Friday, December 04, 2015

Grieving after your IVF cycle needs to be cancelled because of a poor ovarian response

One of the hardest things an infertile patient can experience is to start an IVF cycle and then have to cancel it because the response is poor - when the doctor says, "Sorry, you haven't grown any follicles, and I can't continue with the IVF cycle." Patients with poor ovarian reserve understand that there is a possibility that the cycle may get cancelled because they don't grow any follicles, but when this actually happens, after taking so many days of expensive injections, their heart often breaks. It can be a very taxing time. You need to come to terms with this grim reality - that you may never be able to pass on your genes to your baby. Then, even after your head accepts the truth, in order for your heart to live with this means you need to go through a grieving process, because it is the death of a dream.

This is a huge blow and represents a major loss - the loss of a potential baby who would share your DNA. A bigger problem is that it's a hidden loss - you cannot share it with anyone else . Sometimes , even your husband can be surprisingly unsympathetic, because he may not be able to understand the pain which you are going through.

You had pinned so many hopes on this cycle .  IVF was your treatment of last resort - your final option. Now, when your follicles stubbornly refuse to grow, you find you are back to square one, and have to again go through the painful analytical process of deciding what plan B is going to be.
However, please do remember the silver lining at this time. Even if your cycle got cancelled, at least you have peace of mind that you gave it your best shot. You also now have far more information, because in the past your label was "poor ovarian reserve," and now your new label is "poor ovarian response," which means you need to come to terms with the fact your ovaries are not capable of responding, in spite of maximal super-ovulation. Of course, if the super-ovulation was not done well then might still be worthwhile to go to another clinic and try another treatment protocol. However, if this was an aggressive super-ovulation protocol, and you still failed to grow follicles, you will need to accept that you're going to have to consider alternative options in order to grow your family.

This could include either adoption, or donor eggs, or donor embryos, all of which are equally hard to accept. There is no right answer, and I would never say that one is better than the other. Keep an open mind and explore all your options, until you find the one which works best for you. Once you do that, and you're happy, not only will you keep yourself happy, you'll keep your husband and your child happy as well.

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