IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is the process of fertilising the egg and sperm in a lab before inserting the egg into the woman’s reproductive system. The majority of couples do not immediately jump at the idea of IVF, but it ends up being a solid option for many.
There are plenty of ART (assisted reproductive technology) options out there to help you start a family and there’s no issue looking into those options. If you and your partner are considering IVF, then you should start by asking yourself these five questions.
Is IVF the best treatment for us?
While you and your partner most likely tried to conceive naturally at the start, the difficulty to conceive eventually brought you to start looking at alternative treatments. IVF is just one of many alternative treatments and procedures, and other popular ones include artificial insemination, donor embryos, surrogacy, ICSI, and more.
Each of these procedures has its own set of treatment options, risks, and costs. IVF is considered one of the better options because of its success rate, but that does not mean it is 100% successful (none of them is). If you’re interested in comparing IVF costs to the other treatments.
Make sure you and your partner are talking about each possible option and doing your homework to make sure this is the best choice for your family.
What’s the best clinic?
Once you decide on IVF, it’s time to find a clinic. While all clinics set out with the same goal in mind, each clinic could be different based on treatment plans, personnel, and how well you get along with them.
Just as you were doing your research on IVF treatment, make sure you do your research on IVF clinics. Read online reviews, reach out to other couples, and even see if you can go and visit a clinic one day.
Meet with doctors and other members of the team and have them walk you through the process, even if you feel like you know it better than the back of your hand.
Are you and your partner adequately prepared?
Even though it may seem like all you have to do is wait for the doctors to do the procedure, the truth is there is plenty you both can be doing to increase your chances at IVF success.
The big changes are with your diet and lifestyle. If you are your partner were already trying for a baby before, then you know that you should cut out smoking and any heavy drinking. You need to be eating plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meat.
Be sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and veggies with a high amount of folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent any birth defects, so load up on leafy greens like spinach and fruits like oranges and strawberries. If you’re already doing that, then great!
Substitute red meat for lean meats like turkey and chicken or fish. Avoid deep sea fish, which is high in mercury, and target fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These will help build up egg strength and health, increasing your IVF success chances.
Are you and your partner aware of the costs?
When it comes to paying for IVF, some insurances do in fact cover the treatment but the majority of them do not. That means you’ll be paying out of pocket and payments can range from £1500-£4500 per cycle.
Make sure you and your partner are aware of the costs before you decide 100% on IVF treatment. Look to see which ones have payment plans or those that could work with part of your insurance.
Are you ready to be patient?
Unlike Hollywood would have us believe, IVF is not a quick procedure. It often takes a few months of preparation and even then, it won’t be a success.
While IVF does have a pretty good success rate, 25-30% depending on who you ask, it does become less and less successful the older you become. The magical cutoff age is 35, with IVF chances dropping.
Many couples tend to undergo treatment 2-3 times before they have success, so just know that it’s going to be just a bit longer of a road.