Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How should I prepare for my IVF cycle ?

" What can I do to improve my chances of success ? " As an IVF specialist, this is the commonest question patients ask me.

The following are the 5 key ingredients which you can contribute to the success of your IVF cycle.

1. Faith and trust. It's important that you be able to trust your doctor. Not only should you be confident about your doctor's technical competence, you should also feel secure that he cares for you; respects your desires; listens to your fears and worries; and will be available to give you a shoulder to cry on when you need this . Make sure your chemistry with your doctor is good. Does your doctor encourage you to ask questions ? Takes time to clear your doubts ? This is a tall list, and most doctors are human , so they are likely to fall short. However, in a good clinic, the IVF team should be able to bolster your confidence that you are in good hands.

Remember that your doctor needs to earn your trust . Don't give it away easily ! " Trust - but verify " should be your philosophy !

2. Smiles. Being optimistic helps to improve success rates. It's not that pessimistic patients don't get pregnant - it's just that patients who smile get better care from the medical team - and everything you can do to improve your odds is worth doing !

3. Being well informed ! Do your homework, so you have realistic expectations from your treatment. Ask questions and take a guided tour of the facility. Request your doctor to show your follicles on each scan - and ask to see photos of your embryos. Well informed patients get better medical care because they ask intelligent questions. Insist on a medical treatment summary at the end of the IVF clinic - this is valuable documentation and keeps everyone's interests aligned . Poor documentation suggests you have received poor medical care !

4. Money. It's true that IVF treatment can be expensive, and you need to be prepared for this. Selecting an IVF clinic which offers a shared risk/ refund program can help you reduce your
risk !

5. Good eggs, good sperm and a good uterus. I know this is asking for a lot, but patients who have good protoplasm have a much better chance of success. It's true that if you are 43, there's little you may be able to do to turn back the biological clock. However, simple self-help measures can make a world of a difference ! Stop smoking; make sure you are fit and have a healthy diet; and take supplements to help optimise your egg and sperm quality. Every little bit helps !

If your eggs and sperm are just not up to the mark, keeping an open mind and exploring the possibility of using third part reproduction can help you achieve your goal of having your baby.

The outcome for any IVF cycle is always uncertain - but taking treatment at a world-class clinic will maximise your chances of success and give you peace of mind you did your best !

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