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Practically Impossible to Get Pregnant After 5 Failed IVF Cycles, So Says Report

By Aela Mass |

No Pregnancy After 5 Failed IVF Cycles

If all goes as planned (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said those words during my 17 month fertility journey), next Wednesday I will have another FET.

This will be my third frozen embryo transfer, my fifth attempt at pregnancy. I previously had two fresh IVF cycles (one was technically successful, and I became pregnant with twins – but my water broke at 17 weeks and I lost my twins), and two FETs. Never did I think this would be so difficult. And now there’s new research out that only dims my hopes further.

According to a new study, that I just happened to spot in my news feed the other day, it’s practically impossible to get pregnant after 5 failed IVF cycles.

Next week will be my fifth. You can imagine the added pressure I’m feeling now.

This crap is so deflating, and I seriously feel like I’ve got nothing left in me to carry on with this journey.

Sure, my situation is a bit different. One of my five cycles did get me pregnant. But I’m tired of people (nurses, doctors, even friends) saying, “At least you know you can get pregnant.” As if having carried my twins to 17 weeks and then losing them with no discover-able reason is somehow supposed to make me feel better and be a source of encouragement that I can do this?

The study basically says that if you can’t get pregnant by the 5th try, it’s next to impossible to get pregnant at the 6th attempt. Specifically, “The cumulative live delivery rate did not increase markedly with additional treatments in the sixth cycle and beyond. The sixth cycle only afforded an extra 0.7% chance of pregnancy and the seventh cycle, 0.4%”

But relax, they say. Try to stay positive, they say. Don’t think about it, they say. There’s always hope, they say.

I used to be one of those theys. But this process sucks the hope and sunshine-y thoughts right out of you. I’m spent.

###

Source: Medical Xpress
Photo: iStockphoto

Read more of Aela’s writing on Babble and at Two Moms Make a Right

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MORE ON BABBLE:
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10 Side Effects of Progesterone Shots for IVF
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More on Babble

About Aela Mass

aelahmass

Aela Mass

Aela Mass is a lesbian writer and editor living the dream on Martha's Vineyard with her wife, Sara, and their dog, Darla. She miscarried her twins at 17 weeks and has undergone numerous IVF, FET, and IUI cycles. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post among other publications. For more of her work, visit her blog Two Moms Make a Right. Read bio and latest posts → Read Aela's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Practically Impossible to Get Pregnant After 5 Failed IVF Cycles, So Says Report

  1. Jennifer says:

    I will be hoping and praying for you. The journey is so hard and can take so long. No one understands the process or the feelings unless they have been through it.

    Personally all these studies they put out there I take with a grain of salt. One day they say eggs are bad for you, then they say they are good, then bad. It’s ridiculous.

    YOU CAN AND WILL DO THIS!!

  2. Swissmama says:

    This does sound like an interesting report (it’s a report, not a scientific study):

    http://www.npsu.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/npesu/surveillances/Assisted%20reproductve%20technology%20in%20Australia%20and%20New%20Zealand%202011.pdf

    But there are obvious problems interpreting the numbers. Very few did many cycles which gives those numbers less reliability and there is no analysis of statistical significance of the apparent difference between the various groups. Also, it isn’t able to account for those taking breaks and resuming treatment after the report date. And not all cycles lead to a transfer and I don’t see how they accounted for that.

    The best study I’ve seen regarding this topic came out in 2009:

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0803072

    As someone who got a live birth on a fourth cycle the first time around (after 9 non-IVF ART cycles) and an eighth cycle the second time around (so 12 IVF cycles for 2 babies), I would encourage you to keep going. But it’s not easy!

    Best of luck!

  3. sarah.lynne.kline@gmail.com says:

    Ya know this research is fascinating, but you have to stop and think how this pertains to you as an individual. You don’t have the opportunity to get pregnant naturally (well I guess you could… but I totally understand not going there lol). Usually heterosexual women that move to IVF have spent at least 2 years trying to get pregnant and then move on to the IVF process. Between cycles they also try or “not prevent” pregnancy from occurring naturally. What I’m saying is the sample for this particular study is not representative of the population that you belong to (same sex couples using IVF). Don’t get so down about this research! You never know if you were like “most” couples using IVF if you would have gotten pregnant naturally in the first year anyway before moving on. The statistics for this study are probably not representative of your probability of getting pregnant on the 5th try. It simply represents a population you don’t belong to.. Keep your head up girl!!!!

  4. Lisa says:

    Infertility is one of the most challenging things a woman can go through, each failure adds to the sadness but also gives us more determination to persevere. For the low times, find love and support from close friends and family. Hang in there. Babydust to everyone.

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