The 3 Keys to Moving Forward After an Unsuccessful Fertility Treatment

At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we know that being unable to achieve a pregnancy is one of the most frustrating and disappointing experiences a couple can face. Our team works diligently with every couple that walks through our doors to explain all the possible outcomes and timelines, but we know that there’s still heartache when a treatment is unsuccessful.

With more than 20 years of experience, we also know that one failed procedure does not end your pregnancy journey. Our team is confident that we’ll be able to help you have a healthy, happy baby, even when the first rounds of treatments don’t turn out ideal. Here are three things to keep in mind to help pick yourself back up and continue moving forward when a treatment doesn’t work out initially.


Understanding the Natural Fertility Rate

The first thing our doctor discusses with couples when they come in for a consultation is the natural fertility rate. The human reproductive system is actually not that efficient; the natural, or normal, rate of fertility among even the most fertile couples is just one in five. There’s only about a 20-25 percent probability of pregnancy for even the healthiest couples!

When comparing yourself to healthy, “normal” couples, you must always keep this rate in mind. The procedures we perform at AZCREI ideally will help restore your chance of pregnancy to a rate that’s closer to what is expected naturally. When you come into our office, you may have a fertility rate that’s as low as five percent; through identifying and remedying the cause of infertility, we could build that back up to 20-25 percent, giving you a better chance of achieving a successful pregnancy. It’s important to remember that even with high-tech procedures like in vitro fertilization, we may be able to triple or quadruple your chances of getting pregnant, but it still isn’t going to be 100 percent successful every time we perform it. That’s the “trick” to human reproduction—you must continually try.


Setting Realistic Expectations

Once you know that even the world’s most fertile couple will not get pregnant every month they try, it puts your journey into perspective. It’s really important that our patients don’t expect a pregnancy after every procedure; if you do, you’ll likely be disappointed the majority of the time—that’s just the statistics aspect of it. Remember, every month the probability of not getting pregnant is higher than the probability that you would. On the other hand, the statistics also show us that month to month, as we continue to try, your cumulative chance of achieving a pregnancy does increase.

When we have the treatments in place, and everything looks good medically, whether you get pregnant the first, second, or third month is random. That’s why it’s so essential to stay the course and press onto the next procedure rather than abandoning treatments altogether or jumping to something that’s unnecessarily complicated or expensive.


Remembering We Have a Plan

After the first consultation with a couple, we generally have a clear idea of what might be causing the infertility issues and map out a plan to correct it. Typically, we anticipate carrying on with the recommended procedure for three-to-four cycles, because statistically, you’ll have the highest chance of achieving a pregnancy within that time frame. If the treatment doesn’t work by cycle three or four, it’s not likely to work in cycle five or six, so that’s the point when we complete another round of testing and move on to another procedure.

Sticking with this game plan also makes the process more cost effective for our patients. Our goal is to find out what the problem is, diagnose it properly, and then find the most feasible treatment to help our patients get pregnant as soon as possible. Sometimes it’s as simple as an inexpensive prescription or a treatment that’s covered by insurance. We won’t jump straight to a high-tech, highly-expensive procedure like IVF just because the first treatment didn’t work. However, when IVF is the most suitable treatment—which is something we will realize early on—we won’t waste time attempting other methods.

If you don’t get pregnant on the first try, we’ll analyze what happened—considering ovulation, timing, sperm quality and quantity—and use that information to enhance the next treatment. At AZCREI, we will never throw our hands up in defeat; we have the confidence that we can help you achieve your dreams of having a family, and we’ll stay the course along with you until you’re ultimately successful in getting pregnant.

If you’d like to find out more about our center or schedule a visit, contact us online or call (520) 326-0001.

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