Let’s talk more about IVF

According to the WHO (World Health Organization,) if you are a couple under age 35 and failing to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse, it’s time to seriously talk about infertility. If you are 35 and up, you should seek a specialist after 6 months of trying.

Infertility can indicate a need for In-Vitro Fertilization, or IVF for short.

IVF related questions

Treatment Terminology

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.

In-Vitro Fertilization, or IVF for short. IVF is a procedure where mature eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilized with sperm in a lab. Once the fertilized eggs are successfully developing into embryos, they are transferred into a uterus.

Who is eligible for IVF?

Those who are having trouble conceiving (female patients up to age 50); Ladies with blocked tubes, endometriosis, or other reproductive system issues; Men with poor quality sperm.

In some cases a regular IVF may not be enough -  for example, if a woman cannot produce any eggs or healthy eggs, then a donor may be necessary. Studies show women over 40 have the best chances of success with IVF when they use donor eggs (egg doonation treatment) to achieve fertilization and develop pregnancy.

What are the Success Metrics for IVF?

Chances of succeeding with this procedure are based on individual cases since each woman's case is unique and many factors such as age, quality of eggs and sperm can impact success. 

If your BMI is between 20 – 25, your age between 21 – 34, and your AMH between 2-2,4ng/ml, chances of successful IVF treatment are very high at around 50% chance of being successful. If you are 40+ this number decreases rapidly (10 - 5 %). 

For more details read our blog

Men and women infertility

Men and women infertility

Up to 15 % of couples are infertile.

A woman’s reproductive system plays the largest role in achieving a healthy pregnancy. In addition to age, egg production and egg quality; female infertility also encompasses chemical pregnancy, miscarriages and other cases which can cause spontaneous embryo termination.

However, in more than 30% of infertile couples, male infertility plays a role. Men's infertility can be caused by many factors and is typically evaluated by a semen analysis. When a semen analysis is performed, the number of sperm = concentration, motility = sperm movement, and morphology = the shape of sperm, are assessed by a specialist. In some cases a little bit of abnormal analysis does not mean that a man is necessarily infertile.

If you want to have a baby and you’re having trouble conceiving, you can try assisted reproduction. There are several methods including: medications to help with egg production, IUI, IVF, Surrogacy, and Adoption. The most effective start is IVF.

How can we prepare for IVF?

Once you make your decision about going ahead with your treatment, here are ways to prepare yourself:

  1. IVF is an emotional rollercoaster, not only does it take a toll on you physically, but mentally and emotionally. Medications during IVF are specifically designed to impact your hormones (to create the environment for reproduction). Plus, many women can think of only their circumstances and become consumed by their thoughts of success or failure, which can add to your stress. It is extremely helpful to talk with someone familiar in this field and empathic to your situation, such as Medistella patient advocates or a Fertility Coach, like our Alison Reede.
  2. To be better prepared for your treatment you should get some more information and educate yourselves a little. There is a lot of information online but when it gets overwhelming you may consider our discovery call. Stay in contact with your OBGYN specialist from the beginning, during your therapy and also till your delivery. Here are more tips gathered from our patients.
What is the best location (or clinic) for me?

This is an individual decision for each couple. Medistella recommends setting up a free 30-minute call with us, we listen to your story and get a better feel of what you’re looking for. We work with clinics in Czech Republic, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Slovakia, Cyprus and Bahamas - we can help narrow down the best location for you. Plus, through this call we will know if you qualify for our Free services or you can select a different package.

Are fertility drugs safe?

All fertility treatments are generally safe. The majority of patients who have experienced IVF treatments had no significant issues. However, there are some risks to be aware of, for example multiple pregnancy (which more than 1 baby in the womb, as in twins, triplets or more) as well as an ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and a severe reaction to fertility drugs.

Are IVF injections painful?

Patients describe injections as either not painful or they feel a little stinging. Though no one has said they are extremely painful. Therefore, this is based on your own pain tolerance and, in some cases, how lean you may be. The needles are typically thin and vary in length from short to medium. Depending on your therapy, some injections are administered in the fatty tissue (subcutaneous) such as in your stomach; some injections are administered in the muscle tissue (intramuscular) such as your thigh. You should be given detailed instructions on how to self-administer any injections.

Is the egg retrieval painful?

There is no need to worry, during the egg retrieval you will be sedated and given pain medication. Therefore, you will not feel when the procedure is happening. After the procedure, some patients experience mild crampings or feelings of pressure in their belly. Confirm with your fertility doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as an ibuprofen if you experience these symptoms.

Wanna know more? Go to https://academic.oup.com/hropen/article/2019/4/hoz025/5625062?searchresult=1

How long do I need to stay?

This depends on your therapy.

For IVF with your own eggs, a stay is for approximately 10-12 days. This is to allow the embryo's 5-days of development (blastocyst stage) after the egg retrieval and before your embryo transfer. It is important to know that your fertility doctor will verify your stimulated ovulation is performing well through an ultrasound. This is done on Day 1 and usually again on Day 3; next your egg retrieval is scheduled usually within 48-hrs (Day 5); then 5-days of embryo development followed by the transfer around Day 10/11. 

*It’s possible to have your first Day 1 ultrasound at your local OBGYN, if they are willing to immediately send the scanned images to your fertility doctor. Then, the fertility doctor can review the images and tell you the next steps. In this case, a stay can be 7 days as you will technically arrive on Day 3.

Please also note that if you elect to have embryos tested (such as PGTa) then you will need to schedule a second trip. You can leave after egg retrieval (Day 3 to 5) and return when results are available (usually taking 4-6 weeks). Because of this, you will be on a hormone-controlled cycle, ensuring you’re ready for the transfer at your availability. Your second stay may be as short as 3-days. 

For IVF with donor eggs (using a hormone-controlled cycle), a stay can be as short as 3 days and as long as 7 days. The sperm from your partner is needed before or on the same day as your donor's egg retrieval. Your partner can arrive anytime during the therapy process prior to the egg retrieval, as sperm can be safely frozen for later use (so he can travel separately if needed, months in advance). Then, your donor has her egg retrieval and the embryo’s are created using the stored sperm. You will be notified when the egg retrieval is scheduled, so you can make travel arrangements. The embryos are developed to 5-days (blastocyst stage), then transfered into your womb. If traveling with your partner, allow 7days. If traveling separately, 3 days each. 

How far in advance can I book my travel?

We get this question a lot especially since reserving time away can be difficult. The tough truth is that while IVF is a science, it’s completely dependable on the human body; therefore it cannot be an exact science. We have found it’s best to speak with the fertility doctor on the best and worst case schedules. If you’re on a hormone-controlled cycle (vs natural), then planning is easier. Many fertility clinics do not recommend booking an airline flight until they give you notice. This can be as short as 3-days in advance of your first appointment in some cases. If you have more flexibility to stay longer (i.e. 14-days for IVF with your own eggs), then you may get lucky and book as early as 30-days in advance. Or, if you must book early, you can also purchase travel insurance in case you need to modify your dates. 

Thankfully, accommodations may be easier to book (if you're not traveling during peak season). Most places have a 24-hour cancellation policy, but be sure to verify the policy at the time of booking along with any requirements, such as a deposit and if it’s refundable. This gives you a chance to book in advance and modify a reservation with little advance notice.

What is the success rate of IVF treatments?

The IVF therapy success rate is between 40-60%. It depends on many factors. The most prominent of which is undoubtedly the woman’s age. A woman who is under 35 years old and undergoes IVF has almost 40% chance of having a baby, while a woman over age 40 has an 11.5% chance (some sources state even around 5%).

Egg Donation Success Rate is around 75% in single baby pregnancies. And almost 30% are twin pregnancies.

IVF with use of Donor’s Eggs

Having a baby using a donor egg provides couples with the opportunity to become parents, when they may not be able to otherwise. The success rates are higher than any other reproductive therapy, even during the first cycle. This therapy is available to anyone, but is recommended to patients with no ovaries; ovaries destroyed by chemotherapy; severe form of ovarian endometriosis; premature ovarian failure (unable to produce quality eggs); frequent failure of fertilization, scoring, or implantation; those with an indication of genetic predisposition that is not solvable by preimplantation genetic diagnostics (PGT-a testing).

For more details read our blog.

What do I get when working with Medistella?

An amazing team of passionate women ready to be your advocate! Plus, you may find yourself with the answers you’ve been seeking giving you less stress and peace of mind; fully researched clinics, personally visited by our  staff and vetted against our highest standards; a feeling of safety and security knowing your clinic has top-of-the-line facilities, equipment and staff; a plan that is uniquely tailored to your personal needs in a language you understand; and affordable medical care. We will give you 5-Star support during your whole therapy...during your whole therapy; before, during, and after - Monday through Sunday. Also, as our client you receive enhanced pricing at our partnering clinics, hotels, transportation, acupuncture, and massage. Included is also help with travel arrangements including helpful tips and recommendations to experience an IVF vacation.

Do you have any other questions? 

Get in touch with us by completing this form and if you’re already a client, simply reach out to your patient advocate. Let’s start the ball rolling together. We got your back😉. 

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Medistella.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Medistella.com merely provides you with information to orientate a general outline. It does not replace any professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommended by a physician.


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