Infertility Frequently Asked Questions
- How Weight Affects Fertility and Infertility Treatment (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Relationship Between Weight, PCOS, and Infertility (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Weight, PCOS, and Fertility (video)
- Is Your Weight Causing Your Infertility (blog)
- Using Integrative Medicine in Fertility Treatment
- Can Diet Affect IVF Success?
- Complimentary Care for Fertility Treatment: Nutrition, Acupuncture, and Counseling
- Using Yoga, Nutrition, and Acupuncture to Help You Get Pregnant
- Acupuncture and IVF
- Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Infertility
- The Mind/Body Connection in Infertility
- Alternative Treatments for Infertility
There is some debate in the infertility medicine community on whether an IUI with injectable medications can ever be done safely to avoid an unacceptable risk of triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, and more. According to Dr. Robert Stillman, Medical Director of Shady Grove Fertility Center and Professor of Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, on a Creating a Family show about reducing the risk of multiples it is not really possible to do an IUI with injectable medications safely. You can of course monitor through ultrasound and cancel a cycle if too many eggs mature, but many women are hesitant to go forward knowing that they may well have to cancel the cycle and lose the money that has been spent on the medications. Dr. Stillman said that the ASRM and SART have not issued guidelines for how to safely do this procedure because they don’t exist. There are too many variables to accurately predict how many eggs will mature the first time. Other doctors believe it is possible to do medicated IUI cycles and limit the risk of higher order multiples, but it requires very careful monitoring and a willingness to “lose” the cost of the cycle (including the cost of the injectable gonadotropins if too many eggs are produced.
A great place to learn more about IUIs is by listening to this Creating a Family show on Clomid, Medicated IUI, or Straight to IVF? If your doctor recommends an IUI with injectable gonadotropins, Dr. Stillman recommends being prepared to either cancel the cycle if more than a few eggs are produced, or convert the cycle to an IVF cycle. Of course, this suggestion does not take into account the very real possibility that the reason a couple is doing IUI with injectables in the first place is that they either can’t afford an IVF cycle or have ethical objections to IVF.
To limit the risk of multiples when doing IVF, limit the number of embryos that are transferred. Many infertility clinics strongly encourage patients to consider a single embryo transfer if they have good quality embryos. Any remaining embryos can be frozen for a later IVF cycle. Frozen embryo transfers are now as successful as fresh embryo transfers, and some research would indicate that they are more successful.
- Coming To Terms with Infertility Grief (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Coping with Infertility Grief (1 hour radio show with experts)
- How to Be Happy While Struggling with Infertility (1 hour radio show with experts)
We discussed these beginning steps of fertility treatment in detail and for whom they work best the Creating a Family show Knowing When to Move up the Infertility Treatment Ladder, where we interviewed Dr. Jaime Knopman, Reproductive Endocrinologist with RMA of New York and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is not necessarily out of the question. Some religions object to the fertilization of an egg outside of a woman’s body, which obviously rules out in vitro fertilization. Others have a general concern for “the sanctity of embryos” in the IVF treatment. In the past, we heard people worry over the loss of frozen embryos in thawing process, but with the cryopreservation techniques used now, this is much less of an issue.
The concern we hear most now from people who think they can’t do IVF for religious reasons is with creating excess embryos that they will not be able to use. For those people, IVF is definitely an option, but it may cost more. We discuss the options available for people who object to the creation of unused embryos in this blog: “Can I Do IVF If I’m Religious?“
No hard and fast rules exist for the differences between these three approaches, but often adoption agencies provide more support and education for both the donating couple and the receiving couple. They also may require some type of home study to give assurance to the donating couple that the family receiving their embryos is qualified to raise them. You may also have the option when using an agency of receiving information on the donating couple, including the ability to contact them in the future, if they and you want this option. Standard infertility clinics seldom have these requirements or provide these services. Specialized embryo donation clinics usually offer some or all of these services.
The cost of embryo donation (which is sometimes called embryo adoption) varies depending on the additional services or requirements, but it cost considerably less that a full IVF cycle and less than most domestic infant adoptions or international adoptions. Check out the following Creating a Family resources for much more information on these options, including specific information on cost:
- Medical and Legal Issues with Embryo Donation (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Embryo Donation/Adoption (1 hour radio show with experts)
- One Woman’s Story of Adoption and Embryo Donation (Embryo Adoption) (blog)
- Fertility Tourism- Going Abroad for Fertility Treatment (video)
- Top Ten Tips for Finding a Reputable Infertility Clinic Abroad
- Things to Think about Before Going Abroad for Infertility Treatment
- Ten Questions to ask Before Deciding to Go Abroad for Infertility Treatment
- Practical Considerations When Going Abroad for Treatment (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Fertility Tourism (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Infertility Tourism: Cross Border Reproductive Care (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Ten Answers to the “When are you Going to Have Kids” Question
- Ten “Snarky” Answers to the “When Are you Going to Have Kids” Question
You might also appreciate Creating a Family’s Infertility Survival Guide for Holidays, Family Gatherings & Baby Showers or the blog about Infertility & the Holiday.
Grants for Fertility Treatment & Affordability Programs Offered by Infertility Clinics (1 hour radio show with experts)
Grants for Infertility Treatment: Affording IVF (1 hour radio show with experts)
Grants for Fertility Treatment (video)
How to Get a Grant for Fertility Treatment (blog)
- How to Talk with Kids about Donor Egg, Sperm, and Embryo
- When and How to Talk with Children about 3rd Party Conception
- Panel of Donor Conceived Adults (1 hour radio show with experts)
- Making Progress– Telling the Kids in Sperm & Egg Donation (blog)
- Talking with Older Kids about Donor Egg, Sperm, or Embryo (blog)
Image credit: linh tinh