14 Jul Opting for IVF Treatment: Top Things to Consider
Infertility is the inability to conceive a child or carry a pregnancy to delivery. It’s no secret there has been a rise in the number of couples seeking infertility care, mostly related to delayed childbearing.
Though the number of couples using IVF has increased exponentially, many couples are still reluctant to start the process for many reasons, including concerns of physical, financial and emotional stress associated with IVF.
When you’re trying to conceive, IVF can bring you one step closer to getting pregnant, but the process can feel intimidating if you’re unsure what’s involved. Here’s what to know, even before your first doctor’s visit.
IVF Requires Devotion and Commitment
IVF is a labor-intensive process with multiple doctor’s visits, fertility medications, and frequent testing. Let’s take a closer look at the IVF process. For 10-12 days, you’ll take fertility medications (usually self-administered shots) to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. During that time, you’ll have to go to the doctor’s office for bloodwork and ultrasounds every 1-3 days.
Once the stimulation phase is done, the doctor will remove the eggs from your ovaries (under minimal anesthesia) and combine them with your partner’s or donor sperm in the laboratory. Three to five days after the egg retrieval, one or more embryos will be placed back into your uterus (any extras may be frozen for future IVF cycles) or biopsied for further testing and then frozen. If a transfer has occurred, two weeks later, you’ll return to the doctor for a blood pregnancy test to determine if the IVF process has resulted in pregnancy.
Reaching Optimum Level of Health
Achieving a healthy weight, getting medical conditions under control, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting tobacco and other substance use can greatly improve IVF success rates — and should be done well in advance of undergoing IVF treatment.
Prepare to Experience Side Effects
During IVF, you will experience elevated estrogen and progesterone levels, so it is normal to feel emotional during your IVF cycle. Minor physical side effects such as pressure, cramping or bloating in the pelvic area, breast tenderness, and discomfort at the injection site from fertility injections may also occur.
In very rare cases, IVF can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which occurs when the fertility medications cause a women to retain fluids and have significantly, though temporary, enlarged ovaries. Symptoms can include weight gain, pain and bloating in the abdomen, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting.
IVF is Not a Pregnancy Guarantee
Unfortunately, IVF doesn’t work for everyone. Some people get pregnant the first time, others need to repeat the process a time or two, and some couples aren’t successful even after multiple attempts. According to the latest national data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), the IVF success rate for women using their own eggs was 48 percent for women under age 35 and drops to only 3 percent for women over age 42.
Good success rate statistics are not our definition of success, but a satisfied, content patient is. By combining the most advanced assisted reproductive technology with compassionate patient care, we are committed to providing the best experience for our patients – no matter the challenge or prognosis, we seek to provide unique, tailored, quality care.