Men and women both are equally prone to being diagnosed with infertility. The inability to achieve pregnancy within defined time spans considering the woman’s age is defined as Infertility. There are a few facts which one should be aware of before one goes in for fertility treatment. These are specifications which should be discussed pro-actively at the time of Doctor’s visit. Clinics may or may not discuss these relevant facts before commencing of process for artificial conception.
“The Biological tic”: – Medication is effective when it concerns treatment of hormonal or structural issues. Problems like fibroids, polycystic ovarian disease, diminished ovarian reserves are health issues which may be remedied under guidance of an infertility specialist. There are changes that a woman’s body undergoes with passing years. Decline in fertility due to increasing age is an important discussion every Clinic should hold with its patients. In spite of tremendous advancement of medical techniques, fertility doctors still do not possess the art to change a man or woman’s biology.
The fact stands that a woman’s fertility is at its peak when she is in her twenties. Fertility gradually starts diminishing once she hits thirties and dips down drastically once she crosses forty. Chances of conceiving are not eliminated though.
Complete cost schedule: – All costs associated with treatment should be explained and discussed with the patients before the process starts off. From Clinic’s charges, procedure cost, Doctor’s fees, cost of medicines to other accompanying expenditures; all these should be a discussed in advance. The couple should know beforehand as to the kind of hit the process would have on their pocket.
The Doctors may first want to try IUI and opt for IVF only if the former does not click. The plan that would be adopted along with timelines and cost details should be shared with the patients before commencement of fertility treatment.
“Assisted reproduction- risks involved”: – There are a host of risks associated with assisted reproduction. These are generally not discussed with the patients at length. A few of these risks include:
Chances of conceiving multiples: The process of IVF is so designed that a female may conceive multiples. This exposes the prospective mother to a risk of increased complications.
Health of the new born and mother: – There are chances of preterm birth, low birth weight on one hand whereas the mother also has increased chances of developing postpartum haemorrhage, diabetes or hypertension induced by pregnancy.
Long term effects: – Another factor to be discussed is the health of the child born through assisted reproduction. Unknown factors associated with risk of the child should also be discussed.
An opinion on the treatment taken so far:- Doctors at the fertility clinic should also throw some light on whether the couple is taking the right course of action by opting for artificial reproduction procedures. Whether the thought of opting for assisted reproduction is coming in at the right time and all possible chances and medication for natural conception has been tried.
They should also counsel if the Doctors and medication resorted to before making it to the clinic has been correct and if there’s anything further that needs to be tried.
Handling of stress disorders and emotional pain: – Unsuccessful attempts of IUI’s and IVF may be traumatic. The positive and negative outcome should be discussed in detail at the very outset. Ways of handling the after effects and accompanying emotional pain should also be a part of the discussion.
Best to be with near and dear ones: – Getting much needed emotional support from near and dear ones when a lady opts for artificial means of conceiving proves to be very useful. The woman would be going through a lot, physically, mentally and emotionally and support from family and friends would expedite the process of recovery is generally not discussed.
Explanation of success rate: – Success rate of any clinic or associated doctors is generally used for advertising purposes and contains data presented in specialist clinical language. Not many women understand the inferences. Every woman expects and should be told her individual chances of conceiving. The number of cycles she would need and what are her own chances of successful conception. Such in-depth individualistic discussion is generally not a part of the doctor patient interaction.
Genuine opinion on when to stop trying: – Couples generally keep trying different processes and medication for conceiving till the time they are not physically, financially and emotionally drained out. The decision to stop trying is generally made by them. However, these should be suggestions coming in from the Clinic. Clinics are experts handling numerous patients on everyday basis, hence they are very well aware of the best course to be resorted to. The red flag should be raised by them.
Detailed discussion on these topics would enable a couple to proceed for assisted reproduction with complete knowledge and hence would ease out preparation.