Going through the whole process of IVF, with all of the appointments, medication and physical side effects, as well as the emotional investment and pinning your hopes on its success, can take its toll.

So, having a negative pregnancy test after all you’ve been through, is likely to feel devastating.

It’s therefore really important that you allow yourself the time that you need to recover, physically and emotionally, before starting another cycle. Every individual is different and you should also seek advice from your GP or fertility specialist, to see when it is safest to try again from a medical perspective, with your own particular circumstances.

How long after failed IVF do I need to wait to try again?

Opinion varies on waiting times, but many doctors and specialists advise a wait of at least a month, with a complete menstrual cycle in between, so you are more ready to cope with another IVF cycle.

Also, the medication used to stimulate the ovaries may have caused inflammation, which needs to subside before further treatment. Waiting allows time too, to analyse the possible reasons for the failure the first time around and to assess the potential success of future attempts.  

Is success more likely with the second cycle of IVF?

Although couples with high egg quality are likely to be more successful with their first attempt, your fertility specialist may be able to identify reasons for the failure and make adaptations that might lead to success next time. Many couples are successful with their second, or subsequent attempts.

Will IVF succeed after a failed attempt
Will IVF succeed after a failed attempt?

How can I find the right clinic for my next treatment?

If you are not eligible for more NHS funded cycles of IVF, you will need to find a private clinic, if you wish to continue by self-funding. 

If you were not happy with your experience at a private clinic with your first cycle, you may also wish to look for another clinic.  

Factors to consider when looking for a fertility clinic include cost, location, treatment available, level of care, success rates, reputation, experience, quality control measures, insurance, accountability and the regulations in place.

Be aware that fertility clinics (especially those overseas) may have different rules, regulations, variations on procedures and what is included in the package price, as well as different ways of reporting success, so when comparing clinics, it’s important to make sure that it is a fair comparison.

What adaptations can be made to increase my chances of success the second time?

It isn’t always clear what could be done differently to increase your chances of conceiving the second time, however, the following options may have a positive effect:

Although you are not to blame for any failure to implant, you may wish to reconsider your lifestyle choices, to see if there is anything else that you can do differently in terms of a fertility diet, lifestyle changes and general health and fitness.

Some people try alternative/complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, to help to relieve stress and to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Your fertility specialist may suggest modifications to the drugs, if failure may have been related to ovarian stimulation.

Donor eggs, donor sperm or donor embryos might be a consideration later down the line, or if your fertility specialist recommends any of these as options suited to your situation.

Here at the IVF Network, we understand the emotional, physical and practical challenges involved when you are struggling with infertility and deciding on treatment options. That’s why we offer information and expert advice through our dedicated channel and we also have information on our website and in our blogs to help you to make informed decisions during your own fertility journey.