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The Disappointment of a Cancelled Cycle

a blog by Maya Moskin, June 5, 2014

One thing I was never told about was the dreaded cancelled cycle. I had to learn about that one on my own. A cancelled cycle happens when things don’t go according to plan. There could be a number of reasons why a cycle must be cancelled. There could be a low response to medication, or possibly a cyst that grows. The body is sometimes unpredictable and uncontrollable, and during IVF, when things need to be manipulated in a very specific way, there is little room for spontaneity.

I just learned this the hard way. I’ve been preparing for frozen embryo transfer of a donated embryo that’s in another state, and while my reproductive system was supposed to be shutting down on birth control and Lupron, instead it was having a party. I had more dominant follicles during the suppression than I did during the stimulation phase of my IVF cycle! Go figure! It was strange, but occasionally it does happen. Though I’ve been actively in the world of infertility for several years, I didn’t realize canceling a frozen embryo transfer was something that might happen. So when I was told I would have to cancel this cycle, I was a little shocked.

It’s hard to be working towards something only to be abruptly shut down. It’s upsetting to have spent weeks injecting medication into your body for what ends up to be no reason. It’s frustrating to make plans around a transfer date and then have to cancel them all. But it’s kind of par for the course in the world of infertility.

If there is one main lesson I have learned it is that we really have little control over things and we must be flexible. Infertility is the ultimate test of patience and resilience. With this recent cancelled cycle I am once again reminded to take everything one step at a time, and not get too attached to any plan. The goal in all of this will always be the same, that of a healthy baby, but the steps to get there may be messy and clumsy and definitely not in a straight line. Remembering that I will get there eventually helps me roll with the punches when things don’t go according to plan.

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