FET BFN Aftermath: The Phone Calls

Since not many people in ‘real’ life know what we have been up to, there thankfully, weren’t many calls to make.  On Saturday, after we got the official results, I called my parents.  Yesterday, I called my RE’s office.

Telling my parents was hard.  Harder than I thought.  They were genuinely surprised and I could hear the hope and excitement fade to disappointment and concern.  I realized after, that they probably never seriously considered that it wouldn’t work for me.  One of my sisters had to do IVF because her husband had had testicular cancer when he was young.  She did one round, had 12 embryos frozen, got pregnant on the fresh transfer and on her 2 subsequent frozen transfers (and had her insurance through Massachusetts, so the IVF was all covered!!).  Her first frozen transfer ended in a miscarriage, but still- she had gotten pregnant every time she did a transfer.  I think they just expected it to work.  They also haven’t been fully informed on the years worth of BFNs we have experienced.  I think it made my husband feel better about the fact that his parents don’t know, so we didn’t have to make that phone call too.

Yesterday (Monday), I called my REs office and spoke with his nurse.  After being put on hold for about 20 minutes, I told her that I was instructed to call after my test results.  She asked, “what test?”  A little taken aback, I said “the pregnancy test.” Immediately she says, very excited- “Oh!  Was it positive?” My answer, of course, was a considerably less excited- “no.”  Back on hold for a bit. Then, “Oh- they didn’t send the results over until today, he would have called you over the weekend, but he’ll call today.”

So I am careful to keep the phone nearby all day, and of course he doesn’t call until after 5pm while my husband and I tried to squeeze in a little sunset walk.  We made it back home where I had my questions written down while still on the phone.  Here’s a recap of my questions:

Is there any way to know what went wrong?  Shocker- no, since we didn’t end up doing the genetic testing of the embryos, it could have been an embryo issue or an implantation issue.

Is there anything we should do differently next time?  His only suggestion was to try doing the estrogen patches for an extra week (funny, that’s exactly what I tried to avoid doing the first time!)

Is there any potential problem with doing the 2 embryos we have left together even though one was a day 5 and one was a day 6 blastocyst?  He explained that they would have to thaw the day 5 one earlier to let it ‘catch up’ to the day 6 one.  Which confused me a bit, because I thought the reason it was frozen on day 6 was because it reached the blastocyst stage behind the others, but now he’s saying it’s further developed?  He also said that having one sit around after thawing is potentially bad for it, so this makes me nervous to thaw one earlier and have it just sitting there until we thaw the other.  He said he would have the embryologist call me to discuss it further.

Are there any other tests we can do to see if there is something that might be problematic for implantation?  He basically said he couldn’t think of anything.  I probed further asking about autoimmune issues, endometrial tests, the MTHFR genetic test?  He said the autoimmune stuff is not considered diagnosable, treatable, or significant by the two major Reproductive Endocrinology Societies.  He said the endometrial tests are possible, but didn’t seem to think they would be worthwhile.  The MTHFR he wouldn’t discuss at all because he insists it’s only relevant to people who have had multiple miscarriages.  It was pretty frustrating for me because I have read things written by other REs that take these things more seriously for people that have a hard time getting pregnant, and I was a little annoyed that he didn’t even seem to want to acknowledge them.  Here’s an example of an RE with different opinions on some of these.

So, there it is.  He did say that he often finds people that don’t succeed on the first FET have better luck on #2.  I’d just like to do a little more than hope he’s right, if there is anything we can do to improve our chances of success I’d like to know now, before it’s too late!!



  1. I am glad you were able to speak with him, but feel very disappointed for you as it doesn’t sound like he offered a lot of ideas or suggestions for how to increase your chances next time. We struggled to get our RE to look outside the box to try to find our issue, so I understand your frustration right now. Is it worth speaking to another doctor, if that’s even an option for you?


  2. I’m sorry that you’re going through this, and with what seems like not the greatest support from your RE (mine wasn’t either). A tip on phone calls- we tell people that no news is bad news, and if there’s good news we will call them. That way, you don’t have to make a ton of phone calls right after a BFN, which is when you most likely just want to be in your bedroom crying. REs seem to have a “prerequisite” number of losses before they will consider treating you like an actual unique case. I hope your naturopath will help answer some of your questions. As for supplements, I plan to do a post about it soon on my blog, as I’ve researched far and wide, and have consulted with a naturopath myself for some suggestions. Hugs to you.


  3. Have you heard or have i told you of the endometrial array test? My friend had two failed FETs with PGD tested embryos, it took her 4 months of endo testing to find her “time window” for implantation but once they did and transferred on that day she got and stayed pregnant. Its becomming more and more known for women with trouble getting pregnant and failed IVF/FET. Fight for you right to change what your feel is necessary!


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