At the Center for Reproductive Medicine, we believe that understanding your infertility treatment is vital to your success. We know you likely have many questions about what to expect as you embark on your fertility journey. Read on for answers to our most commonly asked questions.
When you schedule your new patient consultation, our team will email you a set of patient information forms. Please complete your forms online prior to your appointment. Additionally, we ask that you have your primary care physician and/or OBGYN release your medical records to our office. This information is necessary for us to be able to make an accurate assessment of your condition.
During your first appointment, you will meet with one of our fertility specialists for a detailed discussion of your medical history. You will then meet with one or more of our physicians, as well as members of our nursing staff, for a detailed discussion of your medical history. Based on this conversation, your provider may perform a physical examination or recommend certain fertility testing or treatment procedures. You will have an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have and to review the options available to you.
Although we encourage patients to maintain their normal routines as much as possible during treatment, there are several activities you should avoid during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women who smoke are strongly encouraged to quit before undergoing infertility treatment, as byproducts of tobacco are known to be toxic to the egg and hazardous to the developing fetus. You should also stop drinking alcohol during infertility treatment and throughout pregnancy.
Certain medications can have adverse effects during IVF, so be sure to tell your Center for Reproductive Health physician about any and all medications you are taking, whether prescribed or over-the-counter.
Finally, abstain from any strenuous physical activity such as aerobics, jogging or weight lifting during ovarian stimulation and until the pregnancy test results are known. Light exercise, such as walking, is not harmful and can help reduce stress and improve your circulation.
Maximizing sperm quality for IVF can help improve the chances of successful fertilization. Because sperm cells take 74 days to develop and mature, men need to avoid certain activities for at least three months prior to the date of egg retrieval.
A fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher can negatively impact the fertility potential of sperm cells, so notify an IVF nurse if you become ill before or during an IVF cycle. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) can be taken to help keep your temperature below 101 degrees. Minimize any alcohol and tobacco use before and during infertility treatment, and avoid all recreational drug use. Additionally, report any medications (prescription and over-the-counter) or supplements you are taking to your Center for Reproductive Medicine provider, as some of these can have adverse effects on sperm production.
Hot tubs, jacuzzis, spas and saunas should be avoided, and although moderate exercise is encouraged, you should not begin any new endurance exercise regimens during the three months before starting infertility treatment. Our team will provide additional instructions to you before you begin treatment.
Women are born with far more eggs than they will ever need in a lifetime. While ovulation induction generally results in the collection of multiple eggs in a single cycle, there is no measurable effect on your overall supply.
In accordance with the recommendations of The Society for Reproductive Medicine, we typically transfer one or two embryos in women under 30, two or three in women between 30 and 35, and three in women over 35. However, because individual circumstances can vary, we ultimately make this decision on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is to give you the best chance of implantation while minimizing the risk of multiple pregnancy.
Blood pregnancy test performed approximately 2 weeks after embryo transfer process. If the pregnancy test is positive, you will continue visiting our office for follow-up blood work and ultrasounds to ensure the ongoing success of your pregnancy. After the fetal heartbeat can be detected, you will be referred to an obstetrician for the remainder of the pregnancy.
A high-risk obstetrician is only needed when there are complications that put you or your baby at increased risk, such as multiple pregnancy or certain medical conditions. Aside from the increased chance of multiple pregnancy, IVF poses no risk to the fetus.
If you do not become pregnant, we recommend waiting one or two complete menstrual cycles before beginning another IVF cycle. This gives your body a chance to rest and allows us time to perform tests that may help us refine your customized infertility treatment strategy.
There are certain factors that can make it seem as if pregnancy loss is more common among infertility patients, when in fact the miscarriage rate is approximately equal to that in the general population. Because pregnancy is detected very early in women who undergo IVF, women who miscarry early are aware of a pregnancy that otherwise might not have been recognized. Additionally, women over the age of 35 have higher incidences of both infertility and miscarriage than younger women. Since many infertility patients are over 35, their risk of miscarriage is naturally higher.