Cancelled IVF Cycle

Definition - What does Cancelled IVF Cycle mean?

A cancelled cycle may occur if, after starting fertility treatments, it is decided that a woman or her eggs are not healthy enough to proceed with the full in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. This generally means a cycle where ovarian stimulation was started, but which was stopped before the egg retrieval procedure, or before frozen embryos were transferred.

A cancelled cycle may also be known as an abandoned cycle.

FertilitySmarts explains Cancelled IVF Cycle

The decision to cancel a cycle can be made by the patient or may be made by the healthcare provider if they feel that continuing the cycle would present unacceptable health risks or financial risks to the patient.

Health risks may include an unrelated illness, such as influenza, that may increase health risks from IVF procedures in the near future, and unexpected reactions to fertility medications.

Financial risks may include situations where doctors have deemed that this cycle is unlikely to result in a successful pregnancy, and do not want the patient to spend money on additional procedures that are unlikely to yield success. This kind of cancellation may occur if too few eggs are produced by fertility treatments, or if problems are observed with the embryos prior to implantation.

Reasons for IVF cycle cancellation can include:

  • Not enough mature egg follicles produced in response to fertility treatments. Most providers believe that at least 3-6 mature follicles are necessary to produce a sufficient likelihood of live birth at the end of IVF. In this case, doctors may recommend changes to the treatment protocol to produce a better response for future cycles, such as using higher doses, different timing, or different combinations of medications.
  • Health problems related to IVF. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), for example, may occur in response to fertility drugs. This syndrome usually begins mild but may progress to become dangerous if fertility drugs are continued.Women exhibiting early signs of OHSS may be instructed to stop taking fertility drugs and have their cycle canceled.
  • Patient failure to take fertility medications, such as hCG, at the right time. This can make the successful collection of eggs unlikely.
  • Problems with fertilization of after egg retrieval, such as abnormal or failed fertilization, or abnormal embryo development.
  • Patients can also choose to discontinue IVF procedures at any time for personal reasons.

In most cases, a new cycle of IVF can be attempted after adjusting medications to improve chances of success, or after the patient's health issues have passed. However, some patients may be advised against attempting IVF in the future if they had strong adverse reactions to IVF medications or developed a permanent health condition that is incompatible with IVF.

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