8 Tips for Coping with IVF Failure

IVF Failure

Recently, Lance Bass and his husband, Michael Turchin, shared that they have gone through five failed surrogacy attempts with their egg donors. They are trying once again with a donor in hopes of a successful surrogacy pregnancy. 

Going through IVF is a double-edged sword. You may feel guilty that you need the help getting pregnant, while at the same time, you’re hopeful with the intervention of medicine and science. But then, you’re unsuccessful. How can that be? So you try again.

And again.


When your intention to have a baby has been met with one road block after another, each jolt requires you to pull back and readjust to the next unwanted reality, which can look something like this:

  • We’ve been having unprotected sex and…nothing. Could something be wrong?
  • They say it could take up to a year. A year?
  • Maybe we should make an appointment with a doctor.
  • Infertile?? Oh, no.
  • Is it me? Is it him? Remember, we’re in this together.
  • Maybe just an IUI or two will work.
  • No? On to IVF.
  • Another year and nothing. Why did we wait?
  • Another year. More money.
  • Moving on… time to try egg donation.
  • Finally…The egg donor’s retrieval has occurred and resulted in embryos! Excitement…Hope…Transfer…Failure. That dreaded word. Again.

After so much time, money, and emotional energy that’s put into this quest, this failure may loom large as the most devastating blow for you.

How do you find the resiliency to cope, yet again?

  1. Cry. It’s healthy. Grieving loss makes room for the next step.
  2. Try and accept. This is where you are…for now.
  3. Breathe—deeply (sounds like a cliché, but it’s not). Start with a long exhale and the inhale will take care of itself. Concentrate on feeling the way the body lets go with each exhale.
  4. Expect negative thoughts. “I feel like a failure” and “My uterine lining wasn’t perfect and neither am I” and “My anxiety level is the cause of the failure”. It’s natural to have negative thoughts, however…
  5. Do NOT believe these thoughts. The mind is just doing what the mind does. Do not energize the ridiculous. This is not easy, but it is necessary.
  6. Start healing. Determine whether you need time alone or with your partner or a supportive friend to heal.
  7. Decide what’s next. Choose whether you need to take a break from trying to get pregnant or if you want to get back in the saddle.
  8. Seek out whatever it is that gives you pleasure. Find something that makes you happy, and do it/buy it/experience it. And if it doesn’t make you feel better the first time, try again the next day.

Remember, there’s always darkness before the dawn. No journey is perfect, and many women experience multiple failures before achieving success. You may need to adjust to new realities a few more times before this quest is resolved. Feel your strength. Give yourself credit. Keep your sights on your goal. If something isn’t working for you, adjust and start again, or try something new. If you can keep going emotionally and financially, the reward is so worth it, it will make the long journey to get there a little easier to bear.

If you’re curious about egg donation, we’re happy to help.

If you’re ready to learn more about growing your family through surrogacy, we can help with that, too.