In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): Common Questions About This Assisted Reproduction Treatment
Are you undergoing assisted reproduction treatment such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation? Or maybe you will be soon?
If this is the case, there are surely a thousand questions running through your head which you forgot to consult with your doctor. Don’t worry, because at URE Centro Gutenberg we’ll answer them for you!
How long does in vitro fertilisation treatment last?
Most assisted reproduction treatments are carried out over the course of one menstrual cycle. Treatment generally starts at the beginning of your period, with the ovarian stimulation, and lasts between 8 to 12 days. Following this first step comes the insemination or egg collection and embryo transfer, depending on whether you are undergoing artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation.
Some treatments require prior preparation. We must also account for the time needed to carry out the initial evaluation and analyses before deciding what the most suitable reproduction technique is.
Can I have intercourse during assisted reproduction treatment?
Intercourse is not recommended at two specific times during treatment. One is at the end of ovarian stimulation and then again after egg retrieval, mainly due to the fact that the ovaries are larger in size. This increases the risk of ovarian torsion and can also be quite uncomfortable for the female.
Although there is nothing published that contraindicates it, we recommend refraining from intercourse following the embryo transfer in IVF, primarily for the patients’ peace of mind.
Following artificial insemination intercourse is not contraindicated.
Do I need to rest after the egg retrieval and embryo transfer during IVF treatment?
After the egg retrieval, as with any surgery involving anaesthesia, it is advisable that you rest and relax for about 24 hours, though bed rest is not necessary.
Following the embryo transfer, more than rest, it’s essential that you stay relaxed and keep yourself distracted. Rest has not been shown to improve the likelihood of pregnancy, and following your “normal” daily routine will not affect the results of treatment.
Are all medications equally effective?
In general, the hormones used to stimulate the ovaries are based on the natural hormones FSH and LH, or a combination of the two. These hormones may be sold under many different names and all are equally effective. The use of one or another will depend on each patient, her diagnosis and the experiences of each doctor.
Can genetic diseases be prevented with in vitro fertilisation?
Nowadays, thanks to advances in genetics, it is possible to identify many genetic conditions in embryos through preimplantation genetic diagnosis. One example are monogenic disorders, or disorders caused by the mutation of a single gene, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, fragile X, etc. Disorders caused by several genes with mutations (polygenic disorders), cannot yet be prevented through assisted reproduction.
Is the egg retrieval painful?
The egg retrieval is a surgical procedure that requires sedation and generally lasts between 15 to 20 minutes. Due to the effects of the anaesthesia, egg collection is normally painless.
What are the success rates for in vitro fertilisation?
Results will depend on each patient’s diagnosis and each clinic. At URE Centro Gutenberg the average pregnancy success rate with in vitro fertilisation treatment is around 50 to 55% per embryo transfer, and a cumulative success rate of over 80%.
For IVF with donor eggs, or egg donation, the likelihood of pregnancy is between 60 and 70% per transfer, and a cumulative success rate of over 90%.
Should I quit smoking during in vitro fertilisation treatment?
We recommend that you stop smoking, or cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day as much as possible. It has been clearly proven that tobacco is detrimental to fertility as it reduces sperm and egg quality, decreases the chances of embryo implantation and also increases the likelihood of miscarriage and other problems during pregnancy and delivery.
Can I exercise during in vitro fertilisation treatment?
Several studies have linked a balanced diet and regular physical activity to an increased likelihood of pregnancy. It is advisable to maintain moderate-intensity physical activity on a regular basis.
Does in vitro fertilisation put babies at an increased risk for birth defects?
To date, IVF has not been shown to increase chances or have a statistically significant difference on birth defects in children born from assisted reproduction techniques compared to children born from natural pregnancies. At any rate, several scientific associations, including ones from Spain, are constantly monitoring these possible issues.
Does the ovarian stimulation produce side effects?
As with any medical procedure, ovarian stimulation is not risk-free. However, there is a very low incidence of risks and they are carefully controlled. The most serious risk is ovarian hyper‑stimulation syndrome, a condition which years ago was the cause of treatment cancellation, hospital admittance and serious health problems. But nowadays it is possible to predict, manage and almost 100% prevent this complication from occurring.
We hope that these answers have helped to clear up any doubts you had about your in vitro fertilisation treatment. Remember that at URE Centro Gutenberg we are here to help you make your dream of becoming a mother come true.
If you are considering undergoing assisted reproduction treatment, you can request an appointment with us and we will be happy to provide you with more information.