MYTH:  People think IVF always works.  Everyone who uses it is successful and has a baby.

We had started our testing and were hopeful for results that showed we just needed a little assistance.

I remember getting the semen analysis results, sitting in an exam room, nervous as can be. Being told by his urologist that we had somewhere between a 0% and 3% chance of getting pregnant on our own.


I was NOT prepared for that news. When we took that information back to our reproductive endocrinologist, he informed us that the results of the SA, paired with my own test results definitively meant that IVF was our only real chance at getting pregnant.


We knew we could not afford to do IVF right away. We had no insurance coverage for anything fertility related and were struggling to pay for office visits and ultrasounds. We switched insurances, waiting 6 months for a waiting period and doing the IUI’s that were covered under the plan. We still had to pay out-of-pocket for the drugs, but it was far reduced from the full cost. Meanwhile we saved for IVF, knowing we may only be able to afford one go at it. We saved, borrowed from friends and got a partial grant to move forward.

It didn’t work.

First I overstimulated and the cycle was canceled. We started again next cycle once I was recovered from the OHSS. I had 21 follicles removed during a painful egg removal where I woke from the anesthetic. We had 12 viable embryos after our pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. We put back two, left the rest to freeze.

The 10 we meant to freeze didn’t make it that far. Neither did the two we put back. I was not pregnant.

It didn’t work.

I was young, with “good” eggs, we had enough of a sample to pull sperm from (a miracle for us) and I did everything I was supposed to as far as aftercare and resting. I went in for my beta, holding out hope, clinging to it desperately.

It was a negative, a failed cycle.

IVF may increase your chances, but it is not a guarantee. As a patient, we know this, but the general public loves to perpetuate the idea that it’s a sure thing.

We continued the process, over and over. All failed. It is not a sure thing. Let me tell you what it is. It is an expensive process. It is physically exhausting. It is emotionally taxing.

IVF may give a patient a chance at attaining pregnancy at a rate higher than they would have by trying to conceive at home, in private, but it’s still just a chance. I’ve done IVF and I have no children to show for it. I was unsuccessful, and while many people have taken this road to parenthood, there are a number of people like me, who did IVF and didn’t get a baby.


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3 thoughts on “unsuccessful

  1. Thank you for this. As an IVF veteran (two fresh, one frozen) who has yet to have a child, I hate it when people assume that IVF is a guarantee. PREGNANCY is not even a guarantee, as my three losses stemming from IVF prove.

    I am already a follower/lurker of your blog, and I wanted to take a moment to commend you for your brutal honesty here. I admire you more than you will ever know.

    Much love,

    Creme #126


  2. I found you through Creme this year.

    Reality sucks, doesn’t it? I know all too well that there are no guarantees in IVF or in life, really. IF seems to do a great job at teaching us all life lessons that no one really want to learn. Like that hope, faith, luck, are all lovely concepts,

    This was a beautifully written post though. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing.


  3. Here from the Creme…

    We haven’t gotten to IVF treatments yet….will hopefully do an IUI next month if my cycle ever comes back. The percentages my doctor gave me are so low (and scary)!

    Your post is a good reminder that nothing is a given and that infertility blows.


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