How do you cope with BFN after BFN?


My Story:
I have been on my journey to baby #1 for technically over 6 years. I say technically because I knew before I married my DH that he had already had a vasectomy at an early age and that he wasn’t really interested in having any children. It took me over 10 years to finally convince him and now I am at a little over 1 year since officially trying for baby #1. I knew having endometriosis could potentially be an issue for conceiving, but have a very mild amount of growth and OB had reassured me that everything looked great for me on the baby front if/when I was able to try. DH and I went into our first fresh cycle very optimistic with the RE telling us we were textbook patients and that he was almost positive we’d conceive on the first try. I responded well to stims and retrieved TONS more eggs than the 8-10 that were anticipated. We were even more elated after finding that 17 of them had fertilized (even though it was half of what we had retrieved). I was quite bummed when we had only 2 high-quality and 1 low-quality embryo’s left to freeze after we transferred 2 day-3 embryo’s but didn’t figure I needed to worry about that, as they would just end up being siblings to the first transferred ones anyway.

I was shocked to get my BFN 2 weeks later and it didn’t really help to hear the RE say he was also shocked and had already chalked us up to a “for sure positive result.” I was devastated and took about 4 days before I wouldn’t erupt into sobs and any given moment throughout the day. I went through every stage of grief in a couple weeks time and was especially angry that we had paid so much money for absolutely nothing to show for it. I kept myself going based on the fact that we still had 3 embryo’s left and that was still plenty to complete our family. I was finally able to get over the devastation of the first failure when I began the process for an FET. I felt so much better going into this transfer and was VERY optimistic about this transfer being THE one. I had even almost convinced myself that it was going to be twins as I was THAT confident.

I knew after the first day after transfer it had worked. I know that is crazy–but I just knew. I felt EVERYTHING. I felt twinges, cramping, and tons of other things going on inside from the night of transfer. I was extremely excited! I got my first squinter BFP on a HPT at 5dp5dt and it just kept getting darker. Beta day came and it was a strong 110 for my HCG level. A few days later, though, all the feelings I had had since transfer day started disappearing and then nothing. By the time I got my 2nd beta a week later & the day after Mother’s Day–I was down to a 9 for HCG. I was again, devastated. Even more so than last time because this time–I had been given hope only to have it ripped away. I think it is fair to say that I was mentally lost for quite awhile. Sure, I went through the everyday monotony of getting up, going to work, doing daily things, but I was beyond devastated. It all came to a peak when about 2 weeks later I went through the physical pain and torture of passing the growth that was once my hopeful baby. I went through it as I was home, alone, and thought I was never going to make it through! I was actually amazed, though, at how calm I felt after it was finally over and how much closure it gave to the whole pregnancy.

Then came EXTREME pain within a month. I was unable to hardly get out of bed, threw up the little bit of food I was able to eat and was taking around 5 pain pills a day with little effect. The pain was blamed on a small fibroid I had known was in the top of my uterus, but had supposedly never had any issues with. Throughout the processes and pregnancy of the past few months, it had doubled in size and needed to be removed. This would push back transfer of my last, low-quality embie for at least 3 months but obviously needed to be done. The surgery was ROUGH! It took a good 8 weeks to feel mostly normal and the swelling in my belly didn’t go away for about 3 months. I still don’t have all feeling in the area around the incision which, I’ve been told, is similar to a c-section incision. I have also been told that I will have to deliver any future babies via c-section because of the surgery. It turned out that the “fibroid” they had to remove was actually a big mass of endometriosis in the lining of my uterus (adenomyosis) and it was most likely the culprit for the miscarriage and lack of implant in my IVF cycles. It was also the reason I had been having chronic pain for at least 2 weeks of every month since I was about 20 years old (almost 13 years!) and also pain during intercourse. I have now been pain free (as far as my endo pain) since the surgery.

I was eventually put on a 3-month regimen of depo-Lupron and told I could try for another transfer in December. Meanwhile, though, my relationship with dh was getting to a dangerous, negative level. I was able to finally talk him into going to couples therapy in September and have been going almost weekly since. I feel like it has made quite a bit of difference already, but we still have a long way to go especially since the most recent setback of our 3rd BFN. I don’t officially get the results of it being a BFN until the beta test tomorrow, but I have known since 6 days past transfer that it didn’t work. I have had absolutely no symptoms and continue to get stark white results on HPT’s. I am again devastated, but feel a bit more prepared going into the test and hearing the results. Even feeling this way, though, I have broken down a few times already, but keep picking myself up and carrying on.

Now that I have written a novel, and maybe no one has gotten this far in reading it…I have a question. How do people cope with the continual disappointment of BFN after BFN, especially when you have been told it was only supposed to be a male factor issue? Also–how do people afford to continue this journey when they want a baby so bad? I see so many people that have done multiple fresh and frozen cycles and wonder how they handle the financial aspect of it.

I have found myself so angry and depressed through this process, yet feel that I need to continue on quickly in order to get over past disappointments. I blame myself for all the failures and have really suffered when it comes to self-esteem through this whole process. I also don’t help the situation by taking out my frustrations out on my poor dh (which doesn’t help with him wanting to continue this journey). Any advice and/or helpful info on what to do at this point would really be appreciated.

Thank you for reading my LONG post and I hope that I am able to get some support as I go through all this. I know I am not alone in my journey and am really needing some help, advice & support. I need some positive thoughts…


Hi there-- Thank you for sharing your story. Although our situations are (somewhat) different, there are quite a few similarities (kinda scary actually). My husband and I have been trying for (almost) 3 years now and last year I started going to group therapy where I talk and share with other women who are also traveling through this infertility journey. It’s been helpful (except for the the time I left group for some time since all the women in the group were expecting, but me) to have an outlet where everyone understands the sadness and heartache we experience without having to explain every little detail. There’s just no easy way around our emotions (especially this time of year). I’ve learned to take things day-by-day, one foot in front of the other and if I need to cry, I cry. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been difficult in our marriage, but we’ve seen a therapist and try to keep our lines of communication open. If one of us is having a bad day (re: fertility), it’s important to recognize it, address it and give each other whatever space (and/or support) is needed. Before we met with a therapist, my husband felt I came to him with my feelings expecting him to “fix” things. He has come to realize that sometime I just need someone to hear me and hold me when I cry. As for me, I’ve realized that although he IS sad, his feelings are more of anger stemmed from his sadness so when he shows signs of his anger, I have to remember it’s not towards me but the situation we’re faced with. Anyway–I just wanted to comment on your post to let you know that someone out there is reading and thinking about you. Happy Holidays, Anna Me: 33, Endometriosis Stage II, FSH (at its highest) = 10.7 DH: 37: Perfect with “super sperm” October 2010: Married! March 2011: First visit with RE April 2011: All our initial tests come back normal (our RE said we’d be “easy” patients) June 2011: IUI #1 = BFN July 2011: IUI #2 = BFN September 2011: IUI #3 = BFN October 2011: Laproroscopy/Hysteroscopy reveals stage II endo (80% removed) December 2011: IUI #4 = BFN February 2012: IUI #5 = BFN April 2012: IUI #6 = BFN [Took a short break to prepare for IVF] August 2012: IVF #1 (USC Fertility); 11 eggs retrieved, 8 mature, 8 fertilize with ICSI (6 embryos on ice) September 2012: Fresh transfer with two, 3 day 8 cell “text book” embryos = BFN October 2012: FET #1 with two 8 cell and one so-so embryos = BFP! (Chemical pregnancy: HCG #1 = 11.7, HCG #2 = 24.3, HCG #3: 23.4) [Took a short break and bought our first home] January 2013: Immune and genetic testing = ALL normal March 2013: Natural FET with (our last) three 8 cell embryos = BFN July 2013: IVF #2 with a new clinic (HRC Encino) & new protocol; 19 eggs retrieved, 16 mature, 16 fertilize with PICSI. Twelve 5 day blastocysts sent for PGD and put on ice. August 2013: 5 normal embryos! October 2013: Endometrial Biopsy (I wanted to make sure we did EVERYTHING before our next transfer) = abnormal November 2013: First Depot Lupron injection December 2013: Second Depot Lupron injection Getting ready for a January 2014 FET…


I just want you to know that someone did read and does care. I am still doing iui’s. On my 4th as of now but can totally sympathize with a lot of your story. Keep your head and up and know that u are not alone in ur struggle with having a baby.


It’s hard to deal with it month after month, the only thing that kept me going was the possibility that the next cycle would be the one. I finally did get pregnant on IUI #7, only to find out at my first ultrasound at 10 weeks it was a blighted ovum and I would miscarry. That was right before Christmas 2010. The roller coaster of emotions is probably the most difficult part of the process. The only thing that got me going after my D&C was planning the next cycle. We were unexplained infertility, none of the drs we went to could find a problem and all said we’d get pregnant without help, which obviously wasn’t the case. You are not alone, many of us have been where you are.


Bean4Teacher - I read through your entire post. I think we’ve met in previous posts. You are not alone and is perfectly normal to go through all those feelings of happiness, disappointment, heartbreak, solace, all of it. Don’t loose hope. I too have felt as if I was kicked while already down. I did a few IUIs all BFNs, then in June 2012 I had my miracle BFP all on it’s own (no meds, no nothing). It was short lived as a few days later I started bleeding and my doc told me I had miscarried. 3 weeks later I was rushed to the ER. It turned out I never miscarried, my baby had implanted in my left Fallopian tube which had burst and I was bleeding internally. I went straight to the OR and lost my left tube and of course my baby too. I was ANGRY. Angry with the doctor, with GOD, with life with everything. It took a while for me to feel anything again. In Feb 2013 I decided I was ready to try again. I did my first IVF but there were only 4 eggs retrieved and none made it to transfer. I did IVF #2 and this one worked… I got my BFP and my BETAs were all really good. I started reading the “what to expect when expecting” which I bought in 2011 when I started trying. I did my US, saw the heartbeat and the doctor even told me that I had a 97% chance of everything going OK once there is a heartbeat seen. My husband and I went to our first OB US and I was told there was no more heartbeat. My baby was gone. I had a D&C and chromosome report confirmed Baby Boy with trisomy 13. This time I wasn’t angry …but I’ve been sort of numb since. I think about my baby all the time, how I would’ve been x months pregnant etc. I still cry about it every now and then. I’ve started my Frozen Embryo Transfer and I’m praying all goes well. I have 3 frosties and we are targeting a transfer mid January. Please don’t loose hope and do NOT blame yourself. This is not your fault or your husbands. It’s no one’s fault. I do believe that we come out stronger from each disappointment/loss. I’ve learned to appreciate my husband more and more and we’ve grown closer. I do think/fear what if we can never have kids? Would we stay together? This journey has brought us closer together and we’ve learned to REALLY get along…after all is just him and I at home all day every day. Dont loose hope, you are not alone. Take time to heal your soul and your relationship. I wish you tons of luck and may 2014 bring us our babies.