At Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen has helped many patients experience the joys of parenthood through IVF treatment. IVF is an assisted reproductive technique that assists with ovulation, fertilization, and implantation to significantly increase the chance of pregnancy.
While many people have undergone successful IVF treatment, there is a risk of failure. When IVF fails, issues most often develop shortly following embryo transfer, when an embryo is unable to implant to the uterus wall. If this happens repeatedly, it is known as recurrent implantation failure. Recurrent implantation failure with IVF can be especially heartbreaking for our Houston, TX, patients.
Here, Dr. Kristiansen discusses recurrent implantation failure, and goes over some of the options available to patients.
What Causes Recurrent Implantation Failure?
IVF treatment requires time, commitment, and money. Many find the experience to be emotionally draining because there is so much depending on the results of treatment. Having said that, it is understandable that patients are eager for an answer when IVF is not a success.
The truth is that a failed IVF cycle is not uncommon. However, many patients find success with subsequent treatment cycles. If an embryo fails to implant in the uterus for three consecutive cycles, that is generally diagnosed as recurrent implantation failure.
If a patient experiences recurrent implantation failure, Dr. Kristiansen will assess the situation to determine the most likely cause of the problem. There are a number of issues that can lead to recurrent implantation failure, including:
- Uterine abnormalities
- Hormonal or metabolic disorders
- Embryo factors
- Male fertility factors
Tests to Identify the Cause of Recurrent Implantation Failure
If patients have experienced recurrent implantation failure, Dr. Kristiansen may order additional testing to determine what is causing the failure. There are a number of tests that may be helpful in pinpointing the cause of implantation failure:
- Hysterosalpingogram, or a uterine evaluation
- Sperm DNA fragmentation test
- Endometrial Receptivity Array (ERA)
- Pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos
- Immunologic tests
What Are My Options Moving Forward?
The options available to patients who have experienced recurrent implantation failure with IVF vary based on the information that is found when follow-up tests are performed. Many patients may still be ideal candidates for IVF treatment, provided that necessary adjustments are made.
In some cases, we find success by altering ovarian stimulation protocols. In other cases, we may suggest that patients permit genetic testing prior to implantation, to further ensure the health of the embryos.
If further testing finds that patients are not likely to find success by proceeding with traditional IVF treatment, there are other options available. Dr. Kristiansen may suggest that patients consider IVF treatment with frozen embryos, donor eggs, or donor sperm, or with the assistance of a surrogate. Our fertility team is happy to find a solution that works best for each of our patient’s unique circumstances.
At Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen and her team offer a wide range of fertility treatments. If you are struggling to conceive and would like to learn how we can help, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (713) 225-5375.