Before going ahead with IVF, there are certain questions you need to ask. If in doubt, consider getting a second opinion.
Make sure you fully understand the procedure; don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s imperative your doctor explains the common risks and benefits, as well as those particular to your circumstances. Knowing all the relevant information is part of informed clinical consent.
Questions for your doctor
- Will you be doing the procedures?
- Where are the procedures performed?
- Do you treat the male partner as well?
- Are the procedures painful?
- Can the procedures damage my ovaries or affect my future pregnancies?
- What type of IVF do you recommend for us?
- How many embryos will be created and transferred?
- How soon after IVF should I have a pregnancy test?
- If the first round of IVF is unsuccessful, how long should we wait to try again?
- What are the likely out-of-pocket medical expenses? (Your fertility clinic should be able to give you a breakdown of any costs you’ll incur – this is known as ‘Informed Financial Consent’)
- Does the cost include tests required before the procedure? If not, what will they cost?
- Does the cost include medications? If not, how much will they cost?
- What about the cost for subsequent IVF cycles? Will they cost the same amount?
- Will there be an additional fee for an assistant?
- Are there any other costs?
- How should we prepare for IVF?
- Will there be an additional fee for the anaesthetist? If so, what will it be?
Your fertility specialist's skills
- How many IVF procedures do you perform each year?
- What percentage of your patients achieve pregnancy?
- What’s the average number of cycles it takes for your patients to fall pregnant?
- What percentage of your patients in my age group achieve a live birth?
- What’s your complication rate?
- How much time will I need off work to recover?
- Follow-up appointments (Write down any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your fertility specialist).
Most medication should be taken as usual, but some may interfere with IVF. Your doctor will let you know which medication (if any) you should stop, and when to stop taking it. Don’t forget to mention any complementary or herbal remedies you’re taking, as these can have interactions and side effects too.