When IVF doesn’t work

One of my dearest friends sent me this article a few days ago: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24725655.

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The article talks about the people for which IVF didn’t work, which is quite rare since normally you only hear success stories. No surprise there, the stories of people for which IVF has not worked are the sad ones. Not because their lives are necessarily sad after IVF but because for these couples IVF is not the miracle technique that got them their baby.

I don’t want to be negative, but I think it’s important to talk about this. It’s important to remember that this is why people undergoing IVF are so scared. I bet we would all be more lighthearted if we had a guarantee that at some point IVF will get us a baby. But we don’t. We don’t know if we’ll be among the lucky ones or not.

My friend sent me this article writing “this made me think of you”. I liked that she wrote that. I don’t think she wrote it because she has lost hope on IVF ever working for me, even if three failed IVF cycles are starting to look bad. I think it was a way of telling me she understands the pain of the uncertainty, the fear that it may not work, that one day I may look back and think that all these years were a waste.

I think it’s great that some people understand this. I hate comments like “I’m sure that it will work”. I know that people say it to give me strength, but this comment diminishes the difficulty of the situation. No one can be sure that it will work! I also don’t like when people who got pregnant through IVF tell us to continue fighting because having a baby is wonderful and because one day we’ll hold our baby in our arms and think that it was worth all the sufferance. I would love for them to remember the importance of phrasing things right and the fact that we do not know what destiny lies ahead of us: we may never hold that baby in our arms! 

I don’t wish IVF had never been invented. It’s given me hope when I would have had none otherwise. And it’s given a family to many other couples in a situation similar to mine. But I know that one day I may regret having tried too many times or even having tried at all. 

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12 Responses to When IVF doesn’t work

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel like I’m constantly hearing people say ‘well infertility isn’t that much of a problem anymore because now there’s IVF’. People need to know that IVF isn’t a magical solution to fix all kinds infertility (not to mention even if it did that doesn’t mean infertility isn’t still awful).

  2. damelapin says:

    I totally agree with you when you’re talking about the comments “it will work, next time, keep faith”. I’m gonna read the article too, even if it’ll make me afraid. I’m still in my FET for my 2nd IVF, but I can see the 3rd IVF looming, and am sh*tting myself just thinking “gosh, i’ll be on the other half of the treatments” (in France you can have 4 IVF). What’s next for you?

  3. DivaM says:

    I haven’t read the article but I will. Just wanted to say, I understand how you feel. I just got a negative on my first IVF cycle. Thought I have done IUIs before that didn’t work, after my negative IVF cycle, I fell like a real failure for a while and my dream of becoming a mom never felt so far. It doesn’t help that a few weeks before my IVF a friend of mine told me that with IVF I was “guaranteed” a baby. Maybe, I should send her this article. I truly hope that your next IVF brings you your little miracle. Keep strong!

    • kiftsgate says:

      Sorry about your negative. I don’t know if you should send the article, but I’m glad such articles are written and hopefully read. Good luck to you too on your next steps!

  4. newtoivf says:

    Totally. I freakin hate being told ‘I know it will work’ no you don’t!

  5. This is incredibly sobering. I was trying to explain to my friends that it isn’t simply a case of fertilising an egg. I said to my bestfriend yesterday ‘Your children truly are miracles in every sense of the word. Never forget that when you look at them.’ (She conceived naturally)

  6. E v e l y n says:

    I think how you feel about it depends on the outcome. If it had worked the first time for me I’d probably have tried for 2 and probably would so thankful for the doctors and IVF, but as I am now there are days I wish I hadn’t done so many rounds. I’ve even wished a few times I had never tried. I think if I end up with a baby I probably won’t regret anything except possibly not starting sooner.

    • kiftsgate says:

      Definitely. I just think it’s good to communicate to the outside world both sucess and failure stories. It would also make the expectations of people starting more realistic ..

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