When a treatment cycle doesn’t work, there’s often a temptation to wonder whether it could be something to do with the clinic. People sometimes ask if they ought to consider a different clinic with a higher success rate or one which offers a wider range of additional (often scientifically-unproven) treatments if an IVF/ICSI cycle has been unsuccessful.
Why hasn’t my IVF worked?
One question that people always want answered after an unsuccessful cycle is why it hasn’t worked. The reality is that IVF doesn’t always work – we know that around 75% of cycles are unsuccessful. That may sound a rather poor rate of success but we also know that when people try to get pregnant naturally only around 20% will be successful in the first month of trying. No one really knows why some embryos implant and others don’t, and it’s not all down to clinics but also to nature.
The other key issue which often gets overlooked is age – the older you are, the less likely it is that an IVF cycle is going to work. Once you reach your forties, the success rates really plummet and the vast majority of cycles will be unsuccessful. The reason treatment hasn’t worked can often be age-related, but clinicians don’t always spell this out to patients.
A new IVF clinic
Moving to a different clinic may feel like a fresh start, and if you haven’t been happy with your treatment in some way it will certainly be a very sensible thing to do. However, if you’ve liked the clinic and you are only thinking of moving because your cycle hasn’t worked, it may be worth thinking again. Although a new place can feel different, there are some advantages to staying at a familiar clinic where you know the staff and they knew you, how you respond to the drugs and to the treatment. It will be familiar, and many people find that this can be very helpful when they start another cycle.
Some people do move clinics and find that they are far happier somewhere else if they feel they are getting better care or more attention, but it is something to think about carefully before jumping ahead – and one treatment cycle not working is not necessarily in itself a reason to change.