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Effects Of A Failed IVF On The Body

By MomMed | 11 October 2022 | 0 Comments

In-Vitro fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology that allows couples with fertility issues to have their own children. Though the success rate of the procedure is impressive enough to make couples rest their faith in it, success is not always guaranteed.

Failure in IVF can be due to multiple reasons. Whatever they may be, a failed IVF doesn’t mean that your body restores normalcy immediately. The IVF treatment puts a woman’s body under a lot of stress and the effects persist for quite some time. To understand the transformation IVF causes, we will discuss what happens to the body after failed IVF.


Reasons For IVF Failure

The failure of IVF can be attributed to the following causes:
Issues With The Egg: a decline in the quality and quantity of eggs can impede the success of an IVF treatment. Sometimes, despite the treatment, the vary fails to have multiple follicles matured. In such cases, healthy egg retrieval becomes a problem. This is common in the case of women above the age of 35.
Issues With The Embryo: before implantation, embryos and scanned, and only the superior quality embryos are released into the uterus. However, sometimes, due to unknown reasons, the embryo fails to implant. Inherited chromosomal abnormalities or the ones developed during embryonal division often stand in the path of implantation. In addition to these, sometimes, the mother’s immune system becomes hyperactive and rejects the embryo, leading to an IVF failure.
Issues With The Uterus: sometimes, implantation doesn’t happen because the uterus not being a favorable environment. presence of cysts in the uterus, a thin endometrial lining, hormonal fluctuations, and their infections are usually held responsible for the failure of implantation.
In addition to these, lack of proper care for the body and an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute significantly to failed IVF.

What Happens After IVF Fails

The effects of IVF failure are often not distinct. Some changes in the body are marked due to the IVF treatment procedure, while some others surface due to stress. Let us see, what you can expect post an IVF failure.

Weight Gain

During the ovarian stimulation, you will be injected with estrogen. Due to that, your body will start retaining more and more water. This makes you feel bloated and adds up a little more mass to your body. However, after superovulation, this condition resolves itself as the estrogen leaves the body through urine. But not all bodies respond the same way.
If the IVF treatment triggered a hormonal imbalance in your body, then you are likely to remain bloated till all the extra estrogen flushes out of your body. In addition to that, some women experience a true weight gain after IVF. The contribution of the hormones in adding body fat hasn’t been found yet. However, it is suggested that maybe a less active lifestyle during the treatment and unconscious stress eating might be the real culprits of your weight gain after IVF.

Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome

You can know of IVF failure only after completing the entire cycle of IVF treatment. Your body might sometimes not respond well to that. During stimulation of the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, sometimes the blood vessels around the ovary might leak fluids into it, causing that to swell. Some fluids might also get released into the body.
OHSS can cause nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, it might lead to blood clots, excessive weight gain, and kidney failure. While OHSS occurs during ovarian stimulation, once it kicks in it is going to take you a couple of weeks to recover.

Hair Loss

During the treatment, estrogen levels are elevated in the body. Estrogen freezes some of the hair follicles at the resting stage. When IVF is successful and pregnancy happens, estrogen levels continue to remain high.

But after a failed IVF, when the hormone level falls back to the usual range, the follicles begin to shed the hair as a part of the normal hair cycle. This might lead to diffuse thinning of hair. This phenomenon is often called telogen effluvium. However, within a few months, the problem should resolve.


Emotional Distress

One of the most evident effects of IVF failure is sadness. Most of the time, it is strong enough to push women into depression. A prolonged state of depression begins to have physical implications. It leads to loss of appetite and insomnia, thus starting a cascade of other health issues affecting different parts of the body.

Especially in women, excessive stress is known to mess with the menstrual cycle, causing the hormones to go haywire which results in delayed ovulation or no ovulation at all.

What Next?

There is no single answer to what happens to your body after a failed IVF. Usually, the effects of the IVF treatment leave their marks on your body for a couple of weeks. However, the added stress of the treatment’s failure often wreaks havoc over your body.
However, let us tell you that even after an IVF fails, you still have chances. Your menstrual cycle will resume and signify the readiness for another cycle. Your body remains equally competent to carry your baby. Take an appointment and let your doctor review the course of the previous treatment. Once the issue is spotted, you will be recommended a modified treatment to curb it.


IVF often takes multiple cycles. So try to have patience. Even if it has failed more than once, know that you still have alternatives. Opting for an egg or sperm donor or switching to surrogacy might help you reach your goal.
The disturbed state of your mind after a failed IVF is understandable. The treatment indeed is stressful and complicated. However, try to stay positive while repeating the course of treatment and considering other options. Never doubt your self-worth because there is much more to you than your ability to conceive.
Some things are out of our control, so do not blame yourself. If possible, give yourself a break and resume treatment a year later. A lot of women have gotten success this way. So, this was all about what happens to your body after failed IVF. Do not lose hope and you will definitely find a way.

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