Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The second IVF baby

Most infertile couples are so desperate to have a child that when their IVF cycle  finally succeeds and they have a baby, they are on top of the world . They believe that their family is now complete ; and that their infertility struggle is finally over. The thought of having a second baby is something which never crosses their mind. Most infertile couples believe that one is more than enough to fill their life with happiness and that they will never want anymore, now that god has fulfilled their much longed for desire.

They will often come back after maybe five or six years, and say quite sheepishly - Doctor , we’d like a second baby now. They are quick to clarify that they don't really want the second baby for their own sake – they are only doing this for the sake of their first baby . They are worried that he's growing up to be selfish , because he doesn't have a sibling to play with . In fact, many 5 year olds start demanding companionship , simply because everyone else in his class is having brothers and sisters , and they want one too !

The best time to start thinking about when you want your second child is when you have just completed a successful IVF cycle . This means you've got an extremely good chance of getting pregnant again , if you choose to do this quickly . Second cycles are much easier once you’ve had a baby. For one, the desperation to succeed is no longer there – the second baby is a “bonus” ! You also know that your chances of success are high, because it has worked once for you. You understand the treatment procedure, which means the fear of the unknown has gone; and because you have a relationship with your IVF doctor, who has already given you your most prized possession, it’s a much smoother ride. The danger is that sometimes the expectations of success can be very high. Do remember that just because one cycle has succeeded does not mean that the second one will ( though it is true that your chances are much brighter than most other patient’s).

If you have frozen embryos, please make sure you request your IVF clinic to store them safely for you. They will charge for this service, but it’s very cost effective to do so ! Since this cohort of embryos has given birth to a baby, the chances of success after transferring them are high.

However, if you postpone the decision too long, the chances of a new fresh IVF cycle succeeding a second time become progressively less , because you grow older . Also, just because one cycle has worked doesn't necessarily mean the second cycle will work the first time around ! You need to give yourself enough time to think this decision through, because it has long-term consequences.

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