An in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment can be cancelled at any stage of the process.
First of all, the ovarian stimulation phase can force us to stop the cycle in the event that the woman does not respond to the medication administered or the response is not as optimal as expected. So sometimes it is better to stop, restart with another medication or another dose, or consider ovodonation.
Once the stimulation has been completed, it may happen that, after the puncture, no oocytes are obtained, that is to say, a blank puncture occurs. In addition, there is also the possibility that oocytes are obtained, but they are not mature. In both cases, the IVF cycle cannot be continued because the cells necessary for fertilization, i.e. mature oocytes, are not present.
The third moment at which an IVF cycle can be stopped is after the oocytes and sperm have been united, either by microinjection or by conventional in vitro fertilization. Once the union has taken place, fertilization occurs within hours. If fertilization failure occurs, there will be no embryos to transfer to the uterus.
A fourth point at which a cycle can be cancelled is during embryo development. During embryo culture, embryos may fail to divide or block their development. As a result, no embryos will be available for transfer.
Finally, although this is rare, it may happen that the embryos are ready for transfer and on that day, the transfer is difficult and they cannot be introduced into the uterus. In this case, it will be necessary to freeze the embryos and evaluate the best option to allow the passage of the catheter in a later transfer.
All of this indicates that it is very important that we assisted reproduction professionals explain carefully and give guidance on what is expected from the treatments we perform, as well as that patients adjust their perspectives to the reality of their case to avoid the frustration that occurs when the desired objective is not achieved.