What are the reasons for an IVF failure

Fertility disorders in women

The most common fertility problems in women are hormonal disorders and organic disorders in and on the fallopian tubes. Such problems are often only discovered when looking for the causes of an unfulfilled desire to have children.

Statistically speaking, fertility disorders are distributed 30 to 40 percent between women and men. Disturbances are found in both partners in 20 to 30 percent of couples. In around 10 to 15 percent of cases, the cause of the unfulfilled desire to have children remains unclear.

In women, the predominant causes are hormonal problems that result in malfunction of the ovaries or a disruption of egg cell maturation.

Ovaries and fallopian tubes

When the ovaries do not work properly, egg maturation disorders occur. Ovulation may fail and the corpus luteum may not develop properly. This can be caused by an overproduction of male sex hormones (a so-called hyperandrogenemia), an overproduction of the hormone prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), a thyroid malfunction (hyper- or hypothyroidism) or a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO). In this hormonal and metabolic disorder, the ovaries are enlarged, usually due to cysts. Women with PCO often fail to ovulate and their bodies make too many male sex hormones.

Possible reasons for such functional and hormonal disorders are severe underweight or overweight, major weight changes in a short time, excessive physical stress, frequent, extremely stressful stress or the use of certain medications.

In about a third of all unwanted childless women, the fallopian tubes are completely or partially closed. The most common cause of this is inflammation, previous ectopic pregnancies, surgery or endometriosis. If the fallopian tubes are stuck together, closed or their mobility is impaired by adhesions, the transport of the egg cell or the passage of the sperm cells to the egg cell is difficult or even impossible.

Cervix and uterus

If the cervix is ​​scarred as a result of an operation or inflammation, it is difficult or impossible for the sperm to get to the egg cell in the fallopian tube. Usually the cervix is ​​closed by a plug of mucus. At the time of ovulation, the mucus liquefies to let the sperm through. Infection or hormonal imbalances can disrupt this process.

Muscle nodes (myomas) in the uterus can - depending on their location and size - hinder fertilization and implantation or lead to miscarriages.

In endometriosis, the lining of the uterus settles outside the uterine cavity, for example in the ovaries or fallopian tubes. The disease usually manifests itself in severe pain before and during the menstrual period, and often in pain during sexual intercourse. It can lead to changes in the reproductive organs and adhesions in the abdominal cavity, which can make conception and pregnancy difficult. Treating them also often has an impact on fertility.

Repeated miscarriages

According to estimates, almost 50 percent of all pregnancies end - almost always unnoticed - before or with the expected menstrual period. Medicine speaks of repeated miscarriages (habitual abortions) as a disease requiring treatment after three consecutive miscarriages.

The most common cause of miscarriages are genetic malformations in the unborn child. Other causes can be infections of the mother, but also fibroids or thyroid disorders. Congenital malformations of the uterus are rather rare. The cause of miscarriages often remains unclear.

Immunological sterility

In the case of immunological sterility, the immune system may treat its own egg or sperm cells as foreign bodies and attack them. However, there are only a few diseases in which one suspects that their own defense substances (antibodies) prevent pregnancy.