Time to talk about Infertility
After spending so much time avoiding pregnancy, you are now ready to settle down and start a family. But ...somehow, it seems more difficult than you thought. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), if you are a couple failing to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse, it’s time to seriously talk about infertility.
Infertility can indicate a need for In-Vitro Fertilization, or IVF for short. IVF is a procedure where mature eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a lab. Once the fertilized eggs are successfully developing into embryos, they are transferred into a uterus.
Who is eligible for IVF?
Those who are having trouble conceiving (females up to age 50); Females with blocked tubes, endometriosis, or other reproductive system issues; Males with poor quality sperm
What is the procedure for IVF?
- First, the pre-exams are crucial for your initial consultation with the Fertility Specialist. You can get the list of these exams if you let us know. These exams and follow up exams can be completed by your local doctors. These exams help to determine which Fertility Treatment is the most suitable giving you the best shot to succeed.
- Next, you will have a consultation with a Fertility Specialist to discuss your specific fertility plan and further steps based on the pre-exams. This call may request additional exams based on your unique case.
- After the consultation, you receive your protocol and prescription for medications. You will secure your medications immediately in preparation for beginning your IVF.
- Once you have your medications, you will follow instructions on when to begin taking them, which usually aligns with your menstrual cycle. (Please note, hormonal injections are nothing to be scared of.)
- Once you start your medication (also called stimulation), you will arrange to follow up exams to monitor your follicle growth. The results should be sent immediately to your Fertility Specialist. Once those exams are reviewed, you should be given the details of your next exam dates along with the recommendation to book your travel.
- When arriving at the Fertility Clinic, your follicles will be checked and your Egg Retrieval date estimated.
- On your egg retrieval day, you will receive general anesthesia prior to your follicle puncture, which is a relatively short procedure. One egg should mature in one follicle. After the procedure, the couple is informed about the total number of eggs obtained. If the male partner’s sperm has not been collected then it is required on the same day as the egg retrieval. The Eggs will be fertilized with the sperm using the ICSI method. The ICSI method is where sperm is chosen by microscope and injected directly into the nucleus of the egg. The day after egg retrieval, the couple is informed about how many eggs fertilized.
- Then, typically after 3-5 days of development, the embryo transfer is performed. For this commonly performed procedure, there is no need for general anesthesia. However, you are required a bit of bed rest at the clinic. If you are an international couple, you can leave on the same day of your Embryo transfer. Our tip is to book your flight in the late afternoon or in the evening.
- Finally, take a home pregnancy test two weeks after the Embryo transfer. Or if you prefer, you can schedule a blood test with your gynecologist.
What are the Success Metrics for IVF?
Chances of succeeding with this procedure are based on individual cases since each woman's case is unique and many factors such as age, quality of eggs, and sperm can impact success.
If your BMI is between 20 – 25, your age between 21 – 34, and your AMH between 2-2,4ng/ml, chances of successful IVF treatment are very high at around 50% chance of being successful. If you are 40+ this number decreases rapidly (10 - 5 %).
What happens with any remaining embryos?
Our doctors use the most developed technology called “vitrification” which is a very gentle way to freeze your embryos so you don’t have to worry. The remaining embryos need to be of good quality in order to survive freezing and thawing.
What can help along with your treatment?
Stay healthy, in other words, exercise (but don’t overdo it), relax, increase Folic Acid, Omega 2, you might try herbs, Acupuncture, or Reflexology. We have great partners abroad for the last two.