IVF Treatment: Timing Is Everything
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive technology that assists with the stages of conception. IVF addresses the most common causes of infertility to increase the chance of pregnancy.
IVF has a proven record of success, but with IVF, timing is everything. It is important that patients undergo IVF at the right time in their life, and that each stage of treatment is timed properly. Dr. Sonja Kristiansen works with her Houston, TX, patients to ensure that IVF is timed in a way that encourages the ultimate success of IVF treatment.
IVF and Age
Age is one factor that can impact fertility, and female fertility in particular. Every woman is born with the number of eggs that she will have for her entire life. As soon as a woman begins menstruating, those eggs start to be released. Over time, the quantity and quality of a woman’s eggs (known as her ovarian reserve) diminishes.
IVF assists with common sources of infertility to make a successful pregnancy more likely. However, for treatment to be a success, a woman must have a good source of viable eggs to be fertilized (or be willing to work with an egg donor). Therefore, timing IVF during the right stage of a woman’s life is vital to treatment success for our Houston patients.
Timing the Menstrual Cycle for Fertility Treatment
For women who are deemed ideal candidates for IVF, timing also plays a role in the planning of each stage of treatment. It is essential that each phase of IVF treatments aligns with the woman’s menstrual cycle, so that viable eggs can be released and collected for fertilization and embryo transfer at the right time. To ensure that we time egg retrieval properly, our Houston patients start IVF treatment with ovarian stimulation.
During ovarian stimulation women are prescribed a combination of fertility drugs. The fertility medication, which is usually administered in the form of injections, initiates ovulation and encourages the ovaries to promote multiple mature eggs. To ensure that eggs are released in proper timing of the egg retrieval procedure, patients self-administer a “trigger shot” 36 hours before egg collection. The trigger shot contains hCG, which encourages the release of mature eggs.
Finally, fertility medication administered during IVF treatment builds up the lining of the uterus, so that when we schedule the embryo transfer, the uterine lining is prepared to support the embryo, which is vital to it implanting and resulting in a successful pregnancy.
What if I’m Not Ready to Start a Family?
It is not uncommon for a woman to reach the stage in her life that is ideal for IVF treatment before she is actually ready to start a family. In these cases, our patients can consider IVF for fertility preservation. Women can undergo the beginning stages of IVF, while the timing is right, and then have their eggs or embryos preserved (frozen) for a later IVF treatment. This gives women the option to time family planning so that it best aligns with their life and goals.
Contact Our Fertility Clinic
If you are considering IVF, or would like to learn more about the timing of treatment, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen would be happy to answer any questions you may have. To schedule a personal fertility consultation, contact our fertility clinic online, or call (713) 225-5375.