Are You Ready For IVF?
Some women, men, or couples never expected a visit to an IVF clinic. The trip means admitting fertility problems, which can bring on a wave of emotions. Struggling to conceive may not be spoken about as much as other issues. But the fact remains that 12-15% of couples suffer from infertility. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, forms part of a group of assisted reproductive technologies or ART. These techniques have given hope to thousands. Before understanding more about fertility treatment options, here are 3 helpful but straightforward questions to ask the IVF consultant.
1. What is the success rate?
Choosing IVF is a big step. Most persons who turn to IVF have tried getting pregnant naturally for a long time. The average age for an IVF patient is 35. Research indicates the changes for pregnancy decreases to 20% by age 35, and 5% by age 40. So the natural question would be the success rate. Couples don’t want to be further disappointed. The success rate of the treatment varies. There are a lot of factors that go into the success of IVF, including age and existing reproductive health. On average, there is a 26% success rate. The figures have steadily grown as IVF technology improves.
2. What can I do to improve my chances?
IVF can help infertile couples or those trying to get pregnant at a later age. However, there are some steps to improve effectiveness. Maintaining a healthy body, for starters, dramatically increases the chances of a full-term pregnancy. Weight loss has been tied to increased pregnancy success in both women and men. A healthy, balanced diet has also proven effective. Stress management is critical, though the IVF process can be stressful. All parties should invest in proper health and wellness to make the process as smooth as possible.
3. What are the costs?
IVF takes skilled medical professionals and lab technicians for a successful cycle. Of course, there will be significant costs involved. The costs can be confusing, varying across clinics and states, with an average of around $12,000. What’s more, the price increases with the number of cycles needed for a full-term pregnancy. There are also additional costs based on steps added to the IVF process. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), for example, can increase the overall value of the process. Getting precise costing helps in terms of insurance and financial planning.
Understanding the levels of IVF
IVF is the process of extracting sperm and egg, fertilizing out of the body, then implanting the embryo. The clinic will create several embryos to use for more than one cycle if needed. IVF needs the sperm to fertilize the egg in vitro. But there are different types and additional stages if necessary. For instance, ICSI IVF takes the process a step further. The clinic will wash and find the most potent sperm and manually fertilize the egg. GIFT and ZIFT are other forms of IVF. The clinic places the egg or zygote, respectively, in the fallopian tubes. This encourages a more natural birth process.
Insemination, IUI, and other fertility options
Artificial insemination is one of the more common fertility treatment options. Insemination is usually the first step in fertility treatment. The process is helpful for men with low sperm motility, or single women wanting to start a family. The doctor will insert the treated sperm into the woman’s cervix to encourage fertilization. Intrauterine insemination or IUI goes a step further. With IUI, the doctor inserts the sperm sample directly into the uterus. Based on the reproductive health and success rates of previous treatment, IUI and IVF may not be enough. Patients may need to consider other fertility options like donor sperm, donor eggs, or surrogacy. The doctor will make sure to explain all options to help patients make the best decision.
The more you know
No question is far-fetched or out of bounds. Doctors in IVF clinics have extensive knowledge and lots of experience with questions. Fertility treatment and treatment success vary from patient to patient. The clinic will complete a thorough assessment of each patient involved in the process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that can potentially lead to a happy family.