Women with PCOS may have difficulty getting pregnant and are at risk of hyperstimulation with fertility treatment. In addition, they have twice the rate of miscarriage than women without the condition. That may be a result of poor egg quality related to ovulating too early or too late, or a thickened uterine lining. However, if all other factors are equal, Univfy research has found that PCOS patients tend to have slightly higher probabilities of having a baby in their first IVF cycle.
Written in partnership with Univfy, December 16, 2013
IVF success depends on a number of factors: A woman’s age, ovarian reserve, body mass index (BMI), her reproductive and health history, and her male partner’s sperm parameters, among others. With all these factors to take into account, how do you know what your chance for success with IVF will be?
Knowing your chances of IVF success can help you make the right fertility treatment and financial decisions. For instance, if your chances are high, you may want to opt for a single cycle, instead of a multicycle package from your clinic, even at a per-cycle discount.
Written in partnership with Univfy, December 9, 2013
IVF is expensive, with cycles ranging from $12,000 to $15,000 on average. And that doesn’t include the cost of fertility drugs, or add-ons, such as ICSI, PGD, and embryo storage.
The good news is there are ways to save on IVF: shopping around, buying a multi-cycle discount package, participating in a refund guarantee program, or doing low stim or mini IVF, which comes with a lower price tag. Another way to save on IVF costs is by understanding your chance of IVF success: what chance your cycle will result in the birth of a baby.
Recent theories in the field of reproductive medicine are moving away from citing the embryo as the sole determinant of an cycle’s success. While it is true that embryo quality is the strongest predictor of implantation, current research shows that uterine receptivity may also play a fairly significant role in the success of a cycle. In fact, some of the latest reproductive findings encourage patients to freeze their embryos and transfer them in a later cycle once the uterine lining has recovered from the effects of harsh fertility drugs.
Both men and women can face fertility compromising treatments, including chemotherapy. Given that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has lifted the experimental title from egg freezing, female fertility preservation has become a widely discussed topic. However, sperm freezing is less often discussed despite being an easy and inexpensive option for men to preserve their fertility.
The latest buzz in the field of fertility treatment is frozen embryo transfer (FET) for safer and more successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Studies have found that by transferring a thawed embryo in a subsequent cycle, the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is minimized and the uterine lining has time to recover from the harsh effects of fertility drugs. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), in particular Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), performed in conjunction with FET maximizes the fertility patient's chance of successful pregnancy. The benefits of safer and more successful cycles are obvious for all patients, but perhaps the greatest benefit is to women over the age of 40.
I’ve spent a good many years thinking about the embryo to figure out how to best peer into the black box that controls the first few days of embryo development. We are just scratching the surface of understanding molecular switches which, when malfunctioning, can lead to heartbreaking experiences. The results can include some types of miscarriages, biochemical pregnancies (pregnancies that fail shortly after pregnancy tests turn positive and before any signs of pregnancy can be detected by ultrasound), failed IVF attempts, and a catch-all called aneuploidy (or an abnormal number of chromosomes). We are endeavoring to unveil the mysteries of the black box, layer by layer, to be able to provide personalized medicine to our patients, tailoring treatment to each one’s individual disease at the molecular level in the way that doctors are now able to treat some types of breast cancer.
Medical guidelines suggest that women under the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive for one year without success, and women over the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive for one year should see a fertility doctor. If you have experienced primary infertility and are trying to conceive again, or you suspect a problem with your fertility, you should seek a fertility consult without delay.