Dealing with miscarriage during IVF

IVF was the process that eventually alleviated our infertility issues and granted us our two children, but it was not an easy road by any stretch of the imagination.

Just as miscarriage is a possibility with a normal conception and pregnancy, it, unfortunately, is also possible when undergoing IVF treatment.

Any miscarriage is difficult. We had two miscarriages, both very early in the pregnancies. It was a difficult time but because they happened when I was in the early stages, I didn’t have time to get too attached. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it would be to carry a fetus for months and have told everyone your happy news to have that taken away!

The thing with IVF and miscarriage is that it throws up lots and lots of questions – was it something to do with the quality of the embryo? Or did it just not implant properly? Was it something that I did or didn’t do?
Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers.

With IVF there is a tendency to over-analyze everything. I think this is due to the depth of the process and the emotional, financial and psychological investment in it. I’m not saying that a miscarriage through a non-IVF pregnancy isn’t difficult or that women don’t question everything but with an IVF pregnancy if you can feel like you have already jumped so many hurdles just to get to that point, just to fall pregnant. In my experience, the thought of starting IVF all over again after a miscarriage was so difficult to contemplate.

Consider this though, it’s not all bad news, and it may even be a positive knowing that your body can fall pregnant. In part, the detection of early pregnancies and any subsequent miscarriage is a consequence of the IVF process. In the non-IVF world, as many as 70-75% of all conceptions miscarry. However, when undergoing IVF, because you are tracked by your practioner much more closely, and because you know exactly when conception occurred, ie. the embryo transfer, you also know the earliest possible time when you can undertake a pregnancy test or blood test.

Couples who fall pregnant outside of IVF treatments may have actually been pregnant and had an early miscarriage without even knowing. With the first pregnancy, we were definitely a little naïve. When we did the pregnancy test and it was positive, we were apprehensive and knew there was a high risk of miscarriage in the first trimester, but when we went for our first scan and there was no heartbeat, for some reason we weren’t really prepared for it.

The second time around, I miscarried at around 6 weeks after having a positive pregnancy test. If it had been an unassisted pregnancy, I may not have even known I was pregnant!

Whatever the circumstances of miscarriage, it is important to deal with your loss. Talk to your partner, have a cry or two, take some time off work and time out for yourself. Then when the time is right, you will be ready to try again.

If you would like more information and statistics on miscarriage, please consult Ankoor fertility clinic having experienced IVF Doctors in Mumbai lead by Dr. Kedar Ganla at Fertility clinic in Mumbai