In vitro fertilisation (IVF) failures

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) failures

Each of the stages of in vitro fertilisation can be marked by failures known as "setbacks". At each of the stages below, your doctor or the team may decide that the optimum conditions have not been met for moving on to the next stage.


IVF failures during ovarian stimulation

As ovarian stimulation is stage 1 of IVF, this is where the first setbacks can occur. These failures can be the result of several factors:

  • "Blocking" failure: the ovaries are not blocked, but a follicle has been recruited early (it has grown before the others). This means that stimulation cannot be started.
  • Insufficient ovarian response. If there are too few follicles growing to guarantee optimal oocyte collection and embryo transfer, your stimulation may be stopped before the puncture.
  • Inadequate uterus, intrauterine polyp
  • Uncontrolled ovarian hyperstimulation
  • Premature ovulation

Your doctor will inform you via Wistim of the day-to-day monitoring of these treatments and the results of your tests, as well as the next stage in your care.

Once you have decided on the optimum moment for maturation, you will need to give an injection of hCG (OVITRELLE®) or Decapeptyl®, which will trigger the final stage of oocyte maturation.

This injection must be given at an extremely precise date and time to allow the subsequent stages to proceed smoothly.


IVF failures during oocyte puncture and sperm collection

After the ovarian stimulation stage, there are still risks of IVF accidents.

  • "White puncture": it may turn out that no oocyte is collected during the puncture, even if there were follicles visible on ultrasound.
  • Sperm collection failure. Remember to inform the medical team if your partner has already had problems with sperm collection.
  • Visualisation of a hydrosalpinx (fluid in the fallopian tube preventing proper implantation).


IVF failures during fertilisation and embryo culture

Unfortunately for couples, accidents can happen right up to the end of IVF.

Delayed embryo transfer :

The transfer may be delayed (by a few weeks) if there is a risk of hyperstimulation, or if the thickness of the endometrium is inadequate.

In this case, the embryos will be frozen and only the embryo transfer stage will be carried out at a later date.

A deferred transfer can also be decided in advance by your doctor to optimise your care.


Written by:

Dr. Soizic Le Parco,                                                                                                                                                                        Fertility and medically assisted procreation centre,
The Institut Mutualiste Montsouris


ARTUltrasoundIVFEgg RetrievalSpermogramOvarian StimulationEmbryo Transfer

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