Thursday, July 08, 2010

How to Ensure IVF/ICSI Success

This is a guest post from an expert IVF patient !

The title of this post is misleading to say the least, because if there’s one thing no one can guarantee you, it is a 100 percent chance of success in getting pregnant through any assisted reproductive technique. All your doctor and medical team can do is to set up the best possible environment in your uterus to hold the embryo, ensure that everything possible is done to get the best quality of eggs, sperm and embryos, and transfer the growing embryos into your uterus at the right stage. After that, it’s up to a higher power to decide if the embryos implant or not. No matter how much medical science has advanced in creating life, there are still some mysteries that remain. And this is why your doctor cannot assure success in an IVF cycle.

If that is so, then why write an article about ensuring success? Because when it comes to IVF, ICSI and any other assisted reproductive technique, success is relative. Some people take home healthy babies a year or so after they’ve started treatment, some take home more than one baby because of multiple pregnancies, others come back more than once before they’re able to become proud parents, yet others get pregnant only to lose the baby midway, and yet others go through multiple cycles without ever testing positive. Most people would consider success in an IVF cycle as taking home a healthy baby at the end of your pregnancy, but having gone through five unsuccessful cycles myself, this is what I have to say about relative success.

• Every successive cycle you go through teaches you patience and tolerance, qualities that are required in large amounts if you want to stay sane when you face failure time and again.
• Sign up for the next cycle only if you are realistic about your chances of success – it’s important that you stay positive even as you know in one corner of your mind that there is a chance for failure too. So in the event of no pregnancy, be prepared with positive reinforcement in the form of friends, family and other things that you love so that you don’t fall apart.
• Do your homework – you may be forgiven for being ignorant of the IVF process during your first cycle. But if you’re coming back for the second or even third time, it is imperative that you read all about it, know what you’re in for, what your doctor must or must not do, what you must or must not do, and choose the clinic that offers you the best chances (Clinics that have a complete IVF setup and do not rely on outside specialists for their expertise are better options because you don’t experience unforeseen delays and inept treatment).
• Failure in multiple cycles may open a new door for you – most people start to consider other options like adoption, surrogacy, donor eggs, donor sperm, and other unconventional ways to have babies. Talk to your doctor about all the options open to you before you decide to put your body through the whole rigmarole again.

An IVF cycle is just another method of treatment that medical science has invented - it is liable to both success and failure. And when you realize this simple truth, it’s easier to go through the process and come out smiling, irrespective of whether you succeed or fail.

This article is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who regularly writes on the subject of online pharmacy technician certification. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: [email protected].

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