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Is IVF right for me?

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Introduction: The heartbreak of struggling to conceive can feel overwhelming and isolating for many couples. The journey of infertility often brings about feelings of desperation and stress, challenging the emotional and physical well-being of those involved. As a clinic specializing in IVF in Bangkok, First Fertility has supported countless couples through these difficult times by offering hope through various fertility treatments. This article delves into the essentials of IVF treatment, discusses its potential benefits, and addresses whether it might be a suitable option for your unique situation.

The Struggle with Infertility

The pain and heartache of not being able to conceive is a feeling that is experienced by many couples around the world. Despite months, perhaps even years of trying, they have not been blessed with a child. It is something that will inevitably cause tension within the household, with feelings of desperation and self-loathing common. However, for many couples, help is available in the form of various fertility treatments.

Reassurance and Solutions

As a clinic specializing in IVF in Bangkok, at First Fertility, we meet hundreds of couples each year, all of whom have different concerns regarding fertility. We can provide them with the reassurance that they so desperately seek and emphasize treatments available. In our experience, if you or your partner is struggling to conceive, you can take comfort that IVF treatment can help with most forms of infertility. Over the years, we have helped endless couples to conceive, and they all relish the joy a child can bring.

Understanding IVF Treatment

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is arguably the best-known of all fertility treatments and commonly available worldwide. It involves the female’s ovaries being stimulated to produce more eggs than during her regular cycle. The eggs are then harvested in our clinic by one of our medical professionals. The male partner will be requested to provide a sperm donation, usually in the clinic, and then the eggs are fertilized artificially with sperm in the laboratory.

A diagram showing the steps involved in IVF treatment.

After fertilization, the healthiest embryos, the fertilized eggs, are returned to the female’s uterus. Hopefully, the embryos will develop, and the pregnancy will be smooth in the same manner as if the pregnancy had occurred naturally. Typically, more than one of the fertilized eggs is used to enhance the chances of success, so there is an increased risk of multiple births.

Common Reasons for Needing IVF Treatment

There are several reasons why IVF treatment may be right for you and your partner, with some of the most common reasons outlined below. Indeed, some of the issues may be very similar to your own situation and, therefore, be something you can relate to. However, if you don’t recognize any of the reasons, it doesn’t mean that IVF treatment won’t be appropriate. After your initial consultation and subsequent tests, the doctor will give you a diagnosis and suggest the best course of treatment for you.

Infertility Caused by Damage to the Fallopian Tubes

It is relatively common for women to have missing, scarred or damaged fallopian tubes, which can significantly impact her fertility. The damage may be caused by a previous infection, an accident, surgery, or something that she has had from birth. In many cases, she may not even be aware of the issue until she tries to conceive.

IVF is an excellent form of treatment in this scenario as effectively the fallopian tubes are bypassed, thus removing any potential complications. Indeed, IVF is usually far more effective than any corrective surgery, certainly regarding fertility. Of course, your doctor will be able to offer more information that will be tailored to your condition.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

It is not unusual for a woman to experience irregular periods, especially if she has been taking the “pill” for a substantial amount of time before trying to conceive. On the other hand, PCOS is a hormonal disorder with the female having higher than normal hormone levels, usually testosterone. It can cause irregular, infrequent or prolonged periods as the ovaries develop numerous follicles. As such, the regular cycle will be disrupted, although fortunately, IVF treatment has been proven to be highly successful in these cases.

Understanding Endometriosis

Between two and ten percent of the female population are thought to suffer from endometriosis, an extremely painful condition caused by the internal lining of the uterus growing outside rather than in the uterus. Many sufferers will find that the problem also affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even the pelvis, and in exceptional circumstances, it can spread beyond. Depending on the severity of your condition, IVF treatment can often be beneficial and prove to be successful.

Male Infertility

All too often, we find that couples are very quick to assume that any fertility issues are down to the female partner. However, you may be surprised to learn that approximately 40% of infertility cases are due to a problem with the male partner. It may be that he has a low sperm count, his sperm are unusually shaped (morphology), or their movement may be impaired (motility).

Regardless of the reason, IVF treatment can be proven to be hugely successful, with the healthiest sperm receiving a “helping hand” to reach the egg.

Genetic Reasons for IVF Treatment

One common reason for otherwise fertile couples to choose IVF treatment is genetic reasons. They may be concerned that there is an elevated risk that their baby may be born with a hereditary condition, or it may be for gender selection purposes. In this scenario, Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) would be used in conjunction with IVF treatment to screen embryos for any abnormalities or to select the sex of the baby. It ensures that only healthy embryos or embryos of the desired sex are implanted.

Increased Flexibility with IVF

Over recent decades, there has been an increasing trend for women wanting to start families later in life, often because they wish to pursue a career or they are starting long-term relationships later. Women can choose to freeze their eggs at a young age, when they are most fertile, and use them, perhaps when they are in their mid-30s, to start a family.

The eggs would be implanted in the same manner as with regular IVF treatment, and indeed, it has been hugely successful for many couples.

A Word of Warning

Any couple wishing to pursue IVF treatment must understand that there are no guarantees of success. They must be emotionally and physically prepared for what could be a rollercoaster ride. IVF treatment is also expensive, so couples should consider carefully whether it is something that they can realistically afford, especially if more than one course of treatment is required.

Burdening yourself and your family with debt will bring pressures of its own, and perhaps alternatives should be investigated, such as adoption.

First-hand Experience with IVF Treatment

At First Fertility, we understand the emotional and physical challenges that come with IVF treatment. Providing comprehensive support and clear information can make a significant difference. Our team has worked with countless couples, guiding them through the process with empathy and expertise.

Conclusion: Deciding whether IVF is the right path for your family is a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration of various factors, including medical advice, emotional readiness, and financial implications. At First Fertility, we are dedicated to providing thorough consultations and compassionate support to help you make the best choice for your unique situation. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and professional guidance can offer the support and clarity you need as you explore your options towards parenthood.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the success rate of IVF treatment?

The success rate of IVF treatment varies depending on several factors, such as the age of the woman, the cause of infertility, and the specific fertility clinic in bangkok. On average, the success rate ranges from 20% to 35% per cycle for women under 35. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider for a personalized assessment.

2. Who is a good candidate for IVF treatment?

IVF treatment can be beneficial for individuals and couples facing various fertility issues, including damaged fallopian tubes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, male infertility, and genetic concerns. A consultation with a fertility specialist can help determine if IVF is right for your specific situation.

3. How long does the IVF process take?

The IVF process typically takes about 4 to 6 weeks from the start of ovarian stimulation to the embryo transfer. However, this timeline may vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific treatment plan.

4. Are there any risks or side effects associated with IVF treatment?

Like any medical procedure, IVF comes with potential risks and side effects. Common side effects include mild bloating, cramping, and mood swings. More serious risks can include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), multiple pregnancies, or infections. It’s essential to discuss these risks with your fertility specialist.

5. Can lifestyle choices impact the success of IVF?

Yes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can positively impact the success of IVF treatment. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and managing stress. Your fertility clinic may provide specific recommendations tailored to your needs.

6. How many IVF cycles are usually required to achieve a successful pregnancy?

The number of IVF cycles required to achieve a successful pregnancy varies for each couple. While some couples may succeed in the first cycle, others may need multiple cycles. On average, many couples conceive within three IVF cycles.

7. What are the costs involved in IVF treatment?

The cost of IVF treatment can vary widely based on location, clinic, and specific treatment requirements. In the United States, the average cost of one IVF cycle is between $12,000 and $15,000, excluding medication and additional procedures. It’s essential to discuss the financial aspects with your fertility clinic.

8. Can IVF treatment be used for gender selection?

Yes, IVF treatment can be used for gender selection through a process known as Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). PGS allows for the screening of embryos for genetic abnormalities and the selection of embryos of the desired sex before implantation.

9. Is it possible to freeze eggs for future IVF treatment?

Yes, women can choose to freeze their eggs at a younger age when they are most fertile and use them later for IVF treatment. This option provides increased flexibility for women who wish to delay starting a family for various reasons.

10. What emotional and physical preparations are needed for IVF treatment?

Couples considering IVF treatment should be emotionally and physically prepared for the process, which can be a challenging journey. It’s important to have a strong support system and be aware of the potential ups and downs. Consulting with a counselor or support group can also be beneficial.

  • Published on : Wednesday May 19, 2021
  • Last updated : Thursday July 4, 2024
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About the author

Michelle Tan is an IVF Consultant with 12 years of experience in fertility consulting. Having personally undergone IVF and surrogacy, she brings firsthand insight and empathy to her work. Based in Singapore, Michelle frequently travels to clinics in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Bishkek, sharing her expertise and supporting patients on their fertility journeys.