Should we keep going or give up?

Imagine that, recently, you and your spouse have been trying to conceive a child but after repeated attempts, you have not been successful. Together, you decide to consult a specialist to inquire about fertility treatment. The physician specialist gathers information and runs some basic tests for both of you. He tells you that even with the tests, it is hard to determine what chance of success you'll have.

You see, for 85% of couples like you, the treatment is a good match and there is a 20% chance of conception during each treatment cycle. On the other hand, for the other 15% of couples, the treatment is not a good match and there is zero chance of success. Unfortunately, little information exists to help you know which situation you are in. The picture below summarizes your situation:

Imagine that you and your spouse decided to undergo this treatment and now it is three treatment cycles later. So far, each of the attempts has been unsuccessful. At this point, you may be wondering whether you are one of the couples for whom this treatment will never work.

Would you stick with this treatment and try it again for a fourth cycle?

  • No, I think 3 failures is enough to show that this treatment will never work for my spouse and me, so I would discontinue the treatment.
  • Yes, I would keep trying because I think that there's still a good chance that the treatment will eventually work for my spouse and me.