In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular options out there for assisted reproduction. It can help many couples and individuals start the family that they have always wanted. Many people have misconceptions about what IVF involves and how it can be of benefit to them and their needs, however. The team at our fertility center would like to take this opportunity to go over some of the basics of care right now, with focus on patient preparation for treatment.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the careful harvesting of eggs and the fertilization of these eggs in a safe lab setting. This ensures proper fertilization and increases chances of successful pregnancy. The fertilized eggs are placed back into the womb to be carried to term.
The Screening Process for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Before any in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment can be initiated, there is a screening process that will often be performed. Patients can expect the following:
- Checking for infectious disease - Because the health of the fetus is paramount, you, your partner, and/or any donors involved in the process will be screened for diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
- Ovarian reserve testing - Successful harvesting of the eggs is dependent on a number of factors related to the health of a woman's ovaries and the eggs themselves. Fertility specialists will note both of these matters.
- Semen analysis - The health and viability of the semen is similarly important in an IVF treatment, so analysis of the semen will need to be performed.
- Practice embryo transfer - The transfer process is a crucial part of the IVF procedure. A test of the transfer process may be performed in order assess the health and depth of the uterus.
Important Concerns Before In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
Before you undergo the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, your fertility specialist will walk you through some other important concerns for the IVF process. These include:
- The number of embryos being implanted/possibility of multiple pregnancy - Many times, IVF will result in twins or triplets, even if a relatively small amount of embryos are transferred. Those undergoing IVF need to keep this possibility in mind.
- Knowing all the risks and benefits - Before you undergo any type of medical procedure, it's important that you know the good and the bad so that you are ready to handle both.
- What will be done with additional embryos - Not all embryos will be transferred as part of the IVF process. Patients will need to determine if these embryos should be kept via cryopreservation or not.
Healthy Eating / Lifestyle Prior to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
In the lead up to in vitro fertilization (IVF), it's important for patients to eat healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle. This increases the chances of successful pregnancy. Some basic tips to keep in mind:
- Quit smoking
- Reduce consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Stay well hydrated
- Add healthy protein to your diet
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Take time to relax and mentally prepare for IVF
Learn More About Treatments for Infertility
If you would like more information about in vitro fertilization (IVF) and your other options for starting the family that you have always wanted, be sure to contact our Houston and Sugar Land fertility clinics today. Our team looks forward to discussing all of your treatment options in greater detail.