The IVF and fertility treatment process can differ dramatically between patients. That’s because there are a wide-variety of underlying fertility conditions and each doctor has a unique philosophy on how aggressive to get, which drug protocols to use, when to incorporate add-ons like ICSI and PGS, not to mention the varying quality of their laboratory. Most fertility patients will leave their first doctor, and 70% of IVF cycles fail, so clearly there is room for improvement.
Today IVF helps 1% of US couples conceive and in Europe and Japan those numbers are close to 5%. While IVF has been a game-changer for many hopeful parents, it is a complex and costly process for most patients. Here we explore IVF's benefits and shortcomings and how patients should consider choosing a doctor.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening, in theory, helps your doctor select the best embryo to transfer by determining which embryos have the correct number of chromosomes. PGS has supporters and detractors, but its rate of use is speeding ahead. We cover the benefits and risks of PGS, as well as complex subjects like mosaicism.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is now used in 80% of IVF cases, though its intended use was originally for male factor patients. We examine where ICSI is most effective, how it may be overused, the perceived risks, and the costs broken out by region.
Experts agree that a high quality laboratory can improve your chances of success by two fold. Naturally, clinics will tell you their laboratory is superb. Here we run-down the issues that help patients make the distinction between a world-class, mediocre, or poorly-run laboratory.
Multiple-embryo transfer presents meaningful risk to the mother and offspring and for many patients it also offers a quicker path to a live birth. In America, we have a strong bias for multiple-embryo transfer unlike our our peers in Japan, Sweden and Australia. Here we distill the data and issues to better prepare you for a crucial decision.