When issues with fertility make becoming pregnant a struggle, in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that has high success rates in helping people overcome a wide range of fertility problems.
At Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health, our team of specialists guide patients throughout the IVF process, starting before treatment has even begun. If you are wondering “How to start IVF?” and live in Scottsdale, AZ, Gilbert, AZ, or neighboring areas, our specialists are available to help you understand the IVF process and help you with your fertility needs.
The first step to start the IVF process is to speak with a fertility specialist to determine whether IVF is the right treatment for your fertility needs.
Part of meeting with a fertility specialist includes discussing your medical history and undergoing fertility evaluations. Fertility evaluations, which may include blood work, ultrasound, and semen analysis, are beneficial in determining whether IVF is the right option for you.
If IVF is determined to be a good fit for your fertility needs, a treatment plan will be devised. At this time the process of IVF may be explained in detail and any questions or concerns can be answered.
Once it is determined that you’re a good candidate for IVF, it’s important to take steps to prepare for starting treatment and the possibility of pregnancy.
Women who smoke should give up smoking prior to starting IVF so they are prepared to stop smoking throughout pregnancy. Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake is also a good idea at this time.
Eating foods that are good for fertility, like fish high in Omega-3, dark leafy greens, and avocados, as well as taking prenatal vitamins before starting IVF is recommended.
Starting the actual IVF treatment requires taking medications to suppress the body’s natural cycle and increase the number of eggs released so that they may be harvested and fertilized outside of the body.
Daily medications used to suppress the menstrual cycle are taken at the very start of IVF treatment. This medication is usually given as a self-administered shot and taken for about two weeks before the next step in IVF can begin.
Next, medication consisting of a fertility hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is taken to increase the number of eggs released when it’s time for egg retrieval. FSH is administered through a daily injection over the course of 12 days, give or take.
Once the eggs are ready for removal, another shot, commonly called the “trigger shot,” is given to encourage the body to release the eggs so that they can be retrieved through a minor surgical procedure.
After the eggs are retrieved, they can be combined with sperm for fertilization or frozen for later use. The resulting embryos can be placed within the uterus in hopes of pregnancy. Additional embryos may also be frozen for later use.
Other treatments, such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) may be combined with IVF to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.