What to expect on your second consultation with IVF Specialist?
By this time you must have got all your basic fertility workup done. This would include a baseline Transvaginal Scan (TVS) to assess ovarian reserve and a semen analysis to assess the count, motility and morphology of the semen for the male partner. Depending on your age, additional test’s like AMH, tubal patency and hormonal profiling may also be ordered.
So, by the second consultation, the Fertility Specialist would know four things:
- Is your ovarian reserve (number of eggs in your ovaries) adequate?
- Are the semen parameters normal (sperm count, motility and morphology)?
- Is the fallopian tube open?
- Is the Uterus structurally normal? (Rule our polyp, adenomyosis, fibroids etc.)
The course of the future fertility treatment will be dependent on the answers to the above four questions plus your age. Honestly there are only a few treatment options that range from the least invasive timed intercourse to the most invasive IVF. The least invasive treatment options are often the ones that take some time and lot of patience. While the most invasive options are the ones that give quicker result.
So by the second consultation with the IVF specialist, you would know your treatment choices. The treatment choices will be explained to you with details about their success rate, time needed, number of visits needed at the clinic and the approximate cost of treatment. Usually couples take a few days to process this information to choose what they wish to opt for.
Treatment options to try before trying IVF ?
Depends on what your reports suggest. Some treatment options like IUI or Intra Uterine Insemination can be opted if the test results show adequate ovarian reserve, open fallopian tubes and optimal sperm count and motility. IUI treatment, if done well by trained fertility specialist, do bring positive result. Success rates with IUI can be as high as 12-15%. But couples should be patient; IUI may not be successful in just one cycle. To know more about IUI success rate, please visit our blog.
Gone are the days where the couples would do anything and everything to avoid treatment like IVF and would need a lot of counselling for the treatment even when that was the only option left for them. These days, due to a lot of awareness in patients due to ample of information available on internet and other media, patients do not want to waste a lot of time in trying less invasive options and directly ask the doctor if they should try IVF.
To conclude, treatment choices are not forced upon a patient. The choices are discussed with patient and the decision to choose one treatment option over the other is decided by couples depending on factors like Age, duration of infertility, success rate, cost of procedure and time needed to complete the treatment.
What is the best age for IVF treatment?
This is a no brainer, if IVF is indicated and has been recommended to you by your fertility specialist, then the sooner you get it done the better.
There is a significant difference in success rate of IVF at the age 30 vs trying for IVF at 37 years of age. These 7 years in terms of age of oocytes makes a huge difference. The quality of embryos and their genetic competency are much better when particularly oocyte age is less. To know more about impact of age on oocyte quality, do read our blog on the same.
One misconception that couples have is that just because you undergo IVF, you choose to get pregnant immediately. If the preliminary report has indicated IVF but the couple doesn’t want to opt for parenthood at that time because of their current situation in life, they can always undergo the process, freeze the embryos at that time and choose to transfer the embryos later on as per their convenience, even 5 years down the line. Embryo freezing (cryopreservation in medical terms) is a proven science and can be successfully done with 100% survival of the embryos. Nowadays in young females who are professionally driven and want to postpone child bearing for professional reasons, it is best to consider oocyte or egg freezing at an early age for best results.
So what couples need to know is that it is better to freeze embryos / oocytes early. It might be the best investment they may have made for their future progeny.
Any tips for patients preparing for the IVF cycle ?
IVF needs a much more holistic approach, it is not only about preparing your body for the treatment, IVF also needs mental preparation. One should keep their expectations real, plan to invest ample time in the procedure, be ready to take a little amount of discomfort and plan the financial part so that you do not end up taking stress while you are undergoing IVF cycle.
Just a few last words. We know that it is not easy to undergo treatment for something as intimate and private as Infertility. Not being able to conceive naturally is a huge blow to the confidence of any couple. But at the same time just being stressed and depressed about it does not solve the problem at hand. It is best to seek help early!
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