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How To Prepare For IVF?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Jayanti Kamat 86% (556 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  26 years experience
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Hi,

I am Dr Jayanti Kamat, IVF consultant . So today we will be talking about how to prepare for IVF procedure. As you all know that IVF or Test Tube Baby procedure is a very big step in the treatment towards parenthood. So it requires a lot of preparation both from the doctor as well as the patient. So today I will be talking about the patient’s perspective. So preparation for IVF can be divided into 3 main parts first is the mental or emotional acceptance or preparation. Second is the physical or the medical aspects or the preparation and third that is the most important that is the financial aspects how to prepare for IVF.

So firstly I will be dealing with the physical or the medical aspects of IVF. Now the medical aspects are again divided in 2, one is the general health of the patient & second is the reproductive health of the patient. We cannot ignore the general health because we have to find out whether the woman is fit for pregnancy. And also pregnancy should not cause any risk to her health & life. So our aim is not just achieving pregnancy but at the end of the day a woman should have a very uneventful journey of 9 months without any complications without any problems & at the end of it we are aiming at a healthy mother & a healthy baby. So what do you mean by general health. General health is your blood pressure your weight and certain other test. Now coming to the reproductive health. So we have various test how to assess the reproductive capacity of the couple. Now it comes to the seed & the soil concepts. As we all know in IVF we take the egg we take the sperm and the fertilization happens or occurs in the IVF laboratory & and the resultant embryo is again placed in the uterus of the woman. So we cannot sow the seed without preparing the soil. And even when the soil is prepared we have to assure that we are having a good quality seed. So a healthy sperm & a healthy egg will give rise to a healthy embryo. And if the healthy embryo is implanted in a healthy endometrium there are more chances of pregnancy. So suppose the woman cannot produce eggs or much level is low there are certain drugs which we give to increase her capacity to produce eggs.

Similarly, if a woman is suffering from polysystic ovarian disease then there are certain drugs like metformin which help her to ovulate better & also to prevent certain complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Similarly her endometrium is not good we give her certain drugs so that she has a very good endometrium with proper blood flow. We can assess the endometrium by doing a sonography or at time we do a hysteroscopy. Hysteroscopy is that we introduce a scope through the cervix through the mouth of the uterus to see the endometrium is healthy. In case we feel that there is problem in the endometrium then we can do a biopsy and send it for other test. Similarly in the male partner if the sperm morphology mortility and count is sub normal then then we can give certain drugs to improve the quality of the semen for 2 to 3 months prior to the IVF procedure. So, these preparation is very important. As you all know the success rate of IVF is not 100% worldover in the best of IVF clinics the success rate is between 50 to 60%. So we have to put in our 100% both from the patient side as well as the doctor side if at all we want to achieve a pregnancy. So the patient also has to give his or her 100% she or he has to take proper medicines and diet to support the treatment.

Next coming to the mental or emotional preparation for IVF or test tube baby procedure. Remember your doctor has advised your IVF after exhausting other simpler options. IVF gives better results than other simpler options and that is why your doctor has advised you IVF. So, first of all, accept this form of treatment. Talk to your doctor & get to know exactly what the procedure is all about. It is very important for you to know the exact procedure. So IVF requires a lot of preparation. It is never an emergency and it occurs in many steps. First step is preparation of the follicles. The woman receives number of injections to increase the number of follicles & the quality of follicles. And this number is measured by doing trans vaginal sonography. By doing trans vaginal sonography we get to know what number of follicles are formed what is the quality of the follicles whether there is proper blood flow whether the lining of the uterus is proper and whether the blood flow to the uterus is proper. So this entails multiple visits to the doctor’s clinic. So if the woman is working she has to take out time to visit her doctor. She should know that she is going to visit a doctor quite often. Then once the eggs are ready the doctor will give the final injection which is called as the trigger injection or the ovulation trigger injection. After this injection the eggs are retrieved.

The woman will be admitted in a hospital for a very short period of time. She will be given anesthesia for a very short duration & the eggs will be retrieved. Then the next step the third step is fertilization which occurs in the laboratory. Once the fertilization occurs then the final stage is the formation of the embryo. Once the embryo is formed the embryo will be put inside the womb of the uterus. So all these steps should be known to the patients. You should have a very free & frank discussion with your doctor regarding the number of visits & regarding the process. Even embryo transfer depends whether the doctor is going to transfer the embryo immediately after the procedure or in the next cycle depending on the patient’s criteria. Now coming to the last step of this preparation that is the financial aspect. IVF is a very costly procedure because it involves hitech technology & very expensive disposibles and medium. Remember we are trying to imitate a natural process in the laboratory so it is very difficult. The lab parameters have to be taken care of the ph of the media has to be taken care of & there are so many other things which are to be taken care of. So financial aspect the patient has to prepare for the finances before he or she starts the procedure. This treatment cannot be stopped midway because then there will be compromise in the treatment procedure compromise in the lab procedures compromise in the quality of injections & if the procedure is stopped midway it cannot yield any results. So only when you are financially prepared you can start the procedure. Secondly, you can talk to your doctor about the exact expenses which are involved. There are many centres which advertise saying that this procedure can be done in a very small budget but then you have to confirm whether involves the hospital expenses & whether involves the expenses of the drugs. So have a very clear & frank discussion with your doctor regarding the expenses & only when your financially prepared then you can start the procedure. If you have any doubts or queries regarding IVF you can contact me on Lybrate dot com. I will be happy to help you.

Thank you.

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