How to React to a Failed IVF as a Surrogate

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The first few days and possibly, weeks after a failed IVF can be a very difficult, emotional time for a Surrogate. It can be hard to understand why – despite the embryos and womb lining being in perfect conditions – the embryo transfer still failed. Many Surrogates can even hold their own health liable for the outcome of the surrogacy process. Science has advanced to provide us great insight into pregnancy and reproductive technologies, but there’s always an element of chance. Indeed, the pregnancy rates with IVF are very impressive. However, as the surrogacy agency in San Diego, CA, we can testify that there’s no 100% guarantee that it would work. Failed embryo transfers can and do occur. But, this does not mean that you won’t be able to achieve pregnancy with IVF or that it’s a waste of time to keep trying.

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Most of the time, there’s nothing the Surrogate Mother did, failed to do, neither had health issues or could have done things in a different way to get a better outcome of the surrogacy process. Sometimes, the transfer just failed, and the main reason for the IVF failure is usually unclear. The good news is, the success rates of second embryo transfers are often higher than those of the first attempts. Your physician will work with you and the Intended Parents to make the necessary changes. These will ensure your next transfer leads to a successful pregnancy. In certain cases, your doctor may recommend changing one or more variables after several failed transfers. These may include using a donor egg or using another egg/sperm donor.

What could be the reasons for an IVF failure?

  • Embryo Quality: The embryo transferred might be too weak or has internal flaws. It’s a condition known as the embryonic arrest. This does not mean that there’s a problem with the woman’s womb. It means that the embryo is not of top-quality and is unable to attach to the womb.
  • Age of the Eggs: Egg quality starts to decline as women become older. Hence, an embryo made using an egg of a woman above 35, may also have a decreased quality. Clearly, egg health can significantly affect the success of surrogacy.
  • Ovarian Response: If a woman’s body responds poorly to fertility medications, then only a few numbers of eggs may be matured by the ovaries for use. This can lower the chances of a successful IVF procedure.
  • Lifestyle Issues: Smoking and having a BMI of more than 33 makes it harder for women to get pregnant. Hence, smoking can also affect the Surrogate Mother’s health during the surrogacy process. However, Surrogates undergo pre-screening before we present them for matching to eliminate these types of risks.

What to Do When IVF Fails?

A lot of Surrogates often report that they experience some guilt after a failed embryo transfer. Providing that you followed the doctor’s instructions and used your medications, a failed embryo transfer is not a consequence of something you did or failed to do.

Another thing Surrogates often tell us is that their relationship with the Intended Parents feels different after a failed transfer. Some Intended Parents may start to disassociate themselves and reduce their communication with the Surrogates after the embryo transfer failed. This can leave the Surrogate Mother wondering if the Intended Parents think the IVF failure is their fault.

The Intended Parents may try to look for answers as to why the transfer failed. However, there is a high chance that they are not putting the blame on you. They are only sad that the results were not what they had expected. A lot of Intended Parents think that undergoing an IVF using a Surrogate is a fail-proof way to achieve pregnancy on the first try. Therefore, any major setbacks, especially after what they have been through on their own before surrogacy, can be hard for them to deal with. They might distance themselves for some time. But, that is just to cope with their own sadness and disappointment, not because they are angry with you.

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Intended Parents May Also be Worried About You and Your Health for the Surrogacy Journey

You need to understand that most of the time, the Intended Parents also distance themselves in order to help you manage your own feelings after a failed transfer. They might worry that IVF failure during the surrogacy process will be devastating for your emotional health. They understand that you also need space. Don’t be scared to maintain communication with them during this period. But, remember that their responses may not be as quick as they used to be.

The relationship usually normalizes itself and gets better as you prepare for the next cycle and embryo transfer. You can contact our staff if you need to talk to someone about your emotions following a failed transfer. We can also guide you with your relationship with the Intended Parents. You can always get in touch with your case manager or any of our staff members if you need to discuss anything. At Physician’s Surrogacy agency located in San Diego, we will give you the support you need to manage your emotions and prepare for your next embryo transfer.

Conclusion you want to know more about how you can cope with a failed IVF as a surrogate and still look after your health? Simply fill out this application to find out how our surrogacy agency in San Diego, California can help you or visit our website to learn more.

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