Attempting to conceive using assisted reproductive technology (ART) is an exciting but stressful journey filled with ups and downs. One of the best ways to reduce the physical and emotional stress associated with using ART to conceive is knowing what to expect along the way. Whether you are in the process of fertility testing, having artificial insemination, or about to begin an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, managing emotional stress will make each step of your journey easier.
Knowing what to expect helps reduce emotional stress. At Viera Fertility Center, you are always encouraged to ask questions. Many patients find it helpful to create a list of questions and bring them to their consultation.
If your fertility specialist has already recommended the treatments and techniques that offer you the greatest chance of success, take some time to research those procedures online.
If you are not sure which fertility treatment your specialist will recommend, you can do general research about the various options available to get acquainted with different treatments.
Fertility Treatments Include:
Fertility Drug Therapy
This treatment is ideal for women who are having difficulty ovulating. Fertility drug therapy involves using medication to stimulate ovulation.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is also known as artificial insemination. This treatment is used to address issues related to male infertility (e.g., sexual dysfunction, poor sperm quality), endometriosis and hostile cervical mucus. In addition, IUI is the treatment fertility specialists use for women who would like to conceive using sperm from a donor.
The insemination process takes place in the office and the patient does not need sedation.
Following the collection of male sperm and before the insemination process, the sperm is washed (i.e., separated from the seminal fluid). This process allows the fertility specialist to extract the most viable sperm. If you are using cryopreserved sperm, it was washed at the time of collection.
The doctor uses a speculum to hold the vaginal canal open.
A thin tube containing the washed sperm is carefully placed within the uterus.
The sperm is released.
Fertility drugs may be used in combination with artificial insemination.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
After using fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries into producing multiple eggs (oocytes), the doctor uses regularly scheduled transvaginal ultrasounds to monitor the patient’s ovaries. Once the eggs are mature, the fertility specialist retrieves them. Since this retrieval process is a minor surgery, the patient receives twilight sedation during her egg retrieval procedure.
While the fertility specialist retrieves the eggs, the male provides a fresh semen sample. The fertility specialist washes the sperm and analyzes them before placing them with the eggs.
The traditional in vitro fertilization procedure involves placing the sperm and eggs in laboratory dishes, with the goal of the sperm fertilizing the eggs. However, most of today’s IVF procedures include the specialist manually fertilizing the eggs. This manual fertilization technique is referred to as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). With this revolutionary process, the specialist injects a single sperm into each mature egg. Initially, these fertilized eggs are referred to as zygotes. However, once cell division begins, they become embryos.
The embryos remain in a growth medium until they are transferred to the patient’s uterus. This transfer typically takes place five days after fertilization.
The doctor performs the embryo transfer in the office. Sedation is not necessary for this procedure.
The fertility specialist uses a thin catheter to place one or two embryos in the uterus. If the embryos implant themselves into the uterine lining, when the patient has her pregnancy test 12 days later, it will be positive and she is officially pregnant. The patient may receive medication to help her maintain the pregnancy (e.g., progesterone).
The specialist monitors the embryos with blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds for the first three months.
Build a Support System
An infertility diagnosis can cause a wide range of emotions. These emotions may include disbelief, sadness and even fear. Whether you are considering or are already receiving fertility treatment, you may find the stress and emotion associated with these treatments easier to deal with by confiding in close friends and loved ones.
At Viera Fertility Center in Melbourne, Florida, patients may be referred to mental health professionals specializing in communication, stress, and coping strategies.
Find Healthy Distractions
Pass the time by reading books, watching your favorite shows, or spending time with family and friends.
Meditation can help you relax your entire body. Numerous videos online offer free guided meditation. Consider taking advantage of these.
Contact Us To Learn More
If you are having difficulty conceiving, schedule an initial consultation with one of the fertility specialists at Viera Fertility Center in Melbourne, Florida, today. To schedule an appointment using our online form, please click here. To make an appointment by phone, please call 321-751-4673 (HOPE).