There are a few main reasons for IVF failure or recurrent implantation failure. Here is a bit about the potential therapies to help.
There is support for several treatment options for women with “recurrent implantation failure” (defined as two or more failed embryo transfers in IVF/ICSI treatment cycles).
Listed below are options we can talk about in a follow-up appointment in the upsetting event of a failed implantation or miscarriage.
Clotting (thrombophilia) screen – Small clots in the blood have been identified as a possible cause for pregnancies failing to progress. In some cases, this can be treated with aspirin or heparin injections to thin the blood.
Immune screen – Increased levels of uterine natural killer cells (white cells) and autoantibodies (antibodies attacking specific organs) have also been suggested as a cause for the repeated failure of cycles. The use of steroids and other drugs to suppress the immune system and to help a pregnancy develop are controversial as some of the drugs used in these treatments have side effects for both a mother and her developing baby. It’s important to understand these risks before deciding with your doctor whether testing or treatment is recommended.
Hysteroscopy or endometrial scratch – We may suggest a hysteroscopy (passing a flexible telescope into the womb under general anaesthetic) if we suspect scar tissue formation or the presence of a fibroid or polyp inside the womb which needs to be removed. There is some evidence that this procedure itself, or performing an endometrial scratch, can increase implantation rates.
Sperm DNA fragmentation – Assessing the degree of damage to sperm DNA can help identify those couples that would benefit from ICSI treatment.
Genetic screening – We can use genetic screening to learn more about embryos before they are implanted, which helps us select the best embryos most likely to implant.
Embryoscope™ (Time-lapse imaging) – Recording information by time-lapse photography allows us to assess more subtle changes seen during embryo development and identify the best embryos for transfer.