Saturday, March 12, 2011

Moments of truth in an IVF cycle

An IVF cycle is full of uncertainty and suspense , like any other biological system. However, being prepared for these can help you cope better !

Think of an IVF cycle as being a series of hurdles - and you need to cross all these to reach the finish line ! While most patients will cross these hurdles with ease in a good IVF clinic, each of these is a " moment of truth ".

  • You should grow many follicles
  • These follicles should mature
  • Your uterine lining should also mature in synch with your follicles
  • Ovulation should not occur before the eggs can be collected
  • Mature eggs must be retrieved by the doctor during the "pick-up"
  • Your sperm must fertilize the eggs ( with IVF or ICSI)
  • The embryos must divide and grow healthily in the IVF lab
  • Your embryos should be transferred by the doctor smoothly into your uterus
  • Your embryos should implant

Think of it as a series of hurdles, all of which have to be cleared , in order to win the race !

As you can see, how well you negotiate these hurdles will depend to some extent on your biology ( how good your ovarian reserve is , for example); while others will depend upon the skill of the doctor !

A good clinic will guide you through these moments of truth, and share information with you, so that you can rejoice when things are going well - and be prepared in case things do not go as planned. Unfortunately, as with any biological system, IVF is also full of ups and downs - and the more you know about what is happening - and what is going to happen next, the more easily you'll be able to go through your IVF treatment !
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