Below are some links for your reference if you are contemplating or getting ready to start IVF!
Factors that determine if someone is a good candidate for IVF include how long they has been unable to conceive spontaneously, age, overall health status, inability to conceive with other fertility treatments, a family history of genetic abnormalities and pregnancy loss history.
There are many factors to consider when assessing your chance of success with IVF. Your age, health and lifestyle status, reason for needing IVF, use of donor eggs and the success rates of the fertility center all play a role.
The SART Patient Predictor is based on nearly 500,000 cycles of therapy to more than 320,000 people throughout the United States since 2006. This calculator is meant to help you understand your chances of having a live birth, based on your personal situation. The answers to the following questions influence the likelihood that the IVF treatment will be successful. The calculations from this Patient Predictor assume that you have not had prior IVF treatment and are using fresh embryos. Predicted live birth rates are also provided based on the information entered.
A more detailed explanation of the factors playing a role in IVF success are found here.
IVF isn’t easy whether it’s your first cycle or fifth. There are many things you will learn along the way and there are many things you will wish you knew before even starting. A great blog, “12 Truths No One Tells You About”, addresses many of the things you should know before starting your journey.
With IVF, a fresh or frozen embryo can be transferred into the uterus. With a fresh embryo transfer, fresh eggs are immediately combined with sperm and implanted into the patient’s womb so pregnancy can begin. With a frozen embryo transfer, the fresh egg and sperm are combined to form an embryo which is then frozen after a number of days to be transplanted into the uterus at a later date. Patients who desire genetic testing of the embryo undergo frozen embryo transfers, but more and more patients are doing frozen embryo transfers in general.
When going through an IVF cycle, knowing what to expect and how to prepare for your egg retrieval is very important. Being prepared for the actual retrieval day is just as important as what you need to do leading up to the day of egg retrieval. Being prepared and informed can reduces the stress and anxiety of that very important day.
To learn more about how to prepare for an egg retrieval and what to expect on retrieval day click here.
The embryo transfer is a much awaited step in the long process of IVF. Preparing for this day and knowing what to expect can decrease your stress and anxiety and maximize your chances of having a successful transfer.
To learn more about how to prepare for an embryo transfer, what to expect the day of the transfer, and what to expect immediately following a transfer and in the next few days click here.
Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, The Egg Whisperer, has some great tips for patients over 40 who are preparing for IVF. To learn more click here.
If an IVF cycle does not result in a pregnancy, request a post-IVF consult with your doctor and ask all the LOTS of questions. Ask even more questions! Bring in your fertility binder and a support person and go over what has happened so far. Give yourself a 6 month goal; after 6 months or so, re-evaluate what you’re doing and if it’s not working, start thinking about creative family building through options such as egg, embryo donation. Finally, surround yourself with people who don’t think you’re crazy for wanting a baby, especially if you are over 40. It isn’t helpful to surround yourself with negativity during this time.
After going through 5 cycles of IVF myself, and donor egg transfers, the one piece of advice I always give to those starting their IVF journey is to care for your mental and emotional well-being. The IVF journey can be stressful, so any tolls that can help to relieve that stress will help. Aluma is a mental wellness and self-discovery program with immersive audio. New issues every 3 months for less than the cost of a therapy session. You will get a beautiful, themed workbook with 45 unique activities, and general mental health information from a board-certified perinatal psychiatrist!
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy.
Check out the products for TTC through parenthood in the Babies After 35 Amazon shop, online courses and other services that come "Dr. Clark-approved"!Check out my favorite things