Whatever your individual reason, it’s very wise to do your research carefully, before embarking on your IVF journey. Here at The IVF Network, we have experts on hand to offer advice and information, so that you can make informed choices for you and your family.
Here are 10 questions that are worth considering before you start:
- Have you been advised by a fertility specialist that IVF is the best course of action for you? A fertility specialist can ask you questions about your fertility history and your medical history. They can arrange scans, blood tests, sperm analysis and examinations, to assess the best option for you. Make sure that all available options are fully explained to you.
- Are you both in the best physical condition that you can be in to give you the best chance of conceiving? To have the best chance of conceiving, it’s advisable for you and your partner to be as healthy as possible. A good diet, healthy BMI and avoiding nicotine and alcohol can increase your fertility and your chances of creating a healthy embryo. As new sperm are created every 3 months, making positive changes now could really make a difference to the outcome.
- Are you aware of the costs involved for one cycle of IVF treatment? Costs vary considerably. In the UK, the basic charge for IVF often doesn’t include blood tests, drugs, anaesthetic, screening, or other treatments like ICSI, so it’s important to check what’s actually included in the quotes you receive.
- Have you compared clinics to get the best one for you? It’s advisable to compare a number of different clinics, before making a booking. Costs, success rates, expertise and treatments offered can all vary and you may find that going to another area, or even another country, may be the best option for you.
- Have you been made aware of all of the medication you will need to take during your treatment and why you need it? Ask your fertility specialist which drugs you will need to take as part of your treatment. Make sure that you understand the purpose of them and any associated side effects. Your specialist should be aware of your full medical history when deciding what to prescribe. You should also check whether the drugs will incur an additional cost, or whether they are included in the basic charge.
- Are you aware of the success rate for couples of your age undergoing the same treatment as you? Success rates can be affected by lots of factors. The age of the female partner is the biggest factor, with women under 34 years old having higher success, but the age of the male partner can be a factor too. There are different parameters that will be considered when calculating success rates, so it’s important that you ensure that it’s a true comparison that you’re making.
- Do you have emotional support in place? The emotional and physical impact of IVF on individuals and couples means that it’s important to have support in place. Aside from any treatments affecting your hormones, the emotional investment is huge and it’s useful to have family, friends and counselling support around if you need them.
- Have you explained to your employer that you intend to start IVF treatment? As IVF treatment appointments rely heavily on timing, it’s important that you are able to attend the clinic whenever you need to. Making your employer aware from the start will relieve the pressure when you need to ask for time off and they will also know that it will affect you emotionally.
- Have you considered what you will do if the first cycle is unsuccessful? IVF is a huge financial and emotional investment, with no guarantee of success. Before you start treatment, it’s advisable to have a plan in place of what you will do if your first cycle is unsuccessful.
- Have you had each stage of the IVF process explained to you? IVF is a complex process and so there’s a lot of information to take on in one go. For this reason, many clinics will guide you through one stage at a time. It is still important, however, to be told what the key stages are, how the timings will work, the number of visits to the clinic needed, the drugs involved and the cost that will be incurred.
The more prepared you can be before you start your IVF journey, the easier it will be. Our role at The IVF Network is to make your understanding of the process as clear as possible, to offer guidance, support and information before and during your treatment.