BFI

Checking if IVF is the last option to conceive?

Checking if IVF is the last option to conceive?

25 January 2024

Checking if IVF is the last option to conceive?

Many individuals, when faced with concerns about fertility, find themselves questioning whether they are candidates for IVF or if alternative treatments may be more suitable. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to address these queries, providing insights into the intricacies of fertility, the role of IVF, and alternative treatment options available.

Understanding Fertility:

Conception Basics:

Conception, or the beginning of pregnancy, occurs when a sperm cell from a man joins an egg cell from a woman. This union forms a fertilized egg, which then implants itself in the woman’s uterus, where it can grow into a baby.

Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation:

In women, the menstrual cycle is of key importance . Around the middle of the cycle, an egg is released from the ovary—a process known as ovulation. This egg eagerly awaits a sperm for a chance to kickstart pregnancy.

Sperm’s Journey:

Meanwhile, sperm cells embark on their own journey. They travel through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach the egg. The first one to successfully meet the egg gets the golden ticket, leading to fertilization.

Implantation:

Once fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. It then nestles into the uterine lining in a process called implantation, marking the beginning of a pregnancy.

Factors Affecting Fertility:

Now, let’s discuss about the factors that can influence the likelihood of this magical process occurring:

1. Age:

Age is a big player in fertility. Women are most fertile in their 20s and early 30s. Fertility gradually declines in the late 30s and dramatically after the age of 35. For men, while there isn’t a sharp decline, sperm quality can decrease with age.

2. Health Conditions:

Certain health conditions can impact fertility. Issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis in women and low sperm count in men may pose challenges. Managing and treating these conditions can significantly improve fertility.

3. Lifestyle Factors:

Our daily habits matter too. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being significantly over or underweight can affect fertility. A balanced lifestyle, with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, contributes positively to reproductive health.

In a nutshell, understanding fertility involves appreciating the complex interaction between eggs and sperm, recognizing the importance of the menstrual cycle, and being mindful of factors like age, health conditions, and lifestyle choices that can sway the odds in favor or against the miracle of conception. Remember, knowledge is power, and being informed about these aspects can guide you on your fertility journey.

Signs where you need assistance:

1. Irregular Menstrual Cycles:

A regular menstrual cycle is often a good indicator of a healthy reproductive system. If your periods are consistently irregular—meaning they come too frequently, too infrequently, or with unpredictable patterns—it might signal an underlying issue. Irregular cycles can affect ovulation, making it harder to predict the best time for conception.

2. Previous Reproductive Health Issues:

If you’ve had past reproductive health concerns, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or surgery involving your reproductive organs, it’s crucial to monitor your fertility. These issues can impact the normal functioning of your reproductive system and may require special attention when trying to conceive.

3. Unsuccessful Attempts to Conceive:

While conception might take time, persistent difficulty in getting pregnant could be a red flag. If you’ve been actively trying to conceive for a year without success (or six months if you’re over 35), it’s a good idea to consult with a fertility specialist. Factors like age, health conditions, or lifestyle choices may be contributing to the challenges you’re facing.

4. Age-Related Concerns:

Age plays a significant role in fertility. If you’re over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months without success, it’s advisable to seek assistance sooner rather than later. Fertility declines with age, particularly for women, and addressing potential issues earlier can improve the chances of successful conception.

5. Male Factor Infertility:

Fertility isn’t solely a woman’s concern. If you and your partner have been actively trying to conceive without success, it’s essential to consider male factor infertility. Low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal sperm morphology can impact fertility. A simple semen analysis can provide valuable insights.

6. Chronic Health Conditions:

Certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, or autoimmune conditions, can influence fertility. Managing these conditions effectively with the help of healthcare professionals is crucial when planning for pregnancy.

When to Seek Professional Help:

If you identify with any of these signs or have concerns about your fertility, seek assistance. Seeking assistance early allows us to evaluate your unique situation, identify potential challenges, and create a personalized plan to help you achieve your dream of building a family.

Eligibility Criteria for IVF Candidates:

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a remarkable fertility treatment, but it’s not always the first option for everyone. Let’s break down the criteria that help determine if you may benefit most from this advanced fertility approach:

1. Duration of Infertility:

If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without success (or six months if you’re over 35), and other less invasive treatments haven’t worked, IVF may be considered.

Couples with a history of infertility and specific reproductive health issues may also be candidates.

2. Ovulatory Disorders:

If irregular ovulation is a challenge, and other interventions like ovulation-stimulating medications haven’t led to success, IVF might be recommended.

3. Tubal Issues:

For women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, preventing the natural meeting of egg and sperm, IVF provides an alternative route for fertilization.

4. Endometriosis:

Severe cases of endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, may compromise fertility. IVF can be a viable option in such situations.

5. Uterine Issues:

Anomalies in the uterus, such as uterine fibroids or abnormalities in its shape, can impact fertility. Some of this may need Surgical correction before attempting pregnancy. While in some cases it is advisable to get pregnant before the disease advances and poses a bigger challenge. IVF can reduce your time to pregnancy.

6. Unexplained Infertility:

Sometimes, despite thorough testing, the cause of infertility remains unknown. IVF can be a valuable option in such cases, as it directly addresses the fertilisation which is the most crucial step in conception .

7. Male Factor Infertility:

Issues like low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal sperm morphology can be addressed with IVF. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a technique within IVF, allows for the direct injection of a sperm into an egg.

8. Genetic Disorders:

Couples with a risk of passing on genetic disorders to their offspring may benefit from preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) during IVF. This allows for the selection of embryos without the identified genetic condition.

9. Age-Related Factors:

Age can impact the success of fertility treatments. IVF may be recommended for women over 35 or those with declining ovarian reserve.

10. Previous IVF Attempts:

If you’ve undergone previous IVF cycles without success, a reassessment of your treatment plan may be necessary. Adjustments can be made to improve the chances of success in subsequent attempts.

If I go with IVF I can never conceive naturally.

This is one of the big misconceptions. Ivf, neither reduces nor increases your chance of natural pregnancy. In fact, if you Undergo successful child birth. The chance of natural pregnancy may improve.

So IVF is NOT the LAST option. It is the FAST option for successful pregnancy.

Conclusion

Embarking on the journey to parenthood is a unique and personal experience. At Bavishi Fertility Institute, we understand that each fertility journey is different, and we are here to provide the personalized care you deserve. If you have concerns or questions about whether you qualify for IVF or if it’s the right fit for you, our dedicated team is ready to guide you.

Take the first step towards realizing your dream of building a family. Contact us today for a consultation tailored to your individual needs. Our experts at Bavishi Fertility Institute are committed to supporting you at every stage, helping you make informed decisions about your fertility journey.

Author Bio

Dr. Parth Bavishi

Dr. Parth Bavishi, MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, brings over 12 years of invaluable work experience to his role as Director of Bavishi Fertility Institute, leading a group of IVF clinics committed to helping couples realise their dreams of parenthood. 

Bavishi Fertility Institute is dedicated to providing customised and personalised treatments which are simple, safe , smart and successful. Bavishi Fertility Institute works with success and satisfaction for all at heart. Providing an ideal blend of professional treatment and personalised care.

Dr Parth had special training in infertility at Bavishi fertility Institute, the Diamond Institute, USA, and the HART Institute, Japan.

Dr. Bavishi is a distinguished expert in his field. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Bavishi is the author of the acclaimed book, ‘Your Miracle in Making: A Couple’s Guide to Pregnancy,’ offering invaluable insights to couples navigating the complexities of fertility. He loves to empower patients to make the correct choice by education both online and offline .

His exceptional contributions have earned him the prestigious Rose of Paracelsus award from the European Medical Association. Dr Parth has been an invited faculty at many national and international conferences.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Dr. Bavishi is an avid traveller who finds solace in exploring new destinations. He also enjoys engaging his mind with brainy puzzles, always seeking new challenges and solutions outside of the medical realm.

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