What is IVF?

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilisation and is a procedure that helps people who face a challenge in conceiving a baby to have a family.

Who was the first baby to be born with IVF?

Louise Brown was the first child born from IVF. She was born in England on the 25th July 1978.

When is IVF needed?

It was originally developed for women with blocked tubes or missing fallopian tubes. Currently it is still used for this condition. It is also used when other conditions are present e.g endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, male factor infertility and unexplained fertility.

Will my baby suffer any birth defects?

It is important to recognize that the rate of birth defects in humans in the general population is about 3% of all births for major malformations and 6% if minor defects are included. Fortunately, 20-plus years following Louise Brown’s birth (the first IVF baby), we now have ample data that children conceived through IVF have no increase in these rates of birth defects. Further follow-up on older children indicates that IVF children have done as well as or better than their peers in academic achievements (probably a social bias) and have no higher rates of behavioural or psychological difficulties.

Are injections painful?

With the advent of newer fertility medications (Puregon and Gonal F – injected between 10-12 days), many injections that were given intramuscularly can now be given subcutaneously .Once the egg retrieval is performed, progesterone supplementations is used to prepare the lining of the uterus for the transfer of embryos. We encourage patients to use progesterone gel or progesterone pessaries. Sometimes low dosage of hCG injections are recommended.

Are the procedures painful?

The only minor surgery in the IVF process is the retrieval of eggs from the ovary. The procedure involves a needle being attached to a vaginal ultrasound probe which is then passed through the wall of the vagina to each ovary. A light anaesthetic is administered intravenously prior to retrieving the eggs. The procedure lasts around 20-30 minutes. Minor cramping is usually the side effect after this procedure.

Can I travel?

Air travel is fine providing you drink lots of fluids since the circulated air can be quite dry and dehydrating. Car travel is also fine as sitting for extended periods of time will not affect the chances of pregnancy.

If I have IVF will I use up all my eggs?

The ovary selects only one egg from a pool of 20-30 eggs and the rest are not selected and undergo a natural cell death called atresia. The body’s selection process is overridden by fertility medications and cause these rescued eggs to grow – hopefully between 6-12 eggs. Therefore you are not using up your eggs faster by undergoing ovulation induction but are “rescuing” eggs to use in the cycle.

What is the percentage of success with each treatment cycle?

This will vary from patient to patient. In your consultation appointment we will best predict the outcome in your case after a complete evaluation. No two cases can be identical. We will review your history and prior responses to fertility medications, a thorough physical examination and we will draw up a plan to prepare your treatment.

How much does IVF cost?

This will vary upon how much medication is required for your treatment. This is also dependent on age and medical history,

How long do I have to take the injections for?

This will depend on the plan designed especially for you. Typically patients receive injections for 8 to 10 days, in some cases it may take longer.

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Are there any side effects?

These will vary from patient to patient. Some patients may have a reaction to the medication, which may include skin irritation, abdominal bloating, headaches, breast tenderness and nausea.

Who will give me the injections?

You can attend our clinic for these injections, however most patients prefer a family member to inject them. We will train who so ever you choose.

What constitutes day one of my cycle?

Day one is referred to as the first day of your full flow menstrual bleeding, not spotting. If this occurs after 12pm (noon) the next day is considered as day one.

Can I continue with my exercise during treatment?

Only some exercises are acceptable during IVF treatment. Low impact exercise such as walking is recommended as the ovaries may become enlarged from the fertility drugs. High impact exercises will put you at risk. If you are not sure please discuss this with us in our consultations.

Can I colour my hair if I am going through treatment or think I am pregnant?

You are allowed to colour your hair during the first 2 weeks of each IVF cycle. During the mid-cycle, or finding out if you’re pregnant we recommend you don’t receive any chemical hair treatment.

Can I get my nails done?

Wearing artificial nails or having a manicure or pedicure will not cause any harm during your IVF treatment.

Can I have sexual intercourse after embryo transfer if I am pregnant?

We recommend you don’t have sexual intercourse until your pregnancy test, which is about 2 weeks later. If you are pregnant and as long as you are not experiencing discomfort or pain during any sexual activity, you can.

When will I know that I am pregnant?

A pregnancy test should be carried out on the 14th day after the embryo transfer.

Are there any restrictions during my IVF cycle?

You MUST stop smoking before ovulation induction begins. It is best to stop smoking at least 3 months prior to an IVF cycle. Alcohol is a drug and should be avoided during infertility treatment and pregnancy. We recommend that you do not drink alcohol from the time fertility medications are started until the pregnancy test. If you are taking any medications or prescriptions over the counter please inform us of this as some medications may interfere with the fertility medications prescribed. We recommend that you DO NOT USE herbal supplements during your IVF cycle.

If my pregnancy result is negative how soon can we try again?

We recommend that patients wait at least one or two menstrual cycles before beginning another cycle of IVF.

How do we decide how many embryos to transfer?

We will discuss this with you in detail prior to the transfer. The medical guideline suggest the following:

Under 34 years old = 1-2 embryos
35-37 years old =2-3 embryos
38-40 years old = 3 embryos

How often does embryo transfer produce twins?

If a woman decides to have a single embryo transferred the chance of having twins is virtually nil. If they have 2 embryos transferred and you get pregnant the chances of having twins is 42%. If you are under 36 years of age and elect to have 2 embryos transferred and if you do get pregnant the chances of having twins raises to 50%.

What can I do to improve my chances?

Unfortunately not all couples achieve a pregnancy quickly. There are a few things you could do to help yourself. These are as follows:

Avoid smoking – both men and women
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Get regular exercise
Eat well and eat healthy
Maintain a BMI (body mass index) within the normal range

What if I can’t carry a baby?

Unfortunately for some women various medical conditions make it impossible for a woman to carry a pregnancy. However, there are various alternatives available to assist such couples and they are all offered at Aarti Fertility & Gynae Centre.