Show me the research
A recent study examining thousands of women undergoing IVF found a 29% chance of a live birth after a single cycle. Among women who completed 6 cycles, that chance went up to 43%. Another study found even more promising results, showing that about 65% of women were successful in getting pregnant after 6 cycles. In both studies, younger women were more likely to have a higher success rate.
For many women, another round might be just what is needed to achieve pregnancy. If the patient feels emotionally, physically, and financially ready, proceeding with a second or third round makes sense. Women considering another round of treatment should start by talking to a fertility doctor. These healthcare professionals can explain what went wrong last time, any lingering concerns, and future chances of success. After this conversation, if a patient feels ready to proceed, another round of IVF can be scheduled.
Is it ok to keep trying?
In the past, most doctors recommended stopping IVF or switching to the use of donor eggs after 3 or 4 unsuccessful cycles. However, this advice is outdated with new research showing success rates continuing to increase into the sixth attempt. Patients who are willing can complete additional rounds of IVF, trusting that science can help achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Time to pause
Sometimes one attempt at IVF may be the best option. If finances are tight and another round is not within budget, pushing the brakes may be the best option. Women who had success with IVF but ended up having a miscarriage may also benefit from pausing treatment. Time to recover physically and emotionally is essential for patients who have experienced a recent loss. Age is another factor to consider. Older women have lower chances of fertility and may not benefit as much from another round of IVF.
The limit does not exist
Although there is no stated limit on the number of IVF cycles a patient can try, some fertility specialists may recommend stopping at some point. Healthcare providers want to do what is best for patients, and sometimes this means stopping treatment when success is not considered possible. In other cases, a couple may conclude that it’s too expensive or difficult to continue. Ultimately though, a patient can decide how many times to try to build a family using IVF.