Coping with Your Second (or Third or Fourth or More) Embryo Transfer


In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is rarely a simple, straightforward process. Going down this route means finding a patience you didn’t know you had, dealing with complicated emotions, and careful financial planning.

The first round of IVF is not always successful, and many couples will choose to try for a second, third, or fourth time. There is always the possibility of a failed transfer. Sometimes, even a successful transfer can end up resulting in miscarriage.

In the wake of these disappointments, you might make the decision to proceed with another frozen embryo transfer or go through another fresh cycle. Giving it another try may not be easy, but employing a few coping strategies can help you and your partner prepare.

Give Yourself Time

Even if your cycle allows for it, don’t feel like you have to rush into another round of IVF immediately. You may feel like you have to start the process all over again as quickly as possible, but now is the perfect time to pause for a little while.

Every transfer and every round of IVF means you’ll be monitoring your body and playing the waiting game, which can sap your energy. If you know that you’re not quite ready to do it all over again, take all the time you need before making a decision. Even just waiting one month can make a considerable difference in your emotional capacity.

Ask Questions

Knowledge is power. If you feel like you need more information before going forward with another transfer or another round of IVF, now is the time to ask questions. Perhaps your findings will lead you to work with a new fertility specialist at a different clinic.

If there is anything you feel uncertain about before restarting the process, don’t be shy about speaking up. It’s your body (and your money!), and the more you know, the more confident and supported you will feel.

Don’t Blame Yourself

The hard truth about infertility? Sometimes, the cause is obvious, but for many couples, the reasons they struggle to get pregnant will always be a mystery. You can easily keep yourself up at night wondering if you’re somehow responsible. But the truth is, you’re probably not doing anything wrong.

Many people blame themselves for their infertility, even though they know intellectually that it’s unlikely there is anything they could do to change it. It can be tough to break out of this negative thought spiral, but it’s important to be gentle with yourself.

Focus on Emotional Healing

Need a little more softness for yourself as you begin another round of IVF? Now is the time to ramp up the self-care.

No need to feel guilty about booking a massage for yourself, picking up a few of your favorite treats at the grocery store, or spending your Saturday on a long, peaceful hike. You’ve definitely earned the right to just focus on you for a little while.

Have an Honest Conversation With Your Partner

Before going into another transfer or round of IVF, it’s important to communicate honestly with your partner. How do they feel about trying again? How do you feel? Are either or both of you wondering whether or not it’s really worth the stress? Are you worried about the cost? It’s crucial to discuss all of this and more.

Now is also the moment to tackle some tough questions. You both might want to lay out some of your thoughts about the next steps. If this transfer fails again, would you be open to continuing with IVF? Or would you start exploring other options at that point? Bear in mind that it can be hard to know how one might feel in advance of an outcome, and so it is important to be gentle with yourself and with your partner if either of you feels differently later on.

Be patient with each other while having these conversations. You may not agree on your initial answers, but you’re in this together. And your goal is to come out the other side ready to face whatever the future holds, together.

Are you pursuing IVF and seeking a safe place to process your emotions? Contact me today to inquire about fertility counseling.