What Happens To Your Body After Failed IVF?

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a fertility procedure that removes the female’s ovaries’ eggs and fertilises them in a lab dish with sperm. The subsequent transfer of the embryos into the woman’s uterus is done to conceive a child successfully.

When the treatment cycle does not produce a successful pregnancy, IVF is considered unsuccessful. It may be due to several factors, such as poor-quality embryos, unsuccessful implantation, or underlying fertility problems.

Talking about how failed IVF affects the body is critical because it can be an emotionally and physically taxing experience for couples. Feelings of disappointment, annoyance, and even melancholy might result after an unsuccessful IVF. 

Couples must be well-informed about the various consequences of IVF and ready to accept the probability of failure. At Aastha Fertility Care, couples can get counselling and support to help them deal with the fallout from a failed IVF round. Furthermore, we have an experienced and expert fertility specialists team who move ahead with all the precautionary steps and suggest the best fertility options from the range of fertility services provided, ensuring the best success rates. 

Emotional Effects of Failed IVF

Emotional Effects of Failed IVF

Feelings of Sadness, Anger, And Grief

IVF failure can have substantial and lasting emotional impacts. Sadness, rage, and loss are some of the most typical emotional reactions to unsuccessful IVF. Individuals and couples may feel a feeling of loss and despair as a result of the experience of infertility and failed IVF.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and despair are two additional frequent emotional reactions to unsuccessful IVF. Feelings of pessimism and despair might result from the uncertainties surrounding fertility treatments, the financial load, and the physical and mental toll the procedure takes. Couples and individuals may find it difficult to stay motivated to try again and feel like giving up on their desire to become parents. 

Psychological Distress and IVF Outcome studies by NCBI show that women who experienced failed IVF had higher post-IVF depression and anxiety.

According to an Academic.oup.com report on the psychological impact of IVF failure study, women who underwent standard IVF treatment but encountered treatment failure showed more depressive symptoms one week after treatment ended than women who underwent mild IVF.

Impact on Relationships and Social Life

The effects of a failed IVF attempt go beyond the person’s emotional health. Their social life and relationships may also be impacted. Couples may feel the tension in their relationships as they manage the complicated emotions and choices related to infertility and failed IVF. Study on relationship in couples after failed IVF shows that after a failed IVF, couples need to be more communicative, which is difficult for many couples and could cause strain in their relationships. They could also find it challenging to communicate with people who are parents since they are constantly reminded of what they are not getting. It may result in a feeling of loneliness and social disengagement.

Physical Effects of Failed IVF

Physical Effects of Failed IVF

Hormonal Changes And Fluctuations

If the pregnancy test is negative, your doctor will provide instructions on stopping your current drug regimen. Up until your beta hCG test date, you most likely used oestrogen (pills or patches) and progesterone in oil (PIO) injections. 

It’s typical for your body to feel “off” after discontinuing your medication and in the days and weeks following a failed cycle. Your body needs some time to adjust after recently going through a lot on the physical, mental, and emotional levels, thanks to the rush of hormones and procedures it just endured. 

In the weeks following an unsuccessful IVF round, you might experience a wide range of medical symptoms, including but not restricted to: 

  • Feeling drained of energy
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Feelings of anxiety or depression 
  • Mood swings

Physical Discomfort And Pain

  • Oocyte retrieval is one of many procedures used in IVF, and it can be physically uncomfortable and painful. After egg retrieval, some people may feel cramping, bloating, and spotting that can linger for several days.
  • Some women may also experience soreness and some bruising at the injection spot. 
  • It can also have adverse reactions at the place where injections were injected, like skin redness or itchiness, but it only lasts for a short time.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

An uncommon but potentially dangerous adverse effect of IVF is OHSS. It happens when the ovaries overreact to the hormones used in IVF, causing them to swell and hurt. Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and shortness of breath are among the symptoms. While OHSS can be managed with medication and close observation, in more severe circumstances, hospitalisation can be necessary.

Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy

An uncommon but significant IVF consequence is ectopic pregnancy. When this happens, the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube. If this isn’t addressed right away, it could be fatal.

Impact On Future Fertility

IVF uses a variety of drugs and techniques that may affect future fertility. For instance, using hormone drugs might alter menstrual cycles, and having repeated surgeries can raise the risk of scarring and harm to the reproductive system.

Coping With The Aftermath of Failed IVF

Coping with Negative IVF

Seeking Emotional Support

It can be challenging to deal with the emotional impacts of a failed IVF, so it’s important to seek emotional support. A safe place to vent sadness, rage, or grief can be found by speaking with a therapist or joining a support group. During this period, friends and family members can also provide encouragement and emotional support.

Consulting and Preparing For The Next IVF Cycle 

If you decide to pursue another IVF round, speaking with your doctor and making plans for the subsequent cycle is crucial. It may entail altering one’s lifestyle to increase fertility, such as keeping a healthy weight, giving up smoking, and consuming less alcohol. Additionally, working with a healthcare professional to create a plan that suits the patient’s needs and explore any potential dangers and advantages of starting another cycle is critical.

Physical Self-Care

After a failed IVF cycle, looking after one’s bodily needs is essential. It could entail engaging in self-care practises like getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising frequently. Yoga and meditation are relaxation exercises that can help lower stress and improve general well-being.

Considering Other Options 

IVF is not the only method available to people having trouble becoming pregnant. Other choices include adoption, surrogacy, and using donor sperm or eggs. It’s important to consider all of your alternatives and come to a conclusion that feels good for you and your spouse.


Failed IVF can have both physical and emotional effects on the body. Some biological impacts could be hormonal changes, pain, and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. Sadness, rage, and loss are just a few of the possible emotional side effects, along with anxiety and despair. Relationships and social interactions may also be impacted.
Looking for expert assistance and support during this trying period is imperative. It can entail speaking with a therapist, joining a support group, or seeking advice from a medical professional. Individuals and couples can traverse the psychological and physical impacts of unsuccessful IVF and create coping mechanisms to handle the aftermath with support. Even though a failed IVF attempt can be discouraging, it’s vital to remember that there are various ways to become a parent. Consult with the IVF specialist at Aastha Fertility Care for a better understanding of your next step and how you can improve your chances of successful IVF.

Dr Namita Kotia

Dr Namita Kotia

Dr. Namita Kotia (IVF specialist in Jaipur) attained her Master’s in Obstetrics and Gynecology from S.N. Medical College, Jodhpur affiliated to University of Rajasthan in 1997. She has more than 10 years experience in field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).Presently at Aastha Fertility Care Dr. Namita along with her team is providing complete infertility work up and treatment options under one roof. Her aim is to provide proper guidance and treatment to Infertile couples at AFFORDABLE RATES.She is life member of Indian Academy of Human Reproduction (IAHR), Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Society of India (FOGSI) and Jaipur Obstetrics Gynecology Society (JOGS). She has a number of publications in various journals and presentations at state and National level conferences to her credit.Dr. Namita is also recipient of best paper presentation viz “Diagnosis of Congenital Mullerian anomalies by three dimensional Transvaginal Sonography” awarded at “Kishori” Conference in Jodhpur (2000).

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