Here’s why: Couples who have no fertility issues have only a 20% chance of achieving pregnancy when they try. “In other words, they are unsuccessful 80% of the time,” says Dr. Kara Nguyen, MD, MPH, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia & Central Pennsylvania.
A 1995 study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that if a couple tries to conceive two days before and / or on the day of the female’s ovulation, the chances of getting pregnant are 36%. However, those chances drop to 10% if the couple tries four to six days before ovulation.
Figuring out when ovulation occurs is no easy task, as there’s some guesswork involved. So it comes as no surprise that a couple will typically have to try several times before they successfully conceive. This helps to put the topic of multiple IVF cycles in perspective. The sequence of events that have to occur in order for a pregnancy to result is long and somewhat complicated. This holds true for couples using IVF and for couples who experience no fertility problems. So couples who fail at their first IVF attempt should take heart and try again.
The webmd.com Pregnancy guide cites the odds for fertile couples at 15% – 25% but notes that these odds drop after the age of 30, and they drop even further as the female’s age increases. Irregular menstrual cycles make it difficult to determine when ovulation happens, so this also has an impact on the odds of getting pregnant. Illnesses and medical conditions can also affect a couple’s ability to get pregnant.
So if your IVF cycle did not bring the results, you were hoping for, discuss the option of another cycle with your IVF doctor. And remember that several attempts are usually required, whether the couple has fertility issues or not.