Covid-19 to lifestyle factors: A doctor on top reasons that lead to IVF failure
- A well-balanced and stress-free lifestyle can slash down the chances of recurrent IVF failure.
If you are trying to become parents but frustrated about the recurrent IVF failures, here's all you need to know. Recurrent IVF failure happens when there is a good endometrium lining inside the uterus and you have good embryos but they don’t get attached preventing pregnancy. This is called IVF failure and when it happens twice, you need to know the reason behind it.
Now let's talk about the factors leading to IVF failure.
The implantation occurs when there is an embryo and endometrium dialogue. When embryos get accepted in the endometrium (the inside lining of the uterus) then only a woman can become pregnant. So, whenever a failure occurs, it needs to be reasoned out categorically. The first reason could be to evaluate the embryo as the embryo is the primary important factor that has to be of the best quality. The quality of the embryo needs to be improved.
If embryos are transferred on day 3 then probably we don’t know whether they have potential to grow inside. So, in those patients one should prefer blastocyst D5 Embryo transfer as that may give a good pregnancy and success rate.
Covid-19 behind IVF failure?
The embryo forms because of the gametes that means eggs and sperms when they unite with each other. The sperm that is a male factor is taken into consideration first. Especially during the pandemic, we know that Covid-19 virus gets entry into the Sertoli and Leydig cells in the testis. So, those patients who have been Covid positive tend to have negative effect on the semen parameter. Otherwise, also, any infection can lead to negative impact on the sperm factor. Even having abnormal blood sugar levels and diabetes can be problematic and have to be critically evaluated.
Lifestyle factors behind poor sperm quality
Many times, the pregnancy occurs and there is spontaneous abortion. That is also one of the factors hampering the development of the embryo. The sperm can get affected by consumption of alcohol, smokes, or chewing tobacco as they take a toll on the sperm quality. The sperm quality can be assessed with the help of a sperm DNA fragmentation test. The sperm is the only cell with a small cytoplasm that repairs the sperm or the nucleus. Thus, sperm fragmentation or sperm problems can crop up. Sperm is tightly packed DNA. Whenever there is tightly packed then DNA fragmentation is the possibility. And that’s how the embryo turns out to be of poor quality and cannot be implanted. These factors need to be taken care of when it comes to male factor. In the severe cases of men, sperm donation will be required when the quality of the sperm cannot be improved.
Poor egg quality
Women aged 35 and above will have a high possibility of poor egg quality. If the woman also suffers from certain conditions such as endometriosis, low ovarian reserve, and diabetes then these factors can lead to infertility and poor-quality eggs. These factors also deteriorate the quality of an egg and have to be thoroughly checked. If there are fewer eggs then option remains for an egg donor IVF cycle.
Another factor is Endometrium (inside lining of the Uterus) which also needs to be evaluated. Rule out any infections in the lining of the uterus like tuberculosis (TB), and treat them promptly.
The failure is also caused due to mismatch in the day of the implantation (Implantation Window) of the embryo transfer day. If it doesn’t match then, one may miss the pregnancy.
To avoid recurrent IVF failure, embrace a healthy lifestyle. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and alcohol, meditate, maintain an optimum weight, and get a good night’s sleep of minimum 8 hours along with proper medical treatment of infertility.
(Dr Bharati Dhorepatil is Consultant Infertility Expert, NOVA IVF Fertility, Pune, views expressed in this article are author's own)