You and your spouse have decided to start a family! It’s a wonderful time in a couple’s lives. The excitement and anticipation of bringing a new life into the world is a personal and emotional journey. After trying to conceive for an extended period of time, you are still not pregnant. You wonder what is going on. After seeing a fertility expert, you discover that you have fertility issues and becoming pregnant could be difficult. What do you do? What are your options?
After undergoing tests, receiving a diagnosis, and researching alternative treatments that could result in a pregnancy, you decide that the best course of action for you is In Vitro Fertilization. The process of IVF involves fertilization of eggs with the male reproductive cell outside of the woman’s body, in the IVF laboratory. More specifically, a woman’s ovaries are stimulated to induce the growth of multiple eggs (unstimulated cycles are also possible), and this is followed by surgical extraction of eggs from the ovaries. Next, a sample is obtained from the man, and the eggs and male reproductive cells are placed in a laboratory dish in hopes that the eggs will be fertilized, resulting in embryos. In some instances (such as male factor infertility), the male reproductive cell is actually injected into each egg, achieving artificial fertilization. Finally, embryos conceived in the IVF laboratory are transferred into the woman’s uterus, in hope that they will continue to develop, thus resulting in a successful pregnancy. Generally, couples who resort to IVF have conditions making this procedure the best option for a successful pregnancy.
If you decide on using a fertility clinic, what important questions should you ask and what things should you look for before making an informed decision? It is advisable to do extensive research of several clinics before deciding which facility will be the best fit for you and your spouse during the quest of starting a family.
Things to look for in an IVF clinic include:
*Length of time the facility has been in operation
*Background of specialists
*Pertinent information of the clinic’s medical director
*Doctor/clinic online reviews
*Age limits for procedures
*Who is actually going to be taking care of you (the doctor, physician assistants, ultrasound technicians…)
*Who is in control of how many embryos are implanted
*Cost of treatments
Remaining optimistic that a positive result will occur gives much hope to infertile couples. Every couple’s situation is different and each case is unique. Many factors will affect success rates such as ages of the prospective parents, the type of diagnosis, family health history and frequency of treatments. The infertility treatment cost may be in excess of $10,000 per treatment, which can be financially stressful for many who would like to take part in this procedure. If procedural costs are out of reach for a couple, other alternative treatments and options are available.
Dr. Eliran Mor is a fertility expert and the Medical Director of the California Center for Reproductive Health. He is Board Certified in both Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Mor has extensive research and clinical experience in reproductive medicine and surgery, with over a decade of work in the field of infertility and reproductive health. He takes a customized and unique approach for each of his patients and couples, which have helped the California Center for Reproductive Health, achieve superior pregnancy rates that far exceed the national averages year after year.