The Magic of Life: IVF Treatments and Where to Start
Recently, many women are suffering with gynecological issues, like Endometriosis, and have been treating symptoms with hormones and possibly surgery for some time. The idea of undergoing more medical procedures to conceive a child, is scary. Some express experiencing shock, when they discover that there is something more serious going on, affecting successful conception. Understandably then, couples may have questions or concerns and need direction when navigating their seas of fertility.
Reproductive medicine is highly specialized, yet also varied; In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is only a pit stop on your long journey to conception. It’s hard to know where to begin, if you don’t know which questions to ask. The best place to start is usually at the beginning! IVF doesn’t begin or end in the procedure room. Your journey starts here and now, arming yourself with knowledge!
In Vitro Fertilization:
- Retrieval ~ Your Reproductive Specialist will collect eggs from your ovaries and fertilize them with sperm in a laboratory.
- Transplant ~ Upon successful fertilization, your specialist will implant the embryos, (or fertilized eggs), into your uterus.
- Cycle ~ Each cycle of IVF takes around one to two weeks; individual variables determine each patient’s treatment length. Everyone responds to therapies differently. You may require several cycles for fertility success and that’s okay!
Try Least Invasive Treatments First
When possible, physicians generally like to try the least invasive procedures first! They are inherently safer for the patient and carry less overall risks. Talk with your Reproductive Specialist about using hormones, or fertility drugs, to increase your egg production. The nurse will teach you or your partner how to safely administer shots at home. Another less aggressive treatment to consider is intrauterine insemination, or directly inserting sperm into your uterus near your time of ovulation.
Thoughts to Ponder
It’s always a good rule of thumb to check online for clinic reviews and patient referrals. Hearing about another person’s positive experience is reassuring, though there are some specific things to consider in regards to fertility centers. When evaluating any Reproductive Clinic success rates, try being mindful of treatment variables and provider location. If a Reproductive Specialist commonly provides IVF services for high-risk patients, expect statistics to reflect that.
If you are planning to schedule your appointment with a Fertility Specialist here are some other thoughts to ponder:
- How many embryos are typically transferred?
- If there are any embryos left over, what are the available options to you?
- How will you handle birth defects or multiple births?
When IVF Is For You
Before beginning IVF, you and your Fertility Specialist will create a plan to treat your specific reproductive health issues. Though, first things first! You and your Fertility Doctor will need to determine if fertility problems are ovarian or seminal in nature through performing Ovarian Reserve Testing and a Semen Analysis. It’s important to remember, no one is to blame! Interestingly, when evaluating gender causal distribution, you will find a pattern of thirds. Roughly, a third of females cause infertility, a third of males, one-third is both partners, and the remaining 20% is unexplainable.
A Few Procedural Risks:
- Multiple Births
- Low-Birth Weight
- Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy
- Egg-Retrieval Complications
IVF is the most cost-effective form of reproductive treatment. If you need financial services or an integrative protocol, Reproductive Fertility Centers will often try to work with you! Once on your fertility path, you may find your Fertility Specialist uses a long scope to perform a uterine cavity exam. A transvaginal ultrasound or hysteroscopy helps your Reproductive Endocrinologist to view your uterine cavity to see if there are other medical problems occurring. If you plan to use a gestational carrier, remember to consider legalities and conduct a detailed review of the paperwork! IVF could be the path to the life you had almost lost hope in achieving!