You will naturally have periods within one to two weeks after unsuccessful IVF. But sometimes, your body might not induce the menstrual cycle for several weeks after a failed IVF.
It is normal to feel uneasy if you don’t get your period even after 37 days of embryo transfer. If it is delayed, you might worry about your health getting affected.
Don’t worry! In this article, we have discussed in detail why your period got delayed and why your IVF cycle failed. Use this as a reference to rectify those mistakes in the next cycle.
Why Are There No Periods After 37 Days of a Failed IVF?
Hormonal changes due to medications are one of the main factor for delayed periods after a failed IVF. These changes occur due to the progesterone present in the medication.
If you don’t have your periods even after 37 days of IVF failure, it might be because your body hasn’t started to expel the dead embryo and uterine tissues.
This might cause serious complications. So, visit a doctor, do an ultrasound test and identify the cause of IVF failure and delayed menstruation.
If Not Pregnant After IVF, When Does Your Period Start?
If you had a failed implantation, there is a high chance that you will get your period within one to two weeks of embryo transfer.
Women who had their embryo transfer during a natural cycle will have their periods on the usual day.
Women who take progesterone medications after embryo transfer will have their periods three to five days after stopping them.
Your period is the most obvious indication of a failed IVF cycle. This is often accompanied by symptoms like abdominal cramps, nausea, headache, mood swings, etc.
Menstrual cycle after failed IVF is lighter in color and lasts shorter than regular periods.
Reason for IVF Failure
Embryo implantation failure
This happens when the embryo fails to implant in the uterine lining. Certain tubal and uterine conditions, like hydrosalpinges, PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, etc., can prevent the embryo from implanting.
These conditions can also affect the blood flow between the uterus and embryo and prevent embryo development.
Quality of eggs
When it comes to IVF treatments, the younger the woman, the higher the chances of success. This is because the quality and quantity of your eggs decrease as age increases.
Studies have found that women younger than 35 have higher chances of IVF success than women over 40.
The eggs of women over 40 have also been found to have chromosomal abnormalities that can be passed to the baby.
Your body naturally produces one or two mature eggs every month. During IVF, you are administered hormonal injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce more mature eggs for fertilization.
These injections are harmless. But sometimes, your ovaries may respond adversely to these injections and cause complications like inflammation, bleeding, abdominal pain, etc.
Quality of sperm
Just like an egg, the quality of the sperm also determines the success rate of an IVF. Low-quality sperm can lead to lower fertilization rates and produce low-quality embryos.
During IVF, the sperm are placed in a petri dish with the eggs. The sperm need to be able to swim and pierce the zona pellucida (outer shell) to fertilize them. A poor-quality sperm won’t be able to do this.
Sperm may also have chromosomal abnormalities that can be passed on to the baby. So, sperm need to be selected carefully.
Genetic and chromosomal causes
This condition often occurs in couples who are over 40 or if they have any genetic or unexplained infertility issues.
The embryos developed from these couples’ eggs and sperm often have chromosomal issues (excess or fewer chromosomes). This may affect successful implantation in the uterus.
Sometimes, even if the eggs and sperm are of good quality, the resultant embryo may have some chromosomal abnormalities, leading to IVF failure if it is not identified before embryo transfer.
The embryos are usually sent for a PGS (Preimplantation Genetic Screening) before implantation to select the best embryo with the highest chances of success.
Can You Try Again for IVF? If Yes, Then When?
Yes, you can try again for IVF after a failed implantation. Studies also show that the success rate increases as the number of cycles increases. So, there is no need to feel discouraged after a failed IVF cycle.
The average gap doctors recommend women leave after a failed cycle is about four to six weeks or until they have at least one full menstrual cycle.
Why do you need a break after IVF failure?
This 4–6 week gap can give your ovaries time to recover from the previous ovulation stimulation and prepare your uterus for another cycle. You can also use this time to recover physically and emotionally from the stress of IVF failure.
Take measures to avoid IVF failure
You can discuss with your fertility doctor the possible causes of IVF failure and take the necessary steps to avoid them during the next cycle.
IVF cycles can be expensive. Take a break and get your finances ready before starting another cycle.
IVF failure is common, and most people only succeed in becoming pregnant during the third or fourth cycle. Discuss with your doctor the possible causes of failure and understand what you can do to avoid those causes in the future.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, it is possible for a woman who had a failed IVF cycle to have late periods. This is usually caused due to hormonal changes in the body caused by progesterone medication.
It might even be due to some medical conditions. So, it is best to consult a doctor if women don’t have periods within two weeks of embryo transfer.
Progesterone treatments often involve a two-week wait before checking if menstruation is induced. A pregnancy test must be done because progesterone might cause a delay in your period.
If the IVF cycle fails, periods usually start 3–5 days after stopping the medication.
Other than pregnancy, there are numerous reasons why your menstruation could be late. Your menstrual cycle can be influenced by stress, sickness, weight gain/loss, nutrition, and more. Your menstruation may delay if you use hormonal birth control or emergency contraception.