#IVF: How many times do you try?

At what point do you start asking yourself ‘how many more times am I going to go through this in-vitro process?’

Straight after a failed IVF cycle, I would fill my head with all the reasons as to why it could possibly have failed. I’d try and find an answer, somehow try and make sense of it all. I would meticulously go through my steps over the past 2 weeks and place great stress and strain on myself and those around me, as I tried to uncover any possible red flags that could have caused another round of ivf to fail. I would think that if I found the answer, I could learn from it, and avoid it for the next time we tried again. That hope of a positive pregnancy result was driving me mad and messing with my  head, my emotions, and my life balance.

Alongside this, I would be looking at and playing with the next steps, and thinking about what my options were. How long before we could try again, what if I changed my fertility specialist, what if I went on a retreat before implant to ensure greater relaxation, and avoid stressful times with hubby. What if I stayed in bed the days following implant… maybe then it would work. Yet, women in times of war still fell pregnant and managed to deliver babies.

So having gone through a stressful time with the round of IVF then, the bad news that it hadn’t worked, and now, keeping myself in this state of stress by adding the ‘what if’s’ pressure – it all gets a bit much! These dark days are very hard to get through… not to mention for the husbands too.

However, at the end of the day, nature is nature and it will take the course it’s going to. Nothing you do or don’t do will necessarily aid or destroy the success of implant. Its just…. how many times can you put yourself and your partner through this process? You don’t need to worry about “when is enough?” as you’ll just know.

For me, I’ve gone through 11 ivf’s, using 3 different egg donors, and now, almost 44 years old, I need to be realistic. You move from desperately wanting your eggs and your husband’s sperm, to finally accepting that your chances may increase if you use a donor egg. Once you have made peace with that, and it still doesn’t work, you might then start to think about Surrogacy. Every time you think you’re getting closer, the goal posts move even further away.

You will know intuitively when to try again or move to the next step. Trust yourself and don’t stress any more than you need to.

Even though every time gets harder, you do still move forward. You move forward with renewed determination, and having learnt a little more.

Here are some tips to get through this minefield:

  1. STOP! Just breathe
  2. Try and do daily 10min Meditations – free on YouTube
  3. Take a break after implant hasn’t worked – you may not feel you need it but you do!
  4. List a few things that you are grateful for – remind yourself how lucky you are. Do this regularly – you will be amazed at how a simple “gratitude list” can lift your mood and change your attitude.

And remember, you are not alone.
#IVFSupport #YouAreNotAlone

To assist women experiencing infertility, please ‘Follow’ www.ivfsupport.co.za and ‘Like’ https://www.facebook.com/IVFSupportSA/


  1. We have just gone through our 3rd failed cycle of icsi. I so desperately want a baby but are starting to question if i want to go through that stress again. I really want a baby but as you said nature will run its course and we can just hope it works next time. I just feel so down and out at the moment. I have promised myself that even if it don’t work out for us i won’t ask why. I find myself now asking that although i really don’t want to as with it comes just more stress and feelings of hopelessness.


    1. Hi Judy, this journey is not made for sissies, thats for sure! We tried 14 ivf’s. I don’t know how I did it now that I look back. We used egg donors and then finally a surrogate. What I’m trying to say is that you always hope. Just one more try… then, just one more. And the crazy thing is it is true. All it takes is a successful 1 time and you could get your baby. Its so frustrating that we just don’t know.
      I’m not sure of your age or finances but they both have an effect on your decision. What ever you do decide, don’t let it take away from what you do have in your life. If you have a great partner for instance, don’t compromise this relationship in the process. Hold onto what you do have and try and give gratitude for that. I find when I said my thank you’s and listed daily what I was grateful for, it helped me rise above the fertility journey a bit.
      Good luck Judy. You will know what is best for you!


      1. Thank you for your encouragement. We currently at Tygerberg Hospital, private to expensive for us. I am turning 42 next year the cut of age at Tygerberg. I have a great support system in the form of my husband. He wants to adopt now but I am just not for it. We will give it our last shot next year due to my age. Luckily for us we are blessed with the best doctor he supports us all the way.
        Thank you once again.


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