Frequently Asked Questions About Infertility Treatment

General FAQs

1How is infertility diagnosed?

A complete medical history of both partners along with a physical examination is the first step in diagnosing fertility problems. The couple may also need blood tests, a semen analysis and ultrasound examination.

2When should I consider seeking fertility services?

Since,90 % of the women become pregnant within 1 year of unprotected intercourse, you should consider seeking fertility services if it has been a year since you have attempted to conceive but haven’t been able to conceive.

Because a woman’s fertility declines naturally as she gets older, couples should consider seeking medical help after six months of trying when the female partner is over age 35.

Earlier testing may also be appropriate for women with known medical problems that might affect fertility, such as polycystic ovarian disease or pelvic endometriosis, or women who have irregular menstrual cycles & heavy/scanty blood flow during periods.

It is important that both partners be tested initially to allow assessment of the extent of the fertility problems. 40% of all infertility cases may be attributed to the woman, 40% to the man, in 10% of cases both partners contribute to the problem, and 10% of the time the cause can not be identified and it is unexplained.

3Do Insurance Plans Cover Infertility Treatment?

In India, very few Insurance companies cover fertility treatments.

4Can lifestyle changes help us conceive?

Sometimes, losing weight, taking up an exercise regimen, and having a proper diet rich in vitamins, minerals & antioxidants can enable couples to conceive naturally. It can also improve the success rates of fertility treatments.

5What are the success rates for fertility treatments?

Over the years, improvements in the medicines & ART treatments have helped most couples conceive. However, there are various factors which affect the success rate. Worldwide, on an average, the success rate for IUI is approximately 15-20% & 40-50 % for an IVF cycle.

IUI Related FAQs

1Is IUI painful ?

It is a simple painless procedure but those undergoing it for the first time may experience minimal discomfort.

2Does IUI require fasting ?

IUI does not require fasting.

3Will I be given anesthesia during IUI?

Anesthesia is not required for IUI.

4Do both partners need to come regularly for the IUI cycle ?

The wife needs to come on alternate days for scans and injections if required according to the scan results.The husband needs to come only on the day of IUI procedure to provide a semen sample for the IUI.

5Can IUI be done if I have only 1 Fallopian tube?

Yes, IUI can be done for those who have atleast 1 patent Fallopian tube.

IVF Related FAQs

1What is the timeline for IVF?

The most successful IVF cycle is one that is planned well. We spend at least a month prior to the IVF cycle gathering all the information needed to assure the treatment plan devised is most appropriate for each individual patient/couple and that all controllable factors are optimized.

Once a treatment protocol is selected, the timeline is usually 4-5 weeks out of which the patient needs to come to the clinic regularly for approximately 3 weeks.In case, the patient requires a frozen embryo transfer, it will take longer.

2What are the side effects of IVF treatment?

Majority of the patients do not have any serious side effects. Minor side effects like temporary bloating of the lower abdominal, loss of appetite, mood swings, headache can occur to few patients.

The serious side effects are few but rare when the treatment is monitored by a well experienced fertility specialist. They are : OHSS ( Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) Ectopic pregnancy & Multiple pregnancy

3Is Anesthesia given for IVF ?

A short general Anesthesia is given during the egg collection procedure in an IVF cycle.

4Is admission or hospital stay required for IVF ?

IVF involves various steps across the treatment cycle such as Injection administration for 10-14 days for the egg development, scans & blood tests for monitoring the response to the injections,egg retrieval , fertilization of egg and sperm in the lab, growth of the embryos in the lab , Embryo transfer and finally hormonal support.

All these can be done on a daycare basis. There is no need for an overnight stay in the hospital.Egg retrieval is approximately a 30 minutes procedure done under anaesthesia and the patient can get discharged on the same day after a few hours of observation.

After 3-5 days, the couple is advised to come to the clinic for a discussion regarding their embryo growth and it is decided whether to transfer or freeze the embryos according to the medical condition of the patient.

5Is IVF expensive?

Generally, the cost of IVF cycle depends upon the dose of drugs that would be needed for ovarian stimulation. The dose varies from patient to patient according to their age & ovarian reserve. If the patient is young and the ovarian reserve is good, the cost will be lower.

6If IVF fails, how many times should we go through the process again?

There are no long term medical studies done as of now to suggest the limit for the number of IVF cycles that a patient can go through. However, the patient should discuss her individual situation with the doctor & take advise as to what would be best for her.

7Will IVF significantly increase my chances of having twins or triplets?

This is a very common question asked by couples considering IVF treatment, and the answer depends on several factors. You and your doctor will decide the number of embryos to be implanted into your uterus. If a single embryo is transferred, the changes of having a multiple pregnancy due to splitting of the embryo is very rare. However, given the uncertainty of the embryo successfully implanting into the lining of the uterus, many women choose to transfer multiple embryos ( 2 or 3 ) into the womb; especially those women who may be unable to afford additional IVF cycles.

Interestingly, one’s chances of giving birth from multiple embryo transfers are only slightly higher than with transferring a single embryo, although the odds of having twins or triplets will increase.

8How much time does it take to confirm a pregnancy after an Embryo Transfer in an IVF cycle ?

Generally pregnancy tests are to be done after a minimum of 14 days of the embryo transfer procedure.

9What precautions to take after IVF treatment?

The procedure demands no special precautions, but ,it is better to avoid any strenuous activity and intercourse.We advise the patients to be mentally & physically relaxed as much as possible. You can return to work if you wish, but it is advisable to take rest for the first few days.

10Is bed rest required after IVF?

We do not recommend bed rest after IVF. Normal day to day routine activities can be done following an IVF cycle, but it is advisable to avoid any strenuous activity, intercourse or bumpy road drives.

Donor Treatments FAQs

1What is the success rate for donor treatments?

Generally, the success rates with donor gamete treatments are very good. It depends a lot on the condition of the uterus of the recipient.

2Can we bring our relative or friend as an egg or sperm donor ?

According to the ART ( Assisted Reproduction Technology) rules passed by the government of India, donor eggs & sperms can be sourced by a registered ART clinic from an anonymous donor in a registered ART bank.

Fertility Preservation / Freezing Related FAQs

1For how long can embryos, egg or sperm be frozen?

There is no time limit for the number of days, months or years that eggs, sperm or embryos can be frozen. They can be stored for any number of years as the patient wishes.

2What is the process for Semen freezing ?

A consultation with the doctor is the first step. The doctor will advise a viral marker blood test, the required period of abstinence from intercourse/ ejaculation, a semen analysis along with the semen freezing procedure.