Many people who are struggling to conceive may be thinking about IVF as an option to help get pregnant and have questions about this treatment.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about IVF.

Q. What is IVF?

A. IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization and refers to a treatment wherein a female egg is harvested from a woman’s body and then mixed in a laboratory medium with male sperm in order for fertilization to occur. After several days, normally 3-5 on average, the fertilized egg has divided and multiplied enough to be implanted in the woman’s uterus via a catheter.

Q. What is the success rate of IVF?

A. This can vary from person to person and depends on several factors, including the woman’s age, cause of the couple’s infertility and more. According to the United States Center for Disease Control, based on data for 2003 to 2009, women aged 35 or under had the highest IVF success rates.   The success of IVF also depends on the treatment center and doctor performing the procedure.

Q. Are the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer processes painful?

A. During oocyte, or egg retrieval, anesthesia is used. Embryo transfer is not painful, much like having a Pap smear. Both procedures are normally done on an out patient basis, at the doctor’s office.

Q. Is bed rest recommended following embryo transfer?

A. Not in most cases. Remember that in the natural way of things, a woman is going about her usual routine while the embryo implants itself on her uterine lining. However, it is a good idea to take it easy and abstain from any strenuous activity the day the procedure is performed. Most women can resume normal activities the second day. The exception to this is in cases of possible Ovarian Hyperstimulation, when bed rest is often recommended as a prophylactic measure.

Q. When should you start considering IVF as a treatment to help get pregnant?

A. IVF is not usually the first therapy utilized to treat infertility in most cases. IVF is typically used after other  treatments have proven futile,. But, it all depends on the individual situation and cause of infertility. There are times when IVF may be the first line of treatment in patients in which the fallopian tubes are occluded, the sperm count is very low or pre-implanation genetic diagnosis or donor eggs are needed.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Importance of Tests Before Tubal Reversal

Reversing the effects of a tubal ligation is an increasingly viable option for many women seeking to have a child. Our expert explains the procedure and the need for a fertility evaluation and other tests in advance of the surgery.

What a Semen Analysis Can Tell Us

When you’re concerned about fertility, the process of finding out what is causing it can seem overwhelming. Our team is committed to breaking it down for you in easily understood steps. Here’s what you need to know about the semen analysis.

What Does a Basic Infertility Workup Entail?

Confused about infertility treatments and how to get started? Our nationally recognized team explains the basics, starting with an infertility workup and how we proceed from there to help make your dreams reality.

What Every Woman Should Know About Her Eggs

Have you ever wondered what’s happening to your eggs before they get started on that long journey down your fallopian tubes? And how does that relate to fertility? Our expert explains.

Are Some People More at Risk of Infertility Than Others?

You may be surprised to learn that infertility is a relatively common issue that affects about 15% of couples who’ve been trying to conceive for at least a year. Learn the common risk factors for infertility and how a specialist can help.

What Does Home Insemination Entail?

Home insemination is one of the many effective treatments available to people who are experiencing fertility issues. A nationwide leader in Reproductive Endocrinology discusses the procedure and the potential benefits of home insemination.