Failed IVF Cycle

Failed IVF Cycle

Causes of Failed IVF Cycle - Diagnoses & Treatment of Failed IVF in Delhi, India

Our Center specializes in treating couples who have had failed IVF cycles. An IVF failure cycle can be because of poor egg quality, low sperm quality or a damaged uterine lining.

We offer certain modifications in IVF cycles for optimizing a desirable outcome in couples suffering from failed attempts at pregnancy and uncertain about the causes of failed IVF.

The Internet and IVF Failure

The internet is flooded with various treatment options for failed IVF cycles. So it is important for the couple to discuss their concerns with the doctor regarding what treatment suits them the best.

Dr. Banerjee studies each case individually and decides which treatment will be the most beneficial for that particular patient. She does not believe in increasing the cost of treatment by using technology whose role is yet to be established. Many couples have been blessed this way who were previously struggling to fulfill their dreams of parenthood.


The IVF journey is complex, and understanding the causes of failed IVF can help in navigating this challenging process.

While factors like age, lifestyle, and overall health are crucial, the success of an IVF cycle hinges on several key elements: the health of the egg, the condition of the uterus, and the quality of sperm. Furthermore, the lab environment, technology used, and the expertise of fertility specialists in egg retrieval and embryo transfer play significant roles.

Egg abnormalities

Low egg quality is one of the main causes of failed IVF. Human eggs—while structurally complex—are susceptible to damage. The process of cell division that is critical for the development of a viable embryo can be compromised in older eggs. The spindle apparatus that aids in chromosome separation also becomes fragile with age, leading to abnormal chromosome distribution and potentially nonviable embryos.

Factors like oxidative stress and changes in ovarian metabolism with ageing can also harm eggs. Studies suggest that 25% to 40% of oocytes exhibit chromosomal abnormalities—a percentage that increases with maternal age. 

Embryo selection methods

Choosing the right embryos for transfer is vital for the success of IVF cycles. Embryologists play a key role in this process, which requires precision—particularly when distinguishing between embryos with normal and abnormal chromosomes. Their expertise is crucial in ensuring the right embryos are chosen for a successful transfer.

The selection is based on specific criteria such as the cell stage, embryo grade, and the rate of cell division. The cell stage refers to the developmental phase of the embryo, with each stage offering different probabilities of success. Embryo grading involves assessing the quality of embryos based on their appearance, structure, and development speed. The rate of cell division is another critical factor, as it indicates the health and viability of an embryo. Embryologists evaluate these factors in combination to select the embryos with the highest potential for a successful pregnancy.

Studies have shown that embryos reaching at least a six-cell stage by day three are less likely to fail during an IVF cycle.

Embryos graded 1, 2, or 2.5 are often chosen for their enhanced potential for successful implantation. These grades are assigned based on the overall quality and appearance of the embryos, with lower grades indicating potential developmental issues.

The close monitoring of cell division by embryologists is also crucial. They ensure that embryos are dividing at an appropriate rate, which is a key indicator of their health and viability. By tracking these details, embryologists can better determine the optimal timing for transferring the embryos to the uterus, thereby increasing the chances of a successful IVF cycle.

IVF lab factors

A well-controlled lab environment, maintaining precise levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, humidity, light, and temperature, is crucial for the health of eggs, sperm, and embryos. Even minor deviations in these conditions can lead to embryo loss. Continuous quality control and adherence to industry standards in laboratory practices are essential for maintaining an optimal environment for IVF.

Problems with egg retrieval and embryo transfer

The procedures of egg retrieval and embryo transfer are critical to IVF success. A failed IVF cycle may result from the inability to retrieve eggs or obtaining fewer eggs than anticipated. During embryo transfer, ensuring the correct placement of embryos and the absence of any obstructions (like cervical mucus or cellular debris) is vital for the success of the procedure.

Causes of failed IVF

Failed IVF is a distressing experience for couples seeking fertility treatment. Several factors can contribute to a failed IVF cycle:

Advanced Maternal Age:

Women over 35 often have decreased egg quality and quantity, making successful fertilisation less likely.

Poor Egg Quality:

Even in younger women, poor egg quality can hinder embryo development and implantation.

Uterine Issues:

Conditions like fibroids, polyps, or scarring can affect the uterine lining’s receptivity for embryo implantation.

Sperm Quality:

Low sperm count or poor sperm motility can decrease the chances of successful fertilization.

Chromosomal Abnormalities:

Genetic issues in embryos can lead to implantation failure or miscarriage.

Ovarian Response:

Inadequate response to fertility medications can result in fewer eggs for retrieval.

Poor Lifestyle Choices:

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity can negatively impact fertility.

Hormonal Imbalances:

Disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid problems can interfere with the IVF process.


Undiagnosed infections in the reproductive organs can be a hidden cause of IVF failure.

Stress and Emotional Factors:

High levels of stress can influence IVF outcomes, both mentally and physically.

A failed IVF cycle is not necessarily the end of the road. Each case is unique, and consulting with a fertility specialist is crucial to analyse the specific reasons behind the failure and develop a tailored plan for subsequent attempts.

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Common causes of a failed IVF cycle can include poor egg quality, issues with embryo implantation, hormonal imbalances, uterine abnormalities, and sperm-related factors. Identifying the specific cause is crucial for tailoring subsequent treatments.

At Advance Fertility, the assessment for a failed IVF cycle involves a thorough examination, including a review of medical history, hormonal evaluations, uterine imaging, and a detailed analysis of the IVF cycle to pinpoint potential factors contributing to the failure.

Age can significantly impact the success of an IVF cycle, with advanced maternal age affecting egg quality. Advance Fertility customizes treatment regimens following an unsuccessful attempt, taking age into account and using the latest reproductive technologies to maximize results.

Egg quality is crucial for the success of an IVF cycle. Medications, lifestyle changes, and individualized treatment plans are some of the methods used at Advance Fertility to improve egg quality and increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. 

Uterine abnormalities can impact the success of an IVF cycle by affecting embryo implantation. At Advance Fertility, uterine assessments are conducted, and if abnormalities are identified, tailored treatments such as hysteroscopy may be recommended to optimise conditions for implantation.

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