Starting IVF treatment can be an exciting but nerve wracking experience. Usually, IVF treatment is pursued once other treatments have failed, following months of trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully. IVF treatment is the very first treatment tried when an egg donor is being used, there are severe cases of male infertility or a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked. Still, this often comes after years of trying to get pregnant, followed by a slew of fertility testing.
IVF treatment is often successful, though, it may take more than one try. Studies show that the potential for success with IVF treatment is the same for up to four cycles. Generally, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle is 30 to 35% for women under age 35, 25% for women between the ages of 35 and 37, 15 to 20% for women between the ages of 38 and 40 and 6 to 10% for women after age 40. (When an egg donor is used, however, success rates remain high even at age 40, with a 45% success rate.)
If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't feel bad. IVF treatment is quite stressful. Just looking over the schedule of ultrasounds, blood work, injections and so on can have you feeling fragile. (And that's before the drugs have a chance to mess with your moods!)
IVF Treatment Step By Step
You may be wondering how everything will come together. While every clinic's protocol will be slightly different and treatments are adjusted for a couple's individual needs, here is a step-by-step breakdown of what generally takes place during an IVF treatment cycle.