IVF – the hurdles

So you’ve read the IVF manual and are all ready to start a cycle. What are some of the “wish I’d known that” snippets that veteran IVFers can share with you to help fill the knowledge gaps about what to expect? Well, one that comes up a lot is having a clear understanding of the not-so-straightforward hurdles involved in an IVF cycle. Here’s a list of some of the main hurdles you need to clear as you go through the process … […]

2-day, 3-day or blast transfer?

When you do IVF, it is possible to transfer your embryos * on Day 2 after egg collection (usually 4-cell embryos), * on Day 3 after egg collection (usually 8-cell embryos) or * on Day 5 (after the embryos have reached blastocyst stage). Also, leftover embryos can be frozen on any of these days too. What are your options, what should you consider when deciding, and how/when should you talk to your doctor, nurse, embryologist about all this? […]

Do more IVFs give you higher chances of success?

“I’m wondering is it true what they say that the more cycles of IVf you do the higher your chances of getting a BFP? Depending on quality and # of embies put back of course.” There are basically three schools of thought on this, as I understand it: 1. It’s a numbers game. … […]

Our IVF/IUI/TI cycle just failed … What should we be asking at the review?

After all that anxiety, fear, hope and expectation, a failed cycle is just devastating. You’re booked for a review appointment with your specialist – but what should you be asking about now? The most important question, of course, is WHY your cycle failed. There could be many possible explanations, some of which are just guesses and some of which are backed by concrete evidence or could be investigated further. […]

New and “untested” treatments

“My doctor talked about the ethics of infertility treatment and how some clinics will try (and charge for) all sorts of unproven treatment where often there was no medical reason for a particular patient to require that unproven treatment.” The unproven treatment issue is a really interesting one because most medical professionals consider “proven” to mean something supported by multiple randomised controlled trials. The problem is that cutting-edge ideas are new and haven’t had the chance to be sufficiently trialled (or, in some cases, don’t lend themselves to such randomised designs for ethical and/or practical reasons). So, should all the new ideas be ignored until they are considered “proven”? […]

What are the main IVF protocols used in NZ?

Basically there are three main protocols used by NZ clinics (plus a few variations, which I’ll try to add later): 1. The ‘long’ protocol (default for young women and those with normal FSH; not generally used on high FSHers unless they are quite young, and seldom on anyone over 40 because it can easily oversuppress those with diminished ovarian reserve). 2. … […]

Questions to ask a prospective specialist

Before committing to working with a particular specialist, it’s a good idea to ask them a few questions to get a feel for their approach to treating patients like you.

All too often I have talked with women/couples who have gone through their first consult with a specialist and simply assumed that whatever treatment plan […]