frequently asked questions

Am I a candidate for IVF?

There are a number of factors involved in determining if a patient is suitable for IVF treatment. Appropriate candidates often include couples who may experience:

1. Low sperm counts

2. Endometriosis.

3. Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes

4. Ovulation disorders

5. Sperm unable to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus

6. Other health or unexplained reproductive issues

How Important is the Woman's Age?

A woman's age is a very important factor. The closer a woman is to 40, the less the chances are of getting pregnant. For women over 40, the chances are very low.

How long does IVF take?

The in vitro fertilization process can last anywhere from four to six weeks prior to egg retrieval. The embryo(s) will then be implanted between two to five days afterwards. Not all patients are successful on their first IVF attempt; in fact, it's not uncommon for patients to go through multiple IVF cycles before finally becoming pregnant.

Are there any restrictions while undergoing IVF?

Yes. Your doctor will recommend that you adhere to the basic guidelines below during the IVF process and into your pregnancy.

. Smoking: It's recommended that both partners stop smoking at least three months before beginning an IVF cycle, and before ovulation induction begins. The effects of tobacco have been shown to be toxic and harmful to a woman's eggs.

. Drinking: Alcohol should be avoided at the outset of IVF treatment, until one's pregnancy test, and if pregnant, until the birth of the child.

. Medications It's important to inform your doctor if you're taking any prescription or or over-the-counter medications. Some medicines can interfere with the prescribed fertility medication, or embryo transference, and others may not be safe to take before surgery.

. Vigorous exercise: Intense physical activities like aerobics, weightlifting and running are prohibited during ovarian stimulation and until the results of one's pregnancy are known.

. Supplements Herbal supplements are completely prohibited during the IVF process.

What happens if I become pregnant?

Once a pregnancy is confirmed, you'll see your fertility doctor for continued blood testing, and eventually an ultrasound to confirm that the pregnancy is progressing smoothly. Once the fetus' heartbeat has been verified, you'll be referred to an obstetrician for the rest of your pregnancy.

If I'm not pregnant, when can we try again?

Normally, patients are asked to wait for one or two full menstrual cycles before resuming another IVF cycle. Certain additional tests may be needed that could delay subsequent IVF cycles.

Are there any side effects associated with IVF?

Fertility medications can cause mood swings, headaches, hot flashes, abdominal pain, and bloating. In very rare cases, fertility medication may induce ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can produce more severe symptoms such as:

1. Nausea or vomiting

2. Shortness of breath

3. Decreased urinary frequency

4. Feeling faint

5. Significant weight gain within three to five days

6. Severe stomach pain and bloating

Potential side effects after IVF treatment may include:

1. Passing a tiny small amount of clear or blood colored fluid after the procedure

2. Mild bloating

3. Mild cramping

4. Breast tenderness

5. Constipation

Is infertility just a woman's problem?

No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. In about one-third of cases, infertility is due to the woman (female factors). In another third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown factors.

Is infertility a common problem?

About 12% of women (7.3 million) in the United States aged 15-44 had difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term in 2002, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

What increases a man's risk of infertility?

The number and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that may reduce sperm number and/or quality include:

1. Alcohol

2. Drugs

3. Environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead.

4. Smoking cigarettes.

5. Health problems.

6. Medicines

7. Radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer

8. Age

What increases a man's risk of infertility?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that a woman consults her health care provider if she is: 1) under 35 years old and has been trying to conceive for more than 12 months, or 2) over 35 years old and has been trying to conceive for over 6 months.

Can You Find Out Earlier If You Have Fertility Issues?

You always have the option of asking your health care provider to conduct a complete examination to determine if either partner has possible fertility issues. You can also choose to do at-home fertility testing, available for both men and women.

Does The Position Chosen For Intercourse Affect Fertility?

After ejaculation, enough sperm will remain inside the woman to fertilize an egg. Therefore, there is no significant advantage of one intercourse position over another.

Is Infertility A Medical Problem Related To The Woman Only?

1. Infertility is a medical condition that is found in both men and women, and men and women are affected almost equally.

2. With men, declining sperm counts, testicular abnormalities, and decreased reach of climax are common causes of infertility. Shop Products to Help Increase Sperm Count

3. Men can also do an at-home semen analysis to evaluate their fertility. SpermCheck is a corporate sponsor and you can learn more about at-home testing here.

4. With women, the most common causes are a tubal blockage, endometriosis, PCOS, and advanced maternal age which affects egg quality/quantity.

Fertility Treatments Can be Very Stressful. Is There Any Support for Couples Undergoing Fertility Treatments?

As part of our comprehensive care of women and their partners, we are pleased to offer individual, couples, and family counseling for those participating in fertility treatments at no additional charge. We recognize that going through fertility treatments is stressful. Besides counseling, we offer "Surviving Fertility Treatments" workshops and ongoing support groups at our center.

What Are the Risks of Multiple Births with Infertility Drugs?

Media and public fascination with multiples has unfortunately reinforced a misperception that multiple births of a high magnitude are a regular result of infertility treatment. However, less than 6% of births related to ART have involved the birth of three or more babies according to a study published by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Reproductive Medicine.