Here are 10 things you should know about IVF:

29 May 2013

 1. Success rates

Australian fertility clinics achieve amongst the highest success rates in IVF in the world. Coastal IVF Sunshine Coast is constantly amongst the top performing clinics in Australia. However, an individual couple's chance of success depends on a number of factors such as the cause of infertility, age and lifestyle. As a general guide at Coastal IVF there is a 50 percent chance of conception per IVF treatment if aged under 35. This goes down to a 20 percent chance for your first IVF treatment over the age of 40.

2. Women’s Fertility changes

A woman's fertility starts to drop dramatically from the age of 35. Diminishing egg numbers is one issue, diminishing quality is just as important. Again, egg quality starts to decline from age 35. A simple blood test, will tell a woman if she has a normal number of eggs for her age but tells us little about the quality of the eggs remaining.

3. Men's fertility changes

While women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, men are continually producing new sperm. However, as men age, the quality of the DNA in their sperm may deteriorate. After a woman's age, male infertility is the single largest factor influencing a couples chance to conceive. Problems include increased DNA damage, irregular shape and reduced quantity and movement. This becomes more common in men over the age of 50.

4. The cost

IVF is more affordable in Australia than most developed countries. An IVF treatment cycle costs about $2000 following a Medicare rebate.

5. The physical and emotional cost

The experience of IVF has been described as physically and emotionally demanding. Physical side effects can include headaches, tiredness, bloating and mood swings. Many find the experience stressful as they anxiously await the outcome.

6. Timing There are two main IVF treatment cycles — a short cycle known as an antagonist cycle which takes about four weeks with treatment commencing on the first day of a woman's period; or the more common agonist cycle, which takes about five weeks with hormone suppression commencing on day 22 of a woman's cycle. Patients must wait two weeks following the transfer of an embryo to the womb for a blood test to confirm pregnancy.

7. Aged Eggs are not like Aged Wine

A woman is at her most fertile in her twenties and early thirties and the quality declines each year from then on.

8. Cultural Society Change

Social changes mean couples are leaving it later in life to have children therefore more and more are turning to IVF for help to conceive.

9. Risks

IVF has been around for more than 30 years.It is a very safe procedure, with no long-term risks to mother or child. The most serious medical complication is Ovulation Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), affecting one percent of women. It occurs when a woman over-responds to hormone treatment and produces too many eggs. However, the lower drug doses used nowadays mean that this is much less common. In addition, specialists have become much better at predicting which woman are at risk of OHSS, and the medical profession is well trained in recognising and managing symptoms.

10. There are no guarantees

IVF is a highly effective treatment in overcoming many causes of infertility such as low-sperm count, blocked fallopian tubes and PCOS. However, there are no guarantees. But like any superstar sports team, the better the team the better they perform. The Clinical Director, Dr Paul Stokes, at Coastal IVF Sunshine Coast has been practicing for 31 years whilst the Director of Embryology, Peter Jackson, has over 30 years IVF experience. With success after success, so whilst there are no guarantees in life at least you will be safe in knowing your dreams are in good hands at Coastal IVF.