Do you already know for sure that you need IVF? If that’s the case, learn from the mistakes of others. Here are the key factors to remember.
1. Choose a good embryology lab
2. Choose the right physician and team
3. Don’t wait too long
4. Prepare yourself adequately
5. Have realistic expectations
1. Choosing the right embryology lab
The best reproductive endocrinologist in the world cannot achieve a single IVF pregnancy if the embryology lab is terrible. How do you find out about the quality of an IVF program’s embryology lab? There is no perfect way but there are tools to help you research. All programs are required to report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (If they don’t, they will be red-flagged on the annual CDC report as being non-reporters.)
The released data is always two years behind. This is because it takes time for the CDC to audit the clinics and because it takes time to see if the successful IVF pregnancies actually make it all the way to delivery of a live baby. The latest data can be found here.
There are two other major IVF practices that share our IVF lab, which is known as Ovation Fertility. You can see by the data that all three of us are near the top, thereby providing supporting evidence that the lab makes a big difference.
2. Choosing the right physician and team
It’s even more challenging to evaluate who is the right physician for you. The ideal way is to meet and interview them all, but that is not practical. If you have a friend whose wisdom and judgment you respect and who happens to also have done IVF, you can certainly weigh their opinion in your decision. Once you decide on a program and begin your interactions with them, it’s never too late to have second thoughts. If you are already working with a program and you really hate it, then it might make sense to explore switching to another center.
Please contact us if you have questions that might help you get a better feel for our program (free of charge).
3. Not waiting too long
Once you have made the decision to do IVF, it’s OK if you take a few months to prepare mentally, logistically and financially. Just try your best not to wait a few years.
4. Preparing yourself adequately
There are things that are in your control that may improve your chances of success by 1%, 5% or even 50% in some cases. While it’s not known exactly how much each factor will affect your specific case, it’s fortunate that improvement in all these areas improves your health and quality of life globally. We will be happy to discuss ways to improve each of these parts of your life as much or as little as you want us to, including micromanaging with specific instructions: Exercise. Diet. Sleep. Stress management. Reduction of unhealthy habits. Supplements.
5. Having realistic expectations
The most important patient factor determining the success of an IVF cycle is the egg status.
A 30 year old couple with no other problem other than tubal blockage can expect to bring home a baby with a single egg retrieval more than 80 out of 100 times. A 40 year old couple with poor egg quality may only have a 5-20% success expectation. Bear in mind this is still a great improvement over the 1% chance that they would have had if they would have continued to try naturally.
Before making a decision on starting an completing an IVF cycle, or even on beginning one, be sure to ask your doctor what your estimated chances are of taking home a baby.
For answers regarding your specific case, please contact us for a free phone conversation.