A failed IVF cycle takes a toll emotionally and physically. Dealing with these issues may come easier if the intended parents are fully aware of the risks and are prepared to deal with possible failure.

The first thing that should happen after a failed IVF attempt is to take a week or more if needed to cope with the news that your cycle did not succeed. Take it one-step at a time. Make sure the surrogate is dealing well with the news too. It’s not easy on her either. Then the IVF physician should review the cycle carefully. They may learn something from the results of the IVF ovarian stimulation process, possible issues with egg retrieval, egg quality and/or quantity, embryo development, or problems with the embryo transfer procedure.

According to the Time Magazine article, “Researchers Question When to Stop Trying With IVF” by Meredith Melnick, a team of researchers found that women’s success rates using in vitro fertilization (IVF) did not improve much after the first three cycles. About one in three women had a baby after their first attempt with IVF, and nearly half carried a child to term the second time. However by the third attempt, the success rate did not significantly increase.

Statistically speaking, a woman under 40 years of age, having selected a good IVF program is likely to have a better than 70% chance of having a baby within three completed attempts – provided that she has a normal and receptive uterus capable of developing an “adequate” uterine lining. Women 39-43 years of age, who meet the same criteria, will likely have about half that chance (35% – 40%).

Repeated IVF failures can become counterproductive and destructive on relationships. The comforting words of loved ones always help the intended parents through this difficult time. It’s wise to not start another cycle unless you’re ready. Seeking encouragement from a medical professional or spiritual advisor is also recommended.