Undergoing IVF treatment can be quite daunting for people who have never tried it before. There can be a lot of apprehension over the safety of the treatment and the processes involved. As such, it’s understandable that people will have a lot of questions about the treatment.
Below are the top 10 frequently asked questions about IVF:
1. What is IVF?
IVF stands for “in vitro fertilization”, with ‘in vitro’ basically meaning ‘in a test tube’ in this instance. The procedure involves introducing the sperm to the eggs outside of the womb in controlled conditions, helping to circumvent some of the causes of infertility.
After four or five days of growth, the embryo is transferred into the womb where it will, hopefully, continue to grow into a healthy baby. The method is not perfect, and there will be many failures, but millions of people globally have raised a family of their own with help from IVF.
2. Is IVF Safe?
Generally speaking, IVF is a very safe treatment that’s used by the most esteemed and most sophisticated medical centres globally. However, while the procedure is safe overall, that doesn’t mean to say complications will never occur.
Complications from IVF do occur but are not common, while you are also closely monitored by a team of medical professionals. You may experience some symptoms, but these are usually mild. Regardless, if you have undergone the procedure and feel something is wrong, you should speak with a doctor as soon as possible.
3. How Successful is IVF?
How successful IVF is likely for any patient depends on numerous factors. One of those factors is age, with women less likely to concede through IVF as they get older. Women aged under 35 years old are 32% likely to be successful, while that figure plummets to 4% for women over 44.
Other factors include health, and women are encouraged to live and eat healthily while trying to get pregnant. Regardless, your doctor should be able to give you more details about the chances of success for your specific case.
4. How Long Does IVF Take?
How long the process takes will vary, but it is usually between 6-8 weeks. That’s from your first consultation with the doctor to the transfer of the embryo into your womb. However, this does not mean you can definitely start planning for a new arrival yet.
It will take some patients several attempts before successfully becoming pregnant, so it is important to be prepared to show patience.
5. How Long Before I Can Try Again If I’m Not Successful
If you’re not successful, then you are usually free to try again, but you will need to wait for between four and six weeks. This is because it’s advised not to try another cycle without the patient having had a period since her previous attempt.
There is also no limit to how often you can try IVF, and it will take some couples many attempts before finally being successful.
6. Is IVF For Me?
Whether or not IVF is for you depends on various factors. Such factors include your health, your age, and any medical conditions you might have. For example, some people are considered too young for IVF, and they’re encouraged to try natural methods instead. On the other hand, some people are considered too old for treatment.
If you feel you are a candidate for IVF, it’s best to book an appointment with a doctor. They will ask questions and explain more about the procedure to you, helping you decide whether it’s for you.
7. Do I Have to Follow Rules During IVF?
You will be asked to follow certain rules that help improve the chances of a successful outcome. You should stop drinking and smoking, although this applies to any pregnancy, whether natural or IVF.
Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can seriously injure your baby, even if you were fortunate enough to get pregnant. You should also avoid using herbal supplements, while heavy exercise is also not advised.
8. Will IVF Give Me Twins?
In some cases, more than one embryo is transferred to the womb because of the relatively low likelihood both will become successful pregnancies. While this helps improve the chances of a successful pregnancy, it also means an increased chance of twins or even triplets.
If you don’t want twins or triplets, you can speak to your doctor to ensure only one egg is transferred. However, doing so will decrease your chances of a successful outcome. So it’s a matter of balancing your chances of success with the risk of having twins or more, although many people will be delighted with twins regardless.
9. Are there any side effects associated with IVF?
The medications used in IVF can cause some side effects, although these side effects are not usually anything to worry about. These side-effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Hot flushes
- Mood swings
Some people might also experience side effects after IVF treatment, including:
- Breast tenderness
- Mild bloating
- Mild cramping
Patients will develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS will usually only cause mild symptoms, but it can be dangerous in rare cases. Symptoms of the condition include:
- Severe bloating
- Severe stomach pain
- Significant recent weight gain
- Urinating less frequently
- Nausea or vomiting
10. What Do I do if I Become Pregnant?
Although IVF may have helped you get pregnant using not entirely natural methods, the pregnancy itself will be the same as any other. From the point you fall pregnant, you will then be referred to a qualified obstetrician to help ensure your pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible.
There is still a long way to go on your journey, and you are not guaranteed a good outcome at this point. But you have come far so far, and you will have access to the finest medical staff to help ensure you and your baby remain healthy and well.
People have many questions about IVF, and the above are ten of the most common. If you have any questions regarding IVF, it’s best if you speak with a professional who can answer according to the specifics of your case. A professional can answer your questions and offer you guidance.