By Cristina Mestre Ferrer BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 04/02/2015

Infertility has increased in recent years and, nowadays, more and more people turn to assisted reproduction clinics in order to have a child.

These patients want to fulfill their dream and finally become parents.

Although thousands of babies are born every year thanks to these techniques, they are not always successful. Undergoing this type of treatments can cause stress and even affect the relationship, so there is a time when you have to say “I’ve had enough”.

Leave the assisted reproduction treatment

Top reasons to stop a treatment

The decision to end the infertility treatment is solely the patient’s or both patients in case of a couple. The patient or patients can end the treatment at any moment. Medical specialists are responsible for advising the patients on what should be done, but they are never the ones to have the last word.

The main reasons for stopping a treatment are:

  • There are no further treatment options available. All possibilities have been exhausted.
  • The couple or patient do not have sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of the treatments.
  • Emotional inability to withstand the stress of starting a new treatment.
  • High-risk pregnancy with important consequences for the health of the fetus and/or mother.
  • The woman turns 50 years old.

Ending an assisted reproduction treatment does not mean the patient has to abandon the dream of forming a family. When conditions are ideal, the patient may start a new treatment. Furthermore, there are other ways of becoming a parent, such as adoption.

Reason for abandoning the assisted reproduction treatment

Emotional state

As for the third reason mentioned above, i.e. emotional inability to cope with a new treatment, psychological support from professionals is very important.

After spending a year maintaining regular unprotected sex without achieving a pregnancy, the couple feels emotionally exhausted and experiences new feelings that may hinder the decision to undergo assisted reproduction.

It’s not easy to face and accept infertility and the necessity of undergoing assisted reproduction treatments. At the beginning of a reproductive treatment, it is imperative to manifest a good emotional state. Enthusiasm and the desire to achieve pregnancy must overcome the fears and doubts.

Many couples need professional psychological support before, during and after the assisted reproduction treatment so that they can face all the unknown feelings and emotions.

Psychological support

If we add possible failures to the emotional stress generated before and during the reproductive process, it is not difficult to understand why many couples don’t have the emotional ability to keep doing the treatments and decide to abandon it and adopt a child in order to start a family.

Most assisted reproduction clinics have specialists in psychology of reproduction that inform, advise and assist patients so that their emotional state does not influence the treatment and so they can learn how to control and manage their feelings in the best way possible.

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Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information
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