Consulting a doctor to undergo IVF treatment is a big decision as IVF can be difficult and it is quite an expensive treatment option. Couples consider fertility treatment only when they have failed to conceive the traditional way for some time. IVF, however, is not really a treatment for infertility, but a kind of assisted reproductive technology. In vitro fertilization involves the artificial fertilization of an extracted egg with a sperm sample in a laboratory dish. After this, the fertilized embryo(s) is implanted into the uterus.
Trying to conceive can get frustrating at times and it’s normal to feel anxious and impatient. But it’s important to find out the underlying problem and try to treat it before going for assisted reproductive methods. There are a lot of questions and doubts that need answering and you need to check and be sure of your health markers to get the most out of your IVF treatment. Infertility could even be a treatable, temporary problem that doesn’t need such a big decision.
Reasons for using IVF
IVF may be recommended by your doctor for a number of reasons, such as:
- Issues With Ovulation Because Of Conditions Like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Low Sperm Counts Or Poor Sperm Motility
- Problems With The Fallopian Tubes
- In Case Either Partner Is Sterilized
- To Avoid Transferring Inherited Genetic Disorders (Some Couples May Be Suggested To Use Donor Eggs Or Sperm In Such Cases.)
- If You Are A Cancer Patient And Have Arranged To Have Your Healthy Eggs Or Sperm Frozen Before Chemotherapy Or Radiotherapy
Things to consider before going for an IVF consultation
- Your age and how long you should try before undergoing fertility treatment
Young, healthy couples who are under 35 should try at least for a year and stop using birth control before considering treatment options. Since conception depends on a lot of sensitive factors, it may take time. Couples in their late 30s should wait for six months as the chances of getting pregnant start decreasing after 35. The quality and quantity of women’s eggs drop significantly after 40 and the risk of miscarriage also increases. So, they should immediately consult a fertility specialist to conceive as early as possible.
- Your ovulation and menstrual cycle
It’s important to know your menstrual information is as much detail as possible before going to consult a doctor for starting IVF. Knowing when you are ovulating also helps increase the chances of getting pregnant because there is a fertile window of 6 days in each cycle when you can achieve pregnancy. Once this fertile window has ended, you can’t conceive. Ovulation usually starts two weeks before the first day of your next period. The duration when the body will produce eggs that can be retrieved and fertilized, to be re-implanted in the uterus, has to be determined from the time of your ovulation. The fertile window continues for 5 days before and the day of ovulation, so the entire process needs to be planned.
- Known reproductive or thyroid issues
Many women who suffer from PCOS don’t ovulate or have extremely erratic cycles. They need sustained consultations with a fertility specialist early on, along with medications to need help kickstart the ovulation process. Endometriosis needs a detailed diagnosis to ascertain the degree of damage. It can cause blocked fallopian tubes or even low ovarian reserve.
Abnormal thyroid function is also a cause of infertility, brain abnormalities in fetuses and miscarriages. Make sure to regularly monitor and control your thyroid issues before you start your fertility treatment.
- A complicated medical history or multiple miscarriages
Women who have a complicated medical history of various health issues like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or kidney problems should consult a specialist soon to discuss how these might affect their chances of getting pregnant and whether they need artificial assistance. Patients who have a family history of early menopause also need to consult a fertility doctor to make sure they get optimum chances of conception. It’s important for cancer survivors to have fertility workups and consider freezing their eggs or sperm before treatment as it can affect their fertility. Women who have suffered multiple miscarriages need to have a fertility workup immediately as there are a variety of possible underlying causes which need to be addressed.