Causes & Treatment

Is It Better To Take Breaks Between IVF Cycles?

Eloise Edington  |   18 Oct 2021


Knowing when or if to take breaks in-between IVF cycles can be really confusing as there is no clear answer. You may be recommended different suggestions by fertility specialists, making it hard to know whether taking or not taking a break will affect you or your IVF success rates.

To help make things a little clearer, The Ribbon Box have gathered some information about break periods between IVF cycles and when taking a break becomes necessary. However, always consult with your fertility specialist if you are uncertain about taking a break between cycles.

By Katherine

Delayed and Back-to-Back Cycles

The suggested break period between IVF cycles is one full menstrual cycle following the 4-6 weeks after an embryo transfer with a negative pregnancy test after the two-week wait. Following this, you will then take a break that lasts as long as another menstrual cycle before beginning a new cycle of IVF.  However, by only waiting for one menstrual cycle, this is considered as taking back-to-back IVF cycles because this is essentially the bare minimum break that is required to be taken.

Any break that lasts longer than one menstrual cycle is referred to as a delayed IVF cycle. In terms of the strain either option has on your body and what effect it has on the success rates of your IVF cycles, there is no significant difference.

Mentally Needing a Break

Due to the array of IVF medications, the cost, constant consultations, the waiting and the anxiety that comes with it, IVF can become an all-consuming process. It can preoccupy your thoughts for the duration of your IVF cycles. Suddenly, your life can revolve around fertility without you intending it to.

It can be useful to take a step back from IVF cycles to clear your thoughts, de-stress and remember who you are. While this is, of course, an opportunity to take a emerge from the IVF fog, it might also be comforting to know that by taking time out to manage your stress and anxiety, you are actually improving your chances of conception as reducing stress can improve fertility. It is always better to take a break between IVF cycles if you feel that your mental wellbeing is affected.

Physically Needing a Break from IVF

Physically Needing a Break

The medications that are taken alongside IVF treatment can be physically exhausting. Some people find that injecting themselves with fertility treatment is a very tough experience, especially if they have an aversion to needles.

Additionally, some medications that are used alongside IVF treatment, such as those used for ovarian stimulation, can cause inflammation. Some fertility specialists will recommend waiting for that inflammation to subside before going ahead with another round. Therefore, it is better to take a break between IVF cycles if you feel that this is necessary for your physical health. 

Finances

Unfortunately, fertility treatments such as IVF can be costly. While there are things that can help, such as loans, infertility insurance coverage and even in some cases free rounds of IVF offered by particular fertility clinics, this usually doesn’t cover the costs of all aspects of treatment. For example, some insurance plans won’t cover IVF costs for couples past a certain age, some won’t cover multiple rounds of IVF and others only cover medication prices.

It is understandable that you may need to hold off in order to save for any future rounds of IVF. Taking a break for financial reasons is completely understandable and as mentioned above, this will not affect the success rates of your treatment. (However, keep in mind that postponing treatment for years may affect egg age and quality).

To answer the question is it better to take breaks between IVF cycles, taking time out in-between cycles can be better for you mentally, physically and financially. You may also find some comfort in knowing that taking breaks that are delayed as opposed to back-to-back will not have a significant impact on your IVF success rates.

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