Why IVF Fail with Good Embryos – Good-quality embryos are necessary for a successful IVF cycle, but they alone can’t guarantee conception. You are not the only one who has failed to conceive, even with good embryos. Undoubtedly, IVF has proved to be a boon for couples with fertility problems. However, we must accept that IVF or other Assisted Reproductive Technology can not give you 100% success rates.
The Actual Success Rate of IVF
The success rate of IVF with good-quality embryos is between 35-40%. The success rate is also influenced by the fertility clinic you choose for your treatment. A good clinic backed by experienced fertility experts, a robust patient support system, the best laboratory, and infrastructure play a key role.
After simplifying this data, we conclude that even with top-quality eggs, there is a 60% chance that you might still not get pregnant. Good quality embryos don’t mean you are destined to achieve pregnancy as soon as the embryo is transferred inside the uterus.
This data is why couples undergo 2-3 IVF cycles before they can conceive and finally welcome a little one.
Moreover, the IVF success rate is different for different age groups. Age may be the reason why IVF fail with top-quality embryos.
1. Age and IVF Success Rates
Understanding IVF success rates for different age groups can help understand why good-quality embryos don’t always promise pregnancy.
IVF Success Rates in Women Under 35
Say a 32-year-old woman plans to undergo IVF treatment at Imprimis IVF, Srinagar. At this age, the chances of conception or clinical pregnancy rates are around 40%. However, the live birth rate with IVF treatment lies between 33-36%.
IVF Success Rates in Women Older than 35
For the age group over 35, a sharp decline is observed in clinical pregnancy rates and live birth rates. Compared to women under 35, the clinical pregnancy rate for women over 35 declines from 40% to 25-30%. At the same time, the live birth rate is witnessed to be around 20%.
IVF Success Rates in Women Over 40
If a woman is over 40, the quality of eggs, clinical pregnancy, and live birth rates will significantly decline. It might be impossible to conceive with eggs in your ovaries at this age, but the possibility is not zero.
- Between 40-42, the chances of conception for a woman with eggs are about 16%, and the live birth rate is 10%.
- The chances for a woman in the age slot 43-44 are further reduced to 7%.
- After a woman turns 45, the success rate of IVF is just 2-3%.
If a woman over 40 faces repeated IVF failures with her eggs, looking for a surrogate mother can help.
2- Using Day 3 Embryos instead of Day 5 Embryos
It is another reason why good embryos result in a failed IVF cycle. We must first go through the IVF process to understand what Day 3 and Day 5 embryos mean.
What Happens during IVF?
In-vitro Fertilisation is an assisted reproductive technology used by couples who cannot get pregnant naturally. During this process, various hormonal injections are administered to the women to stimulate the ovaries to produce more mature eggs. These mature eggs are collected on a petri dish by the embryologist. With the help of certain tools, the quality of these eggs is checked. Eggs are then fused with the sperm, resulting in the formation of embryos.
Two types of embryos are generally used in IVF. One is formed after 72 hours of fertilization and is known as a day three embryo. The other embryo is formed after five days of fertilization, known as a blastocyst-stage embryo. Generally, day five embryos are preferred over day three embryos because:
- It is more chromosomally normal
- It has a higher implantation rate
Sometimes, there is no other option but to use Day 3 embryos. So, consult thoroughly with your embryologist about the health and quality of embryos. Always ask your embryologist for photos or videos of your embryos before saying yes to embryo transfer.
3- Endometrial Receptivity
The process does not come to an end with embryo transfer. There is more to IVF than developing top-quality embryos for implantation.
Successful implantation occurs when the embryo is competent and the endometrium is receptive. Endometrial receptivity means whether or not the endometrium is allowing the embryo to implant in the uterine lining.
Imagine planting a good quality seed (embryo) in the soil. The seed will grow if the soil (endometrium) holds it in place and nourishes it.
Failure of implantation takes place due to the following two reasons:
- The embryo is genetically abnormal
- The endometrium is not receptive
In your case, the embryo is genetically normal. However, the endometrium is causing problems with implantation, resulting in IVF failures.
Why is Your Uterus Non-receptive?
A bunch of reasons can lead to the non-receptivity of the uterus. Some of the most common issues related to problems in implantation are stated below:
- Fibroids, polyps, or adhesions in the uterus hinder implantation.
- Sometimes, the endometrial lining, about 7-9 mm long, is not receptive.
- An infection in the uterine cavity can make the environment less receptive toward the embryo.
- The presence of some blood clots in the uterus can also lead to the unsuccessful implantation of good embryos.
- Other factors, like undiagnosed immunological issues, might also cause problems with implantation.
4- Embryo Implantation Rate
Just like there are fewer good-quality eggs in women over 35 years and 40 years of age, the embryo implantation rate is also less in such women.
- For women over 35, the embryo implantation rate is around 50%.
- For women over 40, the implantation rate further drops to 12%.
5- Undetected Chromosomal Abnormalities
Before transferring to the uterus, the embryos undergo pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS). However, some chromosomal abnormalities sometimes go undetected and result in implantation failure.
6- Mental and Emotional Health
The value of good mental and emotional health during IVF can’t be emphasized enough. If you take too much stress about the outcome of your cycle, then it can disrupt your IVF treatment. Take utmost care of your mental and emotional health by engaging in your favourite activities, for example-
- Talking to your loved ones
- Reading novels
- Taking a walk with a dear friend
Please reach out to someone or talk to your fertility expert if you cannot handle the stress that comes with the treatment. Don’t forget that doctors encounter such cases daily; even a small conversation with them can comfort you.
IVF or any other Assisted Reproductive Technology can not go against nature. There is a natural selection behind what will get accepted and what will get rejected. It is why sometimes, even when everything works in your favour, the outcome is not positive. You are free from any genetic disorder; the egg and the sperm are good, and you don’t get pregnant. It happens in natural conception as well. So, it’s simple: When nature is involved, there is no logical reason why pregnancy is still out of reach.
Final Word about Why IVF Fail with Good Embryos
Getting pregnant with IVF is one of the best options, with the most promising success rates. But IVF has its limitations. Please bear in mind that the success rate is less than 100%. It comprises several complex steps; anything can go wrong during treatment. An entirely natural lab fertilization process is no less than an achievement.
Some couples conceive in their first cycle, while others undergo multiple IVF cycles. Several reasons lead to IVF failure; one is that the embryo is not implanted in the uterus. Talk to a fertility specialist to determine the cause of why IVF fail with good embryos.