Why a second Round of Ivf may Succeed better than the first

Yes and no.

From a purely mathematical point of view the more times you try something with a given success rate the more likely you are to have success – you’re more likely to get pregnant after five rounds of IVF than you are after just one, all other things being equal.

But it’s those “other things” that are far from equal, and that temper any initial enthusiasm a purely mathematical outlook may create. However, when deciding to embark on a second round of IVF there are some things to consider that may mean your chances will be better this time around:

Changes in drug regimen

Based on the results of your last round of IVF you may be prescribed different fertility drugs, or given a different dosage. During a round of IVF dosages may be changed daily, and beginning at a different level from the outset may provide better results. Also if more than one drug is available for a certain part of the treatment your doctor may want to try a different drug to see if your body responds to it in a more positive way.

Changes in procedure

If your number of fertilized embryos relative to the number of eggs harvested was low it may be wise to consider Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) this time around, just to ensure that sperm and egg are getting together. Unless you’re already dealing with a low sperm count or poor motility this may not be something that would be considered on a first attempt.

Changes in implantation

There are a couple of different catheters that can be used to put the embryos into the uterus – one may work better for a particular woman’s body than others. Ensuring this procedure is “relatively painless” and causes the least amount of undue agitation could be important for providing a stable environment in which to implant the embryos and give them the best chance of attaching.

Emotional outlook

There may be some tangible benefits to the wisdom gained from a first round of IVF that may make the second one more successful, depending on the individual situation. But it’s the intangible, emotional benefits that may be the most important. On round two a couple knows what they’re in for – they’ve done the injections, done the appointments, and unless they had a child and are now back trying for their second they know how it feels to have the process end in defeat. Armed with this knowledge a couple can approach IVF in a more pragmatic manner, and get less caught up in the hysteria that is infertility. This in itself may be enough to improve their chances of success.