This is a post I wrote a while back about common IVF questions. Thought it may be helpful to some of my new viewers. Sorry if you have already read it. If you are new to IVF or an IVF vet you probably have questions and concerns about your IVF cycle. Searching the internet for answers often gets you very technical results. I hope this post can answer a few of the common IVF questions, from more of a patient’s viewpoint. This list will be the most beneficial to IVF newbies.
Will the procedures be painful? No, unless you end up with OHSS, the procedures should be painless. I did not know this going into my first retreival and was in extreme pain. I thought it was normal, but later I found out that I had a mild case of OHSS. If you are in any pain, please inform your doctor.
- How much work will I have to miss? IVF can be very demanding of your time, but there are a lot of variables when considering how much work will be missed. How far do you live from your clinic, how often does your RE ask you to come in, does your RE require bed rest after the transfer? I am a teacher and had to drive about 40 minutes each way to get to my appointments. So, I had to have someone cover a class or two quite often. My RE required 3 days of bed rest after the transfer, which I was lucky enough for that part to fall on the weekend, and two to three weekly visits. The good news is that most of the visits only take about 5 minutes. If you live close to your RE’s office, you should not have to miss much, if any, work for them.
- 3 or 5 day transfer? There are a few questions that arise about 3 vs 5 day transfers. Why did my RE choose to do a 3 day transfer, which type of transfer is “best”. This is a really controversial topic, and the answers vary depending on your situation and your RE. You may want to check out this post for more information about 3 and 5 day transfers.
- Do the fertility drugs cause side effects? Yes, but they are not too bad. I had worse side effects from being on birth control pills than stimulation drugs. In my opinion, the worst side effects are caused by the progesterone. Since it is a hormone that is naturally produced during pregnancy, the side effects mimic early pregnancy symptoms. For example, sore bb’s, bloating, constipation. This can cause huge mind games with people….am I pregnant, is it the progesterone???? Most of the time it is just the progesterone, considering early pregnancy symptoms do not kick in until around 6 or 7 weeks.
- When can I take a home pregnancy test? This question can drive you crazy!! We are all so eager to find out if the procedure worked that we are willing to test way too early and then get frustrated. I wrote an article about this, and there are a lot of good comments from visitors, you may want to check it out here. Please do not let a early hpt discourage you! You won’t know for sure until you get a beta blood test done.
- How long does it take for the HCG trigger shot to get out of my system? It depends on the dose that you took. But the common dosage for a trigger shot takes up to ten days to get out of your system. Testing any earlier than that could cause you to get a false positive.
- How many embryos should I transfer? This is a very personal decision, that you should take very seriously. The more embryos you put back the more likely you are to get pregnant, but you are also more likely to have multiple embryos implant. Having more than two embryos implant is dangerous for the babies and for the mom. Many RE’s will not implant more than two embryos at a time, especially if they are blast (day 5 embryos). Some RE’s have age guidelines. For example, they may only transfer one of two embryos into someone under age 30, but be willing to transfer 3 into a patient who is over 30 years of age.
- Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting pregnant through IVF? There are theories about things that you can do to improve your chances, but most of them are not proven to be true. The way I see it is they are worth a try, just be sure your RE knows about any alternative treatments you are trying. Please check out the IVF Success Program for ideas about improving your chances.
I am sure I am missing questions, but I hope this list covers some of the most common ones. Please feel free to reply to this post with any questions or answers that you have. IVF can be stressful and challenging, but it is all worth it in the end!!! You will have your miracle baby, if you keep trying!