Fertility FAQ

Home Get Started Fertility FAQ

As you begin and move along your path to pregnancy, hundreds of questions will surely arise. We've anticipated a few of them here for you in our collection of common questions and answers.

As more questions come up, we invite you to call Rhonda, our new-patient clinical liaison, at 888-300-2483. The more you know, the more comfortable you can feel as you move through your fertility journey.

AM I INFERTILE?

Whether or not you are experiencing infertily depends on your age and the amount of time you have been trying to conceive through unprotected intercourse. Women under 35 who have been unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse, women over 35 who have been unable to conceive after 6 months, women age 40+, and men with low sperm counts are advised to speak with a fertility specialist as soon as possible. A fertility consultation will bring piece-of-mind and a structured plan to remedy any concerns you may have.

WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET PREGNANT WITHOUT SUCCESS. WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

It's often easier said than done, but it is important to remain hopeful. There are a number of fertility treatments available today that present options for even the most rarest of infertility cases.

Our technologies are more accurate and innovative than ever before. We regularly diagnose and treat complicated cases. Our fertility laboratory features many of the brightest minds in reproductive medicine - including 30 scientists, PhD’s, embryologists, and lab technicians who focus exclusively on on ways to improve embryo development and success rates.

Without a doubt, the very first step is to meet with a Boston IVF fertility doctor. During your hour-long appointment, we will begin the process of evaluating the factors that could be affecting your fertility health.

WHO SHOULD I SEE FIRST: MY OBGYN OR A FERTILITY SPECIALIST?

As a general rule of thumb, if you're within the time frame that your age specifies for infertility, you might plan on visiting your OBGYN for a checkup. If it's been over one year without success, or if you are over the age of 35, a fertility specialist may be able to better serve you.

If you fit into the umbrella definition of infertility, it is an excellent idea to meet with a fertility specialist so that you can start to explore other options. If you under the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for one year without success, over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than 6 months, or if you or your partner are experiencing medical concerns, such as PCOS, endometriosis, low sperm count, or prior miscarriages, it is time to see a fertility specialist.

HOW LONG IS THE PROCESS OF IVF?

IVF is the process of growing multiple eggs, retrieving them through an out-patient procedure in our clinic, and fertilizing them in our lab to produce as many embryos as possible.

3-5 days later, the embryo are transferred back into the uterus.

Each process of IVF is called a cycle. One full cycle takes about 2.5 weeks, depending on your menstrual cycle.

HOW SAFE ARE HORMONE TREATMENTS?

Because an imprecise dosage of hormones can lead to discomfort or injury, our doctors take measures to accurately diagnose each patient and determine an appropriate dosage of hormone treatment.

Your safety and comfort is always our primary concern!

DOES IVF CAUSE PREMATURE MENOPAUSE?

Absolutely not. It's a question we receive often. Patients often ask if IVF will deplete their egg supply, or in some way influence their long-term fertility.

There is no connection between premature menopause and IVF.

HOW MANY EMBRYOS ARE IMPLANTED DURING AN IVF CYCLE?

There is no standard number of embryos that are implanted for all patients. Many factors that go into the decision of how many embryos to transfer, including your age and medical history. However, in order to offer the highest chance of a safe and successful pregnancy, we always look to minimize the risk of multiple births (twins, etc), which often means implanting as few eggs as possible.

It's important to discuss your goals with your MD. If you want a single pregnancy, the approach to your cycle may be different than if you’re planning on a large family requiring several embryo transfers. The latter may indicate a cycle that creates a larger number of embryos available for freezing and use in future cycles, while the former may require lighter stimulation, reducing the number after the cycle is complete.

HOW MANY EGGS DO I HAVE?

Your age is a great predictor of the number of eggs that you have. Generally speaking, the older you are, the fewer eggs remain. At birth, baby girl has 2 million eggs. 400,000 eggs remain at puberty. 100,000 remain by age 30. By age 45 or 50, that number usually drops to 0.

This is all natural, and is associated with increased rates of embryo abnormalities, miscarriage, and infertility.

Whether you want to get pregnant now or wait, it's a good idea to know where your fertility levels stand. Data definitively shows that egg quantity and egg quality begin to gradually decrease after age thirty. Yet it’s also important to know that everyone is different. We see women who experience infertility in their twenties, as well as women who are incredibly fertile in their late thirties.

One test that can tell you where you stand is an AMH blood test, which gives an accurate count of your remaining egg supply.

IS EGG FREEZING RIGHT FOR ME?

Female fertility begins to decline in a woman's late twenties, and the continued loss of eggs associated with this decline results in increased rates of miscarriage, chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities, and infertility (especially for women older than thirty-five).

Egg freezing affords a woman the opportunity to use ‘younger’ eggs whenever she decides she would like to become pregnant. This allows her to avoid the decreased fertility and increased miscarriage rates associated with advanced age. It's an empowering opportunity to pause your biological clock so that you can choose to build your family when you are ready. There are many reasons a woman might not feel ready to become pregnant “right now” — no matter the reason, freezing your eggs preserves them so that they maintain their health and youth until you are ready to start your family.

By freezing your eggs, you greatly increase your chance of a successful pregnancy in the future. For example - if you freeze your eggs when your 32 and use them at age 42, your success rate is that of a 32 year old.

DO YOU TREAT BOTH MALE INFERTILITY AND FEMALE INFERTILITY?

Absolutely. Male and female partners each play a role in achieving pregnancy, and infertility can impact both sexes. Because of this, we evaluate both men and women, and we offer treatments for both male and female infertility. We offer a full range of treatment for men infertility

Overall, don’t automatically assume infertility is just a female issue. In 35% of all infertile, heterosexual couples - the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility. In fact, infertility affects men and women equally. If a couple has trouble becoming pregnant, we strongly recommend that both partners be tested to ensure a comprehensive, faster diagnosis.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY INITIAL CONSULTATION?

Your initial consultation at Boston IVF is an hour long conversation with your physician. He or she will gather complete information about your medical and fertility history, ask questions about your fertility goals, determine potential fertility obstacles, and then begin to develop your individualized treatment plan. This appointment is an opportunity to ask any questions you have about your potential treatment options and infertility. You'll also meet the rest of your fertility team, which your financial coordinator, who will help you navigate the insurance process by acting as a liaison between yourself and your insurance company, and your nurse.

You will need to bring with you a valid ID and your medical insurance card. You may also bring your partner/husband/wife, but this is not required.

It's possible that you'll find, during your initial consultation, that lifestyle changes are enough to help you become pregnant. Other cases may be more difficult, and fertility treatments may be necessary.

DEALING WITH INFERTILITY HAS BEEN TRAUMATIC TO MY RELATIONSHIP. DO YOU OFFER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT?

Infertility is extremely stressful on individuals and relationships. We have in-house psychologists and social workers who are equipped to assist you through all of the unique emotions and psychological hardships that come with infertility, including uncertainty of outcomes, dealing with fertile friends and family, the possibility of unsuccessful treatment cycles, and stresses associated with ongoing medical treatment.

DO YOU HAVE ANY DOCTORS THAT SPECIALIZE IN TREATING PCOS?

All of our doctors are experienced in treating patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). There is no one treatment for patients with PCOS who are looking to become pregnant — instead, your doctor will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan. Our in-house nutritionist, Hillary Wright, specializes in PCOS and is a great resource for healthy lifestyle changes that can complement your fertility treatment.

DO YOU OFFER GENETIC TESTING FOR EMBRYOS?

We offer both preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for those interested in genetic testing. Through PGD and PGS, patients are able to greatly reduce the risks of miscarriages, chromosomal abnormalities, and genetic disorders. Genetic testing also opens up the option of sex selection.

HOW DOES BOSTON IVF DIFFER FROM IVF IN A HOSPITAL?

Our committed staff is made up of phlebotomists, administrative assistants, doctors, nurses, financial coordinators, embryologists, all working in harmony with the same mission. Our staff are more than just employees — we're dedicated, specialized, long-term employees working with a team approach: as a patient, you will get to know not only your doctor, but your nurse, administrative assistant, and financial coordinator. You will also have an opportunity to work with our in-house acupuncturists, psychologists, and nutritionist.

At Boston IVF, your fertility team treats more than your reproductive system — we see and treat the whole patient.

ASK RHONDA
Have questions about your fertility? Need info on available treatments or just general advice on where to begin? Don't hesitate to call or email Rhonda! For 30 years, she has been a phone call (888-300-2483) or email away and the perfect resource if you need answers.

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We look forward to speaking with you, and will be in touch as soon as possible!