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In Vitro Fertilization: A Look Inside

This will be a 5 part series, so stay tuned for all the posts!

Do you know someone who has gone through in vitro fertilization? Maybe you have gone through it yourself? Many people don’t know all the complications that go with it. I am here to give you the details from my perspective.

My husband and I have recently started the in vitro process. Because the word process seems like such a technical term, I prefer to use the term journey, since there are many detours and side trips along the way. The final outcome will be a happy, healthy baby (or two)!

The initial steps:

Seeing the Before jumping into in vitro fertilization, the couple (individual if applicable) will want to have some testing done by their doctor. This involves blood workups to check hormone levels and other causes for medical concern. This may lead to a simple solution of changing diet, lifestyle or adding a medication.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, the next step is to see a specialist. The women will want to see their gynocologist for a full work up. Make sure you are honest and tell them your medical history. Let the doctor know how long you have been trying to concieve, what you have tried (pills, timing, etc.) Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any irregularities in your menstral cycle! They will also ask about family medical history, so be prepared. The specialist may want you to do a more in depth blood workup. They will probably do an ultrasound and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to determine if there are any blockages or issues with your reproductive system.

Men will have their semen tested as well through a semen analysis. This will determine if their swimmers are good. The doctor will test for abnormalities in the sperm. Once all of the results are back, you will be able to discuss them with the specialist and determine the best steps to proceed. You may be refered to a fertility specialist who will go over your options.

Meeting the Fertility Specialist

At your initial consultation, you will want to discuss the results from previous doctors, along with any concerns you have. The doctor will go over their services, what they recommend for you and your medical history. Don’t be shy! This specialist needs to know all medical issues so they can help you achieve your dream of having a child. The specialist will request medical records from the appropriate doctors and may ask you and/or your partner to undergo more testing to rule out other things that may have been overlooked. It may seem overwhelming, but it will be worth it to get an accurate diagnosis.

Choosing In Vitro Fertilization

When it comes to treatment for infertility, there are a few options available, depending on your medical issues. There is intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or maybe you just need to have some tubal/uterine blockages removed. There are some couples who only need to take medications and be monitored for a few months.

Because I had severe endometriosis, my fallopian tubes were completely blocked. The only treatment was to have the fallopian tubes surgically removed. Therefore, in vitro fertilization was my only choice in the hopes of having a child of my own.

In the doctor’s office, we discussed with the doctor what in vitro involved, all the risks, the success rates, and how the clinic handled everything. We discussed the pricing and options for financing. My husband asked about what was included in the price and what wasn’t. The doctor was very clear and confident, making sure to answer all of our questions, introduce us to the staff, and tour the clinic. The fertility specialist made us very comfortable and never once pressured us to spend tons of money with him. He encouraged us to go home and discuss it thoroughly and come to an agreement. He even encouraged us to contact the staff and make another appointment if we had more questions.

The Research

My husband and I went home and looked over everything we had just received from the doctor. In our research, we made a list of all the pros/cons of ivf versus just adopting a child. We googled everything we could find on ivf. We talked about the options we had for obtaining loans, or if we would just pull it from savings or put it on our credit card. Because this is an expensive endeavor, there are many things to think about. The price for the clinic we chose is $7,700 for basic ivf or $11,000 for ivf with genetic testing. This does not include the costs of the medications that are needed during the cycle.

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