Q. Is the baby ‘normal’ in IVF?
A. Studies have shown that there is no significant increase risk of abnormality in IVF conceived babies compared to those conceived naturally.
Q. What is ICSI? How safe it is? A. ICSI is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is indicated for couples with very low sperm count. It is a safe procedure. In men who have a genetic defect, there is a small risk of transmission to the male offspring.
Q. Are fresh sperms better than frozen? A. Marginally, we have almost equal pregnancy with fresh and frozen sperms. However, it is possible to perform IVF with fresh sperms and with frozen its almost always ICSI.
Q. Is ICSI better than IVF? A. That has not been established. We perform IVF with good sperms and ICSI with poor or frozen. Pregnancy rates are the same. In IVF, number of eggs available are more since, ICSI can only be done in mature eggs.
Q. How is a donor chosen? A. Donors are chosen according to age, fertility and physical characteristics almost all donors are less than 26 years and have completed their families. They are also thoroughly medically investigated and conditions like Thallasemia, susceptibility to rubella, HIV and Hepatitis – B are ruled out. Once you forward your physical profile we do the corresponding matching.
Q. What are the precautions I should take after the IVF procedure? A. There are no special precautions that need to be taken, but avoid strenuous activity. Try to be mentally and physically relaxed as much as possible. You can return to work if you wish, but you may prefer to have a few days rest. There is no evidence of any extra measures that could positively influence the outcome of your treatment.
Q. What if IVF fails the first time? How many times can it be tried? A. You can go through IVF as many times as you wish, but we advise upto five cycles at the most. The first cycle gives us an indication whether it is worthwhile trying again. We get a good idea about egg quality, number, embryo quality and endometrial thickness in the first cycle.
Q. Is IVF the last option? A. IVF is the option, which has the highest success rate and is most expensive. But, it is not the "end of the road". Many women have conceived naturally or with intrauterine insemination, even after IVF. However, for those with blocked tubes and very poor sperm counts, it is the only option.
Q. Is IVF very expensive? A. IVF is not as expensive as it is perceived to be in general. The cost of your IVF cycle is decided by the dose of drugs that would be needed for ovarian stimulation. IVF is only as expensive as perhaps a gall stone removal or removal of uterus surgery ! There is a myth amongst the public that IVF is hugely exorbitant.
Q. Do we need to get admitted in the IVF process? A. No, there is no need can go home after the effect of anesthesia weans off which takes about 2-3 hours. You need to visit again after 2-3 days for the embryo transfer, who again takes about half an hour and you are free to go home after resting for one hour.
Q. Why is there so much concern about having twins or triplets after fertility treatment? A. Multiple births carry risks to both the health of the mother and to the health of the unborn babies. Twins or triplets are more likely to be premature and to have a below-normal birth for admission. Studies show that the risk of death amongst triplets is seven times higher.
Q.Does IVF always leave us with twin or triple pregnancies? What is the average number of embryos transferred? Please explain. A.The doctor will make the decision after discussing this with you. Generally, two or three embryos will be transferred, but the number may vary slightly depending on the quality of the embryos and the age of the female partner.
Q.When are the embryos transferred? A.The embryos can be transferred either the second third day of egg collection or on the 5th day, which is known as the blastocyst transfer. At our centre we have seen almost equal pregnancy rates between the two, however, we have seen a slightly higher miscarriage rate on day 5 transfers. It is a misconception that blastocyst transfer is always better than day 2 or 3 embryo transfer. Culture upto day 5 does not produce better embryos it only perhaps allows better selection. Many countries for specially the Scandinavian countries are going back to day 2 transfer.
Q.I have poor egg quality, can I improve it? A. A girl is born with a fixed no. of eggs, as she attains menopause her egg stores are completely depleted. From the age of 35 the deterioration of egg quality and quantity is very rapid, for some this deterioration is faster. The pregnancy rates with poor egg quality is very low. There have been some medications like DHEA and different protocols like the short protocol that may improve egg quality. If there is no response even with these then donor eggs should be tried.