It is believed that if pregnancy does not occur within a year of an active sexual life of a married couple, one should seek advice from a reproductologist to find out the cause. The specialist will help determine the infertility factor by prescribing a series of examinations for both the woman and the man, after which he will determine the treatment regimen. It is not uncommon for cases when, after a certain treatment of infertility of one or two spouses, a natural pregnancy soon occurs. Today, the IVF procedure has a number of medical indications that a reproductologist will not recommend unnecessarily.
So, in what cases it is worth deciding on IVF:
– age factor (women 35+), in which the number and, most importantly, the quality of eggs deteriorates. The ability of a woman to become pregnant on her own decreases, and in the event of a natural pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage or the birth of a sick child increases;
-obstruction of the fallopian tubes or their absence. Before the egg enters the uterine cavity to meet the sperm, it must pass through the fallopian tubes. If there are problems with the passage or its complete absence, due to the surgical removal of the fallopian tubes, conception naturally becomes impossible. IVF fertilization is a method that allows you to solve the problem;
-a severe form of endometriosis that is difficult to treat. IVF allows you to neutralize the influence of negative processes in endometriosis, increasing the chances of pregnancy;
-endocrine infertility. Problems with the thyroid gland, lack of effect from hormonal treatment for more than six months;
-unsuccessful attempts to cure infertility by alternative methods. Repeated unsuccessful attempts at the procedure of intrauterine insemination (using a catheter to introduce spermatozoa into the uterus);
-male factor of infertility of various origins. A fairly common reason is when the quality of the sperm (quantity, motility and health of the spermatozoa) is insufficient for successful fertilization in a natural way. IVF procedure, sometimes the only way to successfully conceive, with male infertility;
-infertility of unknown origin. If the doctor has ruled out all possible other causes of infertility of the spouses, but it is still not possible to get pregnant, in this case it is recommended to try in vitro conception. But first, the couple should work through their failures, fears and expectations with a reproductive psychologist. It may also happen that after a deep psychological study of fears, removal of internal clamps, negative attitudes and, oddly enough, an unconscious ban on oneself from having a child, pregnancy occurs without IVF.
IVF and tests: what and when to take
Preparation for IVF concerns both spouses, so the reproductologist appoints a whole list of studies for both women and men. This list includes instrumental examinations and laboratory tests.
The list of necessary studies for a married couple:
-general clinical analysis of blood and urine;
-analysis for determining the blood type and Rh factor;
-blood test for viral infections (syphilis, AIDS, hepatitis C, hepatitis B);
-karyotyping (an important analysis to detect chromosomal abnormalities and genetic characteristics of spouses).
List of studies for women before IVF:
-medical examination by specialized doctors of the clinic – therapist, endocrinologist, mammologist, oncologist, gynecologist;
-blood for sugar and protein;
-blood (PCR) – herpes, cytomegalovirus, femoflor 16;
-blood for toxoplasmosis and rubella;
-AMH (Anti-Müllerian hormone), prolactin, FSH, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), LH, progesterone, estradiol. (This is an important list of hormones that will help determine not only the woman’s ovarian reserve, but also the necessary drugs and dosage, the optimal scheme and intensity of stimulation during the IVF protocol);
-PCR (smear) – chlamydia, gonococcus, Trichomonas;
-colposcopy + cytological examination of smears;
-bacterioscopic analysis of secretions from three points;
-Ultrasound of the pelvis, mammary glands, thyroid gland and dopplerography.
List of studies for men before IVF:
-medical examination by an andrologist;
-embryological spermogram with morphology analysis;
-direct MAR-test (to identify the immune causes of male infertility).
Despite the long list of studies before the IVF protocol, with good planning, everything can be completed and handed over in two days. Such a thorough health check is necessary to identify all sorts of contraindications or current diseases of a married couple, which can identify pathology and start timely treatment in the early stages. The success of the IVF protocol directly depends on the health of the couple.
Psychological preparation for IVF
Preparation for the IVF procedure, which includes visits to the clinic, tests, additional procedures, requires time and skillful planning. Considering that many couples combine training with professional responsibilities, caring for the atmosphere in the family, it is very difficult for a woman to remain calm during this period. In this article, we will talk about how to mentally prepare for IVF and manage stress during the treatment process.
Family and friends support
During planning and preparation for IVF, as well as after embryo transfer, it is important to enlist the support of loved ones. Perhaps a conversation with a husband or partner, sister or friend will allow you to calmly prepare for IVF, avoid mood swings, and even survive unsuccessful IVF. It is up to you how many people you share your path with, there is no single correct solution. The only thing you need to remember: the more dedicated people, the more often they will ask about the results of the treatment. If you feel that communication is causing additional stress, you can tactfully let friends and acquaintances know that you do not want to discuss this topic. You can do this, for example, like this: “Thank you for your support. If I feel like I need to talk, I will definitely call.”
Don’t miss important moments
IVF is a step-by-step process and while planning, you need to take care of yourself and a positive mood, engage in physical activity and / or meditation, walk more in the fresh air and be sure to find time to be alone with yourself.
Perhaps you will be overcome by negative emotions, disappointment, anger or sadness, work out the settings yourself or seek help from a specialist.
Psychological preparation for IVF and medications
Sometimes medicines can have side effects and make you feel anxious, so:
-study the information that is the best remedy for anxiety
-be prepared to make sometimes difficult decisions, such as what to do with the remaining embryos, how much to transfer, etc.
-before the protocol, make sure that your relationship with your partner is strong and you are not going through a crisis
-Discuss with your partner ahead of time your expectations and steps to take if the protocol fails
-find a support group that will understand your condition without further ado
-avoid making big decisions in other areas of life
Waiting for the result
Waiting for a positive result is one of the most tiring periods in the entire treatment process. Prepare mentally for this with the following tips:
-find time for your favorite activities
-take deep, slow breaths when you feel stressed
-realize that each stage of treatment can end in a negative result
-work through negative thoughts: as soon as you start thinking about the bad, replace your thoughts with a positive vision, and do this exercise for 2 minutes
-focus only on what you can influence or control
Psychological preparation for IVF – little secrets
Psychological preparation does not have to include large-scale steps, it is enough to choose one or more methods that will help you cope with stress, for example:
-yoga – if you think that yoga is just handstands and seemingly impossible to perform poses, then you should reconsider your opinion. Yoga combines rhythmic breathing and stretching to help you feel more relaxed in mind and body.
-Reiki is a Japanese stress relief technique that affects the entire person, including his body, emotions, mind and spirit. Reiki is great for stress relief, especially for those who are afraid of needles.
-meditation and aromatherapy – you can practice calming techniques and help your psyche by deliberately focusing on the present, thereby reducing stress levels. Aromatherapy has been proven to be very beneficial for infertility, and hormonal imbalances are at the root of many female infertility problems. Essential oils (clary sage, frankincense, chamomile, lavender, rose, geranium, and ylang ylang) support healthy hormonal balance, but their use should be discussed with your doctor. You can also combine meditation with yoga.
Many women may experience stressful situations due to IVF treatment and family care. Do not be afraid to seek help from loved ones or experts who will provide you with professional assistance. Remember that IVF is only the beginning of the most wonderful journey in your life, and the baby needs a happy mother.