One of a fertility doctor’s most difficult jobs is trying to find answers for patients when we’ve done everything we possibly can to help them and yet things still don’t work. The emotional, physical and financial costs of going through IVF cycle after IVF cycle with genetic testing to transfer gorgeous euploid (normal chromosomes) embryos to only have failure after failure are great . The loss takes a toll on the human spirit.
The diagnosis in cases like this is implantation failure and we often ask patients to consider gestational surrogacy. Looking at a patient’s window of implantation can be very helpful. A new study describes a possible explanation to support the theory that implantation failure may be due to receptivity issues within the lining of the uterus due to decreased receptor levels of insulin-like growth factors (IGF1R). The researchers found that IGF1R has a previously unknown role to play in the attachment process and that when it is reduced there is a higher probability that the embryo won’t attach.
When reading the study, note that they quote general IVF success rates of 25%. Success rates are higher in the US than in other countries.