A patient just sent me an email and said, "I've had three failed attempts of IVF, but the doctor didn't give me any reason for the failure. In fact, he said 'No one can give you a reason for the failure.' Is that true? Is it true that IVF failure has no reason and that science can't tell us why IVF cycles fail?"
What was the reason for IVF failure ? This is a simple question, but one which has a complicated answer. The truth is that sometimes we can answer this question, and sometimes we can't.
Thus, if we can see the embryo quality is poor, then we can say the IVF cycle failed because the embryo was not able to implant. This is why getting photos of your embryos is so important. We can then drill down further, to do a root cause analysis, to determine why the embryo quality was poor. This could perhaps be because of poor lab conditions ; or a suboptimal super ovulation protocol . Of course, this would just be a hypothesis, and we would then have to do another IVF cycle after correcting for this, to see if the answer was right.
However, when the embryo is a perfect blastocyst ; the endometrium is 8 mm and trilaminar, and the transfer was smooth, then once we have transferred the embryos into the uterine cavity, we can no longer determine why they don't implant. Both patients and doctors need to understand the limitations of IVF technology, so they can ask intelligent questions, and we can provide accurate answers.
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