How Do I Start IVF?
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one of the most successful fertility treatments. IVF addresses female infertility, male infertility, and unexplained causes of infertility to significantly increase a person’s chance of conception. While most people are aware of the promising results offered by IVF, many are unsure of how to start IVF treatment.
Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan are happy to help individuals in Encino, CA, Bakersfield, CA, Los Angeles, CA, and surrounding areas get the IVF process started. Here, we go over the steps that our patients take on their journey to IVF.
Whether individuals are considering IVF because they have been unable to conceive after many months of trying, or they are part of a same-sex couple and would like to have a child through IVF, the first step of starting treatment is scheduling a fertility evaluation. A fertility evaluation should ideally be performed at a specialized fertility clinic, such as the Los Angeles Reproductive Center.
A fertility evaluation provides information regarding reproductive health and potential sources of infertility. Using this information, our doctors are able to determine which fertility techniques will give patients the greatest chance of starting the family they desire. Often, IVF is a suitable treatment option, but not always.
When receiving a fertility evaluation, patients are asked for a thorough medical background. We discuss medication use, lifestyle habits, reproductive background, menstrual history, and other factors that could affect fertility. Patients also undergo a series of physical tests and exams. Fertility testing primarily looks at:
- Male fertility health (including semen volume, sperm motility, and sperm morphology)
- Ovarian function and egg quality
- Uterine and fallopian tube anatomy
Even if patients are considered ideal IVF candidates, the process does not start right away. IVF must be timed to go along with the intended mother’s (or surrogate’s) menstrual cycle. As we monitor the menstrual cycle and prepare for treatment, patients have time to get themselves in the best physical and emotional state for IVF.
Leading up to IVF, patients may need to make some lifestyle changes to promote the ultimate success of treatment. This could include:
- Eating a diet that is high in nutrients
- Taking prenatal supplements
- Quitting smoking and/or reducing alcohol and caffeine intake
- Practicing daily physical activity (nothing too strenuous)
- Joining a support group
- Practicing stress-relieving activities (yoga, meditation, etc.)
In addition to these personal practices, patients may undergo a few additional medical procedures prior to IVF. Hormone levels will be routinely measured and additional exams may be performed. Sometimes we even perform a mock embryo transfer to determine the depth of the uterine cavity and plan for the best embryo transfer technique.
On day one of the menstrual cycle (or the first day of active bleeding), IVF treatment begins. Even with weeks of preparation, patients often feel a little nervous and unsure about what to expect during IVF. Our fertility specialists are there to guide patients throughout the procedure. We are careful to explain each step of IVF treatment, and are happy to answer any questions that patients may have so that they feel comfortable and confident as they proceed through the stages of IVF.
Get in Touch
If you are considering fertility treatment and would like to know if IVF is right for you, the doctors at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center can provide you with more information. To schedule a fertility evaluation, contact us online, or call (818) 946-8051 at your earliest convenience.