"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
I can nearly hear your sighs. One of the hardest parts about infertility and its treatment is the need for perseverance. Many of my patients who are now parents will tell you that even more than peaceful patience, going through infertility treatment and keeping your sanity requires maintaining a heavy dose of "hang in there".
Recently, Australian researchers concluded that the likelihood of IVF success increases with each cycle. This is especially true for mothers-to-be who are older than 35, but even for younger women, going through an average of three IVF cycles boosts success rates up to 58 percent.
Granted, this makes common sense in a way -- the more you try something, the greater the odds you'll succeed eventually. But this isn't the first bit of research that hints at something more: the treatment learning curve and the artful practice of medicine.
of course, as Dr. Rosen points out at the end of the article in BioNews, the likelihood of success per cycle decreases, and eventually an end to treatment attempts may need to be considered for some patients. I'll discuss that seemingly paradoxical point in a future blogpost.
For now, I'll leave you to consider the reality that, yes, for many fertility patients who choose IVF, it takes more than one treatment cycle to get pregnant. As I mentioned in my last blogpost, coming to grips with treatment realities is a kind of loss. Perseverance is a good trait to muster. And when you run out of your own, borrow some from a loved one or friend. Keep trying.
More to come...
~ Sonja Kristiansen