Questions to ask your fertility specialist at your first visit

Many patients report that their fertility journeys differ greatly depending on their clinic and physician.  It is always best to speak to a fertility specialist that has experience in the field and ask questions that come to mind before you choose to begin your fertility treatment. This way you can be educated on the different approaches and find out what is best for you.

But what to ask? Most likely there are many questions swirling around in your head so let’s help inform you.

  1. Which is better for me if I have unexplained infertility: IUI or IVF?

Infertility can be caused by any number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Ovulation-related infertility
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)or Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Quantity and quality of eggs
  • Quality or quantity of sperm
  • Age

When it comes to determining the best method or procedure, the first step is to understand the difference between the two.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure where sperm is placed inside the uterus to ensure healthy sperm gets closer to the egg and increases the chances of successful fertilization. IUI requires functioning fallopian tubes and functioning sperm.

With IVF treatment, patients will take medications to stimulate the ovaries, multiple follicles will grow and once mature, the eggs will be retrieved and fertilized into embryos at our partner lab. The resulting embryo(s) are then transferred into the uterus.

You and your fertility specialist will make this decision together on whether IUI or IVF is better for you.

  1. Is there an age limit for treatment? 

Many clinics have a set age limit and typically have different reasons for doing so.  At Tripod Fertility; however, it is very important to speak to one of our specialists first to discuss your individual case and treatment plan.

In the IVF world, success rates decrease with age as the risk of pregnancy complications rises. We examine each patient on an individual basis, and we consider several factors to determine the likelihood of success. Our experienced physicians and professional staff will help you every step of the way to maximize your chance of success.

    3. What tests need to be done before starting IVF treatment?

It is important to know tests and medications are unique to everyone during this process.  At Tripod Fertility, our physicians typically order blood tests to check female patients’ ovarian reserve and look for any abnormalities.  Male patients will also go through blood tests and a semen evaluation is usually required prior to starting IVF treatment.  These pre-cycle tests can be done at our clinic to reduce your travel.

  1. How long is the IVF process expected to take from start to finish?

The average time for the egg retrieval stimulation cycle ranges from 10-14 days, but each case can vary depending how the patient’s body reacts to medications.  This timeframe starts when the patient begins medication used for ovarian stimulation to the egg retrieval procedure.

After embryos are fertilized, it takes approximately two to four weeks to receive the genetic testing results if requested, after we know the embryos results, you will then be ready to prepare for an embryo transfer cycle.  When it comes to a FET (Frozen embryo transfer) cycle, each case can vary due to several factors. In a typical scenario, the embryo transfer procedure usually takes place between days 19 and 21 of the patient’s menstrual cycle.  This is followed by a pregnancy blood test approximately 12-14 days post-implantation. We will continue to follow up with the pregnancy until 30-32 weeks if desired.

  1. Does your clinic perform fresh or frozen embryo transfers?

With a frozen embryo transfer, you already have embryos created and preserved for use as needed. When you choose to freeze your embryos, PGT (Preimplantation genetic testing) can also be performed on the embryos to check for any chromosomal abnormalities; allowing you to know which embryos have normal chromosomes will eliminate chromosome related diseases and increase success rate of having a healthy baby.

With a fresh embryo transfer, the embryo transfer is performed usually either three or five days after the retrieval. In a frozen embryo transfer cycle, the embryo has been previously created, sometimes even years earlier, and then will be placed into the uterus.

  1. Do you recommend a single embryo transfer or a multiple embryos transfer?

With today’s technology and if pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT-A) is involved, a Single Embryo Transfer procedure is highly recommended by our physician to reduce the risks of twins, high-risk pregnancies, and miscarriages.  Our fertility specialists prefer to select and transfer one good quality embryo for better pregnancy success rates.

     7. Do I need genetic testing?

PGT-A tests all 23 pairs of chromosomes for structural/numerical abnormalities.  With genetic testing, it’s important to note that this is performed after embryo creation but before implantation. Part of the pre-cycle lab work includes a genetic carrier screening; this screening will tell us if a couple needs additional testing on top of PGT-A testing.

  1. How much does treatment cost?

Infertility treatment can be expensive. At Tripod Fertility, we provide the best possible care with transparent costs throughout your journey.  Costs include:

  • Fertility testing
  • Fertility medications
  • Cycle fees depending on the cycle types
  • Outside lab charges and shipping costs

Our coordinators will provide options of different cycles and explain all cost details.  Tripod Fertility also provides options for financing.

  1. What are the options for embryos that won’t be used?

Our clinic partners will not discard any unused embryos without your permission. You can keep them in storage for future use, donate them to other patients who are looking for donated embryos, or donate for research.  When you start treatment, we will send you a disposition of embryo consent with all options provided, and you can make your own decision.

  1. Are there any side effects to treatments?

As part of the IVF treatment process for example, multiple medications and certain medical procedures are required, which can result in some side effects.  Injections could cause pain; fertility medication can cause possible mood swing, abdominal pain, and mild bloating during the process.  If you experience any symptoms or uncomfortableness, our medical staff is always available to be contacted and will provide solutions to you.

Make your dream of a family come true. To book a consultation with one of Tripod Fertility specialists, click here.