Any couple who has gone through IVF knows what a rough and wild ride it can be, both physically and emotionally. For that reason, many couples give up on IVF early on, perhaps too early.
Why do women drop out of IVF treatment?
The reasons why women quite IVF are usually financial, when their insurance coverage or access to funds to pay for treatment run out, or emotional, when the thought of going through another cycle and the prospect of all the drugs, office visits and prospect of disappointment becomes overwhelming.
But, what happens to couples who persist and continue to go through IVF treatment cycles?
Fertility doctors in Bristol in the UK, sought to answer that question and what they found was encouraging. In their program, 1/3 of patients conceived on the first IVF cycle. In the next 3 cycles (1-4) the pregnancy rate was about 20% per cycle. While the rates were lower in cycles 5 and 6, they were not zero. Pregnancies continue to happen.
After 6 cycles of IVF, the cumulative pregnancy rate was 68%. In women between 40 and 42, there were successful pregnancies through the 9th cycle.
We've failed a few cycles of IVF. Should we give up?
Only you and your partner can answer that question. IVF tends to be more successful on the first round, but successful pregnancies do continue to happen with repeated attempts, sometimes even when it seems futile.