There’s no need to be a nervous wreck during your first IVF session.
Instead, use this handy guide – created with the help of a fertility specialist—to be prepared and ask the right questions.
For the first time, visiting a fertility hospital can get intimidating because you have no idea what to expect or how the process will go. However, you can calm your nerves by mentally preparing for what’s to come. Rest assured that all of your emotions are justified.
When you meet with an IVF specialist for the first time, bring these questions with you, which we’ve compiled with the help of obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Himali Maniar, who is among the leading gynecologists in Bopal, Ahmedabad.
1. Inquire about the clinic’s and doctor’s IVF success rates.
Unfortunately, there is no regulatory body in India that monitors and evaluates IVF clinics, so you’ll have to ask some tough questions. “At the moment, there is no way of knowing the exact success rate of each clinic,” Dr. Himali Maniar says.
But keep in mind that success rates refer to live births rather than clinical pregnancy, including all pregnancies resulting in miscarriages. “Most clinics present clinical pregnancy rates as success rates,” Dr. Himali Maniar explains.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the success rate of IVF is determined by the mother’s age and a variety of other factors.
2. Consult your doctor about the best way to prepare for IVF.
“A couple should be physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially prepared before they perform the treatment,” says Dr. Himali Maniar.
They must be psychologically stable and physically fit to accept both success and failure equally. This is why she recommends having a good counseling session first about the various aspects of IVF treatment, including costs, success rates, complications, and risks.
3. Speak with your doctor about dealing with any discomfort you may experience during the procedure.
Because IVF treatment necessitates the use of hormonal medication in relatively high doses, you may experience some side effects.
“When the ovaries produce a large number of eggs, their size increases dramatically, and some women experience lower abdominal heaviness, discomfort, and nausea,” Dr. Himali Maniar explains.
“It is, therefore, preferable to be mentally prepared and know what to expect ahead of time so that you are not overly disappointed in the event of any pain or discomfort,” she emphasizes.
4. Bring up the topic of IVF failure with your doctor.
While this may appear to be a pessimistic approach to your treatment, the fact is that an unsuccessful IVF cycle is a reality for a few patients—one that can be heartbreaking.
This is why Dr. Himali Maniar recommends speaking openly with your doctor about your chances of success with IVF, taking into account your age and medical history.
“Couples should be counseled at the clinic about their options if their IVF treatment fails. She explains that they should not have unrealistic expectations and should be given accurate facts and figures to be mentally prepared to accept both success and failure.
5. While you’re at it, inquire about ALL of the costs involved with the clinic.
“Ideally, all costs associated with the counseling process should be disclosed to the couple.
Dr. Himali Maniar explains, “This includes blood tests, stimulation medication, ultrasound scans, egg recovery costs, embryology lab costs, and embryo transfer costs.”
However, there are some costs associated with all of this, such as embryo freezing and pregnancy. Treatment for any complications, such as ovarian hyperstimulation, will also be excluded from the initial quote.
6. Finally, talk to your doctor about the various options for your embryos.
One IVF cycle with good-quality eggs and sperm can result in multiple viable embryos – all of which are not implanted simultaneously. So, after you’ve gotten pregnant with IVF, what happens to the rest of your resources?
“You can freeze them, donate them to another couple, discard them, or donate them to research,” Dr. Himali Maniar advises.
It is critical to make an informed decision in this situation. “You should be fully aware of your options and consent to the next steps with full knowledge,” she says.
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