Exploring Assisted Reproductive Technology: Focus on IVF

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Exploring Assisted Reproductive Technology: Focus on IVF

Assisted reproductive technology, colloquially known as ART, is a set of medical procedures used to treat infertility. A variety of different treatment measures fall under ART. The most well-known of these procedures are in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, and the cryopreservation of gametes or embryos, or freezing eggs.

In the hands of experts, in-vitro fertilization is a safe procedure that has helped many families realize their parenthood dreams. Although IVF is not the only route to take when considering assisted reproductive technology, it is the most widely utilized method. This can be particularly true for those families who have passed the best ages for reproduction. Read on to learn more about the process of IVF and how it can help you achieve your reproductive dreams.

Before IVF

There are a lot of steps you can take to up your odds for success in IVF. A thorough understanding of the processes involved can help you ensure that you are mentally and emotionally prepared for all of the pieces of this rewarding process! 

Learn About Injectable Medication

When you see examples of IVF in the media, one of the first things you will notice portrayed are the shots. These are something of an inevitable step in the process. 

It is not uncommon to need time to prepare for injections, both mentally and physically. Many couples feel pressure about the injections because they do not accurately understand the injections’ place in the IVF cycle. However, couples who are adequately prepared feel more assured in taking this step and moving throughout the process.

Injectable medications will be provided for ten to twenty days to stimulate the development of ovarian follicles. The times at which these medications will be administered are determined by the response of the body to these medications and the different ovulation induction plans prescribed by doctors. 

Short term induction plans are commonly used today, which include antagonist protocol or microdoses of Lupron. Because fertility drugs can stimulate the chances of multiple pregnancies, they are best taken under the supervision of infertility specialists that are board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the specialty of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. These specialists will determine the best dosage for you based on how your body responds to the medication and how your ovaries function. Laboratory blood tests and ultrasounds will also be monitored closely to minimize potential risks. 

These injectable medications are easy to apply at home. Similar to insulin injection, as long as you fill the right syringe with the right amount of medicine, adhere to the time schedule, and give the injection properly, you won’t have any trouble! 

Prepare for Multiple Cycles

Patients ultimately choose IVF due to a variety of circumstances. Some begin with poor ovarian condition, some have missed the windows during which their bodies were the most fertile, and some still make the choice to pursue IVF for other reasons. An honest doctor will caution you that multiple trials might be necessary to have a successful pregnancy. 

Although this can be discouraging, it is important not to waste time during this process. Take the chance and start your IVF cycles early to ensure increased odds of success.

Increase Your Odds with a Healthy Lifestyle

Though it may feel like the results are out of your control, there is a lot you can do to increase the probability of positive outcomes during IVF. The treatment begins long before your first in-office appointment. You are preparing just by reading this article! Prepare further by leaving smoking behind, taking your vitamins, eating healthy foods, and improving the quality of your sleep. 

Please contact our case manager for the suggested type and dosage of vitamins and supplemental medications. We will make recommendations that you can take to any drug store for a variety of brands to try! 

Prepare Your Finances

The age of first-time parents in the United States is on the rise. IVF can help couples expand their families no matter their reproductive age, allowing families to choose the best time for them, financially and emotionally. 

However, IVF is still considered a special treatment that is not covered by most insurance policies in the US. Although IVF can be a financial commitment, the return is a lifetime of happiness and joy with your new baby. 

Beginning IVF

Fortunately, technology is constantly evolving and doctors have a number of tools at hand to assist you throughout this process. From cameras to see inside your uterus to gender selection tools, modern medicine is here to make this as seamless a transition as possible. 

Hysteroscopy: Arm Yourself with Information

The current gold standard for assessing the uterus is hysteroscopy. With this technology, a thin scope is gently directed into the uterus. The hysteroscope has a tiny camera and light that allows your doctor to clearly see inside of your uterus via a monitor. 

If your doctor needs additional information, a small sample of uterine tissue can be removed for further analysis. Thanks to this, your uterus will be completely assessed and your doctor will be able to provide you with an expected embryo number. 

Preimplantation Diagnosis and Gender Selection

The biggest wish of every prospective parent is to have a healthy baby. Thanks to the development of genetic technology, we can detect problems in the nick of time! 

Genetic abnormalities are the most frequent causes of early miscarriages. Preimplantation assessment can help prevent these losses. Preimplantation diagnosis allows us to guarantee that we only transfer healthy embryos that have the maximum potential of a successful pregnancy. 

Chromosome defects can be easily filtered and the gender of the baby is able to be detected to help balance the family structure.

Egg Retrieval Surgery

The word surgery may sound intimidating, but the egg retrieval process is a very minor fifteen-minute surgical procedure. No cuts, no stitches! 

Here’s how it works: first, a doctor will use an ultrasound to locate your ovaries. Next, your doctor will gently guide a needle attached to a catheter through your vaginal wall. The eggs will be pulled out one by one using light suction. They will then be collected in test tubes labeled with your personal information. 

After the retrieval process, your doctor will examine your vaginal wall and your ovaries to ensure that there were no complications. A little bit of bleeding is normal, and your doctor will be prepared to help you through that. 

That’s it! No stitches or scars. Three days of bed rest is recommended afterward. Be careful to follow any additional instructions from your medical team to ensure a quick and easy recovery.

Contact Us Today

Many of our team members have been through this process and understand the onslaught of emotions involved in the procedure. We would like to ensure you feel comfortable with this process by providing you with all of the information and emotional support that we can. Let us pave the way toward bringing home a new member of your family!