Busting the Myth: Understanding Failed Embryo Implantation in IVF and Embracing Realistic Expectations

It can be incredibly frustrating when a high-quality embryo fails to implant in what seems to be an ideally receptive endometrium, leaving both patients and doctors searching for answers. This entire area is not well-understood, which is why various approaches are being explored to address failed implantation, such as acupuncture, lifestyle changes, increasing progesterone doses, embryo biopsies, and endometrium receptivity assays.

However, the reality is that there is nothing you or your doctor can do to influence embryo implantation. While this may be disheartening and humbling for doctors and patients alike, it means that if the process doesn't work out successfully you don't need to blame yourself.

Unfortunately, some doctors may take advantage of desperate patients who have experienced failed IVF cycles by suggesting alternative methods like using donor eggs or sperm or surrogacy – not because these options will increase success rates but because they generate more income for the doctor. It's crucial to do your own research and understand that once an embryo is inside the uterus it's safe; there's very little anyone can do to affect its outcome.

Having realistic expectations helps prevent disappointment during this process. Going through a second IVF cycle after experiencing a failed one often becomes easier because you know what to expect and have peace of mind knowing all possible steps were taken.

When seeking treatment options for future attempts at conception make sure you find a kind empathetic doctor who recommends frozen transfers which are less invasive procedures, because they require no injections nor time off from work.

If you are unsure about what steps should be taken next, please feel free to email me at with photographs of your embryos so I can provide helpful suggestions. You can see what embryos should look like at

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.