When is IVF needed?
IVF was originally developed for women with blocked tubes or missing fallopian tubes and it is still the procedure of choice for these situations. It is also used when other conditions are present, including endometriosis, male factor infertility and unexplained infertility in which no medical cause for infertility can be found. Our physicians will review your history and help to guide you to the treatment and diagnostic procedures that are most appropriate for you.
What is the percentage of success with each treatment cycle?
The possibilities of success with IVF vary from patient to patient. Your physician can best predict the outcome in your case after a complete evaluation, which includes reviewing your history and any prior response to fertility medications.
Will the hormones causelong-term health risks?
The only suggested long-term health risk of IVF is medications, and a possible association between these drugs and the risk of cancer, specifically ovarian cancer.
An important fact to keep in mind is that women who suffer from infertility and never conceive appear to have a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer as compared to the general population (about 1.6 times the rate). As these are the women who use fertility medications, the medications themselves have been implicated in the cancer risk but have never been proven to be a cause of cancer. Since the initial concern was raised in a 1992 study by Whittemore and colleagues, several studies have addressed the issue more directly. These studies from Australia, England and Denmark all failed to find an association between fertility medications or IVF treatment and any higher risk of ovarian cancer.
An ongoing National Institutes of Health-funded study is specifically designed to address the question of whether fertility medications themselves may play a causal role in ovarian, breast or uterine cancer. While the study is still under way and needs another 5-10 years of follow-up to be conclusive, preliminary results suggest no association between fertility medications and risks for invasive cancers. At this time, we can say that there is no direct evidence that fertility drugs play a causal role in increasing a woman’s risk of invasive ovarian, breast or uterine cancer.
Are the injections painfull?
With the advent of newer fertility medications, many injections that were given intramuscularly can now be replaced by medications given as a little injection under the skin (subcutaneous). This method is similar to insulin injections of diabetic patients. Additionally one medication, which has been given as a subcutaneous injection (Lupron), can be replaced by a medication administered as a nasal spray (Synarel). Both medications are equally effective, and we leave this choice to you. There is only a one-time injection that is currently given intramuscularly (HCG), but this will soon be replaced by a subcutaneous preparation (available in early 2001).
Once the egg retrieval is performed, progesterone supplementation is used to prepare the lining of the uterus for the transfer of embryos. For most of our treatment cycles, we recommend using progesterone gel or suppositories. This protocol makes it possible to avoid injections during the second half of your IVF cycle.
Using our protocols at Akansha a woman may have to take only 10-12 days of subcutaneous injections and one intramuscular injection of HCG (soon to be replaced by a subcutaneous injection). That’s it!
How long do i have to take fertility injections?
The length of time that you will be taking the injections will depend on the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) protocol chosen for you at our Clinic. Typically, patients receive injections for 7 to 10 days, but some must take them for a little longer.
Who will give me the injections?
You, or a family member of your choosing, will be taught by our staff how to give the subcutaneous injections.
Is the egg retreaval process painfull?
No, not generally. It lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and IV sedation is administered by a certified MD anesthesiologist so that you will not be awake. Some patients have mild cramping after the procedure and are discharged with safe pain medication.
Can I travel?
Many of our patients have to travel various distances to return home after treatment.
Air travel in commercial aircraft is fine (pressurized aircraft). Drink lots of fluids while flying, since the circulated air can be quite dry, and dehydration should be avoided.
Car travel is also fine. Sitting for an extended period of time will not affect chances of pregnancy.
If you live out of town, most patients return home the day after the transfer. There is no medical reason to stay in Anand any longer.
Am I using up all my eggs if I do IVF?
In a natural ovulation cycle, the ovary selects one egg from a pool of approximately 100-1000 eggs. Those eggs which are not selected for that month undergo a natural cell death process called atresia. Fertility medications override the body’s selection process, and cause many of these “rescued” eggs to grow (hopefully between 10-20 eggs). These eggs would otherwise undergo atresia. Therefore, you are not “using up eggs faster” by undergoing ovulation induction, but are “rescuing” eggs to use in that cycle, which otherwise would have expired.
Can I freeze eggs for future eggs?
Unfortunately, current technology does not allow us to freeze eggs, then thaw, fertilize and develop embryos efficiently. Therefore, egg freezing is not currently a viable option for fertility preservation. The best option for preserving future fertility is to freeze embryos (fertilized eggs). Hopefully, the egg freezing technology will improve over the next 5-10 years, so that this option could then be a viable method to preserve future childbearing.
When do I need and egg donor?
Women who are unable to produce healthy eggs, but have a healthy uterus are candidates for egg donation with IVF. This procedure is the same as for IVF except the intended parents select a donor and use the donor’s egg to create the embryo. Patients may seek egg donation services at Pacific Fertility Center’s Egg Donor Agency or at an outside agency.