Looking forward to using IVF? Goral Gandhi answers the frequently asked questions and all that you need to know about fertility preservation

FAQs about IVF

Medical advancements facilitated in the field of IVF have made more and more patients opting for this option. For successful result, there are specific questions regarding IVF process which we hear time and again from the patients. In order to answer and dispel some of the common questions, and myths about infertility, we have  Dr Goral Gandhi mumbai embryologist, discussing the frequently asked questions around the IVF method.

When should I consult with my gynecologist or fertility specialist if I think it’s taking too long to get pregnant?

Although it is generally advised to wait for a year and try to conceive naturally. However, if it’s taking too long and you think infertility could be one of the reasons, then it is recommended to see a fertility specialist without waiting for a year.

Also, if you have entered the advanced maternal age of 35 or above and if you have been diagnosed with issues like endometriosis, PCOS and immunity-related illnesses then you should consult your gynecologist. Being the better judge of your condition, your gynecologist will recommend you a fertility specialist who help you choose the option best suited for you.

Can you conceive through IVF when you’ve been infertile?

IVF is an effective option for couples who want to get pregnant. However, the treatment offered for infertility will depend on the cause of fertility problems, having an experienced specialist who can guide you with the best suited option is the key.

What do we understand by an IVF cycle?

In an IVF cycle, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated with drugs and injections in order to produce hormones which are responsible for the formation of multiple eggs. These eggs are then retrieved from ovaries and fertilized with the sperm in the IVF laboratory. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs (embryos) are transferred to the uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three to four weeks and is called ‘in vitro’ as the fertilization occurs outside the body.

How many embryos should be implanted at a time?

“In order to avoid the chances of multiple births, only one embryo is transplanted back into the womb which is known as single embryo transfer. In some specific cases, two embryos might be implanted as per doctor’s discretion and to facilitate the chances of pregnancy,” answers Dr Goral Gandhi.

What about the embryos/eggs which are not used in the process? 

Good quality eggs and embryos can be stored through a process of egg freezing or embryo freezing. Usually, they are stored for ten years or longer, depending on when the couple plans to have babies.

What is fertility preservation, and is it something I can opt for?

As an embryologist, Goral Gandhi has helped many women take the empowering decision of freezing their eggs. Egg freezing is a viable option for women who want to experience motherhood later in their lives. Fertility preservation in women usually means freezing eggs for the future, using cryo-preservation.

The advancements in ART’s have facilitated the latest technology of Vitrification. With the changing lifestyle, low ovarian reserve and poor egg quality are the most common factors of infertility in women. Therefore, through freezing your eggs, you can keep the quality of your eggs preserved for later planned pregnancies.

What goes inside an IVF laboratory?

Dr Goral Gandhi, who has been actively involved in quality control and management in IVF laboratories, believes that it is the place where the success of the entire process is established. In the lab, the eggs, sperms and embryos are kept in an environment imitating the biological fertilization environment.

Embryologists are the experts who are responsible for maintaining your eggs and creating your embryos in the IVF laboratory. Embryos are assessed by the embryologist and he/she selects the best possible embryo for transfer and freezes the extra embryos for future. The embryologists ensure that the highest quality standards are maintained to produce and continuously work to achieve successful results.

Does undergoing IVF mean that I cannot get pregnant naturally afterwards?

One of the most common presumptions about fertility preservation and fertility treatment is that it will utilize all your eggs, and make it harder for you to get pregnant later. However, this is just a myth.

There are couples who have conceived naturally even after undergoing IVF and the conception probability remains the same as it was before your IVF cycle.

How soon after IVF, can I do a pregnancy test?

Generally, it is advised to take the pregnancy test after two weeks of IVF. This is due to the fact that it takes several days for the embryo to be implanted into the womb, and it is after the production hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) which is known as the pregnancy hormone, that the pregnancy test can detect it.

How many cycles of IVF are needed to have successful pregnancy?

A successful pregnancy through IVF can be accomplished in the first cycle, or sometimes it may take repeated attempts, it all depends on the couple and the protocols followed by the fertility clinic for maximizing effectiveness of the treatment.

Over the years, these are some of the crucial issues that have revolved around IVF and assisted reproduction. However, if you want to start your parenthood or are just looking at the options available, talking directly to an experienced fertility expert can answer all your concerns related to IVF, as it is a big step!