eggs to result in a number of embryos for screening and potential implantation. Chance of IVF failure is higher when this happens.
The uterine lining is one of the most important final parts, its where implantation occurs. After all the meds, all the scans a healthy egg is retrieved, we have some sperm and all is ready to create an embryo. Now only implantation needs to happen. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common reasons for an IVF failure is poor quality of the lining, the environment that the embryos will settle into.
Polyps, cysts, poor blood flow, thin lining, all contribute to an embryo not implanting after an IVF transfer cycle.
A Woman’s Age
When it comes to IVF, the age of the eggs is more important than the age of the woman having IVF treatment. The quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs begin to get worse as she gets older. This affects her chances of IVF failure as well. Women under 35 using their own eggs for IVF have an implantation rate of about 45 percent. Women 40 to 42 years old using their own eggs have only about a 15 percent chance of implantation.
Older women who use donor eggs, which are donated by younger women, have success rates with IVF that are nearly the same as those of younger women. Egg quality is all-important to having healthy embryos, and younger eggs usually have better quality.
Women who smoke have higher chance of IVF failure than women who don’t smoke. Women who are overweight or underweight are less likely to have successful IVF treatment.
One of the major factors in IVF failure is chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo. This is true for all human embryos, whether naturally conceived or developed in the embryology lab. These abnormalities are the reason behind most miscarriages as well as failure to implant in an IVF cycle. Studies have shown that starting in their 30s, as women age, the incidence of choromosomal abnormalities in their eggs begins to increase. By the mid-40s as much as 75 percent of a woman’s eggs have chromosomal abnormalities. A man’s sperm develops more chromosomal abnormalities as he ages as well, but at a much lower rate than a woman’s eggs.