Waiting Before Trying IVF Again
Although the treatment plan can vary from patient to patient, the standard space between in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles is usually one full menstrual cycle. For most people, this means a 4-week break, but for women with irregular cycles, the wait may be slightly longer. Other factors such as age, cost, mental health, and physical well-being may necessitate a longer wait time.
Age isn’t just a number
Maternal age plays a huge role in fertility. The older a woman is, the lower the chance of conception. This means women of advanced maternal age may benefit from trying another round of IVF again sooner rather than later. The good news for older women is an immediate embryo transfer after a failed IVF cycle was found to result in higher chances of pregnancy in recent research. People using donor eggs or previously frozen eggs or embryos can usually wait a little longer between cycles since aging is not an issue.
A physical break
Sometimes there are physical reasons a woman may want to take a break. Medication used during the IVF process can cause side effects. Ovarian stimulation drugs are one of the worst culprits, causing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS) in 10-20% of cycles. A more severe form of OHS occurs 1% of the time. Although the condition is temporary, the effects can be uncomfortable and cause inflammation. Many doctors suggest waiting for the inflammation to fully subside before trying again.
Put mental health first
When IVF doesn’t work, patients may feel sad, upset, or pessimistic about trying again. These feelings are normal but should be addressed. For some women, a break may be precisely what is needed. Therapy and medication can support others struggling with more serious mental health concerns. Women should feel physically and mentally healthy before starting a new IVF cycle to ensure the best chances of success.
Put away that wallet
In vitro fertilization is expensive and usually not covered by insurance. Depending on the patient’s financial circumstances, a break may be necessary. Waiting longer between IVF cycles can give people a chance to save money for future treatments. The IVF procedure also requires women to take off work to have procedures done at precise times during the cycle. For some women, taking a break until sick or vacation time is saved up again makes sense.
Waiting for a baby
Each patient’s IVF journey will be unique. Although most women will be advised to wait for at least one cycle between transfers, the fertility doctor can best advise. Older age may necessitate a shorter wait, while mental and physical health concerns may prompt a longer pause. Whatever the plan, know that IVF is a great way to create a family.