Getting Ready for In Vitro Fertilization: Pre-Treatment IVF Instructions
In vitro fertilization is one of the most popular procedures for couples that are struggling to conceive. It has helped thousands of families become pregnant. At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, our fertility specialists will guide you through every step of this fertility treatment to improve your chances for success. IVF is a complex but potentially rewarding process for patients who want to conceive. When you undergo this treatment at our Scottsdale fertility clinic, it is important that you follow our pre-treatment IVF instructions so that you are well prepared for an effective cycle. In our IVF preparation checklist, we explain how to begin your IVF process and what you can do to make your treatment as productive as possible.
Give Your Fertility Specialist as Much Information as You Can
At your initial consultation and pre-treatment appointments, your fertility specialist will ask about you and your partner’s medical history, previous pregnancies, weight, diet, medications, general lifestyle, stress level, exercise routines, previous fertility tests or treatments, and more. Providing as much detailed information as possible will help us understand all of the factors that could influence your treatment and plan accordingly.
Track Your Cycle
A woman’s menstruation and ovulation are key to becoming pregnant, so it is important to track your (or your partner’s) cycle conscientiously. You should note when you menstruate and test for ovulation using an ovulation kit. These are available at most drugstores. The kit can tell you whether or not you are ovulating by measuring hormones in your urine. For more precise tracking, you can use what’s called a fertility monitor, which is a computerized tool that assesses your spit, urine, vaginal discharge, or body temperature to provide more nuanced information about your cycle. Tracking your ovulation and menstruation will help you determine how regular your cycles are. This can also help your physician diagnose you with anovulation, a condition that results when patients have irregular periods or do not menstruate.
Undergo Pre-Treatment Examinations
You and your partner will need to undergo comprehensive testing before beginning IVF. Your examinations may include:
- Tests for infection. We may use urine, blood, stool, or other types of tests to screen you and your partner for infectious diseases that could be affecting your ability to conceive.
- A uterine cavity examination. Your uterine structure plays an important role in your ability to conceive, so your fertility specialist will need to examine it for any structural abnormalities. He or she can do so with a sonohysterography, which involves taking an ultrasound of your uterus after injecting a saline solution into your cervix. Your doctor can insert a narrow, lighted tube with a camera at the end into your uterus through your cervix to capture images of your uterine cavity. This is called a hysteroscopy.
- Semen testing. The male partner will need to provide a semen sample so that we can determine if he suffers from a male infertility issue such as abnormally shaped sperm, a low sperm count, or low motility.
- Reserva ova assessment. Women have a limited number of eggs, so your fertility specialist will need to test your reserves to determine how many healthy ova remain. He or she may do so through hormone testing or an ovarian ultrasound.
Take Your Medications
Before starting a cycle of IVF, the female partner will need to begin taking medications in the form of pills and injections. These will vary based on your distinctive circumstances and diagnoses. Make sure you understand the precise instructions for taking these prescriptions and follow the schedule your physician recommends.
Optimize Your Health
Before beginning an IVF cycle, it’s a good idea to do everything you can to improve your overall physical and mental health. You should:
- Try to sleep at least eight hours per night
- Stop smoking
- Improve your diet by cutting down on sugar, alcohol, and highly processed foods
- Start taking vitamin supplements (as recommended by your fertility doctor)
- Confide in trustworthy family and friends about your IVF treatment so that they can help you through this sometimes stressful process
Learn More about In Vitro Fertilization
IVF may be able to improve your chances for conception. To discover if you are a candidate or begin preparing for this procedure, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our fertility specialists.